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USDA Invests $14M to Strengthen Hispanic-serving Higher Education Programs

SAN DIEGO, Calif., October 11, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh announced yesterday at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ 36th Annual Conference an investment of $14 million to Hispanic-serving higher education institutions to support Hispanic student learning experiences in the agricultural and human science sectors.

“In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, USDA celebrates the achievements and contributions that our Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) have made to American agriculture. 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,” said Deputy Secretary Bronaugh. “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.”

This funding investment is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program. This grant program aligns the efforts of HSIs to support academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups.

“At NIFA, we are honored to work with these vitally important partners, and Minority-serving Institutions as a whole, to advance scientific research, develop tomorrow’s leaders and cultivate the next generation of our agricultural workforce,” said Acting NIFA Director Dr. Dionne Toombs.

  • New Mexico State University – Las Cruces received a $999,786 investment for its project, “A Pipeline to Enhance the Competitiveness of Underrepresented Scholars for Entry into Agriculture, Scientific and Professional Careers.” This grant will form a pipeline between New Mexico State University and California State University – Chico and will provide faculty and peer mentoring, innovative and training opportunities in research, Extension and education development.
  • Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff received a $269,980 award for its project, “Training the Next Generation of Hispanic Leaders for Managing Resilient Forests.” This grant will support training the next generation of Hispanic leaders to manage resilient forests under a changing climate.
  • It is critical that hospitality management and culinary arts students are trained with up-to-date knowledge and skills related to food safety and production. To address this issue, University of Puerto Rico – Carolina received a $239,395 award for its project, “Latino Farm to Table & Food Safety Culinary Art Initiative @ UPRCA.” Participants will connect with and shadow farm owners and restaurant chefs who are practicing strict food safety protocols and farm-to-table procedures.


FY22 Awardees: Arizona Western College, Bronx Community College, California State University-Fresno (3 awards), Colorado State University-Pueblo, Florida International University, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico State University (2 awards), Northern Arizona University (2 awards), San Diego State University (2 awards), Texas A&M University-Kingsville (2 awards), Texas State University, Universidad Ana G. Mendez-Carolina, University of Arizona, University of California-Merced, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of North Texas, University of Puerto Rico-Carolina, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (2 awards), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, University of Texas at San Antonio (2 awards), Wenatchee Valley College, and Western New Mexico University.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. In FY 2021, NIFA’s total investment was $1.96 billion.

USDA 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, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, 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


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