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UAPB projects get U.S. funding

by Special to The Commercial | July 29, 2021 at 3:08 a.m.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff campus is shown in this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded more than $21.8 million to 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. The funding will be used to support 58 projects at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the nation's Land-Grant University System and organizations as part of its Capacity Building Grants program.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is among award recipients, according to the USDA announcement.

Examples of the funded programs include UAPB projects:

Improving Science Communication at UAPB through faculty development -- $99,197.

Healthy People Healthy Planet, a food desert program at UAPB and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville -- $349,442.

Digitalization and Expansion of the Merchandising, Textiles and Design curriculum to prepare students for future careers in textiles and apparel industry -- $149,998.

Phage Endolysins as alternatives to antibiotics for treating systemic infections of streptococcus iniae in fish -- $499,999.


This USDA program is designed to build capacity for teaching, research and extension activities at eligible institutions including curriculum design, materials development, faculty development, student recruitment and retention, and extension program development support, according to a news release.

This research investment will strengthen the quality and diversity of the nation's higher-education workforce, bolster research and knowledge delivery systems, and equip 1890 Institutions with resources needed to better address emerging challenges and create new opportunities, according to the release.

The food and agriculture programs are intended to strengthen research, extension and teaching in the food and agricultural sciences by building the institutional capacities of the 1890 institutions. These institutions can be found online at

"Our 1890 Land-grant universities are an integral part of our nation's fabric," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"As USDA continues to work tirelessly to advance equity and provide greater access to nutritious and safe food for all Americans, especially to historically disadvantaged groups, this investment will strengthen the ability of our Land-grant Institutions to deliver innovative solutions that address emerging agricultural challenges impacting diverse communities. We are pleased to be able to build the research and training capacity of these critical institutions as they develop the next generation of leaders in agriculture."

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