Brianna Holness

More than 1,200 students, faculty and industry leaders from across the country made the 2018 Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) conference the best attended in its 33-year history.

Held April 4-8 at the Koury Convention Center, the conference was co-hosted by the MANRRS chapter of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T, and by its sister land-grant affiliated chapter at NC State in Raleigh. Other hosts and sponsors included agrochemical and pharmaceutical companies BASF Corp., Bayer and Syngenta.

The annual gathering and career fair was tailored to students in a range of agriculture-related fields including agribusiness, animal sciences, biological engineering, fashion merchandising, environmental systems and food science.

This year’s conference was also distinguished by its first-ever pop-up shop. The short-term retail space merged the concepts of agribusiness and fashion merchandising and succeeded in engaging a broader array of agricultural-based disciplines in the conference. Students in A&T’s fashion merchandising and design program, which is an agricultural discipline, and other student CAES volunteers operated the store.

Area middle and high school students interested in agricultural careers are also scheduled to attend the conference. They will tour the University Farm at A&T, and also conduct a laboratory experiment.

Key CAES participants in MANRRS 33 included: graduate student Briana Holness, region 2 graduate vice president, Dr. Radiah Minor, lead coordinator for MANRRS at A&T and associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences; Dr. Chastity Warren-English and Dr. Paula Faulkner, associate professors in the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education; Dr. Richard Robbins, facilities director, and Lynda McGee, administrative support associate for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design.