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Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions

In partnership with 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities, 1994 tribal land-grant colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions, the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement works to establish opportunities that ensure equitable participation in USDA programs, services, and resources for rural, tribal, and historically underserved students and the communities they serve.

Additionally, these partnerships support capacity building initiatives that bolster education and career opportunities for students and faculty and help develop a strong pipeline of talent for USDA.

These efforts ensure USDA meets its legal and statutory obligations while fostering hope and supporting wealth creation and asset building.


USDA Liaisons

USDA Liaisons serve as a key USDA representative in communities across America. USDA Liaisons advise and assist communities, students, faculty, universities and colleges, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and others on USDA programs and initiatives. USDA liaisons develop and maintain partnerships with key USDA stakeholders in order to enhance greater outreach between USDA stakeholders and USDA agencies, mission areas, and staff offices.

Find your local USDA Liaison


Centers of Community Prosperity

The Centers of Community Prosperity convene state, federal and tribal partners, land-grant universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges, historically black colleges and universities, national development organizations, nonprofit organizations, faith leaders, veterans, and other strategic partners, to focus on the White House Rural Prosperity Taskforce recommendations, as well as the executive orders regarding the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives, as well as the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.


Lincoln Leaders Program

The purpose of the Lincoln Leaders Program fellowships is to connect participants to USDA and other federal resources that will enhance their professional knowledge. Fellows will receive access to long-term collaboration opportunities, and then share what they learned with students and colleagues at their home institutions.

The E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program is for faculty or staff at a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) or Hispanic-Serving School District. HSIs are accredited colleges and universities with at least 25 percent Hispanic student enrollment. Currently, there are more than 500 HSIs in 21 states and Puerto Rico, serving more than 2 million students. See the 2021 the E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program application (PDF, 1.6 MB) for details.

The Terra Preta do Indio Tribal Fellowship benefits faculty and staff from 1994 Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and Secondary Education Superintendents, Principals, Agricultural and/or District Level Teachers working for Bureau of Indian Education designated high schools. See the 2021 Terra Preta do Indio Tribal Fellowship application (PDF, 1.2 MB) for details.

The Booker T. Washington Fellowship reaches faculty and staff at an accredited 1890 Land-Grant University and Secondary Education Superintendents, Principals, Agricultural and/or District Level Teachers working for an 1890 Land-Grant University feeder high school. See the 2021 Booker T. Washington Fellowship application (PDF, 895 KB) for details.

Each program offers opportunities for education fellows and science fellows. Education fellows participate in a week-long program in Washington, D.C. scheduled to start June 21 and end on June 25, 2021. Science fellows participate in a two-week program, consisting of one week in Washington, D.C. and a second week at a USDA research location, ending on July 2, 2021.