Karyssa Zavala was influenced by the sacrifices her father and grandfather made as migrant farm workers from Mexico, to pursue an education and career connecting Latino values in agriculture to addressing social issues faced by both migrant workers and smallholder farmers. She developed her interest in agricultural policy as a Congressional intern with the Office of Congressman Rubén Hinojosa in Washington, D.C. Through this experience, she learned Latinos held leadership positions in our highest forms of government, and her legislative research contributed to Congressman Hinojosa’s service on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Committee on Financial Services. She then served two internships through the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities National Internship Program in Washington, D.C. As an undergraduate student, she applied her knowledge and skills in agricultural communications and journalism to ensure the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) beef slaughter compliance guidelines were comprehensible for Hispanic production workers; representing more than half the workforce in U.S. beef slaughter establishments. As a graduate student, she applied her knowledge and skills in international agricultural development to provide consultancy to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) relating to capacity building efforts involving 10 countries in Latin America. Her efforts focused on improving communication among the Ministries of Agriculture and National Associations comprising specialty crop growers in the countries of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Peru. As a result, her professional goal is to serve as a Foreign Service Officer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote U.S. agricultural interests overseas, in alignment with the agricultural needs of emerging market countries especially in Latin America, by proposing compassionate and sensible market development and trade policies.