Austin is dual-majoring in “Applied Economic Management: Community Economic Development” and “Agricultural Sciences” at Virginia Tech and has visited more than 35 countries by the age of 23, most of which he credits to his work with agriculture.
As a freshman here at Virginia Tech, Austin was motivated to start “Feed by Seed,” a 501(c)3 organization that focuses on global agriculture education, development, and advocacy, after a trip to Zambia in the summer of 2010 with the National FFA Organization. Feed by Seed now manages research and demonstration farms in Nicaragua and Uganda and has plans for expanding in the near future.
He was also Virginia Tech’s first Presidential Fellow with The Center for the Study of The Presidency and Congress in 2012-2013 where he wrote a research paper on how an expansion of US led initiatives in agricultural development in the Arab world could be an effective tool for decreasing conflict in the region.
This summer Austin spent two weeks in Ecuador on a USAID funded agricultural research project, two weeks in U.A.E. and Qatar observing Middle Eastern economics and culture, and two weeks in Uganda establishing a second Feed by Seed project location.
Austin is also currently serving Virginia Tech as the Undergraduate Representative to the Board of Visitors, and as a member of: University Council, Commission of Student Affairs (CSA), Student Government Association (SGA) Cabinet, William Preston Society, and Order of the Gavel. Austin is also currently an active member of the G.E.R.M.A.N. Club at Virginia Tech and University Honors; all while he continues to lead “Feed by Seed” in all of its global operations.
Austin plans to graduate Virginia Tech in the spring of 2015 to pursue work in the international agriculture education, development, and advocacy realm.