Written by Grace Padgett (MANRRS Member)
Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) is a student organization open to all UW students. The goal of the organization is to assist members with developing the skills and tools necessary to succeed in the professional world, while providing networking opportunities in the field of agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. The organization’s members are a group of amazing scholars on campus, studying interesting topics and carrying out impactful work at the UW and beyond.
One award-winning MANRRS member, Brittany Isidore, is a graduate student in the Agroecology Master’s Program. Her pursuit for a graduate degree in Agroecology stemmed from her undergraduate education at the University of Florida. There she studied Animal Science as her major focusing on Food Animal Production and Organic and Sustainable Crop Production as her minor. In her final year at the University of Florida she realized that she truly enjoyed conducting interdisciplinary agricultural research which looks at how agricultural production crosses the lines of ecology and sociology. That realization led her to pursue the Agroecology Master’s Program, a field that has the goal of recognizing Agroecosystems as more than food production, but to produce food in a way that is equitable and just, and economical for producers.
Her master’s thesis delves into the Perceptions of Farmers and Peasant Associations in Building Sustainable Agriculture Development in Haiti. Historically, NGO’s and International Aid organizations have unsuccessfully created good interventions to improve agricultural production in Haiti. This is due to the fact that they do not incorporate the knowledge of Haitian farmers and peasants into their interventions. The aim of Brittany’s work is to give a voice to Haitian farmers and to provide them with a platform to share their ideals of how sustainable agriculture development should be in Haiti.
Brittany aspires to become a Professor who creates partnerships with farmers in developing countries to support their development through participatory and transdisciplinary research. As a Professor, she also wants to provide agricultural immersion experiences to students from the US and to students in developing countries, and educate students on the complexities of agriculture. She feels that the Agroecology Master’s program is preparation for her future aspirations by providing her the necessary tools to be able to engage agriculture through several lenses.
The MANRRS student organization is always recruiting new members! The next organization meeting is April 30, 2018 from 6-7PM at Steenbock Library Room 340. The meetings provide a community of scholars, a place and time to study and talk about academics, and network with all members.