USDA Awards Grants to Support Research, Teaching and Extension Programs at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities
WASHINGTON, February 26, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced 76 grants totaling more than $35 million to support research, teaching and Extension activities at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Today's announcement builds on USDA's ongoing efforts to foster strong partnerships with the 1890 community, ensure equal access to USDA programs and services, and support educational opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
"For nearly 125 years, the 1890 land-grant institutions have played a vital role in ensuring access to higher education and opportunity for underserved communities," said Secretary Vilsack. "These competitively-awarded grants support high quality research, teaching and Extension activities and support the continued leadership of 1890 institutions in the fields of agriculture, the environment and public health."
The 1890 Institution Research, Extension and Teaching Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program is intended to support agricultural science programs while also strengthening the linkages among the 1890 universities, other colleges and universities, USDA and private industry. The program focuses on advancing cultural diversity in the scientific and professional workforce by attracting and educating more students from underrepresented groups. The CBG program awards grants in the categories of research, teaching and Extension with a focus on NIFA's priority areas of sustainable bioenergy, food security, childhood obesity prevention, climate change and food safety.
NIFA is awarding $17,691,148 through the 1890 CBG Program, including:
Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware: $299,938 (1 award)
Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia: $392,140 (2 awards)
Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky: $1,349,997 (3 awards)
Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi: $149,946 (1 award)
Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri: $299,807 (2 awards)
North Carolina State A&T University, Greensboro, North Carolina: $431,738 (3 awards)
Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee: $150,000 (1 award)
Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia: $300,000 (1 award)
West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia: $653,674 (2 awards)
The 1890 Facilities Grants Program provides funds for acquiring and improving food sciences facilities and equipment, including libraries. Grants equip 1890 land-grant universities to fully address research, Extension and academic needs.
NIFA is awarding $18,204,579 through the 1890 Facilities Grants Program, including:
Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama: $965,935
Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama: $965,936
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas: $895,228
Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware: $685,691
Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia: $981,494
West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia: $800,018
The 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities play a critical role in teaching students to meet the high quality, innovative research needs that are vital to the wellbeing of our nation's food, fuel and fiber. USDA's1890 National Program works with universities and community-based organizations to bring services and information to rural-based minority communities, and limited resource, veteran and female farmers, including conducting 53 Ag Summer enrichment programs for more than 33,140 elementary through high school students in 2013 and in fiscal year 2012, providing information to approximately 60,843 small farmers, ranchers, and farming organizations in underserved communities.
Through its 1890s Scholars Program, USDA attracts students into careers that benefit their communities and the Department; share expertise and resources in areas such as agricultural research, extension and teaching programs, and technology development. To date, nearly 600 employees have been hired through the program. USDA is accepting applications until March 14, 2014. Visit http://www.outreach.usda.gov/education/1890 for more information.
The 2014 Farm Bill, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama earlier this month, designated Central State University, a historically black university in Wilberforce, Ohio, as a land-grant institution. Beginning fiscal year 2016, Central State University will be eligible to receive USDA funding to bolster its capacity to conduct research, Extension and teaching activities. The university is currently eligible to apply for NIFA's competitive grants programs, including the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.
NIFA recently released the request for applications (RFA) for the fiscal year 2014 1890 CBG program. The deadline for proposals is March 19, 2014. In addition to the research, teaching and Extension components, this year the CBG program will feature professional development grants to help faculty enhance their networking and competitive capacity by working collaboratively with colleagues from 1890 and 1862 Land-grant Universities, other public and private universities, federal agencies, private and non-governmental institutions, foundations, and other domestic and international research entities. The training, which may take the form of sabbaticals, mini-sabbaticals, faculty exchanges, or educational courses, must address critical U.S. food, agricultural and human science issues at the local, state, regional and national level.
The maximum award for professional development grants is $100,000. Funds may be used for salary and benefits (up to one year), travel, supplies and training or course fees. Funds will not be awarded to support activities in fulfillment of degree requirements or travel to make presentations at conferences or meetings.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. Of the $647 million awarded to 1890s universities from 2009 through 2013, more than $600 million was awarded for research and development in the form of grants, cooperative research and development agreements, research support agreements and specific cooperative agreements. Ongoing research and development studies are conducted with several HBCUs and1890 Land-Grant Institutions, including, but not limited to, Alcorn State University, Alabama A&M University, Delaware State University, Tennessee State University, the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. More information is at www.nifa.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).