Tuskegee University one of three HBCU land-grants awarded $1.6M USDA Centers of Excellence grant

Grant will expand Tuskegee’s service to small-scale farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in rural, underserved and socially disadvantaged areas. 

Tuskegee University is one of three land-grant institutions to each receive $1.6 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for its Center for Innovation and Sustainable Small Farms, Ranches and Forestlands. NIFA’s total $4.8 million award supporting Centers of Excellence at these 1890 Land-Grant Institutions in America is made possible through the agency’s 1890 Centers of Excellence Grants program, funded through the FY19 Federal Appropriations Bill.

“Access to research and educational opportunities is a cornerstone of prosperity, and this investment will help provide opportunities will for America’s underserved and disadvantaged farmers by providing access to research and educational opportunities that will enhance the quality of life in our rural communities,” said Scott Hutchins, deputy under secretary for research, education and economics in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Based in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee’s Center for Innovation and Sustainable Small Farms, Ranches and Forestlands will fund research, extension and integrated projects designed to increase profitability, natural resource conservation and market demand for small farmers, including socially disadvantaged/underserved farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

Other institutions receiving a $1.6 million NIFA grant award included the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore for its Center of Excellence for International Engagement and Development; and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for its Virtual Center to Motivate and Educate for Achievement.

The 1890 COE Program provides support for Centers of Excellence that were originally established in 2015 in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary of the Second Morrill Act of 1890. The 1890s COE are hosted by 1890 Land-Grant Institutions with the goals of increasing profitability and rural prosperity in underserved farming communities; addressing critical needs for enhanced international training and development; and increasing diversity in the science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics (STEAM) pipeline.

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