July 24, 2023


As a senior Texas A&M University student studying nutritional science, Lauren Futch ’11 had a plan: attend graduate school and become a dietitian. With a well-rounded resume, exceptional grades and a determined mindset, Lauren was on track to execute that plan.  

Similar to medical school, dietetic internship programs have a matching system. When matching day came, Lauren felt confident. “You click a button, and it tells you if you matched,” she shared. “I didn’t.” Friends and academic advisors were confused, but Lauren had a backup plan. 

That same week, the ambitious Aggie had been accepted into the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy (ANRP) Internship Program, a semester-long leadership opportunity within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to intern in Washington, D.C. “It felt like divine intervention,” she said. “It was God’s way of saying there was something else out there for me.”  

Also in his senior year, Justin Futch ’10 had his own version of divine intervention. “I had a few job interviews, but none sparked my interest. It seemed like there had to be something else,” he said. Then he saw a flyer for ANRP, and the idea of moving to D.C. prompted him to apply. “I have an adventurous spirit,” Justin added. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduation, but the program seemed like a great opportunity.” 

Unbeknownst to Lauren and Justin, ANRP would be the opportunity of a lifetime, both professionally and personally, for the future Mr. and Mrs. Futch.  

Coming Full Circle 

To Lauren and Justin, ANRP was the beginning of the rest of their lives together. “We wouldn’t be who we are today without this program,” they agreed. “Sometimes it takes years to see the impact an experience has on you, but we see it every day in the life we’ve been given because of ANRP.” 

My donors' kindness let me focus on growing and learning, and it's special knowing our gift will provide that for somebody else one day."
- Lauren Futch '11

Just like it didn’t take long for the Futches to see the program’s impact on their lives, it wasn’t long before they decided to afford others those same opportunities. Through her work in philanthropy, Lauren witnessed other young alumni generously giving back through their estate plans, so she and Justin decided to do the same.  

Naming the Texas A&M Foundation as the beneficiary of their insurance policy, the young couple established the Lauren ’11 and Justin Futch ’10 Excellence Endowment to support ANRP. To them, this gift honors the program, people and place that means so much to their careers and family. “I remember writing letters to the donors who provided the housing that made my internship possible,” Lauren shared. “Their kindness let me focus on growing and learning, and it’s special knowing our gift will provide that for somebody else one day.”  

Lauren and Justin’s generosity will prime the next generation of Aggies impacting policy, and perhaps it will also generate a few “cohort couple” love stories along the way.  

Interested in planning a gift to support tomorrow’s agricultural leaders with life-changing internships? Contact Kelsey Christian '02 using the form at the bottom of this page.