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NIFA Hosts 5th Annual FALCON Conference Celebrating Tribal Colleges and Universities

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188
October 14, 2009

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will host the 5th Annual Conference of the First Americans Land-Grant Consortium (FALCON) on October 17-20, 2009 at its headquarters in Washington, DC.  With a focus on health and wellness programs, the FALCON Conference will celebrate 15 years of land-grant status for tribal colleges and universities.

The theme of the conference is “Strengthening Wellness Programs at 1994 Land-Grant Institutions,” and will focus on research, teaching and community programs conducted by tribal colleges and universities.

The tribal college land-grant status has been instrumental in enabling Native American tribes to develop and deliver formal teaching, extension and research to their communities.  The designation, which was given in 1994, continues to expand the land-grant tradition of serving the common good of all people.  Through leadership and funding by the NIFA, Native American communities have benefited by partnerships with federal agencies, other institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations.

Conference participants will celebrate the land-grant status during an evening reception on October 19 at the National Museum of the American Indian.

In addition, breakout sessions with NIFA national program leaders have been scheduled to discuss additional topics.  NIFA provides funding and leadership to tribal colleges through several programs:

  • The Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants Program enhances educational opportunities for Native Americans by strengthening instructional programs in the food and agricultural sciences.

  • The Tribal Colleges Extension Services Program provides funding for the 1994 land-grant institutions to conduct non-formal education and outreach activities to help meet the needs of the Native American people.

  • The Tribal College Research Grants Program assists the 1994 land-grant institutions in conducting agricultural research that addresses high priority concerns of tribal, national or multi-state significance.

  • The Tribal Colleges Endowment Fund promotes capacity development in teaching programs in the food and agriculture services.

FALCON is an association of 1994 land grant administrators, faculty, staff and students that provides technical support and networking opportunities to its members.”  More information about the FALCON Conference can be found online at

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit


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