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Maria Martinez

University of Georgia - College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Student | Graduate Assistant
Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communication Department

Maria Martinez, a Queens, New York native, cultivated her passion for agriculture early on, joining the only FFA chapter in New York City during 9th grade. Her dedication to the National FFA Organization propelled her through various leadership roles, from serving as a New York FFA officer to running for National Office and ultimately becoming a conference facilitator for the organization. Maria earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University in 2019, followed by a master’s degree in agriculture and environmental education with a focus on agricultural communication from the University of Georgia in 2021. Her professional journey led her to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Foundation, where she managed programs and grants before transitioning to Merck Animal Health as a Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator in April 2023. Concurrently, she commenced her doctorate in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication in August 2023, reflecting her commitment to continuous learning and student leadership development. Outside of work, Maria cherishes moments with her fiancé Blake and their two rescue dogs, Georgia, and Texas.

"The Flinchbaugh Policy Fellowship was the cornerstone of my career journey, providing me with invaluable opportunities to dive into the world of governmental affairs. Through this fellowship, I gained a profound understanding of both state and federal policy, laying the foundation for countless doors to open in my professional career. I credit this fellowship as the catalyst that ignited my passion for shaping policy and advocating for meaningful change."

Maria Martinez
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