WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that they secured a provision in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, to increase research funding for Central State University. 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. Brown and Portman’s provision corrects that oversight and increases the amount of formula funding that Central State will be able to receive from USDA, while not jeopardizing the funding of any other 1890 Land Grant. The House is set to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, then it heads to the President’s desk for final signature.

“Our amendment is a commonsense fix to a historical oversight, and it will ensure that 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 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.” 

 As a member of the committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, Brown has 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 Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to create six Centers for Excellence and Leadership on campuses like Central State. The 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 Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).

Learn more about the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, here.