Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FAMU Awarded $225,079 Grant from USDA

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide Florida A&M University (FAMU) with a $225,079 grant to address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers and enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of the U.S. agriculture.

FAMU was one of the 29 institutions USDA chose to award more than $17 million in grants for this cause.

“FAMU is one of two 1890 Land Grant Institutions that received an award from this program,” said Ray Mobley, director of extension programs. “Although we are pleased for this award, we are very much aware of the work to be done to address issues particularly related to our clientele. I am appreciative of the work of our team led by Ms. Vonda Richardson, extension marketing specialist. We are determined to provide the best support to our Beginning Farmers and Ranchers program.”

“Beginning farmers and ranchers face unique challenges and need educational and training programs to enhance their profitability and long term sustainability,” Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. “The training and education provided through these grants will help ensure the success of the next generation of farmers and ranchers as they work to feed people in their local communities and throughout the world.”

The grants were awarded through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA, formerly the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). BFRDP is an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help U.S. farmers and ranchers, specifically those who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or fewer.

FAMU was one of the two universities in Florida, the other being University of Florida, and one of two historically black colleges and universities, the other being Langston University, in the nation to be awarded this particular grant.

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