PLAY AUDIO

We’ll bet you didn’t know that the USDA, mostly known to consumers as the part of the government that inspects our food supply, is also involved in education. Well, USDA secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that his office will be giving over $35 million to 21 historically black college and universities, the so called land-grant HBCU’s. Like other large universities including Rutgers, Penn State and others all around the country, these are schools that received land through federal grants in 1890, setting up the public college system we know today.

“Great schools, great universities, great colleges helping out kids all over the country,” Vilsack told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “Twenty-one colleges in 19 states and two territories, including the District of Columbia. Our National Institute of Food and Agriculture gives out money every year for research; for extension, for teaching capacity, for buildings and facilities in a number of areas. Today we’re announcing 76 total grants amounting to $35 million for a number of these historically Black universities and colleges.

To Tom Joyner’s delight, one of the schools receiving funds is his alma mater, Tuskegee University.

“This will affect about 18 schools give or take,” Vilsack said. “I’ll just give you an example. Tuskegee – that’s a pretty good school to pick out. I received an honorary degree from Tuskegee so that’s my favorite. I don’t know how you feel about that, Tom.”

Tom, of course, had to respond to the good news. “I actually earned a degree,” he said. “It took me a while, but I earned it.”

Vilsack detailed the grants that Tuskegee will receive. The school, which is known for its agricultural program of study, will receive over $2 million in grants.

“They are getting five separate grants. They’re getting two extension grants for nearly a million dollars, there’s two teaching grants for nearly a million dollars and a building grant that’s almost a million dollars.” The grants are applied to each HBCU recipient in a number of ways, explains Vilsack.

“There are a few different pots. The research extension and teaching capacity pot needs to go into some priority areas. Maybe you’re looking at food security, they may be looking at childhood obesity prevention, they may be looking into food safety issues or climate change or bio-energy issues, so they help the students learn about those issues and provide resources. On the building facilities side, it really is about food science facilities. They may have a lab, they may have a science center that’s dedicated to food science. This [money] helps to equip the facility or build the facility. It can also go into libraries.”

Vilsack says the federal government is committed to providing funds for education and that the HBCU’s are an important part of that package.

“Since 2009, we’ve invested $647 million in those facilities and it’s a great investment.”

The following is a list of HBCU’s around the country and the specific grants they’ve received. Check the list to see if your school or alma mater is included and what funds they’ll receive.

NIFA is awarding $17,691,148 through the 1890 CBG Program, including:

Research:

  • Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware: $299,938 (1 award)
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida: $300,000 (1 award)
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia: $499,744 (1 award)
  • Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky: $504,640 (1 award)
  • Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: $784,876 (2 awards)
  • Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri: $999,213 (2 awards)
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina: $898,618 (3 awards)
  • Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma: $600,000 (1 award)
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee: $899,624 (3 awards)
  • Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia: $590,470 (2 awards)
  • West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia: $444,346 (1 award)

 Extension

  • Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama: $549,293 (2 awards)
  • Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama: $949,979 (2 awards)
  • Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware: $452368 (2 awards)
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia: $248,300 (1 award)
  • Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: $499,999 (2 awards)
  • University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Maryland: $250,000 (1 award)
  • Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi: $249,262 (1 award)
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina: $249,998 (1 award)
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee: $498,683 (2 awards)
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas: $249,251 (1 award)
  • West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia: $598,556 (1 award)

 Teaching

  • Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama: $1,149,050 (4 awards)
  • Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama: $299,991 (2 awards)
  • Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware: $749,951 (2 awards)
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida: $147,696
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia: $392,140 (2 awards)
  • Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky: $1,349,997 (3 awards)
  • Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi: $149,946 (1 award)
  • Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missoui: $299,807 (2 awards)
  • North Carolina State A&T University, Greensboro, North Carolina: $431,738 (3 awards)
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee: $150,000 (1 award)
  • Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia: $300,000 (1 award)
  • West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia: $653,674 (2 awards)

The 1890 Facilities Grants Program provides funds for acquiring and improving food sciences facilities and equipment, including libraries. Grants equip 1890 land-grant universities to fully address research, Extension and academic needs.

NIFA is awarding $18,204,579 through the 1890 Facilities Grants Program, including:

  • Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama: $965,935
  • Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama: $965,936
  • University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas: $895,228
  • Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware: $685,691
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida: $904,734
  • Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia: $904,734
  • Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky: $1,123,637
  • Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: $841,111
  • University of Maryland- Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Maryland: $782,708
  • Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi: $900,178
  • Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri: $1,145,073
  • North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina: $1,137,940
  • Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma: $951,107
  • South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina: $890,638
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee: $1,061,437
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas: $1,424,221
  • Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia: $981,494
  • West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia: $800,018

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