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Results and Impacts for 1890 Land-Grant Institutions Programs

1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program

The following represents results and impacts for the 1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program from activities that occurred between June 2003 and June 2005.

Alabama A&M University

The NIFA funding has enabled Alabama A&M University to incorporate advanced technology into the department's degree programs in Environmental Science, Soil Science, Forestry, and Plant Science. It established a minor (18 course credits) in Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS technology for each degree program in the School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The laboratory can accommodate 20 students for individual instruction or a maximum of 40 students (2 per computer) for introductory courses. The GIS laboratory is shared with faculty in the Department of Community Planning and Urban Studies to enhance courses and degree programs in Urban Planning.

Delaware State University

A NIFA teaching grant at Delaware State University (DSU) provides service-based field experience in resource management at Trap Pond State Park (TPSP) in Delaware. The project has linked DSU with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) headquarters in Dover, DE. In three short years, the research program at TPSP has become a major field program in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, providing an ongoing research area in which student projects and masters' theses can be developed and carried out. The equipment and field training provided by this project enabled DSU undergraduate and graduate students to participate in real-time research projects of present-day interest to resource managers in the state. This project played a central role in the rewriting of the undergraduate curriculum in Environmental Science and the masters' curriculum in Natural Resources. All students in the Environmental Science and Natural Resource education programs (30 majors as of 2003-2004) have been exposed to the equipment and newly modified curricula and courses. The project is providing valuable man-hours for park research and data sets that would otherwise not be obtained. Data from the project have been made available to the state for use in park management both at TPSP and at other parks in Delaware, and the data are being made available to the public on an outreach Web site.

Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) received two NIFA grants to establish an undergraduate degree program in Plant Science with a major in Biotechnology in 2001. Since its inception, FVSU has awarded scholarships ($2000/year) to 32 deserving students. Four new courses in Biotechnology/Genetic Engineering have been introduced. Twenty-eight students participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduate Program in Biotechnology during the academic year, working in the developed infrastructure facilities to perform cutting-edge research in Molecular biology/ biotechnology at Fort Valley State University. In addition to receiving hands-on experience in the laboratory, these students also participated in enrichment activities such as GRE workshops and interacted with distinguished speakers. The invited speakers represent regional diversities, federal labs and industry. FVSU has successfully established a partnership with major research institutions to provide summer research experiences for undergraduate students. Twenty-five (25) students travel to different destinations throughout the nation each summer. These students conduct independent research work and have made more than 45 scientific award-winning presentations at national meetings. Four students graduating with biotech training joined the graduate/professional schools for higher education in Biotechnology. In addition, these programs allowed FVSU to provide resources for more than 15 high school students to participate in the Summer Research Apprenticeship Program (SRAP). The funding helped the foundation to bring additional funding from other federal agencies such as NSF and EPA totaling over $3 million to strengthen technology, teaching, and research programs in Biotechnology under the Plant Science Department in the College of Agriculture, Economics, and Allied Programs.

North Carolina A&T State University

With funding from NIFA, North Carolina A&T established a centralized research facility integrating the use of state-of-the-art survey methodologies with computer and communication technologies. This Applied Survey Research Laboratory has the capacity to conduct and analyze mail, telephone, Web-based, self-administered, and face-to-face surveys, focus groups, and other survey research methodologies. In addition, North Carolina A&T's agricultural programs have infused instructional technologies throughout the curricula, and distance learning has become an alternative, yet very important, mode of instruction. Hands-on learning is greatly facilitated by access to "smart classrooms" (interactive whiteboards, multimedia cabinets, and software that facilitate teaching and research) and state-of-the-art laboratories. Finally, the program has allowed North Carolina A&T to establish a graduate program (M.S.) in International Trade.

Southern University and A&M College

Southern University and A&M College received a NIFA grant to enhance teaching and recruitment in Food and Fiber Sciences through computer technology. This project has had far-reaching impact in improving teaching and equipping students with the necessary skills they need for employment. The project provided funds to establish a modernized computer aided design laboratory in the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences. Computer hardware and software was purchased to integrate Computer-Aided-Design and Manufacturing for textiles (CAM/CAM), Computer-Aided Diet Analysis and menu planning, and use of the Internet in the curriculum. Textile students gained hands-on experience using high tech textile equipment. The University has recognized this project as one of the most innovative on campus. This project has also helped bring the University to national prominence. A second NIFA grant to conduct textiles research was won by Southern University as a direct result of this project. The capacity-building research project merges computer-aided-design and textile testing. Another very significant impact was a $1.8 million software donation from Lectra Systems, Inc. This donation places the Apparel Merchandising program at Southern University among a few select institutions worldwide that are using industry standard software. In addition, Dr. Grace Namwamba (PI) received the NASULGC Excellence in College Teaching for the Southern Region in 2003.

Tennessee State University

The NIFA funding has provided Tennessee State University with the ability to respond to stakeholder concerns in the southeast U.S. nursery industry. By establishing a program on integrated disease management for powdery mildew, improved flowering dogwood selections have been developed that will reduce homeowner dependence on chemical pesticides while improving the profitability of the regional nursery industry. The capacity-building grant program has facilitated the establishment of state-of-the-art equipment and collaborative linkages for research in nursery crop disease management.

University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff

NIFA funding has enhanced research and teaching needs in three areas at UAPB: agriculture, fisheries, and human sciences. Support of programs for student recruitment and retention, curriculum development, faculty and student development, and academic enrichment have greatly strengthened and increased enrollment. Capacity-building funds were instrumental in curriculum design, resource and equipment acquisition, and faculty development for 1) implementing the M.S. degree program in aquaculture/fisheries that enrolls 23 students, 2) creating the nutrition intervention and research program for the study of nutritional needs and food security of families in the Mississippi Delta, and 3) developing the only regulatory science degree program in the nation. The regulatory science program enrolls 27 students in three options: Agriculture, Industrial Health, and Safety and Environmental Biology.

University of Maryland - Eastern Shore

Capacity-building funds have allowed the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) to establish an impressive, collaborative, multi-state research nutrient management program focused on reducing phosphorus loading levels to the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Coastal Bays. This work provides protection for the economic viability of watermen and the tourism industry on the Delmarva Peninsula. Another NIFA grant is being used by the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to establish an interactive video teleconferencing classroom of courses. The department is partnering with Chesapeake Community and the Eastern Shore Community College in Virginia to offer courses leading to a bachelor's degree for students residing in remote areas on the Eastern Shore who are pursuing a career in child development.

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Evans-Allen 1890 Research Formula

The following represents results and impacts for the Evans-Allen 1890 Research Formula from activities that occurred between June 2003 and June 2005.

Alabama A&M University

Alabama A&M University is conducting research to study the various forms of phosphorus over time in poultry manure, or litter, amended soil, using cutting-edge technology to enhance management of animal waste applied to land. Discoveries will aid in the development of remediation strategies to reduce phosphorus mobility in soils. Fractionation studies are identifying differences in phosphorus levels at various soil depths using different treatment methods and advanced instrumentation testing.

Alcorn State University

The profitability of American agriculture is extremely important to the nation's vitality, yet rising input costs and low market prices for agricultural commodities increasingly jeopardize the industry's profitability. Since American producers have little ability to affect market prices, it is critical that they have and understand how to use new technologies that can optimize their input costs with respect to profits. Alcorn State University recently completed a project to monitor the growth of sweet potatoes to optimize production using remote sensing methods. This research shows that remote sensing, GPS/GIS, and ground truthing should help identify the most suitable areas in the field for high sweet potato yield and areas that are problematic. Results from the study will be helpful to small limited-resource producers, will assist extension in the application of the research findings, and will provide researchers with necessary tools for additional study.

Delaware State University

The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium is a resource center for researchers at Delaware State University. Researchers have included in the herbarium native and cultivated plants from across the globe. Those research specimens have been pressed, dried, and mounted on archival paper, then housed in a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled environment. The holdings are available to researchers, students, and the general public.

Florida A&M University

Development of environmentally sound sustainable practices is paramount to the successful growing of hot peppers, an alternative niche enterprise identified for small farmers. Florida A&M University researchers evaluated the effects of bio-solid waste material on plant growth and fruit yield of Scott Bonnett and Caribbean Red hot pepper varieties and on quality characteristics of the soil on which the crop is grown. Results showed that poultry manure, mushroom compost, and earthworm castings produced fruit yield that were numerically, but not statistically, different compared to fruit yield from inorganic fertilizer treatment, but significantly higher compared to fruit yield from control treatment. Fruit yield from cow manure was significantly lower than all other treatments except the control.

Fort Valley State University

Sweet potato potential for human nutrition and future energy needs can be realized through the application of biotechnology, but a reliable in vitro regeneration would be required for the application of recombinant DNA technology. Fort Valley State University completed a research project to develop an efficient tissue regeneration system via organogenesis and embryogenesis for sweet potato and to transfer genes of desirable traits into sweet potato using recombinant DNA technology. Establishment of reliable and efficient plant regeneration protocol and gene delivery protocol for sweet potato will ensure introduction of the designed “value added” genes into this crop through genetic engineering.

Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University researchers developed a program to grow freshwater shrimp in farm ponds to further reduce the state's dependence on tobacco. Economic analyses indicate net incomes of between $2,500 and $4,500 per acre for freshwater shrimp. So far, 18 farmers have adopted the practice, bringing the total additional income derived from shrimp to about $185,250 annually.

Langston University

Langston University continues its research on goat production. A recent study showed that the number of Boer crossbred meat goats has been increasing rapidly, although how their growth and harvest traits compare with those of Spanish goats and influences of maternal genotype has not been thoroughly evaluated. This information would be useful to achieve optimal meat goat production systems and yield of goat products desired by consumers. Langston University 's scientists studied post-weaning growth and harvest traits of Boer x Spanish, Spanish, and Boer x Angora wethers consuming a concentrate-based diet. Research shows that live weight gain was greater for Boer crossbreds than for Spanish wether goats, with little or no difference between Boer x Spanish and Boer x Angora goats. Because of more rapid growth of Boer crossbreds than Spanish goats, weights of the carcass and primal cuts were greater or tended to be greater for Boer crossbreds.

Lincoln University

Lincoln University is investigating an indoor water recirculating aquaculture system for the production of bluegill sunfish. There is a high demand for 5- to 6-inch bluegill for pond stocking. Producing suitable sized bluegill for pond stocking, however, requires an inordinate amount of time and increased labor costs because variable growth requires continual sorting and grading to obtain fish of a desirable size. The research is aimed at raising bluegill fingerlings over winter in controlled temperature systems that will produce 5- to 6-inch fingerlings by spring to meet current market demands.

North Carolina A&T State University

Greensboro waters drain into the Jordan Lake, an essential drinking water supply in the Chapel Hill-Raleigh-Durham area. The lake is a “nutrient sensitive water,” since it has a nutrient over-enrichment problem. North Carolina A&T State University is in its second year of a study to determine sources of nutrients coming into the Jordan Lake so best management practices can be implemented to remove nutrients draining into the lake. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model inputs were collected for the farm. A nearly complete set of SWAT peer-reviewed literature has been listed on the project's Web site, providing SWAT users a centralized source for information.

Prairie View A&M University

Goats are an important livestock species in many parts of the world and their prevalence in the U.S. is rapidly increasing. Nonetheless, knowledge of goat nutrient requirements lags behind that of cattle and sheep. To help with this, a database of treatment means observations from goat feeding/nutrition studies was constructed and used to develop and describe nutrient requirements of goats by scientists at Prairie View A&M University. Research will yield more knowledge about accurate estimates of nutrient requirements of goats, including composition of tissue being accreted or mobilized, changes in maintenance energy requirements with advancing maturity and differences among nutritional planes, energy costs of activity, and conditions influencing the supply of ruminally under grade protein. A clearer understanding of these factors is being revealed and will improve feeding programs as well increase accuracy of predicting performance by goats.

South Carolina State University

South Carolina State University purchased a mobile technology learning center with NIFA funds. The customized Winnebago, which travels across the state, is equipped with a 12-station Internet-ready computer lab, a child development classroom, dual generators, a satellite, and an instructor workstation. By design, the mobile technology center delivers the services that 1890 Extension provides such as 4-H and youth development, family life and nutrition, adult leadership and community development, small farm assistance, and computer literacy classes to citizens. The mobile center also provides 1890 Extension with the opportunity to take programs to the people and enhances efforts to address the digital divide.

Southern University

Southern University is furthering research into the effects on animal performance of grazing cattle and goats together and separately. The goal of this project is to assist small and limited-resource producers in increasing their production and economic base by efficiently using the available natural and farm resources. Results of this project are determining the most efficient method of resource use by two or more species.

Tennessee State University

Production efficiency of the doe herd is a major determinant of annual income in a commercial meat goat enterprise; however, doe performance has received little attention when assessing new meat goat breeds in the United States. Most pastures in the Southeast have endophyte-infected tall fescue, posing a risk of endophyte-induced reductions in animal performance. Tennessee State University has undertaken a project to evaluate doe-kid performance for economically important reproductive and growth traits as influenced by breed and forage type. The study recognizes that understanding genetic diversity among breeds for economically important traits and endophyte effects on goat performance can aid in enhancing meat goat herd productivity. Further results of this study should provide producers with information useful for genetic management and breed selection within seedstock and commercial meat goat operations.

Tuskegee University

Land loss phenomena and efforts to recoup it continue to be a challenge for African American farmers and other minority communities in Alabama and the rural South. Rural communities and the underserved families in the Black Belt region have problems accessing government programs. Access of programs and policies affecting the underserved in the Black Belt region of Alabama are being assessed by Tuskegee University. The approach involves multidisciplinary teams within the social sciences, as well as among the social sciences, Cooperative Extension, and continuing education. Target areas are being assessed in terms of economic growth, equity, and quality of life as they apply to sustainable rural development. As a result of the study, specific policies, strategic directions, and programs will be proposed to enhance the potential for sustainable rural development, and a database including a “State of Black Belt ” report will be generated on each of the target areas.

University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff

Insect damage to alternative crops produced by small and limited-resource farmers has a significant effect on production. University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff scientists have conducted studies to evaluate Bt sweet corn insect suppression and initiate Bt gene field corn trials, work on bionomic and integrated pest management (IPM) methods for cowpeas in Arkansas, and evaluate insects on new lines of hot peppers. They have also evaluated insect infestation on promising pigeon pea lines, designed an IPM system for control, conducted verification trials on hot peppers and pigeonpeas, and constructed an economic model of production costs. This research has developed a sufficient data base needed to develop insect management and control strategy for multicrop production by limited-resource farmers.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has established a private/public partnership with Bell Nursery to help the university and its constituents enhance economic development opportunities for surrounding rural communities. The 2.5-acre hydroponic greenhouse was funded at $3.2 million through NIFA, state, county, university and private industry funds to engage in floral production that links the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a commercial business. The hydroponic greenhouse project sponsored by the University's Rural Development Center and Small Farm Institute is demonstrating that, through formal alliances, economic development strategies can bring needed resources to the Delmarva Peninsula of Maryland.

Virginia State University

In the United States, the need for healthful food is a driving force in the search for nutritious alternative crops. Among the alternative vegetable crops, soybean has the distinction of being low in saturated fat and active in reducing blood cholesterol level. Direct consumption of vegetable soybean is very popular in the Orient; however, the cultivars used in Asia are not adapted to U.S. production systems. Virginia State University recently completed a study to determine the physiological and/or chemical basis of vegetable soybean that could serve as reliable indicators in predicting the proper stage of harvest; to develop vegetable soybean with large seed size, high seed yield, and with desirable agronomic traits and nutritional values; and to identify vegetable soybean cultivar ideotypes that fit into mechanical harvesting.

West Virginia State University

Societies worldwide produce large quantities of waste organic matter. This material arises from human population growth, industrial byproducts, and agricultural sources, such as animal farms. The overall goal of the environmental microbiology program at West Virginia State University is to understand the fundamental microbial processes that produce anaerobic digestion and to apply this knowledge to improve the control and performance of anaerobic digesters. The scientists found that the organic waste bioconversion process can also transform agricultural industrial organic wastes into a valuable agricultural commodity (fertilizer) and renewable energy (methane).

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1890 Extension Formula

The following represents results and impacts for the 1890 Extension Formula from activities that occurred between June 2003 through June 2005.

Delaware State University

The Delaware State University 's Cooperative Extension staff annually participates in Coast Day at the University of Delaware Marine Sciences Lab in Lewes , DE. Information is provided to several thousand people who attend. Media presentations and demonstrations provide information on feeding, diseases, and management for aquacultural species, including oysters, crayfish, and smallmouth bass.

Kentucky State University

Kentucky State University aquaculture researchers and extension specialists assist catfish farmers in western Kentucky who have more than 400 acres stocked with catfish. A local Aquaculure Cooperative operates a processing plant with an average of 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of catfish processed each week. These farmers are expected to supply more than a million pounds of catfish in one year.

North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina A&T State University provides educational resources to improve farm business management skills so that limited-resource, small and part-time farmers can increase their incomes from direct marketing. The program is designed so that program participants learn through practices, discussions, role play, planning, and implementation. It monitors and reports results and uses evaluation for constant program improvement.

South Carolina State University

The Extension Beef Cattle Improvement Project (BCIP) at South Carolina State University has provided assistance to 111 small beef cattle producers in production, improving bloodline, marketing, decision making, and risk and enterprise management. One hundred eighteen heifers and 18 bulls have been placed on limited-resource farms to date. Ninety-two farmers are enrolled in this initiative. Fifty-eight families have been assisted through the animal Pass-on-Project, with 62 heifers and 3 bulls being passed on to these families. The BCIP participants can effectively compete on the beef cattle market. The top 10% of these participants receive premium prices for their products. The most important accomplishment is that participants have increased their knowledge of quality production (breed selection to improve their bloodline) and, as a result, have increased their farm income by 40 percent to 50 percent.

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1890 Facilities Grant Program

The following represents results and impacts for the 1890 Facilities Grant Program from activities that occurred between June 2003 and June 2005.

Delaware State University

The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium is a 3,672 square foot building completed in 1999. The Herbarium is the largest at a historically black college or university. With approximately 106,000 specimens, it ranks 87th out of 525 herbaria in the United States and is an active center for education and research. It includes native and cultivated plants that are pressed, dried, and mounted on archival paper as well as some pickled plant specimens. The facility encloses special holding cases in a climate-controlled environment. Scientists, gardeners, educators, students, physicians, and lawyers regularly consult these holdings for identification and education.

North Carolina A&T University

The Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina A&T State University faced many new challenges as it moved into the new millennium. The extension program, as well as the academic and research programs, needed to address such challenges as sustainable agriculture and its effect on the environment, biotechnology and its applications to the food chain, burgeoning information technologies, economic revitalization of rural communities, and increased accessibility to international markets. Facilities needs had to be addressed to plan for meeting these challenges. Coltrane Hall, headquarters for the Cooperative Extension program, was constructed in 1951. With funds from NIFA, the university developed and executed plans for construction and renovation of Coltrane Hall. The first floor was renovated, and a second floor added on top of the original first floor, using an open space design. Footage for the second floor equaled that of the first floor - 11,521 square feet. The second level features a building face of smoked glass.

Prairie View A&M University

Before receiving the facilities funds, agricultural research at Prairie View A&M University was conducted in facilities built in the early 1940s and 1950s that were designed primarily for teaching. The E.B. Evans Animal Industries building, a 28,000 square foot facility built in the early 1950s, served as the primary Agriculture Teaching and Research facility. This facility did not have the size nor proper design for research, and an inadequate electrical system, poor ventilation, and outdated plumbing could not accommodate state-of-the-art research equipment. Therefore, faculty/research scientists were hampered in their efforts to carry out effective research projects. The funds received were used to construct a new state-of-the-art research laboratory, along with several auxiliary buildings. The Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Building, completed in 1988, serves as the primary research laboratory for research in the food and agricultural sciences, as well as headquarters for the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center. Auxiliary buildings built with these funds include a poultry complex, a swine complex, a feed mill, greenhouse/headhouse complex, and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and furnishings.

Southern University

Southern University has completed two facilities. The Ashford O. Williams Hall is a two-story, 55,160 square foot building consisting of more than 45 offices and cubicles to house the research and extension faculty, staff, and administrators; telecommunication equipment with graphics, television, and distance learning components; and more than 20 research labs. The Maurice A. Edmond Livestock Arena has more than 58,943 square feet consisting of a regulation horse ring and swine, sheep, and beef cattle stables. These facilities greatly enhance the capability to conduct research and extend extension programs.

Tennessee State University

Facilities funds at Tennessee State University have been used to renovate an old dairy barn into a contemporary agricultural research and extension complex of 46,220 square feet. The complex provides a multi-purpose meeting room, Docu Tech printing area, storage rooms, first and second floor conference rooms, and offices. This modern facility has enhanced the planning, implementing, and evaluating of educational programs, increased technology for extension program delivery, and increased programming and program visibility among decision makers, stakeholders, and clientele groups. The university's educational programs in agriculture and natural resources, community resource development, 4-H and youth development, and family and consumer sciences have been made more visible, allowing the university to serve a larger clientele base.

University of Maryland - Eastern Shore

The swine facility at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore was constructed with NIFA facilities funds. Research conducted there involves growth, reproduction, and meat quality. The facility includes a 60-sow, total confinement farrow-to-finish unit that includes a metabolism room with crates adaptable for swine, sheep, and goats and other rooms that can accommodate the individual housing and feeding of swine, sheep, or goats as necessary for many experiments. All sows are bred using artificial insemination. Pregnant sows are group-housed in a large pen serviced by a computerized sow feeding apparatus. The facility includes a surgery suite used for hormonal studies to improve reproduction efficiency. The facility has had a positive impact on the Maryland eastern shore farming community. Research results have been generated and disseminated through field days, conferences, workshops, extension bulletins, and scientific journals. The construction of this facility and its equipment provided the necessary infrastructure to engage not only in cutting- edge research, but it provided the resources to enhance undergraduate and graduate courses in biotechnology and molecular biology. The facility also was an attraction for the support from the swine industry and allowed the university to partner with that industry and other agricultural constituents in research, teaching, and outreach activities.

 

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