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USDA announces education funding at Hispanic institutions

Close to $9 million is being invested

By Diego Flammini,

In an effort to help and support students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) pursue an education in agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is investing $8.8 million into colleges and universities in eight states and Puerto Rico.


“The Hispanic population in the United States is growing, as is interest and emphasis on research, education, and extension services in higher education across the country,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director in a release. “Programs at Hispanic Serving Institutions that focus on climate change and variability, food safety and security, water, childhood obesity, and sustainable bioenergy create opportunities to train and educate these students, allowing them to excel in higher education and in the workforce.”

The grants, being awarded to schools in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Puerto Rico, Texas and Washington, were awarded by the HSI Education Grants Program. The program is designed to help educators use new methods of teaching to prepare students for agricultural careers.

Funded projects include:

  • $274,790 for an initiative by Texas Lutheran University to develop students as scientists by redesigning undergraduate experiences through research
  • $275,000 for Northeastern Illinois University to use towards engaging urban undergraduate students with new learning opportunities related to agriculture and water issues
  • $250,000 for Florida International University to use towards training 26 students in different agricultural subjects that also focus on natural resources and sustainable agriculture

Join the discussion and tell us your thoughts about the USDA investing in agricultural education.

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