Diego Orellana Vintimilla, a M.S. student in the Department of Entomology, was recently named a fellow to the Future Leaders Forum – a competitive program managed by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development(AIARD) aimed at fostering student interest in international agriculture and rural development issues and their solutions. The Future Leaders Forums plays a pivotal role in fellows’ professional development by building a broad array of social/cultural, economic, and scientific skills required to become an effective 21st century professional in international agriculture and rural development.
“This is a valuable opportunity to increase networking and become more familiar with international agricultural activities taking place in Washington, D.C. and beyond,” suggests Diego, who is currently researching the role of soil communities in changing tomato growth, chemistry and resistance to insect and disease in organic farming systems under his advisor, Dr. Larry Phelan.
Diego, with support from the Office of International Programs in Agriculture, will participate in AIARD’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. from June 5-7, 2016, where he will interact with other researchers, students, professionals, and administrators working in the area of international agricultural development. His designation as a fellow will also allow him and eleven other graduate students from land-grant universities to visit international agencies, companies, and non-government organizations in Washington including USAID, USDA-FAS, World Bank, Peace Corps, United Nations/FAO, Chemonics, Dupont/Pioneer International, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. (Full story here).