We’ve got some positive news today!
On October 10, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) announced they invested $14 million to Latino-serving higher education establishments to help Latino student learning experiences in the agricultural and human science divisions, as part of this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month.
“In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, USDA celebrates the achievements and contributions that our Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) have made to American agriculture,” USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh reportedly said. “They are our trusted partners in preparing the next generation of agriculture leaders that more fully represent the many diverse populations and voices in America.”
Bronaugh continued, “Our nation’s HSIs educate more than 3.2 million students every year, and this funding will strengthen their ability to build the workforce of the future.”
Which institutions received part of the USDA investment?
The three institutions who participated are New Mexico State University – Las Cruces with $999,786 investment for its project, “A Pipeline to Enhance the Competitiveness of Underrepresented Scholars for Entry into Agriculture, Scientific and Professional Careers”; Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff with $269,980 award for its project, “Training the Next Generation of Hispanic Leaders for Managing Resilient Forests”; and University of Puerto Rico – Carolina with $239,395 award for its project, “Latino Farm to Table & Food Safety Culinary Art Initiative @ UPRCA.”
Each project, in one way or another, is innovating ways to help the next generation with sustainable resources that have to do with agriculture.
According to the USDA’s press release, part of the money comes from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program. They point out that the HSI “aligns the efforts of HSIs to support academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups.”
With everything happening in the United States lately, it’s great to see initiatives that will further the value and power of our Latine community in the future.