Meeting brings together minority students in agriculture

MANRRS

Members of LSU’s MANRRS Chapter attending the meeting were (front) KeVonn Faulkner, Chrystal Kerbo, Norlethia Harris, (middle) Janae Tatum, Alexandra Ruiz, (back) Greer Darden, Shanara Dyson, and Samantha Smith.Photo by Tobie Blanchard

The LSU College of Agriculture hosted a regional meeting for students in MANRRS, which stands for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, on Oct. 28-30.
 
The meeting included about 60 students and advisers from MANRRS’ chapters at LSU, Southern University, Alcorn State University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University and Texas State University.
 
“The goal of this meeting is to encourage diversity and inclusion and promote the development of leadership skills that our members can use in their careers in agriculture and related sciences,” said Tim Sandles, diversity coordinator for the LSU College of Agriculture.
 
The weekend included workshops, contests, tours, a banquet and a community service project.
 
Norlethia Harris, a senior studying animal sciences at LSU, said she felt more confident about job hunting after attending the resume writing workshop at the LSU Olinde Career Center.
 
“We had a lot of questions about what to put on it and how to fill it, and this helped a lot,” Harris said.
 
Arionne Patterson, a junior at Prairie View studying agricultural economics, said when she was putting together her resume, she was unsure whether or not to include student organizations that would let a potential employer know she is a minority.
 
ServiceProject“The agriculture industry is mainly Caucasian men, and this makes us unique,” she said.
 
Alex Moore, the president-elect of National MANRRS spoke to the group about creating a personal brand and preparing for opportunities.
 
“There are lots of opportunities in agriculture now that don’t fit the mold,” Moore said. “Be you. Not the mold.”
 
Students also echoed a theme throughout the meeting and a goal of MANRRS – to create a professional family of its members.
 
“We all have the same main values, and we are like a family,” Harris said. “With MANRRS, I have people in different places to call on when I need them.”
 
The meeting concluded with a community service project. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and each chapter was asked to donate hygiene items. The students put together care packages with donated items. Students from the LSU chapter will deliver the packages to a local women’s shelter.