AgDiscovery Program

AgDiscovery Program


United States Department of Agriculture

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion



AgDiscovery 2017


The deadline for AgDiscovery application submissions has been EXTENDED until March 10, 2017.  This means that applications must be POSTMARKED no later than March 10th.  



agdisovery student with insectagdiscovery student with horseagdiscovery student in lab


The AgDiscovery program was initiated as an APHIS Veterinary Services pilot program in 2002.  This year, we have a total of 22 universities hosting an AgDiscovery program at college campuses nationwide.  Funding for AgDiscovery is enabled through cooperative agreements between APHIS and the host universities.

 AgDiscovery is a summer camp outreach program designed to help middle through high school aged students explore careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, plant pathology, aquaculture, and much more. This 2-4 week program allows participants to live on a college campus, and discover agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians, industry representatives, and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students who participate in AgDiscovery experience hands-on labs, workshops, field trips, and other group and team building activities. View the 2017 AgDiscovery brochure HERE to learn more about what the program has to offer.



Please read the instructions very carefully before applying.  Applicants may only apply for one AgDiscovery program each year.  The programs are categorized into three areas of discipline:  agribusiness, animal, and combination.  Applicants cannot repeat participation in the same discipline.  For example, if a student participated in a program in the animal discipline in a previous year, he or she will only be eligible to participate in a program in one of the two remaining other disciplines (agribusiness or combination).  A breakdown of the three program disciplines is as follows:


e disciplines: Agribusiness, Animal, and Combination


agdiscovery students with horse


IMPORTANT NOTE:  Applicants selected to attend the AgDiscovery program are required to attend the program in its entirety.  Please do not apply if you have any obligations (i.e., vacation plans, summer camps, etc.) that will prevent you from attending the entire AgDiscovery program, which includes weekends, and opening and closing day activities.



The deadline for submitting applications is March 1, 2017.

Applications must be mailed directly to APHIS.  Emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered applications will not be accepted for consideration under any circumstances.  Incomplete applications and applications postmarked after the deadline

will not receive consideration.


A complete application package includes:


  • The four-page AgDiscovery 2017 application form.  You can download a fillable PDF form HERE.    We strongly suggest that you complete the form by typing information directly into it.  If you prefer to complete the form by hand, please ensure that all information is neatly printed and clearly legible.


  •   A two-page essay entitled, “Why I Want to Attend the AgDiscovery Program at                                                         (indicate the participating university you would like to attend), and What I Want to Learn.”  In the essay, include information about your interests, hobbies, future career goals, and how you plan to achieve your goals.  Be sure to include your full name, age, home address, telephone number, and email address on the first page of the essay.


  • Three letters of recommendation from people not related to you who know you well.  At least one recommendation must come from a teacher or school counselor.  Each letter of recommendation must be sealed in a separate envelope, and then placed in one large envelope, and mailed together with the application form and essay. 


    Only ONE large envelope containing the application form, essay, and

    sealed letters of recommendation will be accepted per applicant.


    Do NOT include any of the following in your application package:

    photographs, birth certificate, report card, transcript, news clippings,

    awards, or other extra documents.



Photographs courtesy of:  University of Hawaii, Virginia State University, Florida A&M University, North Carolina State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Kentucky State University, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, Iowa State University, University of Arizona, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Delaware State University, University of Maryland College Park, Tuskegee University, South Carolina State University, University of the Virgin Islands, Lincoln University.








Specific age requirements for admission apply to some of the participating universities.  Please check that you meet the age requirement for your selected school before submitting your application.


You must be at least the minimum eligible age as of May 31, 2017 to apply.  You are not eligible to apply if you have reached your 18th birthday prior to the start of the program, or anytime during the program session.

Mail your complete application package by

March 1, 2017 to: 


USDA-APHIS-AgDiscovery Program

ATTN:  Ms. Tammy Lowry

Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion

4700 River Road, Unit 92, Suite 6C-04.13

Riverdale, MD  20737-1234


PLEASE NOTE:  Applications are rated using a scoring system, and receive equal consideration.  The selections are based on the highest-ranking scores.  Applicants selected for participation in the 2017 AgDiscovery Program will be notified directly by the host university, during the week of May 8, 2017.  Non-selected applicants will receive a letter in the mail from USDA-APHIS by the end of May 2017