December 2, 2021 

HACU and USDA sign MOU to continue 31-year partnership

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted the renewal of their longstanding partnership during the Annual Conference in October 2021. The last Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Aug. 25, 2021 and is one of the longest partnerships HACU has had with a federal agency. A ground-breaking program developed is the E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program (see related story here).


“This MOU advances the cause of Latino education and opportunities within the agriculture sector, as well as the strengthening of Hispanic-Serving Institutions that educate the vast majority of Latinos across the country,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “It creates more opportunities for young people, from high school to college and the faculty and administrators who serve them.”

HACU’s National Internship Program began with USDA as one of the first sources for intern positions, and is now counted as one of the largest partners for placing students in internships. The Department also partners with HACU to provide students opportunities to participate in the ¡Adelante! Leadership Institute, the student track component of HACU’s Annual Conference.

“We have a bright future ahead of us as we build a workforce more representative of America,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This MOU establishes the next generation of agricultural professional leaders, and a pipeline to those leadership opportunities.”

For more information on the MOU please contact Ben Melano, acting senior executive director of federal relations & HNIP at

About HACU

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, D.C, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.