Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive January 2011 Show 1103 Retired Educators for Youth Agricultural Programs - Part 2

Retired Educators for Youth Agricultural Programs - Part 2

We continue our report on the Retired Educators for Youth Agricultural Program.
Retired Educators for Youth Agricultural Programs - Part 2

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Show 1103: Retired Educators for Youth Agricultural Programs - Part 2

Air date: January 16, 2011



I’m Courtenay DeHoff at Oklahoma State University.  An Oklahoma State student is packing up and heading towards a future in agriculture thanks to the REYAP program.  Steven Garrett is a Food Science major at OSU and credits REYAP for sowing his way into agriculture.

Steven Garrett:  REYAP actually had everything to do with it.  REYAP is also a junior chapter for MANRRS, which is Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences.  And, in that program, they would have a national conference once a year and most high schools, or students in high school, would be considered a junior, part of a junior chapter of that organization.  It’s really a collegiate program, so every time that we would go for this conference, we’d meet with students from various Ag universities.   And so, we would meet with these students and mingle with them and network, and we also got to meet with a lot of companies through this program.  That actually showed me that, yeah, agriculture is what I want to do.  That and then the summer internship program with REYAP.

Courtenay:  But the interest show in agriculture by young African-Americans did not always exist.  But programs like REYAP have worked hard to produce opportunities to change that attitude.

Steven:  I interned at Natural Resource Conservation Service; I was an Engineering Technician and a, slash Soil Conservationist.  And, I mean, it wasn’t necessarily what I was looking for, but it led me to see that Ag is where I wanted to be.  And so, once I got into college and got my foot in the door, I mean uh, the opportunities have been numerous since then.

Courtenay:  REYAP Board Member and long-time Ag teacher, Leroy Brown.

Leroy Brown:  It’s not the same anymore; that whole stigma, finally today agriculture’s getting more popular.  With more people involved with the environment, as much emphasis as there is today on healthy eating and organic foods and that, it’s become a popular thing now.  It’s still a challenge to get them, but it don’t have the stigma that it had at one time.  And you know, when you’ve got a First Lady that’s raising a garden by the White House, you know, that’s telling you how popular that’s becoming.

Michelle Obama:  Great vegetables and fruits.

Courtenay:  And both generations of men agree that REYAP is opening doors in Ag.

Steven:  I’ve been able to network with various people all over the country.  I’ve had, I had summer internships in high school.  For three years in high school I worked for the United States Department of Agriculture and I had gotten, it gave us students to uh, a chance to travel and just do quite a bit of things.  It taught us how to dress for an interview, how to present ourselves when in that interview, how to, they had we had courses for resume writing and resume building, and so it was just a really wonderful program.

Courtenay:  And both agriculture and its students are reaping the benefits.