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USDA FaST Program

Experimental meadow where biological control insects into an infestation of spotted knapweed.

The USDA Faculty and Student Teams (FaST) Program seeks to address the demonstrated need of training and preparing Hispanic scientists to fill key science positions in the agricultural and environmental fields.

The program placed research teams from Hispanic-Serving Institutes (HSIs) in selected National Research Initiative (NRI) grantee facilities around the country to conduct research related to key objectives of the USDA.

Host facilities include labs and research stations at NRI-grantee institutions that have proven records of accomplishment in mentoring researchers from under-represented groups.

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Teams consisted of one faculty mentor and two students (upper division undergraduates, Masters, or PhD) from HSIs. The placements were ten weeks and occur during the summer of 2009 and 2010.


The USDA FaST Program is administered by Dr. Raymond Garza, Program Director and Rachel Hill, Program Coordinator at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


  • FaST dedicates itself to growing the relationships between students and faculty.
  • Growing the relationships between FaST teams and leading research labs.
  • Growing the relationship between the USDA and HSI universities.
  • Together, we can grow a better tomorrow!