The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced plans to direct $6.2 million to 21 Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy grants, which aim to increase the number of K-14 teachers educated in the food and agricultural sciences.

The grants, part of NIFA’s Agricultural and Food Research Initiative, will be awarded to educational institutions in 17 states.

The funded programs will prepare teachers to integrate food and agricultural science into their classrooms, help them explore career paths in food and agricultural science, and connect them to a network of agricultural professionals, business leaders, and university faculty. 

“As we work to build the talent pipeline for agricultural science, technology and business, we have to reach young people while they are in high school,” said NIFA Director Carrie Castille.

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Examples of some projects awarded funding include Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation’s program to train secondary teachers in educating students on foundational skills in agriculture; Montezuma School to Farm Project’s Teacher Professional Development for Ag Education in Montezuma County, Colorado, and Purdue University’s Growing the Workforce for Digital Agriculture.

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