Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture and Natural Resources


Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots in the Global Fresh Produce Market

Project Director: Dr.  Veronica Ancona

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the United States imports approximately 32 percent of the fresh vegetables and 55 percent of the fresh fruit that Americans consume annually. About half of the fresh produce imported to the U.S. is coming from Mexico and there is a need of prepared personnel in inspection and management of imported fresh produce in the south border. The large Hispanic population in South Texas is the ideal workforce in the U.S.- Mexico border, however, training of Hispanic students in the global food supply chain is lacking in most agricultural programs. In this project, we aim to increase the Hispanic human resource capacity by training Hispanic students from the College of Agriculture at Texas A&M Kingsville in global agriculture. To attain this aim, we propose to 1) create a course with experiential learning activities; 2) enhance learning with cultural and international immersion experiences; 3) develop a student-centered mentorship program and workshop activities to increase retention and enhance student placement; 4) Dissemination of project outcomes to stakeholders. The impacts and outcomes of the project include: at least 30 Hispanic students acquiring new skills relevant to USDA mission areas and global food production, 30 students considering USDA careers, graduation of 27 + undergraduates in Agriculture, 2 MSc graduates in Plant and Soil Science, increased collaboration and support between Ag Industries and TAMUK, new international partnerships with Mexico, increased awareness of globally relevant issues in 30+ students.

Project Director

Co-Project Directors


  • Jose Buentello
  • Kayla Garza
  • Sarah Godwin
  • Seth Kuby
  • Carolina Munoz
  • Taylor Nelson
  • Emilio Ramos
  • Marissa Trevino
  • Zuleyma Zometa