TOMODACHI Tanaka Sangyo Agricultural Exchange Initiative

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Climate & Food System Awareness

The TOMODACHI Tanaka Sangyo Agricultural Exchange Initiative: Climate and Food System Awareness Program is a leadership development program, designed to address the pressing global challenges of climate change and its intertwined relationship with agriculture. Over a 10-month period, this initiative will engage 20 university students – 10 each from partner institutions in Niigata, Japan and Texas, USA – in an immersive curriculum. The curriculum focuses on self-awareness, reflection, and sustainability, while also delving deep into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) concerning agriculture and climate change.

With a hybrid approach of virtual engagement and two in-person gathering, participants will gain first-hand experience of diverse agricultural practices and environments. Students will be provided with an unparalleled opportunity to delve deep into the diverse agricultural ecosystems of both regions. Texas, known for its agricultural and coastal environment, will shed light on the challenges and innovations in agriculture pertinent to such terrains, especially in the context of climate change. On the other hand, Niigata, with its lush landscapes and rice cultivation, will offer insights into traditional agricultural practices harmonized with nature. This unique blend aims to foster international collaboration, providing students with a platform to share insights, experiences, and innovative strategies, ultimately preparing them to champion sustainable agricultural solutions for our rapidly changing world.

Application for U.S. Applicants


To be eligible for and successful in the program, you must:

  • Be an undergraduate student from Texas A&M University at College Station or Galveston campuses in Texas, who study agriculture, environment and/or related study areas.
  • Have strong interest in climate change, agriculture, food systems, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Have interest in Japanese language and culture.
  • Complete the application form and submit all required information by the deadline.
  • Be available to participate in an online selection interview.
  • Be able to actively participate in the entire program (online and in-person).
  • Have a strong desire to contribute to the future of the community and society through their learning from the program.
  • Have no or little experience of traveling overseas
  • Be flexible and cooperative, able to adapt to different cultures, and in good physical and mental health.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to continue to contribute to the U.S. and Japan relations.

Application Information & Timeline

  1. Submit Application: Complete the online application by detailing your background, interests in sustainability, and future plans.
    Application Deadline: May 31, 2024 at 11:59 pm CST
  2. Attend Interview: The interview is an opportunity for selected candidates to have in-depth discussion about your interests, understanding of sustainability, and your aspirations.
    Timeline: Mid-June, 2024
  3. Receive Decision: 10 finalists will be notified of their status after interviews.
    Timeline: Early July 2024

*Participants will be initially screened based on their application information and selected candidates will be offered interviews online. Please indicate your availability for interviews on the application form.

Information Sessions

Meet with the program coordinators and get your questions answered

    • April 24 (Wed) at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm CST
    • April 27 (Sat) at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CST
Online &
In-Person: 8 Days
Online: 7 Sessions
Japanese & English
See below
Max 20 people

Overall Program Schedule

Participants must attend all sessions across each phase. Schedules are subject to change.

Phase 1: Online Sessions

Introductory sessions on leadership, climate change, SDGs, and the food system.

Dates: Oct 19, Nov 2, Nov 16, Nov 30, Dec 14 (Saturdays, Central Time) 
Hours: Oct 19 & Nov 2 at 4-6pm/ Nov 16, 30 & Dec 14 at 5-7pm*
Location: Online (Zoom)

*Please note that session on November 16th, 30th and December 14th will start at 5pm (CT) as daylight saving time ends on Nov 3, 2024.

Phase 2: In-Person Gathering in Texas, USA

Hands-on learning with sustainability initiatives relevant to agriculture and climate.

Date: March 2025 (tentative schedule is March 9 to March 15, 2025)
Hours: 6 Days
Location: Texas, USA

Phase 3: Online Sessions

Integrating learning and connection from the U.S. and project implementation.

Dates: Apr–Jun 2025
Hours: 2 Sessions
Location: Online (Zoom)

Phase 4: In-Person Gathering in Niigata, Japan

Exploring agricultural practices and food systems from a different cultural perspective.

Dates: July 2025
Hours: 6 Days
Location: Niigata, Japan

Program Costs for U.S. Applicants

Items that the program scholarship covers:       

  • Coursework and guest speakers
  • Roundtrip travel between Texas and Niigata
  • Accommodation for international participants in Niigata
  • Registration cost for university international travel insurance

Items that the program scholarship does NOT cover:

  • Passport application
  • Visa application (if needed)
  • Cost to have the Internet environment and devices for online sessions
  • Personal expenses outside program activities
  • $200 administrative fee for the Education Abroad Office to receive their support for Texas A&M College Station campus students

Other Information


  • Engagement in all program phases is mandatory.
  • Personal development and cross-cultural understanding are key program outcomes.

Contact Information

Contact RootSpring, the implementing organization of the TOMODACHI Tanaka Sangyo Agricultural Exchange Initiative: Climate and Food System Awareness Program, at if you have any questions.

Program Partners

Administered by: U.S. Japan-Council TOMODACHI Initiative
Sponsored by: Tanaka Industry Co. Ltd.
Implemented by: RootSpring
Supported by: Niigata Prefecture and Joetsu City and Texas Department of Agriculture

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TOMODACHI Initiative

The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, with support from the Government of Japan. Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, TOMODACHI invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. The initiative seeks to foster a “TOMODACHI Generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world. Visit us at for more information.



Climate & Food System Awareness





  • 新潟県内の大学、大学校もしくは専門学校で、専攻分野に関わらず、農業や環境を学んでいる方、もしくは関心の高い方
  • プログラム期間を通して在学している方
  • 気候変動や農業、食糧システム、持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)について関心が高い方
  • 英語での日常会話ができる方(目安:英検2級程度)
  • 締め切り日時までに指定の応募フォームより必要事項の提出を完了すること
  • 書類選考を通過した場合、オンライン面接に参加可能な方
  • 全日程(オンライン・対面)に積極的参加が可能な方
  • プログラムでの学びを、地域や社会の未来へと貢献させる意欲と想いの強い方
  • これまで海外渡航経験がない、または少ない方
  • 異文化に適応できる柔軟性と協調性があり、心身ともに健康な方
  • 日本国籍もしくは永住権をお持ちで、長期的に日米関係の交流や強化に貢献する関心のある方


  • 応募方法:以下フォームに必要事項を記入して提出
  • 募集人数:10人程度(予定)
  • 募集締め切り日:2024年5月31日(金)(23:59まで)
  • 参加者決定:2024年7月上旬予定。応募者にはメールで合否を通知します。





    • 424 () 午後7時~8
    • 427 () 午後12時~1
Online &
In-Person: 8 Days
Online: 7 Sessions
Japanese & English
See below
Max 20 people
























  • プログラム参加者は全日程への参加が義務付けられています。
  • オンラインや対面プログラムでは、積極的な発言や交流が求められます。


プログラム事務局 RootSpring
ご質問は、 までお気軽にお問い合わせください。


主催:公益財団法人 米日カウンシル―ジャパン TOMODACHI イニシアチブ
運営実施団体: RootSpring

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