The World Food Prize Foundation

USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship

The prestigious Wallace-Carver Fellowship offers exceptional college students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid fellowships at leading USDA research centers and offices across the United States.

The fellows also participate in a high-level week-long Wallace-Carver Leadership Symposium at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington DC, hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Initiated by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack in 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture and the World Food Prize Foundation partnered to create the Wallace-Carver Fellowship to inspire the next generation of American scientific and humanitarian leaders.


Named for Henry A. Wallace and George Washington Carver, two of the great American leaders in agricultural science and policy who made significant strides toward ending hunger in the 20th Century, the Wallace-Carver Fellowship seeks to educate, inspire and train the next generation of agricultural leaders, who will lead us in the 21st century.

In the Summer of 2021, eleven fellows worked virtually with USDA research centers and field offices across the country to analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.

Since the creation of the Fellowship, 258 students from 108 universities and colleges in 38 states and the District of Columbia have been employed by the program. 

Over 97% of the Fellows have pursued degrees in related disciplines and 88% are employed in critical fields relevant to science, agriculture, nutrition, economics and policy. 

“The Wallace-Carver Fellowship exposes the best young minds in agriculture to the wide variety of opportunities available to them through civil service. Their experiences as Fellows will prepare these exceptional young leaders to carry out the vital research and innovation we will need to address the challenge of feeding a growing global population.”

                  - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack

For more information, contact the World Food Prize Foundation Senior Program Manager of Internships and Youth Impact, Rebecca Picard at


2021 Wallace-Carver Fellows

Zaira Adams
Mississippi State University

Placement: Beltsville, MD
Agricultural Research Service
Food Quality Laboratory

"My purpose/contribution towards my internship was to find a way to increase the global consumption of fruits and vegetables. This topic matters ,because it will help limit the causes of health issues, food loss, and capitalism."

Eli Arbogast
Carleton College

Placement: Ames, IA
Agricultural Research Service
National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment


Allison Chhay
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Placement: Geneva, NY
Agricultural Research Service
Plant Genetic Resources Research Unit

"I analyzed collection data on clonal and vegetable crop collections using R and SQL, and updated the USDA-ARS PGRU website with interactive charts, maps, and infographics to measure impacts and increase scientific communication."

Halee Fisher
Perdue University

Placement:  Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service
Global Programs

"I've been working for the Cochran Program under the Foreign Agriculture Service. I helped provide short term training opportunities to agricultural professionals across the globe."

Mirai Inaoka
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Placement: Temple, TX
Agricultural Research Service
Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

"I researched manure application certification regulations in all 50 states to determine geographical patterns for farmers wanting to participate in nutrient recycling."

Arush Iyer
Northwestern University

Foreign Agricultural Service
Global Programs, Cochran Fellowship Program

"I’ve been working at the FAS (Foreign Agriculture Service) under the USDA. I work for the Cochran Fellowship Program, which provides industry leaders and government officials from foreign countries with hands-on training in agriculture-related topics."

Gretchen Kuck
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Placement: Ankara, Turkey
Foreign Agricultural Service
U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey

"Working with Post, I got to help tackle food system challenges in real time (from trade policy, economics, water security, biotechnology, and governance to development programs and the coordination of natural disaster responses) to benefit both American farmers and ranchers and food security and stability in Central Asia."

Zachary Overton
Samford University

Placement:  Ames, IA
Agricultural Research Service
Midwest Climate Hub

"I used soil temperature data to develop climatology models, helping to determine climate changes over time based on climate change."

Samantha Rivera
Florida State University

Placement: Davis, CA
Agricultural Research Service
Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit

"This summer I had the opportunity of analyzing microbial communities in anaerobically disinfested soils alongside an amazing team at USDA-ARS."

Diva Shrivastava
Cornell University

Placement: St. Paul, MN
Agricultural Research Service
Cereal Disease Lab


Rachel Stern
University of Oregon

Placement: Athens, GA
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. National Poultry Research Center - Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research Unit

"I worked with the DNA of some select fungi and corn pathogens, which will help not only the chickens but also humans who rely heavily on maize in their diet."



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