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To help ensure equitable access for women and minority students in agriculture and business, Cargill is introducing the Cargill University thrive program at Tuskegee University, according to a recent news report by the historically Black college and university.

“The Cargill University thrive program invests in the next generation of leaders who will make the future of food and agriculture more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, and who we hope will build long-term careers at Cargill,” Myriam Beatove, Cargill’s chief human resources officer, said in a statement.

The thrive program is part of Cargill’s broader commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which is focused on achieving gender parity.

“We are pleased to partner with Cargill. Their support helps the university reach its goal of providing world-class co-curricular opportunities for our students. We could not be more excited about our new partnership,” said Phillip Howard, Tuskegee’s vice president for advancement.

The thrive program goes beyond scholarships and provides students with mentoring, development programming and career coaching to help convert their education into meaningful careers, Tuskegee University said.

Tuskegee’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences graduates students who have gone on to work in “areas that include agricultural sciences, food, and nutritional sciences, biochemical and biomedical sciences, human and veterinary medicine or other health-related fields, environmental policy and natural resource management, and rural development.”

The photo above, used courtesy of Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, accompanied a Black History Month interview with Jacquelyn Jackson, Ph.D.

Dr. Jackson is a research assistant professor of molecular biology and genetics in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University. According to Iowa State,  she was part of a biotechnology research group that focuses on sweet potatoes and peanuts. She also explores disease resistance genes, especially those that could help the sweet potato stave off viral attacks.

Cargill  has introduced the thrive program at Alcorn State University, Texas A&M, Iowa State, and other universities, and also included partners such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences.

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