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4 grants awarded to increase diversity in ag science workforce

Funds go to projects in Florida, Montana, Nebraska and Virginia.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced grants to increase women and minority representation in the agricultural science workforce. Funding is made through NIFA’s Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS). 

“America’s human capital is our greatest resource,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments are helping introduce more women and minorities to the agricultural sciences so they might contribute to future agricultural science innovations.”

The Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program supports research and extension activities to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas who will pursue and complete postsecondary degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

In fiscal year 2017, four grants totaling more than $378,000 were made to WAMS projects:

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $95,447
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, $94,378
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, $94,387
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, $94,388
  • More information on these grants is available on the NIFA website

Past WAMS projects include a Purdue University mentoring program for women and minority graduate students in the College of Agriculture. A Tarleton State University project recruited women and minority students and offered them research and training opportunities in the animal and food sciences.

Source: USDA NIFA

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