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A-State and UAPB Get $300K Grant for Agriculture Education Program

2 min read

Researchers at Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are part of a team that received a grant of nearly $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The three-year grant was awarded to Nina Crutchfield, A-State assistant professor of agricultural education; Nina Lyon-Bennett, assistant dean for academics in the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Services; and Kimberly Davis, dean of the UAPB School of Education.

The project focuses on increasing pathways for African American teachers in agriculture education programs, A-State said in a news release. It will provided funds for five UAPB students to study agricultural education at A-State during the summers of 2025 and 2026. The visiting students will graduate from UAPB with an agriculture degree and the equivalent of a minor in agricultural education.

The research and educational team will address priority areas in several sectors, including workforce development, rural community development and positive youth development.

“Our goals include advancing cultural diversity of the agriculture, food and natural resources workforce by educating more students from underrepresented areas,” Crutchfield said in a statement. “We also want to increase the opportunities for collaboration between colleges of agriculture at UAPB and A-State by sharing faculty. In doing so, we can recruit, train and graduate agricultural educators from UAPB.”

Crutchfield said another goal is to increase opportunities for African American college graduates to find employment in or near their local communities.

“We want to increase their lifetime earning potential and secure 12-month teaching employment in the Mississippi Delta region,” she said.

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