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Black History Month

Recognizing NIFA’s Work Enhancing Equality

Nifa Authors
Lori Tyler Gula, Senior Public Affairs Specialist
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

As we recognize and celebrate Black History Month, we highlight the work of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and its Land-grant University partners in advancing racial justice, equity, and opportunity.

Supporting 1890 Centers of Excellence and 1890 Scholars

NIFA's programs work to strengthen research, Extension, and education in the food and agricultural sciences by helping build the institutional capacities of 1890 Land-grant Institutions – consisting of 19 universities. Within the program, NIFA’s 1890 Centers of Excellence Program provides support for Centers of Excellence that were originally established in 2015. These programs aim to increase rural prosperity in underserved farming communities, address critical need for international training and development, and increase diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Through the 1890 Scholarships Program, NIFA encourages outstanding students at 1890 Land-grant Institutions to pursue and complete bachelor’s degrees in the food and agricultural sciences and related fields such as nutrition, dietetics, and marriage and family studies. Learn more.

Celebrating the Agricultural Impacts of 1890 Land-grant Universities

NIFA supports research at 1890 Land-grant Universities that promotes health and wellness, prevents chronic disease, eliminates disparities, and builds a culture of health. Established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890, these 19 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), along with the two HBCU Land-grant Universities established in the original 1862 legislation – University of the District of Columbia and University of the Virgin Islands – are a critical link in ensuring public access to agricultural education, research, and outreach programs are equitable. Read more.

Investing to Expand Reach and Increase Adoption of Climate-Smart Practices
With a new investment in Cooperative Extension and USDA Climate Hubs partnerships, NIFA is bolstering climate research and connecting and sharing climate-smart solutions directly with underserved communities in agriculture.

Ohio State University and the Midwest Climate Hub, plus multiple universities, will work to increase Midwest adoption of regionally scalable climate-smart activities. The project will improve shared understanding of needs of the Midwest’s diverse stakeholders, develop shared roadmaps for livestock and cropping systems, elevate perspectives and voices of underserved communities including African American and indigenous communities, and strengthen climate science infrastructure through a re-imagined Extension-Midwest Climate Hub partnership.

The USDA Caribbean Climate Hub is partnering with minority-serving universities, including the University of Puerto Rico and the University of the Virgin Islands Extension, and nonprofits to help historically underserved communities throughout the U.S. Caribbean and other coastal areas adapt to a rapidly changing climate and extreme weather events. They will develop education and Extension programs aimed at increasing climate literacy as well as helping land managers employ climate-smart agriculture and forestry techniques. Educational materials will be created in Spanish and English. Read more.


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