WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced he secured a number of key priorities to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in a Senate spending package. The package consisted of four appropriations bills and included Brown’s amendment to provide an additional $3 million investment for research at Historically Black 1890 Land-Grant institutions. The funds will go toward research at Centers for Excellence on campuses like Central State University in Wilberforce. Brown took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to demand inclusion of this amendment in the Senate bill, which he introduced with Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
The package passed the Senate today. The House has already passed its own version. The differences between the two bills will be reconciled in a conference committee and Brown will continue fighting to secure these wins for Ohio
“1890 Land-Grant HBCUs have fostered generations of African American students, farmers, and scientists who would have otherwise been denied opportunities due to segregation,” said Brown. “This key investment will ensure institutions like Central State University can continue training the next generation of agricultural leaders.”
Brown secured creation of the Centers for Excellence at 1890 Land-grant universities, as part of the 2018 Farm Bill that was signed into law in December 2018. The designated lead universities at each center are required to develop public-private partnerships, to ensure that their research activities provide increased access and economic returns to farmers and rural communities, and to contribute to poverty reduction, and reduce health disparities and economic vulnerability of local communities. Additionally, the legislation authorized $50 million in federal funding over five years to be divided evenly between the centers.
As a member of the conference committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, Brown authored and fought to secure investments that will ensure the 1890s can expand their research capacity and outreach in the coming years.
Brown was also able to ensure research and extension funding included in the 2018 Farm Bill, remained at the same levels previously set.
In April, Brown led his colleagues in urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund programs supporting 1890 Land-grant universities, and pressed the committee to build on the investments made in the 2018 Farm Bill by providing stable funding that ensures 1890 institutions remain on the cutting edge of agricultural research and innovation.