USDA announces $400,000 to foster a diverse agricultural science workforce


WASHINGTON, April 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $400,000 in available funding to support more 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).

"Science must be inclusive to thrive," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "Through investments such as the WAMS program, NIFA is creating the opportunity for women and minorities to participate in addressing agricultural challenges."

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. Projects that contribute to the economic viability of rural communities are also supported through WAMS.

Eligible applicants include state agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; and, individuals.

The application deadline is June 8, 2017.

See the request for applications for details.

Previously funded 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.


NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel has resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability, and ensure food safety. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science, visit, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.

USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer.

Media Contact

Sally Gifford
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