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USDA Awards 20 Education Grants to Strengthen Food and Agriculture Programs at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2010 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced nearly funding for 20 educational grants totaling nearly $6 million to promote and strengthen the ability of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) to carry out higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences.

“Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s college-age population will be Hispanic by 2025, but too few Hispanic students are earning college and university degrees, especially in the fields of food and agriculture-related sciences,” said Roger Beachy, NIFA director. “Through these grants, our aim is to produce outstanding graduates who will be valuable, contributing members of the nations’ food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce.”

The HSI Education grants program, now in its 13th year of funding, provides support to HSIs to provide educational programs that attract outstanding underrepresented students to pursue careers in agricultural and food science related fields, such as natural resources management, food and nutrition, microbiology, biotechnology and sustainable engineering. Grants help colleges and universities develop new curricula, expand the use of experiential learning and bolster student recruitment and retention. Some grants establish collaborations between two-year colleges, four-year institutions and high schools. They also support collaborations between HSIs and USDA agencies.

Currently, there are more than 260 HSIs where Hispanics constitute a minimum of 25 percent of the full-time undergraduate enrollment. These institutions are located in 13 states, plus Puerto Rico, and serve more than 1.3 million students. The HSI Education grant program has been funded since 1997 and has received $52.7 million in funding supporting 224 projects.

The Fiscal Year 2009 HSI Education grants include:

  • West Hills College, Lemoore, Calif., $295,000
  • California State University, Long Beach, Calif., $296,000
  • California State University, Monterey Bay, Calif., $300,000
  • California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, Calif., $248,043
  • Reedley College, Reedley, Calif., $300,000
  • California State University, San Bernardino, Calif., $499,528
  • Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, Calif., $249,996
  • New Jersey City University, Jersey City, N.J., $287,707
  • Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, N.M., $295,000
  • New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, N.M., $296,000
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, $249,753
  • University of Puerto Rico, Ponce, Puerto Rico, $249,848
  • Pontifical Catholic University, Ponce, Puerto Rico, $295,000
  • St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas, $295,000
  • University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas, $314,355
  • University of Texas, El Paso, Texas, $296,000
  • Houston Community College, Houston, Texas, $298,538
  • Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas, $295,000
  • Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas, $281,737
  • St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, Texas, $299,983

 

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation’s future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).