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Historically Black Land-Grant Universities are Advancing the Well-Being

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Whether modernizing food systems, supporting local economies, or mentoring youths, historically Black land-grant universities (1890) successfully bridge access to knowledge and shape a brighter future for their communities through Cooperative Extension, agricultural research, and academic teaching.



Successful examples include:

  • A microclimate study conducted by West Virginia State University Extension Service is helping landowners learn more about the impact of climate change on regional weather with the goal of minimizing negative impacts on seasonal crops and overall farm livelihood.

  • Many years of focusing on treating livestock diseases, as opposed to preventing them, have resulted in antibiotic-resistant parasites and animals that are not naturally disease-resistant. Researchers at North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are studying how to improve the health of cows and goats through natural, sustainable strategies that will reduce or eliminate producers’ overuse of antibiotics and dewormers.

  • North Carolina A&T State University is investigating how to grow sweet potatoes sustainably, balancing minimal use of pesticides with reduced crop and revenue loss from insect damage. Additionally, they are researching whether sweet potato leaves can help prevent breast cancer. Researchers at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are also investigating ways to improve sweet potato production.

  • Alabama A&M University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are using gardening programs to teach youths about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.

  • Alabama A&M University is educating landowners and goat producers about the benefits of integrating goat production with forestland management. For example, goats can be used to clear understory and overgrown vegetation in urban areas where fire burning is not allowed.

  • The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is empowering communities by providing sustainable community garden assistance, supporting grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and helping families stay healthy during the pandemic.


The Land-Grant University System is a uniquely American institution, and has operated successfully for more than a century. The landgrantimpacts.org website documents and demonstrates the collective and individual impacts of the national system of joint teaching, research, and extension institutions.




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