Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program – U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tribal Agriculture and Food  

The Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program offers students at all levels of higher education opportunities to work in government.  

The Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program – U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tribal Agriculture and Food is a distinct paid opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, and law students to gain specialized career experience in the Office of Tribal Relations and with Department of Agriculture mission areas. 

During the summer of 2024, interns will work on programs that benefit Indian Country and relate to USDA tribal agriculture and food policy programs.  


 

Opportunity Overview

The Future Leaders – USDA Tribal Agriculture and Food Program pairs selected interns with USDA staff whose internship areas focus on a range of topics. Placements for summer 2024 will be added in coming months, but confirmed internship focus areas include:  

  • Food and nutrition.
  • Forest Service.
  • Natural resources.
  • Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative.
  • Business financing.
  • Community, housing and infrastructure development.
  • Food system coordination and development.
  • Food production, processing and inspection/safety.
  • Farm-to-school programs for tribal stakeholders.

 

What happens after candidates submit their application to the Future Leaders – USDA Tribal Agriculture & Food Program?

After the application closes, the Partnership will review all candidates. If candidates move to the next round, they will receive a communication from the Partnership confirming their interest for summer 2024. At that time, candidates’ applications will go to the USDA Office of Tribal Relations for review.


 

Summer 2024 timeline  

  • Oct. 20, 2023: Application opens.  
    • Note: Oct. 20 is the day that tribal colleges and universities received land-grant status.  
  • Feb. 1, 2024: Application closes.  
  • February – March 2024: USDA conducts virtual interviews and selects candidates.  
  • March – April 2024: Background check process begins.  
  • TBD: Virtual orientation. 
  • June 2024: Internship begins. 
  • August 2024: Internship concludes.  

 

Program Benefits

Selected participants for the Future Leaders – USDA Tribal Agriculture and Food Program will receive: 

  • A 10-12-week summer internship at USDA focused on the tribal agriculture and food. 
  • A stipend of $7,500 for full-time positions (a minimum of 32 hours/week), plus $5,500 for housing and travel expenses.  
  • Professional development sessions, including orientation and networking events throughout the summer. 

 

Program Eligibility

To apply to the program, candidates must be:  

  • U.S. citizens at the time of application submission.  
  • Currently enrolled at an accredited educational institution in an undergraduate or graduate program. Undergraduates must be current second-year students/sophomores and above.  
  • Able to demonstrate superior academic achievement and have a GPA above 2.5.  
  • Able to demonstrate an interest and a willingness to work in areas related to tribal agriculture and food.
     

Accepted students must complete a background check before beginning the internship in June 2024.


 

FAQs

Who is eligible for the Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program – USDA Tribal Agriculture and Food – Summer 2024?

U.S. citizens currently enrolled at an accredited educational institution in an undergraduate (current second-year year students/sophomores and above) or graduate program with a GPA over 2.5 are eligible to apply.  
Students must also be interested in tribal agriculture, natural resources and food systems (see the internship focus areas above). 

How do I submit my reference letter?

Optional reference letters may be uploaded directly through the application portal or emailed to internships@ourpublicservice.org with the applicant’s name referenced in the subject line. 

How much is the stipend for the program?

Interns receive a stipend of $7,500 for full-time positions (a minimum of 32 hours/week), plus $5,500 for housing and travel expenses.

Are internship opportunities based in the Washington, D.C., area, or can they be virtual?

In-person internship opportunities in the Washington, D.C., area and fully virtual internships are available. Interns can be fully remote within the U.S. for the duration of their internship. However, internships cannot be completed abroad. 

What work areas do interns focus on?

Students will be placed in internships focused on tribal agriculture and food policy. Placements for summer 2024 will be added in coming months, but confirmed internship focus areas in the Office of Tribal Relations include:  

 

  • Food and nutrition. 
  • Forest Service. 
  • Natural resources. 
  • Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative. 
  • Business financing. 
  • Community, housing and infrastructure development. 
  • Food system coordination and development. 
  • Food production, processing and inspection/safety. 
  • Farm-to-school programs for tribal stakeholders.
Can I choose my agency placement?

Applicants can review the sample placements and state a preference for specific internships in the essay portion of their application. Applicants may also express policy interests, which will be taken into account when matched with placements in the Office of Tribal Relations or other USDA agencies. Applicants will learn which placement(s) they are being considered for when the USDA conducts virtual interviews.


 

Funded/Sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Tribal Relations


 

Staff

Anna Fridley

Associate Manager, Partnership for Public Service

About Anna

Danica Harootian

Senior Manager, Partnership for Public Service

About Danica

Katy Hogan

Senior Manager, Partnership for Public Service

About Katy

Logan Kohl

Associate Manager, Partnership for Public Service

About Logan

Stephanie Sonkin

Manager, Partnership for Public Service

About Stephanie

Anne Straith

Associate, Partnership for Public Service

About Anne