Students chosen for innovative agriculture and public policy leadership program

Media contact: Sarah Dinger,

Eight students from NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have been chosen for an innovative program aimed at developing leaders in agriculture and public policy.

The Adolph Warren Family Leadership Program is designed for sophomore, junior and senior students who have an interest in and potential for leadership and public service in agriculture. The program helps them develop skills in personal, organizational and public policy leadership.

As fellows, the students will participate in a full-time summer internship experience with an agricultural organization or the state legislature’s standing committees on agriculture, environment and natural resources. Through the internship, they will gain greater understanding of public policy issues facing food and agriculture. The group will also travel extensively throughout North Carolina to engage with key leaders in agriculture, food policy, life sciences, industry and public service.

The Adolph Warren Family Leadership Program is made possible by the support of Joe and Gail Dunn through the North Carolina Agriculture Foundation Inc. The program is named in memory of the late Adolph Warren, an agricultural education teacher and leader in Sampson County, North Carolina. More information is available at

Students selected for the 2016 class of Warren Fellows include:

  • Amanda Gail Smith, the daughter of Wayne and Angel Smith of Kearneysville, West Virginia. A graduate of Jefferson High School in Shenandoah Junction, she is a junior majoring in animal science and agribusiness management. Upon graduation, she plans to gain industry experience before going on to study agricultural law. She is president of the Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority, a CALS Ambassador and part of the University Scholars Program.
  • Allison Leigh Pitts, daughter of Al and Jennifer Pitts of Spring Hope in Nash County, North Carolina. A graduate of Southern Nash High School, she is a junior majoring in food science. Upon graduation, she plans to continue her studies in agricultural and resource economics, with a focus on food safety and public policy. She is president of the Shelton Student Delegates, participates in intramural sports and is a member of the Food Science Club at NC State.
  • Rebecca Eskalis, daughter of Albert and Lourdes Eskalis of Annapolis, Maryland. A graduate of Severna Park High School, she is a sophomore majoring in agricultural science, with minors in crop science, animal science and environmental science. An active member of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), Eskalis plans to explore policies related to organic farming and pesticides and hopes join the Peace Corps upon graduation.
  • Aaron Casey Oxendine, son of Gertrude and Allen Oxendine of Lumberton, North Carolina. A graduate of Purnell Swett High School, Oxendine is a senior majoring in poultry science with minors in nutrition, animal science, feed milling and agribusiness management. Active as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Matthew Koci’s immunology laboratory, Oxendine is interested in furthering his involvement in agricultural research policy. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in poultry immunology.
  • John Wesley Hairr, son of Wesley and Donna Hairr of Wallace, North Carolina. A junior agribusiness major, Hairr is a graduate of Harrells Christian Academy. He plans to explore swine and poultry politics as he prepares for a career in agriculture.
  • Molly Gwyn Hass, daughter of Dr. Lanny and Sabrina Hass of Raleigh, North Carolina. A senior majoring in food science, Hass is a graduate of Enloe High School. In the Warren Leadership Program, she plans to focus on food security domestically and internationally. She is exploring graduate degree programs in policy and international relations. Hass is active in NC State’s Caldwell Fellows Program and has taken part in study abroad programs in Adelaide, Australia; Puebla, Mexico; and Valencia, Spain.
  • Kevin Alain Foushee, son of Kenneth and Kathy Foushee of Siler City, North Carolina. A graduate of Chatham Central High School, he is a senior majoring in horticultural science, with minors in plant biology and agribusiness management. He serves as the marshal for Pi Alpha Xi, the honors fraternity for horticulture at NC State. His goal is to enter a career involving horticulture and local communities.
  • Catherine Harward, daughter of Marcus and Patty Harward of Richfield, in Stanly County, North Carolina. A graduate of Gray Stone Day School in Misenheimer, she is a junior majoring in animal science with minors in agribusiness management and agricultural leadership. She serves as reporter for NC State University’s Young Farmers and Ranchers, is a member of the Agronomy Club and the Park Scholarship Program. Harward will use her Warren Leadership Program experience to explore livestock issues. Upon graduation, she hopes to be involved with her family beef cattle operation and marketing business.

— Dee Shore, 919-513-3117 or

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