Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants

To promote excellence in agriscience and agribusiness education, and to encourage more young Americans to pursue baccalaureate and higher degrees in the food and agricultural sciences.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Pioneer Agriculture Curriculum, College, and Careers Project; Suitcase Lessons for Agriculture; Agribusiness for At-Risk Youth; Technology Integration for the Future of Agricultural Education; New Opportunities: Aquaculture Research Freshwater Shrimp Farming.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Program Accomplishments

One institution is incorporating agriscience/agribusiness concepts into secondary education by improving student exposure to distance learning opportunities, animal and plant sciences, farm business management, hydroponics, natural resources, and agricultural literacy.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used only in targeted areas, e.g., curricula design and materials development, promotion of teaching competencies, promotion of agriscience and agribusiness career information, instruction delivery systems, student experiential learning, and educational activities that increase the diversity of students pursuing degrees in agriscience and agribusiness.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Public secondary schools or public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Public secondary schools or public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges.


Each first-time recipient must furnish organizational management information requested by the funding agency, and each applicant must provide assurances specified in the annual solicitation of applications.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

All proposals/solicitations are published in the Federal Register.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Formal proposals should be submitted to the Office of Extramural Programs, CSREES, as outlined in the solicitation of applications. Application procedures are contained in the program regulations and required forms are contained in the Grant Application Kit. This program is subject to the regulatory provisions of USDA, 7 CFR Part 3015, et seq., and all successor regulations.

Award Procedures

Proposals are reviewed and evaluated by CSREES staff members with the assistance and advice of peer panels of qualified educators, administrators, industrialists, and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the fields covered by the proposals. Proposals are supported in order of merit to the extent permitted by available funds. Grant payments may be made by the electronic transfer system, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check.


All deadlines are announced in the Federal Register.


Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104-127, as amended.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 180 days.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Dollar-for-dollar matching funds from nonfederal sources is required.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are awarded for a one to two-year period and may receive no-cost extensions as appropriate up to a maximum of five years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual progress reports.

Quarterly financial reports.

Final progress reports are due within 90 days after project expiration.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are expended for authorized purposes. Grant related records must be retained at least three years; records must be retained beyond the three year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $931,082; FY 08 est $950,400; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$15,000 to $40,000; $20,900.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3016, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Grants); 7 CFR Part 3018, Restrictions on Lobbying; 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations; 7 CFR Part 3405, Higher Education Challenge Grants, Administrative Provisions, and Grant Application Kit.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

National Program Leader- Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants; Higher Education Programs; Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; Department of Agriculture; STOP 2251; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-2251; Telephone: (202) 720-1973; Fax: (202) 720-2030.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Proposals are evaluated using the following criteria: Potential for advancing quality of education/significance of the problem; proposed approach and cooperative linkages; institutional capability and capacity building; key personnel; and budget and cost-effectiveness.

Social Entrepreneurship

Rwanda as Social Entrepreneur Fund Beneficiary

The Republic of Rwanda has been picked as one of the six African countries as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund program designed at supporting social entrepreneurs in tackling issues on food security.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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