Our faculty and staff are committed to academic excellence. This has enabled us to source for competitive grants, in collaboration with industry partners and other academic programs/institutions.

At the core of all our grant applications and successes is an emphasis on experiential learning for students, curriculum that enhances academic excellence and faculty development that prepares students for productive post-baccalaureate careers in the food and agriculture industry. Our most recent grants focus on curriculum development, experiential learning for students, faculty development, working with local schools to promote career opportunities in agriculture and, scholarships and internship stipends for students.

To learn more about the Agriculture grants, please see:

2021 Ag Scholarship Application (USDA-HSI Grant)

Preparing Underrepresented Students for Careers in Agriculture through Curriculum Development, Program Enhancement and Innovative Experiential Learning

Project Overview/Summary

This is a USDA-NIFA funded program that brings together two Universities (Stanislaus State and CSU Fresno) and a Junior College (Modesto Junior College). This joint project will strengthen the agriculture program at California State University Stanislaus through curriculum development and address the shortage of underrepresented students in the food and agricultural industry.  The project focus is on employing innovative research experiential learning programs to develop critical thinking, scientific enquiry and transitional skills in students from the three partnering institutions. 

Overall, the project will impact a minimum of 1000 participants (students and teachers) from California Central Valley who will participate in several events offered. The project will also provide opportunities for individuals and families to increase their knowledge, using the educational materials and information developed from the project.

Project Objectives

  1. Develop the agricultural program at Stanislaus State by integrating scientific and research experiences into the curriculum
  2. Develop at least 3 new courses in critical areas of agriculture based on cutting edge instructional delivery technologies
  3. Establish a 2+2+2 pipeline between high schools, community colleges and Stanislaus State, to better prepare underrepresented minorities for careers in agricultural sciences
  4. Prepare at least 144 underrepresented students in California Central Valley for productive careers in the food and agricultural industry, using innovative research and field based experiential learning programs
    1. First, this project offers an intensive annual 2-week Leadership Experiences in Agricultural Development & Sciences (LEADS) program, with interactive, integrated, field and laboratory activities for students (Read article featuring 2018 LEADS camp)
    2. Second, this project offers a Student Targeted Agricultural Research (STAR) program that will engage sophomores and juniors from community colleges and undergraduates from Stanislaus State and CSUF, in faculty mentored research projects
  5. Train 30 school teachers and 15 CSU faculty who will integrate improved agricultural science pedagogy into their classrooms and guide students into productive careers in food and agricultural sciences.
  6. Increase diversity of career professionals in food and agricultural sciences

Project Benefits

  1. Achievement of Major institutional enhancement with the availability of the valuable educational resources and partnerships with the institutions, government agencies and the industry.
  2. The project will enable Stanislaus State to have larger core agriculture classes that are taught with a revised curriculum and state-of-the-art course content.

How to Apply

The LEADS program will host 40 selected applicants over the summer. Twenty high school students in the first week and twenty community college students the following week.  Selection is based on a first come, first serve basis.

More information on LEADS Program Application 

Take Interest in Agriculture survey.

STAR Program

The STAR program is a twelve-week per year paid internship designed to provide eight food science and agriculture students with research experience under the guidance of faculty from Stanislaus State, and CSUF.

For information regarding how to apply to the STAR program, contact the Agriculture office.

For any questions regarding the Leadership Experiences in Agricultural Development and Sciences (LEADS) program, please contact:

LEADS Program Coordinator
California State University Stanislaus
One University Circle Bizzini Hall C108
Turlock, California 95382
Phone: (209) 664-6648
Fax: (209) 664 - 6649
Email: agleads@csustan.edu

Dr. Oluwarotimi Odeh
Program Director
California State University Stanislaus
One University Circle Bizzini Hall C108
Turlock, California 95382
Phone: (209) 667 – 3961
Fax: (209) 664 - 6649
Email: oodeh1@csustan.edu

Project Director: Oluwarotimi Odeh
Co-PD: Peggy Hauselt
Co-PD: Augustine Avwunudiogba
Co-PD: Rebekah Shrader

Project Partner Institutions

  • Stanislaus State – Lead Institution
    • Agriculture Program
  • CSU Fresno – Partner
  • Department of Food Science and Nutrition
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
  • Modesto Junior College – Partner

Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Award #2015-70001-23440

Expanding opportunities for underrepresented students in agriculture through recruitment, experiential learning, and agricultural literacy.

Stanislaus State has been awarded a USDA NIFA Grant in Agriculture. The project addresses several USDA/NIFA Priorities: developing an instructional sustainable agriculture garden; supporting AgEdventure and school garden workshops; delivering USDA (e.g. NRCS or FSA) and industry internships; and eliminating financial barriers for students through six annual scholarships all designed to recruit and retain underrepresented students.


  1.  Increase the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students by 10%. This project is designed to increase the number of underrepresented students recruited into the Stanislaus State Agriculture program from partner HSI community colleges, and to increase the retention and completion rates for those underrepresented students. Currently, the percentage of students who identify themselves as Hispanic within the Agriculture program is still significantly below the percentage of Hispanics in the University's service region and below the percentage of Hispanics attending the University as a whole. To increase the number of underrepresented students in the Agriculture program, the project will provide scholarships for students transferring into the program as well as continuing students, making it possible for academically-outstanding underrepresented students to begin and complete the Agriculture program. In addition to reducing financial barriers, this project will increase recruitment efforts aimed at underrepresented students attending HSI community colleges and will reinforce an inter-institutional network to improve curriculum articulation and transfer coordination between agriculture programs at HSI community colleges and the Agriculture program at Stanislaus State.
  2. Develop Experiential Learning Opportunities. To improve retention, the quality of education, career preparation, and job prospects for Agriculture students, this project will expand required internships into the Agriculture curriculum. The Agriculture program will develop and strengthen relationships with USDA agencies and industry partners. The internship opportunities created through these collaborations will provide students with real-life, hands-on industry experience that will enhance the quality of their education and expand their career opportunities. Agriculture students also will have the opportunity to develop leadership and presentation skills at regional and national agriculture and/or minority focused conferences.
  3. Create a New Instruction Delivery System. This project will further develop and enhance a sustainable garden on the Stanislaus State campus, along with corresponding Agriculture curriculum. In addition, service learning opportunities for Agriculture students, several school garden courses for teachers that promote school gardens and healthy eating choices for K-6 students, an annual Agricultural Awareness Day for local 3rd grade elementary students, and an annual sustainable farming workshop for faculty, students and community members will be conducted. The education of Agriculture students will be enhanced by the integration of hands-on experience into the academic curriculum, and the local community will be better informed regarding sustainable farming practices. In the process, relationships will be developed and strengthened between the Stanislaus State Agriculture program and the Service Learning Center, local school districts, the local agricultural industry, and the community.

Project Directors

Peggy Hauselt and Mark E. Bender

This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2010-38422-21213 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Updated: July 11, 2024