Why Cultivate ACCESS?

Cultivate Access Why cultivate access?

Students work on sciecne experiment

We believe that through intentional mentoring, professional development and enhanced career awareness, youth will envision themselves working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related careers in agriculture and will more likely pursue STEM-related majors in college.

Our Future Plan

In the next 10 years, there will be a 35% shortage of employees to fill STEM-related jobs in food, agriculture, and natural resources (Goeker et al., 2015). To meet this demand, funding from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture was awarded to a team of faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to create the Cultivate ACCESS project in Nebraska. This program aims to increase the number of underrepresented students from rural Nebraska selecting STEM-related agricultural college majors and careers.This is particularly important for Nebraska because our Hispanic population is expected to double by 2050 (Linares and Drozd, 2013).

Our Goal

The long-term goal of Cultivate ACCESS is to increase participation of people who are underrepresented in STEM-related agricultural careers and from rural towns in Nebraska. Our program is a holistic mentoring and development program that engages high school youth (scholars), parents, college students (ambassadors), and career professionals (mentors). The program will be deployed using an agricultural crop production-to-processing continuum (see below) highlighting a range of STEM careers in Agriculture while developing professional skills identified by industry as critical for employment.

Flowchart image describing work trends