The World Food Prize Foundation

2021 Wallace-Carver Fellows

The prestigious USDA Wallace-Carver Fellowship offers the most promising college students in America the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists, policymakers and public servants through paid fellowships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In the summer of 2021, eleven fellows were remotely stationed at 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.

Zaira Adams
Mississippi State University

Placement: Beltsville, MD
Agricultural Research Service
Food Quality Laboratory

"The purpose of my internship was to find a way to increase the global consumption of fruits and vegetables. This topic matters, because it will help reduce health and nutrition problems and limit food waste and loss."

Zaira's Video

Eli Arbogast
Carleton College

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

"I spent this summer exploring the question: do existing ways of measuring the amount of carbon in the soil measure accurately? This is really important to the field of soil science as well as to the general evaluation of climate change because we need to know whether our ways of thinking about carbon fixation in the soil are correct. Agriculture as a field is going to be critical to responding to climate change in the coming decades, and therefore incorrect measurements could have disastrous implications for how we respond and how we are impacted by climate change."

Eli's Video

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."

Allison's Video

Halee Fisher
Purdue University

Placement: Washington, DC
Foreign Agricultural Service
Global Programs, Cochran Fellowship Program

"I worked for the Cochran Program at the Foreign Agriculture Service, providing short term training opportunities to agricultural professionals across the globe."

Halee's Video

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 programs."

Mirai's Video

Arush Iyer
Northwestern University

Foreign Agricultural Service
Global Programs, Cochran Fellowship Program

"I worked at the Foreign Agriculture Service on the Cochran Fellowship Program, which provides industry leaders and government officials from foreign countries with hands-on training in agriculture-related topics."

Arush's Video

Gretchen Kuck
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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

"Working with the Embassy in Turkey, I helped tackle food system challenges in real time - covering 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."

Gretchen's Video

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 across the midwest U.S."

Samantha Rivera
Florida State University

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

"I analyzed microbial communities in anaerobically disinfested soils alongside an amazing team at USDA ARS."

Samantha's Video

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

Rachel's Video


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