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NEWS RELEASE

Veneman Announces 19 Education Grants to 16 Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Release No. 351.03
Ed Lyod (202) 720-4623
Terry Meisenbach (202) 720-2677

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2003—Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced that more than $3.8 million in competitive education grants have been awarded to 16 Hispanic-Serving Institutions in California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Texas and Washington.

“The Hispanic-Serving Education grants program continues to make progress attracting under-represented students to various fields of agriculture,” said Veneman. “These grants will help strengthen the ability of Hispanic-Serving Institutions to provide education programs that attract outstanding students who will later pursue careers in the agricultural and food science related fields.”

Veneman said the grants will help support projects in precision agriculture, environmental and molecular biology related to animal food production, food safety, forestry projects, ornamental horticulture and biotechnology.

The grant program also helps colleges and universities develop new curricula in agricultural sciences, expand the use of experiential learning and bolster student recruitment and retention. Some of these grants establish collaborations between 2-year colleges and land grant institutions.

Currently, there are more than 270 Hispanic-Serving Institutions where Hispanics constitute a minimum of 25 percent of the undergraduate full-time enrollment. These institutions are located in 12 states plus Puerto Rico.

FY 2003 HISPANIC-SERVING INSTITUTIONS EDUCATION GRANTS INCLUDE:

California

Ventura Community College $300,000
California State University– Los Angeles $149,690
University of California --San Bernadino $299,992
California State University–Fresno $299,822

Colorado

Otero Junior College $149,864

Florida

Miami-Dade Community College $149,783

New Mexico

New Mexico State University $299,949

Puerto Rico

Inter American University of Puerto Rico –Barranquitas $297, 329
Inter American University of Puerto Rico --Ponce $149,989
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico $150,000
Inter American University of Puerto Rico–San

German $142,038

University of Puerto Rico -- Mayaguez $149,528
University of Puerto Rico -- Mayaguez $144,748

Texas

Houston Community College $300,000
Sul Ross State University $149,368
Sul Ross State University $146,959
Texas A & M University-Kingsville $298,363
Texas A & M University-Kingsville $149,702

Washington

Columbia Basin College $149,997

In 2002, USDA invested more than $34 million in educational programs targeting Hispanic students and institutions, which resulted in a 17 percent increase in participation over the previous year. These programs included the competitive education grant program, research programs, scholarship and internship programs.

Th05/09/2007 ) Internship Program annually places approximately 100 undergraduate or gradate students in challenging internship positions within USDA. In 2003 USDA has invested more than $1 mill07/25/2007 and universities that worked in 13 USDA agencies across the United States.

The USDA Public Service Scholarship incorporates the goals of Secretary Veneman's "Leaders of Tomorrow" initiative, which seeks to inspire the next generation of leaders be encouraging community involvement, careers in public service and learning about agriculture. The program covers the full tuition and fees of an undergraduate or graduate education, while providing an internship with USDA that leads to permanent employment. USDA currently invests nearly $1 million per year to support 25 Public Service Scholars from 17 universities.

USDA's Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Fellows Program brings highly accomplished faculty members at Hispanic-Serving Institutions work at USDA in Washington , D.C. for two-to-six weeks each summer. Fellows are selected based on the compatibility of their research interests with USDA mission areas and the value their experience would add to their institution's curriculum offerings to Hispanic students. Among topics that are researched are food security, forestry and watershed management, agricultural science and marketing and economic development initiatives along the historically underserved southwest border of the United States.

For additional information on USDA's Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program, visit: <http://www.hsi.usda.gov>. To learn more about the President's Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, visit: <http://www.yic.gov>, which is also available in Spanish at: http://www.yosipuedo.gov/.