Texas Tech University

College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Selects Second MILE Cohort

Lindsay Kennedy

March 4, 2020

MILE Cohort

The students will expand their personal and professional skills while being exposed to key issues affecting local, state and national agriculture.

The College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) has selected 14 Texas Tech University undergraduate students for the second cohort of the Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE) Program.

MILE is a three-semester leadership and professional development program that exposes students to the key issues affecting local, state and national agriculture while expanding their personal and professional skills.

William Brown, CASNR dean, said MILE meets industry demands by developing future employees who have cutting-edge disciplinary knowledge and communications skills.

"MILE students are well-rounded, mature individuals who will have an immediate impact in the marketplace and ultimately become leaders in the industries we serve," Brown said.

MILE cohort members go through an extensive application and interview process and are selected by the MILE advisory committee, which is composed of agricultural industry representatives and CASNR faculty and staff.

During the program, MILE participants enroll in three academic courses focused on the personal, service and community aspects of leadership and are required to complete a professional internship. The cohort also will participate in professional development workshops and agriculture tours across the state. The cohort will travel to Austin and Washington, D.C., to meet with industry and government representatives, and each student receives a leadership certificate upon graduation from the program.

"Our goal is to create a pipeline of knowledgeable and highly qualified students who can go into the industry with the training and experiences necessary to tackle the big issues facing agriculture and our rural communities," said Lindsay Kennedy, MILE program director.

While the program seeks to impact participants' career opportunities, Kennedy said the long-term goals of MILE are much broader.

"My hope is that one day in the not so distant future our MILE program alumni will not just be a network of advocates for agriculture, but they'll also be key industry decision makers, civic leaders, school board members, policymakers and people out there making a positive impact on their communities," Kennedy said.

MILE graduated its first cohort of students in May 2019. During their cohort, those initial students met with United States Department of Agriculture agencies and officials as well as staff within the U.S. House of Representatives agriculture committee and government agencies and agricultural organization representatives.

The MILE program also participated in the 250-person delegation that traveled to Austin to promote the Texas Tech University System and its key priorities, including the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo.

The following students represent the second MILE cohort:

  • Taylin Antonick, Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC), Henderson, Texas

  • Samantha Barnett, Agricultural Education & Communications (ACOM), Florence, Texas

  • Tyler Brimager, Natural Resources Management (NRM), New Braunfels, Texas

  • Lindsay Dube, ACOM/Creative Media Industries (CMI), Thrall, Texas

  • Mason Ewing, AAEC, Van Alstyne, Texas

  • Macey Gerhart, Animal & Food Sciences (ANSC), Winters, Texas

  • Steven Iida, NRM, Spring, Texas

  • Lacy Jackson, ACOM, Seminole, Texas

  • Sydney Lundberg, AAEC/ACOM, Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Martina Martin, Agricultural Education and Communication (AGED), Franklin, Texas

  • Carson Read, ANSC, Decatur, Texas

  • Riley Reep, ACOM, Ropesville, Texas

  • Kullen Sorrels, ANSC, Dalhart, Texas

  • Alondra Torres, AAEC, Sanger, Texas

For more information about the MILE program, visit www.casnr.ttu.edu/mile.