Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Quick Links Skip to Content Skip to Footer Skip To Left Navigation

CSI Awarded $3 Million USDA Grant

Release Date: Thursday 2023-06-22

Twin Falls, ID – United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced on Wednesday that the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) will be the recipient of a five-year, $3,010,000 federal grant designed to educate the next generation of agriculture professionals in America. The grant, which falls under the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals (NextGen) grant program, will provide support to encourage students in the Magic Valley to attend college and major in agriculture, food, and natural resource related programs. 

“Much of the future professional workforce in agriculture and ag related industries will be required to have at least some post-secondary education,” said CSI President Dean Fisher following the announcement. “This grant will give CSI the resources it needs to help more Magic Valley students achieve their goal of a career in the ag industry while staying close to home.” 

The grant will allow CSI to embed staff in a dozen rural high schools across the Magic Valley, where they will help students support career exploration and assist them in transitioning to postsecondary programs of study. The grant will also provide scholarship support to students interested in majoring in programs related to agriculture. “Agriculture is such a huge part of our Magic Valley economy, but many of those in professional roles in our area are nearing retirement age,” said CSI Dean of Career and Technical Education Dr. Barry Pate. “This grant will help CSI play a key role in training the next generation of ag professionals in Idaho.” 

An important component of CSI’s grant application was its designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution, a recognition that more than 25% of CSI’s student population is of Hispanic descent. The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) acknowledges that a key goal of the grant program is the diversification of the professional ag workforce. “One goal of the NextGen program is to identify, inspire and prepare our youth, particularly in underrepresented communities, to be the next generation of hunger fighters and agricultural problem solvers,” said NIFA Director Dr. Manjit Misra. 

CSI was one of 33 colleges across the United States awarded a NextGen grant, and the college intends to serve more than 400 students with the funds that were awarded, beginning in the fall of 2023.  

Media Contact:

Courtney Salmon
Public Information Manager | 208-732-6299