Thirty high school sophomores were recently selected to participate in the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Missouri Agribusiness Academy. Students selected will spend the first week of June in the St. Louis region exploring various facets of agriculture.

“We are proud to announce another outstanding MAbA class. Our young people in agriculture set the bar high and model respect, determination, responsibility and service — values we in the industry strive to instill along with farming traditions,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “MAbA empowers students to further develop those leadership skills and use them to enhance the future of Missouri agriculture and our rural communities.”

Students selected for the 2018 class are:

•Hailey Schepers of California.

•Ellie Coppock of Eldon.

•Kaylee Lower of Collins.

•Miles Bailey of Clinton.

•Justin Austin of Appleton City.

•Parker Triplett of Rutledge.

•Katie Campbell of Memphis.

•Clint Bailey of Curryville.

•Lucy Schnitker of Middletown.

•Linsey Brady of Fayette.

•Sally Schmidt of Carrollton.

•Anderson Rogers of Bethany.

•Brooklyn Bennett of Bolckow.

•Garrett Heil of Norborne.

•Maryanna Milazzo of Galt.

•Hannah Hoelscher of Warrenton.

•Paul Boeckmann of Loose Creek.

•Madison Coleman of Rhineland.

•William Lee of Truxton.

•Nicole Deeken of Loose Creek.

•Ricanna Spargo of Naylor.

•Katelyn Young of Arcadia.

•Aaron Brown of Jackson.

•Elizabeth Mooney of Fredericktown.

•Brittany Ladd of Farmington.

•Kaitlyn Cloud of Carthage.

•Cade Shepherd of Mount Vernon.

•Lauren Gilbert of Oldfield.

•Jacob Toombs of Bolivar.

•Lauren Ford of Stockton.

On Monday, June 4, the MAbA class will convene at the Missouri Department of Agriculture. After a department overview and tour, the students will travel to St. Louis. During the 2018 Missouri Agribusiness Academy, the students will visit businesses and learn about career opportunities in animal and plant health, communications, forestry, value-added agriculture production and more. The students will end their week with a graduation ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.

Since 1988, the Missouri Agribusiness Academy has awarded more than 900 academy memberships through a competitive application and interview process for high school sophomores interested in pursuing agriculture-related college degrees and careers.

To be eligible for the Agribusiness Academy, students must come from a farming family or be an active member of the National FFA Organization or 4-H.

For additional details about the 2018 Missouri Agribusiness Academy, as well as more information on the Department of Agriculture, please visit the department online at Agriculture.Mo.Gov.