May 14, 2020

Merkley, Wyden, Announce Nearly $500,000 Investment in Agricultural Workforce Through Oregon State University

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that Oregon State University (OSU) will receive nearly $500,000 in federal funding to support summer research fellowships that prepare underrepresented students for graduate school and careers in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences.

The funds are part of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Education and Workforce Development Program, which is dedicated to supporting the next generation of research and education in the food and agriculture sectors.

“Agriculture is the lifeblood of rural economies throughout Oregon, and is vital to our ability to keep food on the table for our families—especially during these unprecedented and challenging times,” said Merkley, who serves as the top Democrat on the subcommittee that funds agricultural grant programs. “I’m thankful that this funding is making its way to Oregon State University, where it will support critical research, and create opportunities for underrepresented students. As the current strains on the food supply show, we need to make sure schools like OSU can keep doing the research and training the workforce that will help us feed Oregonians.”

“OSU plays an essential role in research and education that helps grow our state’s rural economy and continue to supply first-rate agricultural products to family kitchens throughout Oregon and the entire country,” Wyden said. “I am gratified that OSU has earned these key resources to help train the broadest possible cross-section of students to do research and more that supports the university’s mission and helps Oregonians during this public health and economic crisis.”

The funding, which totals $499,584, will be available to OSU through March 2025.