USDA Assistant Secretary Brown visits Central State University, discusses new AG training and technology opportunities

Brown and USDA Dep. Secretary Jewel Bronaugh met with staff, students and farmers

WILBERFORCE, Ohio – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Assistant Secretary Jewel Bronaugh visited Central State University, a historically black university in the Land-Grant University System. HBCUs like Central State are nurturing the next generation of agricultural leaders, leading advances in science and technology in the field, and promoting the growth of urban agriculture in Ohio communities. After the tour, Brown and Deputy Sec. Bronaugh hosted a roundtable with central state students and faculty as well as local farmers, to review priorities ahead as the Senate prepares for the next Farm Bill.

“As we look to the next Farm Bill, I will work with my colleagues on ways to support the important research being done at Central State and other 1890 Land Grant Institutions across the country. Hearing from you today is the first step in this process,” Brown told the roundtable. “One of my most important jobs is to listen – we’ve held hundreds of these roundtables across the state – and that’s why we’re here today to listen and learn how we can work together. .”

“1890 land-grant institutions such as Central State University are both integral to the communities they serve and are at the forefront of exciting, cutting-edge advances in agricultural science and technology,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Jewel Bronaugh. “I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit CSU this afternoon with Senator Brown, who championed CSU’s land grant status in the 2014 Farm Bill, to meet with students and faculty. and highlight the investments the USDA is making to strengthen the meaningful and transformative work these institutions do every day – from developing the next generation of diverse leaders in agriculture to conducting research to address agricultural challenges. Working tirelessly to help our communities build back better and advance equity in agriculture, equipping 1890 institutions with the resources they need will continue to be a top priority for the Department.

Brown and under-dry. Bronaugh met with students and faculty, toured the facility, and highlighted federal efforts to invest in 1890 land-grant institutions, support farmers and agriculture, support research infrastructure at institutions like Central State and develop career paths for diverse future agriculture leaders.

“We appreciate Senator Brown’s continued support of historically black colleges and universities and especially Central State University as an 1890 Land-Grant institution. Central State University is committed to providing its students with a world-class education with an emphasis on careers that span the fields of agriculture, science, and engineering. We are committed to the 1890 Land Grant Mission and look forward to strengthening our partnerships with the United States Department of Agriculture and the State of Ohio. Our goal is to be Ohio’s first land-grant university in 1890,” said Central State Chairman Dr. Jack Thomas.

“In the state of Ohio, agriculture is one of the heartbeats of the state’s economy. Agriculture is not just a business, an industry and a means of commerce, it is a way of life. At Central State University, we are doing our part to contribute to and preserve this way of life,” said F. Erik Brooks, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Central State.

“Here at the College of Engineering Science Technology and Agriculture at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, we are committed to carrying out the tripartite land-grant mission of our institution 1890 Land Grant. We know that Senator Brown is committed to helping us serve our underserved minority students, women small business owners and leaders, landowners, farmers, ranchers and state veterans of Ohio”, said Dr. Michelle Corley, dean of the College of Engineering, Science, Technology and Agriculture and director of the 1890 land-grant programs at Central State.

“I greatly appreciate Senator Brown’s dedicated work with the USDA in supporting Ohio’s agricultural industry, especially family farmers. His passionate interest and deep understanding of environmental concerns, including soil health and water supply security, are invaluable to the citizens of our country. Both the USDA and Senator Brown have a deep commitment to supporting minority farmers, the local food movement, and urban farming initiatives. This visit to Central State University is a demonstration of their strong support for sustainable agriculture and the vital role of black educational institutions in providing healthy food and solving pressing environmental issues,” said William Miller, vice president of the Ohio Farmers Union, vice chairman of the USDA’s Minority Ranchers and Farmers Advisory Committee and local organic farmer.

“I appreciate Senator Brown’s dedicated work with the USDA to support Ohioans and Black farmers through the programs developed and investments secured at Central State. The CSU Extension is fully committed to restoring the agricultural wisdom that can build personal family resilience and reduce food insecurity in our beloved community,” said Omopé “Mama O” Carter Daboiku, farm manager at Edgemont Solar Garden in Dayton.

In December, Brown announced that the 2022 fiscal year passed by the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report includes a version of their bipartisan Building equitable access to contribute to our national security (BEACON) Law, legislation to expand Department of Defense (DoD) research funding opportunities for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority institutions (MIs). This includes Central State University and Wilberforce University in Ohio, and Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Virginia University of Lynchburg in Virginia. The Department funds basic research at institutions of higher education, and Brown’s legislation would ensure HBCU students get the resources and research opportunities to succeed in STEM and other related careers. Brown filed an amended version of the BEACON Act as an amendment during Senate consideration of the NDAA.
Brown has been work to secure critical investments for 1890 Land-Grant institutions like Central State University at Wilberforce, securing An additional $3 million for research under a spending program passed by the Senate in 2019. The funds are earmarked for research at Centers of Excellence, which Brown won as part of the 2018 Farm Bill which was enacted in December 2018. Designated lead universities in each Center of Excellence are required to develop public-private partnerships, ensure that their research activities provide increased access and economic returns to farmers and to rural communities, and contribute to reducing poverty, health disparities and the economic vulnerability of local communities.
For more than 100 years, Central State University was denied 1890 Land-Grant status, meaning it was ineligible for funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its scientific research. innovative. Brown got a retainer in the 2018 Farm Bill that correct the omission and increased the amount of formula funding the central state can receive from the USDA, without compromising funding for any other 1890 Land-Grant institution.
Last year, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded $1,005,263 in scholarships to Central State University. The award is part of a $19 million grant for 1890 land-grant institutions. This annual funding was made available by Brown’s bipartisan struggle to secure $80 million in the 2018 Farm Bill for new agriculture-focused scholarships for Land-Grant HBCUs, including Central State University at Wilberforce. In total, between fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2021, the central state received $1,757,895.16 in scholarships from NIFA grants.


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