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.

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 2020, seven fellows are working 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, 247 students from 102 universities and colleges in 37 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.”

                  - Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack

For more information, contact The World Food Prize Global Programs & Partnerships Director, Keegan Kautzky at or 515-343-7162.


2019 Wallace-Carver Fellows

Broward College

Placement: Auburn, AL
Agricultural Research Service
Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit 

"I developed a vaccine by combining catfish antibodies with a protein to treat fish affected by a bacterial infection."

Purdue University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service 
Office of Capacity Building & Development

"I worked with program analysts on the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program to provide support to our government’s school feeding and literacy programs in over 30 developing countries around the world."

Purdue University

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

"I identified antioxidant properties in different varieties of tart cherries to study the diversity of the species, which has implications for improving human health."

Texas A&M University

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

"I studied stem rust disease resistance in a wild relative of wheat in order to transfer the resistance into the plant genome."

University of Nebraska - Lincoln  

Placement: Washington, DC
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

"I organized the inaugural American Diversity Month showcasing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s diversity and how it contributes to the ONE USDA mission."

University of Texas - Austin

Placement:  Fargo, ND
Agricultural Research Service
Cereal Crops Research Unit

"I studied genes in wheat related to protein content and disease resistance in order to improve the performance of this essential staple crop."

Rowan University

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

"I characterized thirty strains of soilborne tumor-inducing bacteria isolated from walnut varieties, in order to develop methods to protect California's $1.6 billion dollar walnut industry."

University of Notre Dame

Placement:  Washington, DC
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition

"I analyzed, identified, and prioritized the most promising research opportunities in agriculture and life sciences over the next decade, and advised the National Institute of Food and Agriculture on its strategic funding priorities in order to improve the USDA’s scientific research agenda."

Pitzer College

Placement: Peoria, IL
Agricultural Research Service
Functional Foods Research Unit

"I evaluated the characteristics of gluten-free flour alternatives in consumer products to inform efforts to improve nutrition for individuals with Celiac Disease and other gluten intolerances."

Vanderbilt University

Placement: Athens, GA
Agricultural Research Service
Bacterial Epidemiology & Antimicrobial Resistance Research Unit

"I researched the effects of soil on bacterial populations of zucchini squash to reduce food-borne diseases and improve public health."

Harvard University

Placement: Washington, DC
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Office of the Chief Economist

"I created statistical models to estimate the damage caused by current international trade disputes on American agriculture and the economy."

North Carolina State University

Placement:  Lexington, KY
Agricultural Research Service
Forage-Animal Production Research Unit

"I tested the impact of supplementing cows’ diets with red clover and its impact on gut microbes, and found that it can ultimately improve animal nutrition, increase meat production, and result in increased income for farmers."

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Placement: Madison, WI
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center

"I analyzed the biological structures in heirloom cranberries to determine if they provide health benefits for both humans and animals."

Macalester College

Placement:  Reno, NV
Agricultural Research Service
Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit

"I conducted research on insects that attack cheatgrass and other biological control methods to contain the flammable invasive grass responsible for many wildfires each year, including last year's deadly Camp Fire in California."

Cornell University

Placement: Ithaca, NY
Agricultural Research Service
Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research Unit

"I identified species of bacteria infecting lavender plants in floral nurseries around the US, so that future research can be done to prevent these infections, improve plant health, minimize economic loss in the multi-billion dollar horticultural and nutraceutical industries; and promote ecological stability."

Grinnell College

Placement: Washington, DC
Economic Research Service
Markets and Trade Economics Division

"I created a high-level policy briefing on the economic implications of African swine fever, which reached China in 2018 and currently threatens a significant portion of the global pork supply."

Iowa State University

Placement: West Lafayette, IN
Agricultural Research Service
Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit

"I tested a water mold that causes soybean root rot in order to develop viruses that can be used as a biocontrol method."

Messiah College

Placement: Washington, DC
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Institute of Youth, Family, and Community

"I reformed the Request for Funding Applications (RFA) for 2020-2021 of the Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Grants Program, which seeks to strengthen agricultural education programs in HSIs, and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grants Program for Education and Workforce Development."

Texas Tech University

Placement: Washington, DC
Agricultural Research Service
Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

"I digitized the preserved plant specimens at the U.S. National Arboretum Herbarium, to make the collection accessible to researchers around the globe."

Rollins College

Placement: Washington, DC
Economic Research Service
Food Assistance Division

"I developed a database of state school food policies to inform best practices on national-level food assistance programs and improve children’s nutrition and health in America."

North Carolina State University

Placement: Poplarville, MS
Agricultural Research Service
Southern Horticultural Research Unit

"I developed safe and effective pest management techniques for an invasive fly that is currently devastating fruit crops in the US and around the world."

University of North Texas 

Placement: Fargo, ND
Agricultural Research Service
Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research Unit

"I developed a test to identify major pesticides that are detrimental to bee health and the ecosystem."

University of Iowa

Placement: Athens, GA
Agricultural Research Service
Poultry Microbiological Safety & Processing Research Unit

"I helped develop a chicken vaccine to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella food poisoning by combining the DNA of Salmonella and E.coli to identify proteins and induce an immune response."


Salem College

Placement: Poplarville, MS
Agricultural Research Service
Southern Horticultural Research Unit

"I developed a DNA extraction protocol to extract high-quality genes from blueberry leaves that can be used for sequencing in order to improve the quality, productivity and disease-resistance of the fruit."

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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

"I studied the diversity of A. tumefaciens isolated from walnuts produced in California to help develop methods to manage and prevent the tumor-producing bacteria that causes Crown Gall Disease."

Georgia State University

Placement: Fargo, ND
Agricultural Research Service
Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research Unit

"I evaluated the effectiveness of different plant species’ ability to attract pollinators in order to improve the U.S. Government’s efforts to increase the diversity, abundance, and health of bee populations."

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Placement: Washington, DC
Office of the Secretary of Agriculture
Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

"I helped manage the 1890 National Scholarship Program and other USDA Higher Education Initiatives that provide financial support, training and career development opportunities for under-represented student populations."

Texas A&M University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service
Office of Operations and Budgeting

"I helped to maximize efficiency and optimize accountable government spending at the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service by revamping the standard operating procedures used to educate and train employees."

Columbia University

Placement: Washington, DC
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
International Services, Trade and Capacity Building

"I analyzed international agricultural trade policy and identified factors that could predict future trade disputes with key countries."

Iowa State University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service
Office of Capacity Building and Development

"I worked to open up markets between the United States and South East Asia through improved seed trade."


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