USDA offering $18.9m for 1890 land-grant colleges

NIFA funding available for certain colleges and universities to obtain or improve agricultural and food science facilities and equipment.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) announced $18.9 million in funding for eligible 1890 land-grant colleges and universities to obtain or improve agricultural and food science facilities and equipment. The 1890 Facilities Grant Program helps the eligible institutions educate the future workforce in the food, agricultural and human sciences job sectors.

"This funding signals our ongoing commitment to create future leaders and skilled professionals in the field of agricultural innovation," NIFA director Sonny Ramaswamy said. "By building adequate facilities, we help 1890 land-grant universities and institutions sustain their programs in agriculture, food and human sciences."

The 1890 land-grant institutions were established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890 to foster higher-education opportunities for African Americans and other underrepresented student populations. This funding opportunity aligns with NIFA's strategic goal to develop human capital, communities and a diverse workforce through research, education, extension and engagement programs in food and agricultural sciences to support a sustainable agriculture system.

Eligible applicants include Alabama A&M University, Tuskegee University, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Ft. Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Southern University, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Lincoln University, Alcorn State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Central State University, Langston University, South Carolina State University, Tennessee State University, Prairie View A&M University, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.

The application deadline is March 9, 2017.

See the request for applications on the NIFA 1890s Facilities Grants Program webpage for more information.

Previously funded projects include an outreach and teaching facility for livestock at Tuskegee University. The university's Cooperative Extension division provides services to beef producers in the Black Belt region, a southern region that has a high percentage of African-American farmers and ranchers, and the surrounding counties. The project also provides outdoor laboratory facilities for veterinary faculty and students. Florida A&M University completed renovations to the Quincy Teleconference Center to better serve the needs of limited-resource audiences in the community by offering programs that address educational, economic and health issues.

Since 2009, NIFA has invested in and advanced 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 whose work results in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability and ensure food safety.

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