News Service


Mary de Baca, College of Agriculture, (515) 294-8574
Karen Bolluyt, Agricultural Information, (515) 294-3701
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- A grant of nearly $100,000 will enable up to 116 students and faculty from colleges that primarily serve Native Americans to attend the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) national conference in Des Moines, April 1-4.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, Mich., is providing $99,760 to Iowa State University for two students and two faculty members each from the 29 institutions commonly called the "1994 land-grant colleges" to attend the conference.

"These are the institutions that achieved land-grant status by federal legislation in 1994," said conference coordinator Mary de Baca of the ISU College of Agriculture. "We have contacted officials at all 29 colleges, and quite a few are making plans to send people."

Most of the 1994 land grant colleges are two-year institutions, de Baca added. The colleges are located in Arizona, California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Approximately 500 persons from around the United States will visit central Iowa for the 13th annual MANRRS national meeting. The conference will be hosted by ISU's MANRRS chapter at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel.

Many of the conference attendees will bus to Ames April 2 to tour ISU agricultural facilities and visit faculty and staff. They also will take part in activities honoring Iowa State alumnus and famous African American scientist George Washington Carver.

MANRRS was organized in 1985 to promote the agricultural sciences and related professions among underrepresented groups. Membership is made up of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and professionals employed in agriculture and affiliated fields, such as agricultural economics, wildlife studies and forestry.

Conference activities include workshops, a career fair and plenty of time for "networking," de Baca said.

"The conference provides an avenue for MANRRS members to establish contacts with other students, faculty members and people working in agriculture-related jobs in business and the government," de Baca said.

Attending the career fair are representatives of several agricultural corporations and government agencies wanting to diversify their workforces.

ISU's MANRRS chapter, formed in 1990, is one of 40 located at colleges and universities in 29 states. The national organization has a membership of about 1,300 students and professionals. Membership is composed of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians and Native Americans.


NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: MANRRS is pronounced "manners."

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