Central State University garners federal funds to cultivate ag students

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graduation mortarboard and diploma

WILBERFORCE, Ohio – Central State University has secured $2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service to support the development of a well-qualified and diverse pool of students interested in agriculture/engineering.

Scholarships

The funding spans four years and will provide academic scholarships and expanded experiences to eligible students majoring in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics.

The intent is to develop a highly qualified agriculture/engineering applicant pool to provide NRCS and USDA a future workforce of underrepresented talent through the integration of disciplines that apply engineering science and technology to agricultural production, conservation, and processing.

Healthy ecosystems

The integration of agriculture, water resources management and engineering sciences help with the sustainability of the U.S. economy and help in the development of new knowledge and technologies that support the varied dimensions of soil conservation, food production, plant and animal food sources and the continuance of a healthy ecosystem.

Three projects

The funding specifically supports three major projects:

1) scholarships for eligible undergraduate students engaged in agriculture/engineering science disciplines;

2) pre-college outreach pipeline programs to support the goal of producing students with integrated knowledge and experiences;

and

3) participation of students, faculty and staff at conferences and experiential learning events that support agricultural sustainability, natural resources conservation and agricultural production.

In addition to academic support, students will be able to engage in USDA/NRCS federal internships and contribute to the replenishment of the workforce in those agencies.

The funding will also support a more robust recruitment of middle and high school students to the University’s Seed to Bloom summer program to provide innovative teaching and learning activities that lead to increased interest in STEAM disciplines.

Ag students

Additionally, a summer residential program specifically for high school pre-college students is being designed to encourage and engender interest in agricultural innovations.

Central State’s College of Science and Engineering comprises five departments: the Department of Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Manufacturing Engineering, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Department of Natural Sciences and the Department of Water Resources Management.

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