Amaka Ifeduba
Amaka Ifeduba

Alexandria, VA (June 6, 2024) - Amaka Ifeduba and Mary Diaz have joined the ASTA team as 2024 summer interns.

Ifeduba, ASTA’s Ag Marketing/Communications intern, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, where she works as a Research Assistant in the Potato Breeding & Variety Development Program. 

Her research focus is understanding potato heat tolerance mechanisms to develop climate-smart varieties that can adapt to extreme global temperatures. 

Ifeduba has received several honors and awards for her work from her institution and national organizations like the National Association of Plant Breeders, Potato Association of America, Crop Science Society of America, and private companies like Bayer and Corteva. 

Beyond her research, Ifeduba is deeply committed to inspiring the next generation and dedicates her time to organizing outreach initiatives tailored to aspiring Graduate students in underdeveloped and developing countries.

She hopes this internship will hone her writing skills, science communications, and social media marketing. She also hopes to gain experience in international seed business to equip her for her future goals.

After completing her Ph.D., Ifeduba aspires to work with an agricultural company in the United States, specifically in product development, branding, marketing, advocacy, international outreach, and science communications.

Mary Diaz
Mary Diaz

Diaz, ASTA’s Government Affairs intern, is entering her senior year at Marymount University in Arlington, VA as a politics major.

Born and raised on a family ranch in Sussex County, NJ, Diaz grew up amidst a thriving agricultural environment with hundreds of animals. Her early life, spent riding horses and competing professionally in rodeos, deeply ingrained a passion for the agricultural lifestyle.

The family’s horseback riding business, spanning over five thousand acres of national wildlife refuge trails, showcases the vital importance of farming and agricultural sustainability. This upbringing, richly intertwined with agriculture, inspired Diaz to blend her agricultural roots with an emerging interest in politics. She looks forward to applying her unique perspective to the legislative aspects of agriculture, attending House and Senate hearings, and tracking key legislation that impacts the industry.

Diaz aims to deepen her understanding of policy formulation and its impact, contributing significantly to ASTA’s efforts. Through this internship, Diaz is eager to bridge the gap between her personal experiences and professional aspirations, enhancing her practical understanding of policy within the context of agriculture.

Ifeduba and Diaz will be supporting the ASTA team June 15-19 at the Leadership Summit in Nashville, TN.