Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Delivers $1,899,545 in Federal Funds to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Funds will be used to implement trial demonstrations in order to improve soil health

Mission, TX – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $1,899,545 in federal funds to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. These funds, awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovation Grants On-Farm Trials program, will be used to implement on-the-ground approaches to improve soil health for farming across the region.


“Farmers in rural America are essential to our nation” said Congressman Cuellar. “We depend on agriculture to strengthen our economy and provide domestically grown sources of food for the American public. This funding will allow for UTRGV to collaborate on research as well as test innovative, progressive conservation tactics in order to find ways in sustaining vital resources. As a senior member on the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to ensure that we fund programs that enable our Institutions of Higher Education to work with various stakeholders in researching and implementing cutting-edge practices. I’d like to thank President Guy Bailey and the rest of UTRGV’s staff for their commitment in helping serve South Texas farmers.”


Through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, this funding will support a widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will collaborate with Texas State University, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Texas producers, on this project. Efforts will focus on the long-term regional implementation and evaluation of cover crops and improved or reduced tillage practices in degraded, subtropical soils on arid, water-limited farms. Researchers will recruit historically underserved farmers across the region to receive technical and financial assistance to improve soil health.