Ruby S. De La Garza is the USDA-HSI Regional Director for Texas. She is hosted at the University of Texas - Pan American (UTPA), located in Edinburg, TX. UTPA was recently recognized as one of Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” and was the top ranked public HSI in Texas on the magazine’s list.
Hispanics are the fastest growing population within the State of Texas. Texas is home to over 9 million Hispanics, a figure that is currently increasing at an unprecedented rate within the State. The USDA, in partnership with The University of Texas-Pan American and other institutions of higher education, is committed to serving the 42 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) located in Texas. The number of HSI's in Texas will likely increase within the next few years given the significant growth in the Hispanic population in the state. There are currently over 40 emerging HSIs in Texas.
Due to the significant importance agriculture has on the Texas economy, the state has many challenges and opportunities relevant to USDA's mission areas.The state also has the nation’s largest rural population with 80% of the total land area in Texas considered rural. As the HSI Regional Director, Ruby works with HSIs to assist students, staff, faculty and local community organizations build partnerships with USDA and gain access to federal resources and opportunities.
Ruby received a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Texas A&M University-College Station and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Texas - Pan American.
Before coming to USDA, Ruby worked as a Program Manager for Valley Primary Care Network Healthy Start Program. The community-based program aims to improve birth outcomes by ensuring women receive early and adequate prenatal care through outreach and health education.
Ruby is a native of the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost part of Texas along the U.S-Mexico Border. The main industry in the Rio Grande Valley is agriculture; the subtropical climate and soil provide an almost year round growing season for farmers. The Valley is known for its Ruby Red Grapefruits and Sweet Onions.
Born and raised in Alamo, TX, she is an advocate of community involvement programs for youth and Hispanics.
USDA-HSI Regional Director, Texas
University of Texas - Pan American
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Rm. 211
1201 W. University Drive
Phone: (956) 665-7436
Cell: (956) 587-2656