WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced the selection of 19 students to be 1890 national scholars for the 2006 academic year and invited scholarship applications for next fall.

"The USDA 1890 National Scholars Program is a wonderful resource for identifying the leaders of tomorrow in agriculture," Johanns said. "We congratulate this year's scholars and welcome scholarship applications for the 2007 academic year."

The USDA 1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership initiative between USDA and the 1890 Land Grant Universities. Through this initiative, USDA seeks to expand its diversity by recruiting talented students into public service in agriculture and related fields including food sciences, natural resources and agricultural sciences. Since the inception of the National Scholars Program in 1992, USDA has funded a total of 413 national scholars.

USDA/1890 scholarship recipients receive full tuition, fees, books, use of laptop computers and software, printers, employment and employee benefits for each of the four years they pursue a bachelor's degree. Students receive room and board provided by the partnering institutions and are required to work one year at USDA for each year they receive the scholarship.

USDA/1890 National Scholars are selected by participating USDA agencies based on recommendations of participating 1890 Land-Grant Universities.

The USDA/1890 National Scholars for 2006 are: Zachary C. Adkins, Harts, West Virginia; Dominique L. Akins, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Allison H. Arp, Yazoo City, Mississippi; Andrea M. Birmingham, Atlanta, Texas; Larissa M. Bryant, Stuttgart, Arkansas; Antonio B. Burkett, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Arria S. Cheeley, Greensboro, North Carolina; Zanethia D. Choice, Estill, South Carolina; Lea Vannah L. Davis, West Helena, Arkansas; Tiara L. Dunn, Largo, Maryland; Stephon D. Fitzpatrick, Smyrna, Delaware; Jessica V. Gowins, Siler City, North Carolina; Jennifer S. Hill, Chicago, Illinois; Summer A. Perry, Clarksville, Texas; Robert A. Powell, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Brittney D. Reed, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Mark A. Stout, Rose, Oklahoma; Clarence R. White, Natchez, Mississippi; and Dominique H. Young, Fort Worth, Texas.

Applications for the 2007 academic school year are being accepted. The application form is available at www.ascr.usda.gov/1890scholars_app.pdf. The application form can either be printed blank or completed on-line and then printed. All 2007 application materials must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2007, and mailed to the USDA liaison officer at the applicant's university of choice.

The 1890 Land Grant Universities are: Alabama A&M University; Alcorn State University, Mississippi; Delaware State University; Florida A&M University; Fort Valley State University, Georgia; Kentucky State University; Langston University, Oklahoma; Lincoln University, Missouri; North Carolina A&T State University; Prairie View A&M University, Texas; South Carolina State University; Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, Alabama; University of Arkansas Pine Bluff; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.

For more information about the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program, contact the USDA/1890 Programs Office by phone at 202-205-5692 or by e-mail at 1890init@usda.gov. Additional information is available online.

SOURCE: USDA news release.