WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh announced
today a $12 million investment to Hispanic-serving Institutions of higher
education. This announcement was part of a launch of the first in a series
of virtual roundtable engagement sessions with Minority-serving
Institutions and Land-grant Universities serving underrepresented students.
recognize and value the multifaceted contributions of our nation’s
Hispanic-serving Institutions, which educate more than 3.2 million students
every year across the country. USDA has the great privilege of partnering
with Hispanic-serving Institutions, and Minority-serving Institutions as a
whole, to advance scientific research, develop future agricultural leaders
and, we hope, cultivate the next generation of USDA employees,” said
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
the virtual roundtable engagement session today, USDA leaders emphasized
their commitment to advancing investments in innovative research and
partnerships with academic institutions critical to building an
agricultural workforce and research infrastructure that meet the needs of
the diverse populations we serve.
leaders present at the roundtable today represented institutions that
received funding as part of the National Institute of Food and
Agriculture’s (NIFA) Hispanic-serving Institutions
Education Grants Program that enhances student learning
experiences and opportunities across the agriculture sector.
announcement includes investments in institutions located in Arizona,
California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico
$12 million investment to Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) will help
strengthen their ability to attract, retain and graduate underrepresented
students pursuing careers in agriculture, natural resources and human
· California State
University (Long Beach) will use its $975,314 grant to strengthen its
“Leveraging Interdisciplinary Nutritional Knowledge (LINK)” Program that’s
aimed at supporting undergraduate and graduate students in the food and
human sciences professional and scientific workforce. LINK is a
comprehensive collaboration between six Hispanic-serving Institutions in
Southern California and emphasizes Latino nutrition through outreach,
mentoring, education, support services, research, and professional
internships with community partners.
· Florida International
University will use its $975,314 grant to enhance its Broadening
Agriculture Science Education program for Hispanic Students through its
Florida-Texas-New-Mexico Consortium, which aims to recruit, cultivate, and
prepare students for career and leadership opportunities in the U.S.
· Research Foundation of
the City University of New York will use its $250,000 grant to invest in
“Project SEMBRAR: Diversifying the next generation of urban agricultural
STEM leaders.” This grant will help support low income, first-generation
minority students by helping them achieve their academic goals.
· Ana G. Mendez University
(Puerto Rico) will use its $275,000 grant to develop and implement the
Agriculture Diverse Learning Program to enhance the teaching skills and
abilities of graduate-level teachers (grades 9-12) in agricultural-related
sciences. The program bridges secondary schools’ needs and the University’s
program to ensure the success and readiness of underrepresented students to
become the next generation of agricultural leaders in Puerto Rico.
· Texas A&M
(Kingsville) will use its $975,314 grant to support its “GO START NOW”
(Getting Occupational Student Training in Agricultural Research Through
Novel Workshops) project. Through this project students are exposed
experiential based learning and partnerships with USDA researchers. Project
activities will improve the food and agricultural-science education by
exposing students to novel experiences unavailable within the traditional
classroom. Many of the students in this program are first generation college
the full list of funded Hispanic-serving Institutions Education Grants
projects on the NIFA website go.usa.gov/xFkbA.
touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In
the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system
with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production,
ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building
new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate
smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in
infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing
to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building
a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.