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Langston University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) birthed as an agricultural education institution, will receive $1.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for research and development projects.
According to the Monday announcement, USDA is providing $33million to support capacity-building efforts at 1890 Land-grant universities. The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will support research at 82 projects across 19 HBCUs designated as 1890 Land-grant universities.
Langston will receive grants for three specific projects totaling $1.5 million.
“The work these universities will take on as a result of this funding have ripple effects far beyond the walls of their laboratories and classrooms,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small.
“Through this investment, the Biden-Harris administration is helping deliver real-life, applicable solutions to make our food system stronger, while at the same time inspiring a next generation of students and scientists who will help us meet tomorrow’s agricultural challenges,” Small added.
The support for Langston University and others comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Affirmative Action, which is leading to an expected surge in HBCU admissions despite the schools having less resources. In addition, it comes after reports that have shown HBCUs have been drastically underfunded by both state and federal governments over the last several decades.
What is a land-grant university?
Universities designated as land-grant institutions refers to the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, in which the federal government provided land for states to establish universities for research purposes. The states were required to integrate their schools, yet by 1889, many states had instead established separate and unequal schools for Black students.
The failure to integrate led to the second passage of the act in 1890, which established annual federally funding for each state’s land-grant university.
A report from Forbes last year found Black land-grant universities have been underfunded by $12.8 billion over the last few decades.
HBCU Langston University to receive $1.5 million for research projects
Langston will receive three separate grants for related projects. A $149,785 grant will go toward capacity-building opportunities for careers in food, agriculture, natural and human sciences.
A $300,000 grant will go toward developing a simple method to measure methane emission by goats for on-farm use, and a $600,000 grant will be used to form an integrated model for teaching excellence: A learner-centered education in agriculture through culturally relevant engagement partnerships.
In a state that has decreased funding for higher education for years, and one in which State Superintendent Ryan Walters is seeking to trample on DEI efforts, the federal funding for Langston University comes as a much needed financial boost.