The NextGen Program

Pathway to Public Service

Federal service matters in our climate and equity-challenged world. Our partnership will identify pathways into public service for high school, bachelor and graduate degree holders, with the goal of strengthening USDA's future workforce by increasing the number of Farm, Animal, Health, and Nutrition knowledgeable employees from underrepresented groups and geographies. Partnering with Arizona State University (ASU), Food Corps, Hawai'i Pacific University (HPU), and University of Guam (UoG), we have been awarded $18 Million to offer students education opportunities, scholarships and internships.

Student Opportunities

USDA Scholar Activities:

The goal of the USDA info session is to familiarize students with the various job opportunities within USDA. With 17 different agencies and a budget over $200 billion, USDA is one of the largest and most influential government departments. There is a wide-range of career pathways, which can be exciting and also daunting for students considering pursuing a USDA job. This info session will break it down so it’s easier for students to understand the inner workings and find their niche in the Department of Agriculture.
Based on “Model Congress” and “Model UN,” NextGen students will participate in “Model USDA”: a simulation engagement to provide students with insights on the work that USDA does and training on how to do it, with particular emphasis on leadership skills and policy development. Students will take on the roles of Secretary, senior advisor, administrator, chief of staff, press aide, budget officer, HR director, tribal liaison office staff and more. Through role playing on specific and timely issues before USDA (e.g. preparation of the annual budget submission, competition, food procurement, food safety outbreak), students will act out real life job functions in a simulated atmosphere.
This workshop will provide students with all the dos and don’ts of applying for federal employment through After attending, students will be able to confidently navigate the expansive website and have more success in their search for internships and/or job opportunities.
To ensure NextGen students are fluent in climate science, an annual virtual symposium on climate and food will be held, inclusive of providing an online “toolbox” of accessible and reusable resources and a tutorial on how to use them.
NextGen scholarship recipients will have access to exclusive career counseling to ensure they are adequately supported and prepared to enter the workforce upon completion of their studies. 

National Institute of Food and Agriculture
USDA Mission Statement

We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.



Hawaii Pacific University
Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems
University of Guam, green text
Investing in America

For NextGen Inquires:

Jay Clapeck 

Jay Clapeck 

NextGen Coordinator

Cooperative Extension Service 

1751 Tanana Loop(Forestry Building), Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6180

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