Spring conference aims at minorities in agriculture, resources


PORTLAND, Ore. - An April career fair and conference here will offer minority students and professionals in agricultural and natural resources a variety of opportunities for networking and professional development.

"Developing One Nation: Bringing Together Culture, Diversity, and Technology," the 17th annual conference of the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, is scheduled April 4-6. Advance registration is encouraged, with information available by calling conference organizers at 503-244-4320. Information is also available on the World Wide Web. Society membership is not required to attend the conference, but registration fees are discounted for MANRRS members.

Conference activities are designed to develop a partnership between minority college students and professionals from academic institutions, government agencies and industry. A special "Junior MANRRS Program" with presentations and activities geared toward high school students, is also planned.

Organizers expect about 900 people to attend workshops, tours and seminars during the three-day event, which will include trips to Mount St. Helens, the Willamette River, the Columbia River Gorge and other areas of interest throughout the region. Workshops will cover a variety of subjects, including trends in computer applications in agriculture and forestland management, internships, fellowships and scholarships, food science marketing, grant writing and dealing with racial prejudice.

The National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences accepts membership from people of all racial and ethnic groups working in agricultural and related sciences. The society works as a springboard for career entry and advancement, and provides role models and networking opportunities.

MANRRS also offers students opportunities to enhance leadership and organizational and public speaking skills, and to experience professional critique of scholarly achievements.

The 17th annual conference is supported by: Oregon State University; University of Washington; University of California at Davis; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration; and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service.