PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(July 26, 2021)-A University of Maryland Eastern Shore graduate student pursuing a doctorate in organizational leadership will serve as the graduate student president for the 2021-22 academic year for a national leadership organization geared toward students in agricultural and natural sciences and related majors.

Stephon Fitzpatrick will represent some 8,000 members of the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences among 55 collegiate chapters throughout 38 states and Puerto Rico.  In his role as a national officer for MANRRS, he will represent the organization with leaders in agriculture; agribusiness; and local, state and federal government agencies and carry out organizational goals.  Specifically, he will take a lead in developing new collegiate chapters and initiatives to keep graduate members engaged in organizational activities and will seek national sponsors.  

“I am committed to helping MANRRS in developing the next generation of agricultural leaders,” said Fitzpatrick.  “I’ve been involved in the agriculture industry for more than 15 years and have experienced firsthand the benefits it has to offer.”

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture report, the world’s population is estimated to exceed 9 billion people by the year 2050.  To meet the growing demand for food, agricultural production will need to increase by 70%.  To this end, MANRRS develops future leaders through training, networking and providing employers with a highly skilled, diverse workforce that includes individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups, he said.

Fitpatrick has also served as the coordinator for recruitment, retention and experiential learning for the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at UMES since 2018.  On September 3, he will be relocating to Philadelphia to begin a new post as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission for Agriculture Education, an appointment by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture.

“The work we have done these last three years here at UMES has been groundbreaking.  I’ve traveled the world with amazing students…and watch them become leaders in their own right,” Fitzpatrick said.  “Love always to my Hawk Family!  I say goodbye, but the network will always remain open.”    

He earned undergraduate degrees at Tuskegee and Delaware State universities in agriculture and natural resources and a master’s in management, organizational leadership from Wilmington University.         

For more information about MANRRS, visit  For more information about the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, visit

Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences,, 410-621-3850. 

Photo submitted.

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