Special for T&D
WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Paul Jones, chairman of the 1890s Council of Presidents — an organization made up of presidents and chancellors of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) – signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reaffirm and strengthen the ongoing relationship between the 1890s Community and the USDA through cooperation and partnership.
The secretary and Jones were joined by USDA Undersecretary Jewel Bronaugh and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics Chavonda Jacobs-Young.
This MOU also establishes a new 1890s Task Force that will inject energy into USDA’s efforts to collaborate with 1890s institutions in food, agriculture, and forestry. . The signing of the MOU follows discussions between USDA leaders and the 1890s Council of Presidents as part of ongoing engagement and discussions with higher education associations to improve partnerships and USDA investments with institutions serving minorities based on their identified needs.
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“This signing reinforces USDA’s commitment to our partners in 1890s institutions and the communities they serve,” Vilsack said. “The universities of 1890 remained the guardians of higher education access and opportunity in underserved communities. They pave the way for the next generation of thought leaders, innovators, and changemakers, and the USDA will do everything in its power to foster this environment.
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The Land-Grant Institutions of 1890 were established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890. The USDA has long invested in and supported our country’s Land-Grant Institutions of 1890, which have been leaders in innovation scientific. As such, the 1890 system has played an important role in creating STEM programs for young people in our country. The 1890s institutions also strengthened research, extension, and teaching in food and agricultural sciences, and increased the number of students attracted to careers in agriculture, food, natural resources, and the humanities. .
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The 1890 land grant system includes South Carolina State University, Alabama A&M, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University. In accordance with the Biden-Harris administration’s Executive Order 13985 on Promoting Racial Equity and Supporting Underserved Communities, the USDA will continue to advance equity goals to better meet the needs of traditionally underserved institutions and communities.
USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement develops and maintains partnerships with the 19 HBCUs focused on solutions to challenges facing rural and underserved communities in the United States, and connects these communities to the education, tools and resources available to them through USDA programs and initiatives.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture increased investments in 2022 in many 1890s universities and extension programs, including 1890s Capacity Building Grants and Extension Services in 1890 institutions. NIFA’s 1890 Land-Grant Institutions programs aim to strengthen research, extension, and education in food and agricultural science by building the institutional capacity of 1890 institutions.