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Federal grant to enhance FIU’s efforts to train Hispanic leaders for agriculture industry | FIU News

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A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps FIU enhance its efforts in recruiting, cultivating and making ready underrepresented college students for profession and management alternatives within the agriculture industry.

The college will use the $975,314 grant to enhance its Broadening Agriculture Science Education (BASE) program for Hispanic Students via its Florida-Texas-New-Mexico Consortium.

The consortium allows underrepresented college students at three South Florida, Texas, New Mexico universities to develop scientific abilities in organic, agriculture and pure useful resource sciences and to discover a profession within the Agriculture Department or associated companies or to advance to greater schooling.

FIU’s program has provided faculty scholarships, journey grants, conferences, and internships and research overseas packages to greater than 500 undergraduate and graduate college students.

 “We’re proud of the students we’ve been able to help cultivate careers in agriculture and related fields over the years,” mentioned FIU agroecology professor and the director of this new grant, Krishnaswamy Jayachandran. “They’ve been able to conduct cutting edge research into bio-fertilizers, bio-energy and sustainable production practices.”

The college additionally developed a nationally acclaimed outreach program for veterans, starting and socially deprived farmers, and helped enhance their entry to Agriculture Department grants and loans. FIU has assisted greater than 200 farmers in South Florida with technical coaching and recommendation on Agriculture Department farm loans and grants, mentioned FIU Agroecology Professor Mahadev Bhat of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education’s Department of Earth and Environment.

The BASE grant program was a part of a broader $12 million funding in Hispanic-serving Institutions of upper schooling to strengthen their capability to entice, retain and graduate underrepresented college students pursuing careers in agriculture, pure assets and human sciences. The Agriculture Department awarded this funding via the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Hispanic-serving Institutions Education Grants Program, which boosts pupil studying experiences and alternatives throughout the agriculture sector.

“We recognize and value the multifaceted contributions of our nation’s Hispanic-serving Institutions, which educate more than 3.2 million students every year across the country,” Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack mentioned in a information launch. “USDA has the great privilege of partnering with Hispanic-serving Institutions, and Minority-serving Institutions as a whole, to advance scientific research, develop future agricultural leaders and, we hope, cultivate the next generation of USDA employees.”

FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg was amongst a choose group of leaders invited to meet nearly with Secretary Vilsack in October.

“As a Hispanic-serving institution, FIU is leader in ensuring equitable access to very worthwhile career and leadership opportunities in the agriculture industry and in the research that helps to ensure one of Florida’s largest industries continues to prosper in an era of continued climate change,” Bhat mentioned.