The U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced the selection of 19 minority-serving educational institutions to take part in the 2024 USDA Agricultural Export Market Challenge.

"American farmers deserve access to new, more, and better markets through trade, and USDA is training future leaders to help expand those opportunities," said Deputy Secretary Torres Small. "Two years ago, USDA launched a one-of-a-kind platform for students from minority-serving institutions to solve simulated world trade problems in the Agricultural Export Market Challenge. With students from 19 schools participating this year, the Challenge is a testament to the bright future ahead for agriculture."

USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), in cooperation with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), created and continues to oversee the Agricultural Export Market Challenge. The Challenge is an immersive learning experience for junior- and senior-year undergraduate students to explore the work of FAS and accrue knowledge and skills in diplomacy, economics, marketing, and trade policy.

The teams who will compete in the 2024 Spring Semester of the Challenge hail from the following minority-serving institutions:

  • Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wis.*
  • California State University, Fresno, Calif.*
  • Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, Calif.*
  • Colorado State University – Pueblo, Colo.
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Florida International University, Miami, Fla.
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga.
  • Hartnell College, Salina, Calif.
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • Inter American University of Puerto Rico – Aguadilla, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
  • Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo.*
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.*
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C.*
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas*
  • Regis University, Denver, Colo.
  • San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, Calif.
  • St. Mary's University, San Antonio, Texas*
  • Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas*
  • Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas

*Denotes teams that have participated in past years

During the five-week Challenge, teams of students develop and present a market entry strategy for a fictitious American company seeking sales opportunities for a U.S. food or agricultural product in an overseas market. The team that completes and wins the Challenge receives an opportunity to meet with USDA leaders in Washington, D.C.

The Challenge and partnership between FAS and HACU align with the Biden-Harris Administration's Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government and is another example of the Department's and Agency's commitment to advancing equity.

To learn more about the Challenge, visit