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Texas A&M Steps Up STEM

In 2013, Hispanics made up 16 percent of the U.S. population, but earned only 9 percent of all certificates and degrees awarded in STEM fields, according to Excelencia in Education. Texas A&M University-Kingsville, with the support of a $3.3 million NIFA Hispanic-Serving Institution Education grant, is leading a multi-institution program that encourages such students to pursue STEM degrees and careers as leaders in agriculture. Participants of the STEP UP to USDA Career Success program receive intensive hands-on training and internships at four USDA agencies: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, ARS, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. More than 330 students have participated in the program’s courses since 2012, surpassing the project’s goal of 50 students per year. With STEP UP, students discover the types of jobs where they may excel, and the field of agriculture receives an infusion of diverse, well-educated career professionals.

NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2016 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture systems and technology;
Agriculture economics and rural communities
U.S. States and Territories
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