The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to put $1.92 million toward the establishment of an agriculture business innovation center at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Historically Black College and University located in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“This new innovation center will serve as a technical assistance hub to enhance agriculture-based business development opportunities nationwide,” said USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh during a two-day strategy meeting with 1890 Land-grant Universities and USDA officials.
The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is authorized to issue a competitive grant to support the establishment of an agriculture business innovation center at an HBCU. The new center will enhance agriculture-based business development opportunities including:
- Providing technical assistance to food and agricultural producers, offering production scale assessments, market planning and development, business planning and other advisory services
- Assisting startups in agribusiness including planning and obtaining funding
- Providing workforce development and educational experiences for students interested in careers in agriculture business
- Offering outreach services and activities such as training, workshops and dissemination of information and materials
“This new innovation center is a perfect complement to the NIFA-funded 1890 Center of Excellence for Student Success and Workforce Development already housed at NC A&T State University,” said Acting NIFA Director Dr. Dionne Toombs. “The combination of these two centers will deliver a much-needed boost to the next generation of agricultural professionals and will support growth, profitability and success of existing businesses to increase employment opportunities in the field.”
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. In FY 2021, NIFA’s total investment was $1.96 billion.
“This latest investment will expand the capacity of our nation’s HBCUs to advance multidisciplinary teaching, outreach and integrated projects to build better markets, enhance economic development and support new and existing agricultural businesses,” Bronaugh said.