Five land-grant universities will lead a USDA effort to strengthen agriculture extension and training in Iraq as a means of helping the new democracy feed itself. Made possible by a $5.3-million USDA grant, the effort is led by Texas A&M University and includes New Mexico State, Washington State and Utah State universities, and the University of California-Davis. Texas' Prairie View A&M and Dine College in Tsaile, AZ, along with universities in Iraq, will also contribute.

Agriculture is Iraq's second-largest economic contributor. The consortium will focus their efforts on arid crop production, water management, livestock production and market development.