The Senate last week passed a bill that makes modest modifications to farm programs and which now heads to the House.

The legislation renews farm programs such as crop insurance and land conservation. Farm programs are set to expire Sept. 30 unless Congress acts.

But one of the things in that bill, thanks to the efforts of Ohio’s two senators, has corrected an oversight that excluded financial benefits for one of the state’s two historically black universities.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, and Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, worked together to secure an amendment to the farm bill for Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

In a joint news release on the bipartisan effort, the senators said that for more than 100 years, Central State was denied 1890 land-grant status, meaning it was ineligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its innovative scientific research.

Portman and Brown, along with Ohio U.S. Reps. Marcia Fudge, Joyce Beatty and Mike Turner, “helped correct that injustice in the last farm bill in 2014 by ensuring Central State received land-grant status.”

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