MACON, Ga. — On June 16, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing with presidents of the 1890 Land Grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities to discuss making permanent $80 million in scholarships authorized under the 2018 farm bill. Fort Valley State University (FVSU) President Dr. Paul Jones was among the HBCU presidents who testified.
“This funding is already helping but there is more work to be done. I fully intend, and am working on a bill right now, to make these scholarships permanent,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Georgia), a graduate of Florida A&M University, one of the 19 1890 Land Grant schools. “This is a much-needed investment in the future of our food production. Furthermore, investing in the 1890 Centers of Excellence is essential as they mold talented young minds for our food and agricultural sector, to ensure the success and prosperity of our smaller farmers and ranchers, and fighting hunger across the globe.”
Scott pointed out that the American Rescue Plan included funds to be used at 1890 Institutions to support agricultural research, education, and Extension. These Extension services at 1890 institutions serve a variety of agricultural needs in rural and socially disadvantaged communities.
Jones said the scholarship program has boosted enrollment in FVSU’s college of agriculture.
“This new 1890 Scholarship Program created in the 2018 farm bill helps us to develop a highly skilled workforce, and I’m pleased to report that we have seen significant enrollment increases during this past year,” Jones said. “Fort Valley State awarded 76 scholarships this past year, which resulted in a 22% increase in our undergraduate enrollment in the college of agriculture. We firmly believe that had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic and perhaps our students’ reluctance to being on campus, we would have seen even larger enrollments in these agricultural fields.”
–Georgia Farm Bureau