Project AgGrad seeks to address root causes of world hunger in developing countries by training highly motivated local agriculture students to be leaders in production agriculture on a national scale.
Project AgGrad brings students from developing countries to the University of Minnesota to pursue graduate degrees in agriculture and then they return home to work on food production for the rest of their careers. The students return to their homeland to educate others, conduct research, supervise other graduate students in their countries, mentor farmer groups, work with volunteer and professional groups, and give leadership in thousands of ways.
One person does make a difference in the world.
Agricultural research has led to crop yield increases of 88% in Asia, 69% in the Middle East, 66% Latin America, and 28% in Africa -- but without dissemination of these findings and recommendations -- farming methodology will not change and global hunger due to food shortages will continue indefinately. Only 8% of the world's hungry people are hungry due to a short-term effect such as a flood, hurricane, drought, etc. Food aid will help in these cases. But 92% have chronic hunger due to food shortages and general poverty which is exacerbated by an under-abundance of agricultural products.
What's the funding model?
Project AgGrad covers the cost of the student's travel from their home country to Minnesota (and back home at the end of their program) as well as a fellowship that provides tuition, health insurance, and a small stipend. The cost of the fellowship is approximately $42,000 per year. The program relies on ongoing support from individuals and congregations to provide these fellowships and to volunteers who provide all of the administrative support and host-family duties.
This program is run through the University of Minnesota- College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences - CFANS.
Historically, only one student at a time could be hosted - we would like to increase this modestly to two students receiving agricultural education at the UofM concurrently - bringing the annual operating expenses to just under $90,000/yr.
For more information about the 8 ProjectAgGrad Graduates: http://z.umn.edu/projaggradbrochure
All funds donated in this campaign will go towards growing the Project AgGrad endowment used exclusively to support the student fellowships of Project AgGrad. Project AgGrad receives matching dollars from the University of Minnesota's 21st Century Graduate Fellowship Match Program.