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AgDiscovery Program

The AgDiscovery program was initiated as a APHIS Veterinary Services pilot program in 2002. Funding for AgDiscovery is facilitated through cooperative agreements with the hosting Universities.

AgDiscovery is an outreach program to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness and plant pathology. This 2-4 week program allows participants to live on a college campus and learn about agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students who participate in AgDiscovery will gain experience through hands-on labs, workshops, field trips and other group and team building activities. View the AgDiscovery Brochure to learn more.

How to Apply for AgDiscovery

For the program at Alcorn State University, students between the ages of 12-16 are eligible to apply for AgDiscovery. For all other participating universities, the eligible ages for AgDiscovery program are 14-17 years old. (Note: You must be at least the minimum eligible age and no older than the maximum eligible age for your selected program as of May 31, 2015.)

Applicants can only apply to one AgDiscovery program each year. Following the 2013 AgDiscovery program, applicants will no longer be eligible to repeat participation within a discipline. For example, if a student participates in any program within the animal discipline, he or she will only be eligible to participate in programs within the remaining disciplines in 2015 and beyond. The programs are categorized in the four disciplines below:





Delaware State University Kentucky State University North Carolina State University University of Maryland – College Park
  Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Lincoln University in Missouri University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
  Alcorn State University *University of Arizona Tuskegee University
  Virginia State University   University of Hawaii at Manoa
  Fort Valley State University   Iowa State University
      University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
      South Carolina State University
      University of Maryland - Eastern Shore

*The program at the University of Arizona will now include the animal and plant (combination) discipline.

All application packages must be received or postmarked by March 6, 2015.  APHIS will not accept application packages or references postmarked after the March 6th deadline.  There will be no exceptions to this policy.

What to include in your application package:

  • Application Form—A completed Application Form (PDF) and brochure.
    • We recommend that you download/save the fillable form to your hard drive before completing. For best results completing the PDF form, download the latest Adobe Reader at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
  • Essay—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 on your interests and hobbies, and explain what you want to do when you grow up. Be sure to include your full name, age, home address, home telephone number, and email address.
  • Three character references—letters from people not related to you who know you well. At least one of the three references must come from a teacher or counselor. References must be submitted in a separate sealed envelope and mailed to the address below.

If you are mailing your entire application, please remember to have your references mailed separately to USDA-APHIS-AgDiscovery Program, at the address indicated below.
 by mail to:
Attn:  AgDiscovery Program - Sophia Kirby
USDA-APHIS Office of the Administrator
Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion
4700 River Road, Unit 92
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234

If the applicant is selected for the program, original signatures, proof of age, and school enrollment is required prior to program participation.

Selectees will be notified on or before April 30, 2015.

Contact Information: 

For additional information about the AgDiscovery program, please call (301) 851-4199, or send an e-mail to:  agdiscovery@aphis.usda.gov.

Additional Information