The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will be part of a federal initiative to recruit and retain underrepresented minority students in food and agriculture careers.
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals (NEXTGEN),” UAPB’s Dr. Nina Lyon-Bennett will be heading a scholarship initiative for students pursuing degrees related to agriculture and family and consumer sciences at UAPB and Fort Valley State University.
“The funding from this grant will enable students at these two universities to pursue an undergraduate education in food, agricultural, human sciences and related programs without the stress of tuition coverage,” saidLyon- Bennett, assistant dean for academics for the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Human Sciences. “The ability to afford tuition is a major factor impacting student enrollment, retention, and persistence to graduation.”
The initiative aims to lessen the shortage of students in food, agriculture, natural resources, and health sciences, and the limited diversity in the skilled food and agriculture work force, said Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, dean of the N.C. A&T College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. N.C. A&T is leading NEXTGEN.