WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced more than $3.3 million in grants to 23 institutions in 19 states to enhance their international research and teaching capabilities.

"The Obama Administration has prioritized efforts to strengthen domestic and international food security, and these projects will promote innovation to prepare the U.S. agriculture industry to meet the global demands of the 21st century," said Vilsack.

USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service administers the funds through the competitively awarded International Science and Education Grants program. The projects will enhance the international content of curricula, provide faculty with the opportunity to work outside the United States to bring lessons learned back to the classroom, promote international research partnerships, enhance the use and application of foreign technologies in the United States and strengthen the role that colleges and universities play in maintaining U.S. competitiveness.

The overarching goal of the grant program is to strengthen the global competitiveness of students, faculty and staff in agriculture and related areas and enhance business performance in international agriculture. The fiscal year 2009 grants recipients are:

Alabama A&M University, Normal, Ala., $149,958

Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., $149,807

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala., $145,119

University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $149,885

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., $149,746

Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $140,370

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $143,849

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $149,871

Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Miss., $149,825

University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., $139,905

Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., $149,355

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., $149,955

North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, N.C., $149,261

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore., $149,999

Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., $149,993

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I., $149,723

Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., $149,546

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, $149,999

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 149,572

West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, $106,400

University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., $149,625

West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va., $125,187

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., $149,968