Biden administration urges 16 states to address funding disparities faced by land-grant HBCUs

The Biden administration demanded governors in 16 states address a more than $12 billion funding disparity between land-grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their non-HBCU counterparts, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In joint letters sent to the governors of each state Monday, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack noted that HBCUs have “not been able to advance in ways that are on par” with other land-grant institutions in those states “in large part due to unbalanced funding.”

A land-grant institution is a college or university that provides education in the fields of agriculture, science, military science and engineering. The schools were also built on federal land or funded with proceeds from the sale of federal land that was granted to state governments. By law, according to the USDA, these schools and their HBCU counterparts “were required to receive equitable distribution” of funds from their state governments.

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USDA Extends Application Deadline for Discrimination Financial Assistance Program to January 13

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline for the Discrimination Financial Assistance Program to January 13, 2024, to give eligible farmers, ranchers and forest landowners more time to apply for assistance. The original deadline was October 31, 2023. The Discrimination Financial Assistance Program is a new program, authorized by Section 22007(e) of the Inflation Reduction Act, that will provide financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending programs prior to 2021.

Details about the program, including an application and e-filing portal, are available at Applicants can also call the free call center at 1-800-721-0970

Filing an application is FREE and does not require a lawyer.

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Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Thirteenth Edition

Hard Copies Are Now Available!

The Keys to Soil Taxonomy, 13th Edition, is now available in hard copy at the NRCS Distribution Center. There is a limit of one per customer. If there is a need for more than one copy, please email Debbie Surabian the number of hard copies needed along with the name and address of where to ship the hard copies.

The Keys to Soil Taxonomy provides the taxonomic keys necessary for the classification of soils in a form that can be used easily in the field. It also acquaints users of soil taxonomy with recent changes in the classification system.

Contact. Direct questions to Debbie Surabian, National Leader for Standards, at

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NRCS Texas Announces 2024 Sign-Up Date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Temple, Texas, Oct. 3, 2023 — The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas announced fiscal year (FY) 2024 financial assistance opportunities for agricultural producers and landowners through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). While NRCS accepts conservation program applications year-round, producers and landowners should apply by Nov. 8, 2023 to be considered for FY2024 funding.  

Additionally, Texas NRCS will use the ACT NOW process for some EQIP funding pools. Through ACT NOW, NRCS can immediately approve and obligate a ranked application when an eligible application meets or exceeds a determined minimum ranking score. 

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers and forest landowners to address natural resource concerns. NRCS works one-on-one with producers to develop a conservation plan that outlines conservation practices and activities to help solve on-farm resource issues. Producers implement practices and activities in their conservation plan that can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil, and better wildlife habitat, all while improving their agricultural operations.

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PVAMU Farmers’ Market Vendor Application

Are you looking for a place to sell your produce, including agricultural by-products such as ( candles, medicinal, herbs. soaps, organic beauty, etc.,) The PV farmers market is the place to sell and shop. Visit us every Wednesday. See the flyers attached. ( don’t forget to ask about the nutrients concentrated vegetable – ‘microgreens,’ Provide up to 40 times nutrient comparing to regular vegetable. Based on research, use to cure various ailments; will be available for sale upon request.) 

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Texans to Vote on 14 Constitutional Amendments

Proposition 1: Right to Farm and Ranch Bill language:

“The constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management.”

This amendment would place the right to farm and ranch in the Texas Constitution. It would protect a person’s right to engage in generally accepted farm, ranch, timber production, or wildlife management practices on real property that a person owns or leases. However, the state or cities may “regulate where there is clear and convincing evidence that the law or regulation is necessary to protect the public health and safety from imminent danger.” The amendment recognizes that ag operations can be regulated to preserve, conserve and develop the state’s natural resources to prevent claims that the constitutional amendment would allow ag producers to ignore regulations related to these resources.

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1890s Universities Foundation Names Jewel Bronaugh as its next President &CEO

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