USDA announces funding to support 1890 land-grant universities

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 6, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of more than $18 million in available funding to strengthen the research, teaching, and extension capabilities at 19 historically black land-grant colleges and universities and train students for careers in agriculture.

"The 1890s institutions are a key partner in addressing our nation's nutritional security, in the context of diminishing land and water resources, changing climate, and the need to ensure health outcomes, while fostering a strong agricultural sciences workforce and agricultural economy," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "This funding will benefit students, professors, and institutions now and in the future."

The funding is being made available through the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) 1890 Institution Research, Extension, and Teaching Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program. NIFA provides support to historically black colleges and universities that were designated at as land-grant universities in the Second Morrill Act in 1890. Grants to these 1890 universities support the development of high quality teaching, research and extension programs, produce graduates in the food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences, develop strong research addressing current challenges, and deliver needed help to communities, small farms, and other clients.

Applications may only be submitted by eligible 1890 land-grant institutions.

The deadline for applications is May 31, 2017.

See the request for applications for details.

Among previously funded projects, Tuskegee University is offering youth experiential learning activities in food science. At the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, researchers are studying nutrients and food safety in leafy greens, and comparing soil-based, hydroponic, and aquaponics growth systems. A workforce development project at Alabama A&M University is recruiting and training minority students in urban areas for careers in food and agriculture through experiential learning in agribusiness industry, market-responsive curricula development, recruitment, and mentoring.


NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel has resulted 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. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science, visit, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.

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Sally Gifford
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