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NIFA Invests Nearly $4M in Two New Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land-grant Institutions

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 11, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced today an investment of nearly $4 million for two new 1890 Centers of Excellence grants.

“The 1890 Centers of Excellence investments help increase rural prosperity and economic sustainability of food systems in underserved farming communities,” said NIFA Acting Director Dr. Dionne Toombs. “These grants continue to support projects that address critical needs for developing global food security and defense, enhance academic and career activities for students pursuing careers in food and agricultural sciences, and address vital needs in nutrition and health to improve the quality of life of underserved populations.”

The two 1890 Land-grant Institutions receiving the 1890 Centers of Excellence awards are Delaware State University and Tennessee State University:

  • The agricultural sector has been undergoing rapid transformation, driven by the powerful and interconnected impacts of climate change, demographic transitions and uneven economic growth. Delaware State University’s Center of Excellence in “Emerging Internet of Things (IOT) Technologies for Smart Agriculture” will collaborate with scientists from nine 1890 Institutions and use emerging technologies (such as robotics, drones and sensors) to further propel agricultural transformation through information and communication technologies in the cyber-physical farm management cycle. This work will promote a next generation workforce and equip small and minority farmers with needed knowledge to increase food production and profitability and improve resiliency to climate change. ($1,920,000)
  • Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture will collaborate with Alabama A&M University, Southern University, Florida A&M University and Langston University to host the 1890 Center of Excellence for “Natural Resources, Renewable Energy, and the Environment (COE-NREE): A Climate Smart Approach.” This will provide collaborative opportunities among 1890 Institutions to develop management practices that will conserve and promote natural resources, explore renewable energy sources, and develop climate smart agricultural production practices to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and improve environmental quality and sustainability. ($1,920,000)

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In FY2021, NIFA’s total investment was $1.96 billion.

Visit our website:; Twitter: @USDA_NIFA; LinkedIn: USDA-NIFA.


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Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture systems and technology
Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
Agriculture economics and rural communities

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