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The USDA Agricultural Ambassadors Program provides high school students with the opportunity to intern with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Edinburg, TX, and Parlier, CA. Students selected will also receive a leadership development training. Ambassadors are selected based on their academic excellence, interest in science, and demonstrated leadership qualities.

After completing the program, Ambassadors represent USDA at their respective high schools and serve as a resource to students interested in agricultural-related fields. The program is funded by the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program and managed in partnership with California State University – Fresno, University of Texas Pan American, and Fresno Unified School District.

The program is designed to expand students’ knowledge of the importance of public service, provide educational and professional experiences and increase students’ awareness of career opportunities with the USDA.

Internship Program

Internship Program

  • Students will be placed in a professional internship assignment at the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
  • Students from California will be placed at the USDA San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Parlier, CA.
  • Ambassadors will be assigned an USDA professional mentor, who will train and guide students during the program.
  • Ambassadors will work in a paid internship 20 hours per week for five weeks. The schedule will be determined in coordination with the supervisor.
  • Each ambassador will be responsible for making sure their mentor submits their weekly hours to the administrative point person for processing.
  • Ambassadors are responsible for arranging their transportation to and from the internship location.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for the program you must:

  • Be in good disciplinary standing.
  • Be in good academic standing with minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0/4.0.
  • Be an incoming sophomore, junior or senior.
  • Be a student leader and committed to public service.
  • Be interested in agricultural science related careers.
  • Attend the required orientation accompanied by a parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
  • Complete the application and mail in the required documents.


Incomplete and late applications will not be considered. Each high school principal may nominate a maximum of three students to be considered for this program. Students submit an online application and a one page essay. Additionally, two letters of recommendations must be submitted by the student's teacher and counselor. Finally, students must also submit an unofficial academic transcript via email.

A complete application consist of:

1. Application & Essay
2. Principal Nomination
3. Teacher/Counselor Recommendations
4. Academic Transcript

Pay & Cost

The USDA fully sponsors each selected student for this program.

In addition, Ambassadors will receive a stipend for their internship based on minimum hourly wages. Minimum wages vary by state, California ($8.00), and Texas ($7.25). Students will work 20 hours per week for five weeks.

There are no fees or extra costs involved, if selected.

Important Dates: (Please check back for dates.)

  • Application Opens:
  • Application Deadline:

  • First Week of Program:
  • Leadership Training:
  • Second Week:
  • Third Week:
  • Fourth Week:
  • Fifth Week:

Key Contacts
To learn more about the USDA Agricultural Ambassadors Program, please contact your local USDA official.

Mr. Juan Alvarez

  • Regional Director
    USDA/HSI National Program
    Central-Northern California & Washington
    P: 559.278.8311
    C: 559.240.0692

Ruby S. De La Garza

USDA  | Policy Statements  | Last Modified: 04/03/2015
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