USDA Program Seeks to Support Workforce Training for Underserved Communities in Meat and Poultry

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced an additional investment to the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants (HSI) program of more than $14 million to support agricultural workforce training in historically underserved communities in order to increase the resilience of the U.S. meat and poultry processing sector. The goal is to provide critical support to higher education partners to increase rural prosperity and economic sustainability of food systems in underserved agricultural communities by training the workforce of the future to develop long-lasting solutions to critical agricultural issues including food insecurity and food system interruptions. Eligible activities include curricula design and development, faculty preparation, instruction delivery systems, scientific instrumentation for teaching, student experiential learning, research and extension projects, conference planning, and student recruitment and retention. Individual awards will range from $25,000 to $1 million. Grant applications are due Monday, August 29, 2022.


What is the purpose of the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants (HSI) Program?

The HSI Program promotes and strengthens the ability of HSIs to carry out higher education programs to attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation's food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences professional and scientific work force. This grant program aligns the efforts of HSIs to support academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups.


What are the priorities of the HSI Program?

Applications must address all the following priorities:

  1. strengthen institutional educational capacities to develop and enhance curriculum, faculty, instruction delivery systems, and infrastructure including libraries and scientific instrumentation, in order to respond and serve the needs of underrepresented students in identified State, regional, national, or international educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences;
  2. recruit, retain, and support undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups in order to prepare them for careers related to the food, agricultural, and natural resource systems of the United States;
  3. facilitate cooperative initiatives between two or more Hispanic-Serving Institutions or between Hispanic-Serving Institutions and public or the private sector, in order to maximize the development and use of resources and to improve the food and agricultural sciences teaching programs.


What applicants are eligible for this funding? 

Qualified institutions are Centers of Excellence at eligible universities:

  • 1890 Land-grant universities;
  • 1994 Land-grant Tribal Colleges;
  • Hispanic-serving institutions;
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions; or
  • Participants in the Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas.

Applications may only be submitted by Hispanic-Serving Institutions. To be considered an HSI, institutions must have a minimum of 25 percent undergraduate full-time Hispanic enrollment. Duplicate or multiple submissions are not allowed.


What funding is available for the HSI Program?

The anticipated amount available for the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants (HSI) Program is up to $1,000,000. All awards will be awarded in FY 2022. Funding will be issued as competitive awards. USDA is not committed to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards.


Is cost-sharing required?

The HSI Program has no matching requirement. NIFA will not factor matching resources into the review process as an evaluation criterion.


The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants (HSI) Program request for applications (RFA) can be found here.


For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at or call us at 530-893-4764.


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