Last week, the Department of Agriculture announced more than $14 billion in agricultural workforce training for underserved communities.  USDA said the funding will increase the resilience of the U.S. meat and poultry processing sector.  The investment is part of the American Rescue Plan to strengthen the nation’s food supply chain by promoting fair and competitive agricultural markets.  Funding is available through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Request for Applications process to eligible universities.

Eligible applicants include qualified Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land-grant Universities, 1994 Land-grant Tribal Colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions, and participants in the Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas.

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics, who also serves as USDA’s chief scientist, said, “These investments provide critical support to our higher education partners to increase rural prosperity and economic sustainability of food systems in underserved agricultural communities.”

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