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Anthony M. Grano Special Purpose Fund

The Anthony Grano Special Purpose Fund provides scholarships for academically successful, highly motivated students in agricultural economics or a closely related discipline with an interest in agricultural policy and the policy formation process. The scholarships will allow selected students the opportunity to observe the role agricultural economics plays in the agricultural policy formation process by introducing them to decision-makers in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.

You can donate to the Grano fund using the Trust donation form.

Anthony M. Grano

Dr. Grano was a person with a purpose and a focus. His professional passion was resource policy analysis; he believed strongly in the policy process and, more importantly, the role of economics in guiding the process. One of his major contributions was the nurturing of young professionals as they began their careers in policy analysis. He emphasized, and demonstrated by his actions, the role of objectivity and the need for integrity in the policy process.

Call for Applications

You can learn more about submitting an application for the Anthony Grano Scholarship Award in the call for applications. This scholarship is awarded in even years.

 Testimonials from recent Grano Fellows

My experience as a 2023 Grano Fellow provided me with conversations and connections that enhanced my previous public policy experience and increased my desire to pursue a lifelong career working in agricultural policy. The Grano Board catered the meetings I had with policymakers, interest groups, and public officials in Washington D.C. to my interest in livestock and conservation. Having the opportunity to ask questions, receive in-depth answers, and generate ideas with these folks broadened my views of what’s possible in the agricultural policy space.

Meetings with the Office of the Chief Economist, the World Ag Outlook Board, and other USDA officials gave me a differing perspective of the implementation and operation of Farm Bill programs, such as crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance. Being that I had also just started an internship for the summer with ERS/USDA, meeting with some of these public service employees opened the opportunity for collaboration later in the summer. Some of the people you meet with may have had a prominent role in the creation of pieces in the Farm Bill, prominent agriculture-related legislation, or stories about political icons and what it was like to work with them.

Finally, the trip to Washington D.C. was an experience unlike any other. I had interned previously in Washington, but the history, monuments, museums, and political happenings going on constantly are always fascinating. Luckily, the Congressional Baseball Game was the same week as my trip, so I was able to attend and see old friends and former coworkers. I was also given a tour of the Capitol Building from some classmates at K-State and got to walk down to the House floor. I could not be more thankful to the Grano Board for the opportunity to have an experience like this and know that other recipients would echo my statements.

- Matthew Melchor, Kansas State University

In 2022, I was selected as one of the Anthony Grano fellows and had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with agricultural policy makers. I grew up in rural Minnesota, and prior to this experience, I had no grasp of the work that was being conducted in our nation's capitol. Meeting with different policymakers and seeing first-hand the work that is being done was incredible. I met with individuals from a number of organizations including the USDA's Office of the Chief Economist, National Association of Wheat Growers, Senate Ag Committee, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, and National Milk Producers Federation, among others. Many of these organizations I was unfamiliar with, but understanding their role in drafting the Farm Bill and other agricultural policy has been insightful. Additionally, the individuals that I met with were excited to share their work and different policies they are actively lobbying towards or working on, and they were very open to any questions I had. Overall, I had a great experience and learned a lot about the different organizations that are playing a role in agricultural policy making.  

- Rebecca Weir, University of Minnesota

My name is Betty Thomas Resnick and I was a 2020 Grano Fellow. I now work as an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, DC. While my Grano Week was unfortunately scheduled for the week the world shut down due to COVID-19 in March 2020, I later completed a virtual form of the program.

The Grano Scholarship team, led by Dr. Stephanie Mercier, puts together an incredibly rich itinerary for its recipients. The program introduced me to a wide range of leaders from across the agricultural policy space and expanded my horizons as to what a career in agricultural economics can look like outside of academia. It is also beneficial to students interested in an academic career, as it brings you behind the scenes to see how economic research is used in the policy making process. Now, as I start my career in DC, I get to interact professionally with people I met virtually through the program. I highly recommend applying for the Grano Scholarship Award.

- Betty Thomas, Mississippi State University

Grano Scholarship Recipients

The past winners of the Grano Scholarship are listed below.

  • 2023: Matthew Melchor, Oklahoma State University
  • 2022: Rebecca Weir, University of Minnesota and Ashling Murphy, Kansas State University
  • 2021: Chellie Hogan, Oklahoma State University and Devin Brand, Kansas State University
  • 2020: Katherin Wilts, University of Minnesota and Betty Thomas, Mississippi State University
  • 2019: Amber Roberts, University of Minnesota
  • 2018: Chinonso Etumnu, Purdue University
  • 2018: Maria Vrachioli, Technical University of Munich
  • 2017: Christian Lovell, University of California, Davis
  • 2016: Jason Holderiath, Colorado State University
  • 2016: Candice Wilson, Kansas State University
  • 2014: Amy Hasenoehrl, Montana State University