The USDA announced today that it has awarded $3.4 million in grants to 15 students at 12 U.S. colleges to help train students in food and agricultural sciences.
The money was made available by the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and will be managed by the National Needs Fellowship (NNF) program.
Schools receiving the most funding were North Carolina State University which will get three grants of $172,000 each and Cornell University which gets two grants of $234,000.
"The future success of the agricultural and food industries relies on our ability to train future leaders in these fields," said Gale Buchanan, USDA chief scientist. "These students will help fill nationally identified expertise shortages and meet market demands in the food and agricultural sciences."
CSREES says the $3.4 million will help support five students obtaining their master's degree, six students at the doctoral level and four students participating in international travel.
During the 2008 fiscal year, the NNF program helped fund 37 doctoral students and seven students in master's degree programs.