The version of the Farm Bill passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday includes a long-sought land-grant designation for Central State University in southwest Ohio. The status would provide new opportunities for the school.
Land-grants allow colleges or universities to apply for special federal funding in a number of areas of study - in Central State’s case, agriculture.
Central State is Ohio’s only public Historically Black College and has been seeking the land-grant designation since 1890. University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond says mountains were moved to obtain the grant.
“I am just absolutely appreciative of the Ohio delegation that saw fit to push this initiative, not only at the state level, but also at the federal level,” she said.
Central State already has an agriculture program in place. Jackson-Hammond hopes expanding that program will boost student enrollment. She believes the program enhancements “will certainly enhance Central State University’s ability to provide students with the knowledge skills and disposition to be effective and productive citizens for the state of Ohio.”
Until now, Ohio State University was the only land-grant university in the state. Central State’s new designation was delivered as an amendment to the Farm Bill passed in the House on Wednesday. Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio’s 10th district authored the amendment, which passed with bipartisan support.
A previous version of this story referred to Central State as Ohio's only Historically Black College. In fact, it is Ohio's only 'public' Historically Black College. Wilberforce University, in Ohio, is also an Historically Black College, though it is a private institution.