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.

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 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.

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.