Hormel Foundation Named ACTE Business Education Partnership Award Winner
posted on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 3:21 pm
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and its Board of Directors have announced the Hormel Foundation as the recipient of the ACTE Business Education Partnership Award.
Business Education Partnership Awards recognize their contributions and achievements Schools and businesses that help develop and maintain partnerships that support high-quality career and technical education (CTE).
The Hormel Foundation launched the Hormel Foundation Austin Guaranteed Scholarship Program in 2019. Since its inception, 545 students have been awarded the scholarship, which is offered by Riverland Community College in Austin, Minnesota, in partnership with Austin High School and Pacelli Catholic High School.
This scholarship provides two years of community college education to eligible graduates of both RCC high schools. Gap scholarships remove financial barriers to higher education for students and are designed to encourage underserved populations to continue their education.
This scholarship is helping to train our region’s future workforce and helping students achieve their own educational and career goals and support their families.
The Hormel Foundation also plays an important role in supporting RCC’s agricultural and food science programs. Before receiving support from the foundation, Riverland had no on-campus AG or food science programs other than the FBM program, even though AG is one of the largest industries in the region and state with more than 500,000 people in ag or food science.
Students who want to major in agriculture or food science have no choice at Riverland and must travel to a distant university for a degree. With early support and encouragement from the Hormel Foundation, Riverland opened a new degree in Agriculture and Food Science Technology, and was approved by the State of Minnesota to once again offer a major in Agriculture and Food Science.
The first courses were launched in 2016 with a small number of students. By fall 2020, enrollment in the Agriculture and Food Science program had grown to 51 students, with more than 450 additional students enrolled in farm business management programs spanning southeastern Minnesota to the Mississippi River.
The foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million to the college to create a world-class agricultural academic center in the Austin West building that includes laboratories, classrooms, and collaborative work and study spaces. The Hormel Foundation is currently developing a partnership with the University of Minnesota and Riverland Community College to develop the future of U.S. agriculture research in Minnesota, including a $250 million state-of-the-art research facility in Moore County, Minnesota.
“We are so grateful for their generous support to help transform the lives of our students, serve our communities, and create a stronger workforce,” said Adenuga Atewologun, President of Riverland. “The Hormel Foundation through the Hormel Foundation Austin Guarantee Scholarship Investments in education and their support of agricultural and food science programs will impact generations of students and will help ensure our local employers have a highly skilled and capable workforce.”
The Hormel Foundation will be recognized with other National ACTE Award recipients on November 7th at 7pm. 30, at the annual ACTE Awards Gala.For more information on the Awards of Excellence and Awards Gala, please visit http://www.acteonline.org/awards.