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1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Competitive Grants Program

NIFA provides financial assistance to the 1890 Land Grant Universities via the 1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program (CBG). CBG encourages the development of first-rate education, research, and extension programs at these universities so they may better assist USDA in its charge of providing a diverse professional workforce in the food and agricultural sciences.

2012 Project Directors' Conference

NIFA sponsors an annual Project Directors' Conference that highlights grant recipients' acheivements at 1890 Institutions. The meeting for 2012 was hosted by Alabama A&M. NIFA is proud to present a few of the posters and presentations from this event.


Legislative Authority and Background

Authority for the 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Competitive Grants Program is contained in section 1417 (b)(4) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA), as amended (7 U.S.C. 3152 (b)(4)) and pursuant to annual appropriations made available specifically for the 1890 Capacity Building Program. Section 7107 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) (Pub. L. 110-246) amended the authority for the 1890 Capacity Building Program to allow for extension capacity building, as well as teaching and research. In accordance with the statutory authority, subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary of Agriculture may make competitive grants, for a period not to exceed 5 years, to design and implement food and agricultural programs to build teaching, research, and extension capacity at colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments.

For purposes of this program, the term “food and agricultural sciences” means basic, applied, and developmental research, extension, and teaching activities in the food and fiber, agricultural, renewable natural resources, forestry, and physical and social sciences, in the broadest sense of these terms, including but not limited to, activities relating to the production, processing, marketing, distribution, conservation, utilization, consumption, research, and development of food and agriculturally related products and services, and inclusive of programs in agriculture, natural resources, aquaculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, home economics, rural human ecology, rural economic, community, or business development, and closely allied disciplines.

Purpose and Priorities

The Department of Agriculture depends upon sound programs in the food and agricultural sciences through partnership with the nation’s colleges and universities to produce well trained professionals for careers in the food and agricultural sciences and conducted research and extension activities that address the challenges in food and agriculture in the United States.

CBG supports research, education, and extension as well as integrated research, teaching, and/or extension by awarding grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-institutional importance in sustaining all components of agriculture, including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, family and consumer sciences, biotechnology, and conventional breeding.  Providing this support requires CBG to build and strengthen the research, teaching, and extension capacity needed to advance fundamental sciences as well as translational research and development in support of agriculture – and then coordinate opportunities to build on these discoveries at the 1890 land-grant universities.

CBG stimulates development of high quality education, research, and extension programs at these institutions so they may better assist USDA in its mission of providing a professional work force in the food and agricultural sciences. CBG is competitive in nature and provides support to the 1890 land-grant institutions for teaching, research, and extension projects in targeted high-priority areas.  Cooperation with a USDA agency in developing a proposal and carrying out a project is not required, but may be useful for strengthening departmental partnerships and linkages with these important Land Grant institutions. CBG builds the institutional teaching, research, and extension capacities of the eligible institutions through cooperative programs with federal and other entities. The program is designed to achieve three major goals: 

1. To advance cultural diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce by attracting and educating more students from underrepresented groups. 

2. To strengthen linkages among the 1890 institutions, other colleges and universities, USDA, other federal agencies, and private industry.

3. To enhance and strengthen the quality of teaching, research, and extension programs at the 1890 institutions to more readily establish them as full partners in the U.S. food and agricultural sciences higher education system.

Contact Information

Edwin Lewis, National Program Leader

Garland Robertson, Program Specialist

Cory Legall, Program Assistant



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