USDA: 1890 Land-grant Universities Celebrate 130 Years of Cutting-edge Science, Education and Community Service
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2020 – Sunday marks the 130th anniversary of the authorizing legislation establishing the 1890 Land-Grant Universities (LGUs). Almost 30 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act of 1862, the Second Morrill Act, creating our nation’s historically black land-grant colleges, was successfully shepherded through Congress by Senator Justin Smith Morrill and signed into law on Aug. 30, 1890. This thriving network of 19 universities has a legacy of educating first-generation and economically disadvantaged college students, and enhancing the resilience of limited-resourced farmers, families, individuals, and underserved communities.
- The 1890 Scholarships Program provides scholarships to support recruiting, engaging, retaining, mentoring, and training of undergraduate students. In FY 2020, each of the 1890 LGUs received $752,632 from NIFA, totaling more than $14 million to enhance student opportunities.
- The 1890 Agricultural Extension Program assists diverse audiences, particularly those who have limited social and economic resources, to improve their access to positive opportunities through outreach education. The funds support small and medium-size family farms and new producers in owning and operating viable businesses, youth and others. In FY 2020, these NIFA grants in the amount of $54,720,000 supported all the 1890 LGU’s.
- The 1890 Facilities Grant Program provides for the acquisition and improvement of agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment, including libraries, so that the 1890 LGUs may participate fully in developing human capital in the food, agricultural, and human sciences.
- The 1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program supports research, teaching, and extension by awarding grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-institutional importance in sustaining all components of agriculture and rural development. NIFA supported this program in FY 2020 with $21,853, 028.
- The Evans-Allen Research Program supports agricultural research activities at 1890 LGUs. In FY 2020, NIFA awarded $62,910,320.
- The 1890 National Scholars Program seeks to increase the number of minorities studying agriculture, food, natural sciences, and related disciplines by providing full tuition and employee benefits for up to 4 years to selected students. Selected students will then be eligible for noncompetitive conversion to a permanent appointment with USDA upon successful completion of their degree.
- The Booker T. Washington Fellowship Program, managed by the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), aimed at connecting faculty and staff at 1890 institutions to resources and research available to them at USDA.
- The USDA-1890 Task Force also managed by OPPE – body composed of equal part USDA employees and 1890 institution officials – regularly meets and converses to seek mutually beneficial cooperation.
- The Centers for Excellence Program provides support for enhanced international training and development and to increase diversity in the science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics pipeline.
- After Jacksonville, Alabama was hit by an EF3 tornado that did extensive damage and uprooted scores of trees, Alabama Extension’s Urban Green program provided educational resources on proper planting and tree selection, reaching 10,116 individuals across the state.
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Agricultural Research Station’s 4-H “Healthy Habits” healthy foods and exercise program instilled healthy habits in 900 local youths.
- Researchers at Tennessee State University developed molecular fingerprint and biosensor methods for detecting Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens that are showing promising results as efficient tools for food safety surveillance. The resulting rapid and accurate detection technology, for use by regulatory agencies, meat and poultry producers and processors helped identify potential food safety problems in facilities and products, reduce testing time from days to hours, and cut testing cost by 50 percent.
- To keep young people interested in critical STEM education, North Carolina A&T Cooperative Extension Program’s Computer Science (CS) Pathways connected 1,804 youths to exciting Computer Science-focused learning experiences.