To address the complex challenges of the 21st Century, resources are needed to improve scientific and agricultural literacy; and to recruit and train a skilled workforce to implement the scientific practices and advance technologies needed to remain competitive in the global markets. Therefore, NIFA’s education grant portfolio seeks to accomplish the following three goals: workforce development through grants for scholarships and fellowships; enhancing the research, teaching, and extension capacity at Minority Serving Institutions; and foster learning and engagement in the food and agricultural sciences through programs and opportunities at secondary and postsecondary institutions.
Capacity Building: NIFA broadens representation within the agricultural pipeline through its capacity building programs. These programs facilitate access to higher education and support research, teaching, and extension activities at minority-serving institutions and outside of the Land-Grant University System.
Learning & Engagement: NIFA aims to increase the recruitment and retention of FANH students through programs that promote learning and engagement. Many of these programs fund projects that develop curriculum and instructional materials and support teacher training that will ultimately strengthen students' critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills. NIFA also offers professional development opportunities to secondary school teachers so they may incorporate agricultural STEM education into their classrooms.
Workforce Development: NIFA supports agricultural workforce development by offering fellowship and experiential learning opportunities that prepare students and researchers for a variety of careers in the STEM agricultural pipeline.