Thompson Announces $280,000 Grant for Penn State

Mar 22, 2017 Issues: Agriculture

USDA funding will help undergraduates enter agriculture workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, Vice Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, today announced grant funding for the Pennsylvania State University through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The funding will benefit undergraduate students as the awards are made through NIFA's Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduate Fellowships Program, part of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's (AFRI) Education and Literacy Initiative. Penn State has been awarded $281,072 for the program.

The Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduate Fellowships Program promotes research and extension experiential learning for undergraduates to help them enter the agriculture workforce with skills in food, agriculture, natural resources and the human sciences. Projects are designed to provide hands-on experience at land-grant and non-land-grant universities and USDA facilities, training to acquire laboratory research and extension skills, mentoring experiences, and participation in extension projects or programs that deliver science-based knowledge and informal educational programs.

“Our nation has been facing a critical shortfall of new talent entering the agricultural industry,” Thompson said. “As Vice Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I have been promoting careers in agriculture. Federal support for training, like this grant will provide can help ensure that Penn State students can be well prepared to enter the workforce and make a difference for our country.”

“The award will help train the next generation of agricultural scientists by enabling 13 undergraduate fellows to engage in research training focusing on food safety,” said Tracy Hoover, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Agricultural Sciences. “Through the two-year program, fellows will conduct research at Penn State, present their data at local and national meetings, and visit government laboratories and food processing facilities. We appreciate Congressman Thompson’s support of Penn State’s efforts to fulfill its land-grant mission and of funding for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.”