May 6, 2004 – Five youths from St. Croix and three from St. Thomas have been selected to attend the Sustainable Agriculture Training Institute at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss., this summer.
"The objective of the program is to promote awareness and interest in the study of agricultural science amongst young people in the Virgin Islands," Louis Petersen, project coordinator for the program, said.
Petersen is on the staff of the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service and serves on the board of the V.I. Resource Conservation and Development Council.
The program is sponsored by the Resource Conservation and Development Council, the Cooperative Extension Service and Alcorn State University. It is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service/International Institute of Tropical Forestry.
The V.I. students are Anubi Davis Hahina, Sekou George, Akiz Jackman, Kendall Petersen Jr. and Kira Smith of St. Croix; and Monique Fahie, Shamika George and Mark Saunders of St. Thomas. Each is receiving a $1,600 scholarship to cover transportation, room and board, plus a stipend.
Julie Wright, Resource Conservation and Development Council coordinator, said the students range in age from 17 to 22 and are planning careers in agriculture, eco-tourism and veterinary medicine.
The institute runs from June 7 to July 30. The students will learn about crop and livestock production, marketing and agribusiness through classroom lectures, hands-on field and laboratory exercises and tours of university facilities and farms. They will receive continuing education credits for all courses completed.
Wright said the mission of the Resource Conservation and Development Council is to enhance the quality of life for the people of the Virgin Islands through the conservation of natural and cultural resources and the stimulation of growth and development. The not-for-profit organization was formed in 1990. For more information, visit the RCD Council Web site.
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