Opening Statement: Republican Leader-Elect Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research Public Hearing: “1890 Land Grant Institutions – 130 Years of Building Equity in Agriculture”
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Good morning, and thank you Chair Plaskett for convening this hearing today.
I am pleased to be celebrating such an important occasion. August 30th of this year marked the 130th anniversary of the enactment of the Morrill Act of 1890. Also known as the Second Morrill Act, this law led to the establishment of the 1890 land-grant universities, that today number 19 in total.
When we were celebrating the 125th anniversary in 2015, the House Agriculture Committee was in the early stages of developing what is now the 2018 Farm Bill. During that time, we heard testimony from several University Presidents about the continuing contributions and successes of their institutions and how Congress can continue to improve their capacity to provide agriculture education, extension, and research.
I am proud that the 2018 Farm Bill delivered several wins for 1890 land-grant universities, including addressing a funding carryover disparity that treated 1890 extension programs differently than their other extension counterparts. The farm bill also notably established a grant program to award scholarships for students at 1890 land-grants institutions, a priority I know several on this committee worked hard to deliver, including my friend and future Chairman David Scott.
Our nation’s land-grant system, especially the 1890 land-grant universities, will play a vital role in training and educating the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural professionals. Their research and extension mission is a critical component of American agriculture, and is envied around the world.
We are fortunate to have several leaders from 1890 land-grant universities with us today, and I am looking forward to a productive discussion.
Madam Chair, I yield back.