Strengthening Plant Production Though an Interdisciplinary Food Systems Graduate Training Program

Grants and Contracts Details


This USDA National Needs Fellowship (NNF) proposal is focused on developing an interdisciplinary, food systems cohort training program for six graduate student fellows in five MS programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Entomology, Community and Leadership Development, and Dietetics). Addressing the Targeted Expected Shortage Area of Plant Production, students will pursue MS degrees in their respective programs, with their thesis projects focused on strengthening the value chains of plant products (specialty and/or agronomic crops) in Kentucky. Leveraging the UK Food Connection’s (UKFC) farm-to-institution and other local and regional food systems research, extension and education activities, the students will participate in coursework, field trips, professional development and leadership in food system training. Project activities include development of a graduate-level local and regional food systems course that will be team-taught by co-PI’s and housed at the UKFC, a cohort-building study tour of urban and rural food systems throughout the state, as well as multiple professional development, networking, and leadership experiences. The systems-thinking skills and interdisciplinary professional communication experience students will gain in this program is intended to strengthen the entire plant production supply chain, and pipeline students for entry-level professional positions across agriculture sectors supporting specialty and agronomic crop production.
Effective start/end date1/15/211/14/26


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $255,177.00


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