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Congressman Vicente Gonzalez

Representing the 15th District of Texas

Congressman Gonzalez Announces Over $320,000 for UTRGV’s Hispanic Engagement in Agriculture Programs

October 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded $320,988 to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) to support agriculture science education via the Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Education Grant Program.

The funding will be distributed between two UTRGV programs: 1) the Training, Research, and Education in Soil Science (TRESS) program at $274,988; and the 2) Collaborative Conference to Promote Disease Prevention Through Nutrition and to Attract Students into Social Work and Other Nutrition-Related Careers program at $46,000.

“This funding will enable UTRGV to enhance community education efforts and increase Hispanic representation in the agriculture science workforce,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “I thank the USDA for recognizing UTRGV as an institution of higher education that supports the Hispanic community.”

UTRGV’s TRESS program implements strategies to engage Hispanic students in agriculture studies that address soil quality issues. TRESS students master soil science fundamentals and are provided with tools necessary to enter soil-related careers. For more information, click here.

UTRGV’s second award will be used to raise awareness about the importance of nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and farm-to-school strategies that address the diabetes epidemic in communities of color across the Rio Grande Valley. This conference will allow social workers to educate low-income families about healthy food options. For more information, click here.

For more information on grant programs from the NIFA, please click here.