New Farm Bill Provides a Windfall for Land-Grant HBCUs

The farm bill recently approved by Congress provides a wealth of benefits for historically Black colleges and universities. A provision in the new bill will allow about 20 state-operated land grant HBCUs to carry over extension funds that were not used to subsequent years. Previously, the HBCUs could only carry over 20 percent of unused funds.

The new bill also requires states to match dollar-for-dollar federal funds allocated to HBCU land grant universities and report their funding to Congress. An earlier report found that more than three-fifths of HBCUs did not receive the state funding that they deserved to receive.

In addition, the farm bill includes $40 million in new funding for scholarships at all land grant HBCUs. Thus, each school will receive about $2 million annually for the next five years that will be earmarked for student scholarships.

Finally, the legislation calls for the establishment of Centers of Excellence on at least three HBCU campuses. Roughly $10 million will be allocated each year to establish these new centers that will conduct research on a particular agricultural issue. The secretary of agriculture will decide where the new centers will be established.

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