An Unlikely University Recipient of Federal Government Farm Aid

The massive federal agricultural appropriations bill recently passed by Congress provides billions of dollars of support to farmers in the nation’s heartland. But the bill also provides $10 million in grants to the University of the District of Columbia, the public university of a 68-square-mile political entity, much of which is paved over in asphalt or concrete.

Under the bill, the University of the District of Columbia can receive up to $10 million for its agriculture and cooperative extension programs. As a land-grant institution, the university is required to offer agricultural programs. Research programs in nutrition, pest control, and backyard urban gardening will likely be funded.

The University of the District of Columbia also operates a 143-acre farm where a wide range of agriculture research is conducted. The farm is located in Beltsville, Maryland, on land donated by the Department of Agriculture.