USDA Announces 2015 Awards, Available Funding to Support Agriculture Education

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced awards totaling more than $4.5 million to support college and university faculty who develop innovative projects that advance agriculture and science education. An additional $4.5 million will also be available for new projects that will prepare the future agri-science workforce. These awards are made through the Higher Education Challenge grants program, administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“With more than 60,000 jobs opening up in the agriculture industry in the next five years alone, funding higher education projects and programs that increase the skill and preparation of students is an essential step to filling those jobs with the next generation of agriculture professionals,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director.

Projects and research that receive the Higher Education Challenge funding address educational needs and involve a creative or non-traditional approach that may serve as a model. They encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community and the private sector, and result in benefits that last beyond the project duration and USDA support.

NIFA has awarded more than $34 million to the Higher Education Challenge program since 2009. Fiscal year 2015 awards include:

  • Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama, $135,076
  • University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, $134,546
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $47,326
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $642,776
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, $134,892
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, $626,856
  • State University of New York, Syracuse, New York, $642,811
  • Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio, $641,739
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, $270,090
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, $270,032
  • Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, $27,062
  • Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, $267,199
  • Grays Harbor College, Aberdeen, Washington, $641,277
  • University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, $26,546

A complete list of this year’s project descriptions is available on the NIFA website.

Applications for $4.5 million in available Higher Education Challenge funding for the next fiscal year are due April 22, 2016. Please see the request for applications for more details.