USDA Internship Opportunity for Undergraduates: APEC 3531

Tell me more about this opportunity!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute on Food and Agriculture has awarded the Department of Applied Economics a grant to recruit CFANS undergraduate students into research internships to conduct economic analyses using agricultural, food, natural resource, and community development data from University of Minnesota (UMN) Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) colleagues.

There is funding for a one-week international experience to Zamorano University and World Vegetable Center in Honduras or Moorepark in University College Cork, Ireland. You will present your research at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association annual meeting over a three-day period in late July. Bus tours of CFANS Research and Outreach Centers and visits to food and agribusinesses are also included. 

The program would require you to enroll in APEC 3531: Introduction to Student Research in Applied Economics (one credit) which is taught Mondays 3:00 to 4:15 pm for ten weeks beginning September 2024. In the spring 2025 semester you will enroll in APEC 3994 Directed Research in Applied Economics (one credit) which will be some form of regular check-ins that might be done through Zoom or in-person depending upon the week.

  • The grant conditions state that students must be a U.S. citizen and eligible to work since you will be a University of Minnesota employee and abide by all policies for employees. You would be expected to work independently (in library or at a desk in the department) under the supervision of a Faculty Mentor up to 15 hours per week ($14.35 an hour) on your research project which will require you to have a laptop or desktop, access to the internet and the Microsoft Office suite.
  • You would be required to have a valid U.S. passport and participate in all of these activities listed below. This program would require you to attend each of the following with items A, C, and D being done the week before spring semester starts in January, Spring Break, and the week after finals in May. Item B varies annually but it is generally a Sunday to Tuesday event in the third or fourth week in July in a different U.S. city each year. The dates would be laid out in advance and all expenses except personal ones would be paid.
  1. One-week international experience at Moorepark, Ireland (; Horticulture Innovation Center, Honduras (
  2. Three days (Sunday to Tuesday) at the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association meetings where you would present your research paper in the Student Section Research Paper Competition.
  3. Two days in Kansas City visiting USDA Economic Research Service and Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Agriculture and Rural Economy (
  4. Four day visit to University of Minnesota CFANS labs and Research and Outreach Centers (

How do I get involved?
Fill out this one-page application online.  You must upload your application via Google Form, and then set up a time with Dr. Michael Boland to interview. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Minimum 3.25 GPA
*Completed 45 credits and have successfully completed ECON 1101 or its equivalent.
*Enrolled in APEC/AFBM major or declared APEC/AFBM minor.