USDA announces workforce training and rural development funds
More than $14 million has been awarded for agriculture workforce programs and rural economic development grants through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The 19 workforce projects were awarded more than $9 million to support continuing education efforts and skill development for the food and ag sector. Nearly $5 million was granted to 12 rural economic development projects that will address concerns such as building local food systems, opioid mitigation, and entrepreneurial curriculum.
Michigan was one state to be granted nearly $1 million for workforce development. The Michigan Agriculture and Food System Workforce Advancement Initiative was awarded $500,000 to develop technical ag education and career support for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Kalamazoo Valley Community College received nearly $500,000 to build pathways for sustainable horticulture and landscape management in Southwest Michigan. The project will develop a two-year degree program at the college in Sustainable Systems for Horticulture, Agriculture, and Urban Landscapes.
Other states in the Midwest to be awarded include Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio.