The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a $1.92 million investment to establish an Agriculture Business Innovation Center at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Greensboro, NC.
“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 last week with 1890 Land-grant Universities and USDA officials. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting historically underserved communities and this new center will be pivotal as we continue to build back better the fabric of our nation’s communities and businesses. 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.”
Section 766 of the FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 116-260) authorized USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 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 start-ups in agribusiness including planning and obtaining funding;
- Providing workforce development and educational experiences for students interested in careers in agriculture business; and
- Offering outreach services and activities such as training, workshops and dissemination of information and materials.
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