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USDA Announces $18.9 Million to Improve Research Facilities at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities

GREENSBORO, N.C., Aug. 29, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $18.9 million in renewal awards to build or improve agricultural and food science research facilities and equipment at historically black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. 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.

"These awards help colleges and universities make improvements that support cutting-edge academic research and foster 21st century innovation that will shape the future of American agriculture," said Dr. Joe Leonard, Jr., USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, who today announced the awards during a visit to North Carolina A&T University. "For more than a century USDA has built strong partnerships with historically black colleges and 1890 Land-Grant Universities, and the 1890 Facilities Grant Program ensures that partnership will continue to benefit students for many more years to come."

The awards announced today are made through the 1890s Facilities Grants program, which provides funding for the acquisition and improvement of food, agricultural, and human sciences facilities and equipment, including libraries, so that the 1890 land-grant institutions, including Tuskegee University, may participate fully in the production of human capital in the food and agricultural sciences.

North Carolina A&T is receiving an award of $1.12 million, which will be used to construct a Complex for Urban and Sustainable Agriculture, Food, Education and Research (C-U-SAFER) building and to establish a student farm. The complex and farm will provide students opportunities for multi-disciplinary projects, as well as help the school leverage extramural support from outside organizations with an interest in sustainable agriculture, local and community food systems.

Funding awards for 2016 include:

  • Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Ala., $952,989
  • Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala., $952,989
  • University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff., Ark., $904,537
  • Delaware State University, Dover, Del., $700,649
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla., $917,871
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga., $1,003,446
  • Southern University, Baton Rouge, La., $839,111
  • Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Ky., $1,085,670
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Md., $806,685
  • Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo., $1,185,476
  • Alcorn State University, Lorman, Miss., $885,952
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C., $1,120,427
  • Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio, $1,299,243
  • Langston University, Langston, Okla., $991,763
  • South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, S.C., $873,535
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, $1,510,894
  • Tennessee State University Nashville, Tenn., $1,089,527
  • Virginia State University, Petersburg, Va., $993,968
  • West Virginia State University, Morgantown, W. Va., $826,068

Abstracts for the 2016 funded projects can be viewed on NIFA's reporting website.

Previously funded projects include a Tennessee State University project that constructed a 25,000 square-foot Agricultural Biotechnology Building. It contains more than 12 state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research. Prairie View A&M University is currently upgrading their International Goat Research Center to better support animal and veterinary sciences research, teaching, and outreach programs in animal health. The renovations and supporting equipment will assist in developing a Center of Excellence in Caprine Research, providing agriculture students with experiential learning opportunities and facilitating delivery of programs to limited-resource farmers and ranchers.

NIFA invests in and advances innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA's integrated research, education and extension programs support the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel, and have resulted in user-inspired groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability and ensuring food safety. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science visit, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.

This month USDA is celebrating historic progress over the last eight years to improve the quality of life and access to opportunity for all Americans. Learn more online in The People's Department: A New Era for Civil Rights at USDA.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).