Brown, Portman Secure Bipartisan Provision in Farm Bill to Assist Central State University

Senators Secured Amendment that would Ensure Central State Receives Increased Funding from USDA that it was Previously Denied

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today secured an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill that would assist Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. For more than 100 years, Central State University was denied 1890 Land Grant status, meaning it was ineligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its innovative scientific research. In 2014, Brown and Portman, along with Reps. Fudge, Beatty, and Turner, helped correct that injustice in the last Farm Bill by ensuring Central State received land grant status.

Now, the Senators have secured in this year’s Senate Farm Bill an amendment that would increase the amount of formula funding that Central State will be able to receive from USDA, while not jeopardizing the funding of any other schools.

“Our amendment is a commonsense fix to a historical oversight, to make sure one of Ohio’s great universities gets its fair share of federal education dollars,” said Brown.

“Central State University serves an important role in food and ag research and development in Wilberforce and throughout Ohio,” said Senator Portman.Central State deserves to be treated in the same way as other historically black colleges when it comes to accessing federal funding under the Farm Bill, and I was pleased this important amendment was included.” 

Brown has also been fighting to ensure Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like Central State University are able to expand their research capacity and outreach in this year’s Farm Bill. Brown secured an amendment in the Senate Agriculture Committee, of which he is a member, to create six Centers for Excellence and Leadership on campuses like Central State. Brown’s amendment was based on the bipartisan REAL Opportunity Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).

The Senate’s bipartisan Farm Bill is being considered by the Senate this week and could pass as soon as tonight.

More information on the Senate bill can be found HERE. Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years.