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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Minnesota State Mankato Selected to Receive National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grant

University received one of 19 nationwide grants that will support agricultural science programs at non-land-grant universities.

2017-03-08
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 3-8-2017

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato was selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to receive one of 19 nationwide grants that will support agricultural science programs at non-land-grant universities.

As a designated Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture, Minnesota State Mankato will use its $30,000 National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to partner with South Central College and Riverland Community College to plan the building of a regional hub for talent development, continuing education and applied research to serve the agriculture industry and community.

“Receiving this grant is another milestone achievement since establishing agriculture as an emerging area of distinction in the University’s academic master plan,” said Brian Martensen, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Minnesota State Mankato. “The grant is in keeping with our plans to establish an advisory board comprised of business and community leaders along the agribusiness continuum.”

Recent analysis of the agriculture sector of Minnesota has shown – in keeping with national trends – a shortage of graduates with bachelor’s degrees with skills specific to the needs of the agriculture industry. Analysis also indicates that the agricultural industry is in need of support in utilizing applied research methodology for its end products.

The planning process funded by the grant will directly address the Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture goal of disseminating information on priority concerns to the agriculture community, legislators and the general public.

Priority concerns in the southern Minnesota agriculture sector include a workforce and talent shortage, disseminating a regional need for practical application of research methodology and showing how institutions of higher education can address this concern.

Among the long-term goals of this effort, Minnesota State Mankato seeks to address and focus on Non-Land-Grant College of Agriculture goals that encourage agriculture community members to participate in priority education, research and outreach activities by providing matching funds to leverage grant funds through the purchase or other acquisition of equipment and professional growth of Minnesota State Mankato faculty. Activities to be developed will focus on the agriculture pipeline, curriculum development and the continuing education of current workers.

The grant funding was made possible through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture program, authorized by the USDA’s 2014 Farm Bill.

A full list of the 19 institutions to receive the grants is available here.

For more information about Minnesota State Mankato’s grant, contact Brian Martensen, dean of the University’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology, by phone at 507-389-5998 or by email at brian.martensen@mnsu.edu.

Minnesota State Mankato was designated in 2015 as a Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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