Wednesday, September 13, 2017

USDA announces more funds for program to encourage diversity among agriculture students

Multicultural Scholars students at North Carolina
State University. (Photo submitted to university)
The Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced $945,000 in grant funding to ensure a more diverse farm workforce. The grants will be awarded through NIFA's Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program, which "helps colleges and universities recruit and retain multicultural scholars who may pursue degrees in food and agricultural sciences disciplines or the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Projects may involve scholarships to support recruiting, engaging, retaining, mentoring and training of committed, eligible multicultural scholars," USDA says.

NIFA director Sonny Ramaswamy says "It is important to develop the most diverse talent pool possible and show these students the abundant opportunities in the agricultural sector." The program has seen success so far. North Carolina State University's Poultry Department, for example, "has seen a steady increase in its ability to attract and retain additional students from underrepresented groups, and the program is now comprised of approximately 20 percent underrepresented students."

The deadline for higher learning institutions to apply for the funding is Oct. 31. Click here for a list of eligible institutions and application instructions.

No comments: