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Opportunities with USDA Event - May 7, 2015

On May 7, 2015, USDA’s Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS) National Program and Texas State University’s Strategic Research Initiatives hosted “Opportunities with USDA” at Texas State University. The purpose of the event was to explore collaborations between Texas State, USDA and Hispanic Serving Institutions to foster research and education opportunities.

Nine USDA agencies were in attendance and presented information regarding current projects, funding opportunities and partnership with universities, as well job opportunities for graduates. Seventeen student posters were on display that showcased the USDA-funded projects by students and faculty in the Departments of Agriculture, Biology, Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis, Geography, Engineering Technology and the Ingram School of Engineering that showcased renewable energy, food safety, food systems, big data analytics and others.

  • To view student poster abstracts, please click here
  • To view presentations from this event, please click on the links embedded in the agenda below.

We’d like to sincerely thank many folks for making this event successful:

  • Ruby De La Garza, Regional Director-Texas, USDA HIS National Program
  • USDA and Texas State presenters
  • Dr. John Massingill, President of CHEMTOR, L.P.
  • Student poster presenters
  • Visiting universities


8:30 a.m. Welcome
  • Dr. Mike Blanda, Assistant Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs
  • Judy Canales, Farm Service Agency State Executive Director
8:45 a.m. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
9:00 a.m. Funding Opportunities with National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (via webcast)
  • Dr. Irma Lawrence, National Program Leader
9:30 a.m. Funding through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and NIFA
Agency Presentations 
9:45 a.m. Farm Service Agency (FSA)
10:05 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Rural Development (RD)
10:30 a.m. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Bertha Venegas, State Outreach Coordinator, National Hispanic Emphasis Program Manager, USDA StrikeForce State Coordinator, and TX State Alumnus
10:45 a.m. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency (APHIS) 
Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)
11:00 a.m. APHIS-PPQ
Smuggling Interdiction & Trade Compliance (SITC)
11:15 a.m. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Panel Discussion
12:00 p.m. Networking Lunch (lunch provided)
12:45 p.m. Texas State Faculty Presentations:  Funded Education & Research Programs Facilitating Student Success
1:30 p.m.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

  • Raul Gutierrez, Special Agent and TX State Alumnus
1:45 p.m. Closing Remarks