Jul 25, 2023
USDA investing $33M to support research projects at 1890 land-grant universities

The USDA is investing more than $33 million to support research, Extension and education projects across the nation’s 19 historically Black colleges and universities designated as 1890 land-grant institutions.

The 82 projects supported by the funds are part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program.

Eligible institutions are receiving funding for a range of activities, including curriculum design, materials development, faculty development, student recruitment and retention, and Extension program development support.

“The work these universities will take on as a result of this funding have ripple effects far beyond the walls of their laboratories and classrooms,” Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said in a news release. “Through this investment, the Biden-Harris administration is helping deliver real-life, applicable solutions to make our food system stronger, while at the same time inspiring a next generation of students and scientists who will help us meet tomorrow’s agricultural challenges.”

Earlier this month, USDA welcomed 100 scholars to the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program. The initiative provides full tuition, employment, employee benefits, fees, books, and room and board each year for up to four years to selected students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food science, natural resource science, or a related academic discipline at one of 19 designated 1890 land-grant universities.

The scholars will be placed at USDA agencies and offices to bolster workforce pipelines in agriculture, nutrition, food and development.

“The nation’s 1890 land-grant universities are uniquely positioned to advance fundamental sciences as well as translational research and development in support of agriculture, and this funding will increase their capacity to continue their invaluable work,” NIFA Director Manjit K. Misra said. “USDA looks forward to the impact these visionary projects will have in improving the supply of affordable, safe, nutritious and accessible food and agricultural products while fostering economic development and rural prosperity in America.”

Project examples

  • Virginia State University will use awards to increase the production of edamame and food-grade soy in south Atlantic states and to explore sustainable forage options to help regional farmers supply feed to area goat and sheep farms.
  • Fort Valley State University will receive awards to research and develop new blends of vegetable cooking oils, to research reproductive technologies for sheep and goats and train students in biomedical sciences, and to establish a collaborative research and education program with agricultural students and faculty in Ghana.
  • North Carolina AT&T State University will use awards to conduct on-farm trials of biodegradable mulches in commercial vegetable production in high tunnels and open fields and to improve food allergy educational training for food and agriculture students.

1890 land-grant universities

All 19 eligible 1890 land-grant universities will receive funding through the program. They are:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Alcorn State University
  • Central State University
  • Delaware State University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Fort Valley State University
  • Kentucky State University
  • Langston University
  • Lincoln University of Missouri
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • South Carolina State University
  • Southern University and A&M College
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Virginia State University
  • West Virginia State University

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