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



SOURCE: USDA.