FAMU and participating universities make historic appearance before Congress

Updated: 7/16/2015 12:00 PM CST By Tom Joyner Foundation

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July 15, 2015

President Elmira Mangum to Congress: FAMU is Poised to Be a Global Leader in Agricultural Research and Innovation

FAMU and Other 1890 Land-grant Universities Make Historic Appearance Before House Agriculture Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., testified today before the House Committee on Agriculture chaired by Rep. K. Michael Conaway (TX-11).

Mangum was one of six 1890 land-grant university (LGU) presidents selected to testify before the Committee. The five other participating universities were Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University, Fort Valley State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Tuskegee University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

1890 land-grant universities

There are 19, 1890 land-grant universities (LGUs) in the U.S. The Second Morrill Act, which was passed 125 years ago by Congress on August 30, 1890, created a network of historically Black colleges and universities dedicated to providing educational opportunities for all, through innovative scientific research and community-minded extension programs.

The landmark legislation established the funding mechanism and framework for opening access to education for African Americans. The University’s land-grant status and the federal funding that followed have created ladders of opportunity for underserved and limited resource communities and farmers in North Florida, and especially FAMU students seeking careers in agricultural industry and research.   

The hearing coincided with a week-long series of events centered on the critical role these universities play in promoting research, outreach, teaching, and economic development in this country. Participants include representatives from Fortune 500 companies, agri-businesses, legislators, representatives from the 1890-universities, and agency heads involved in promoting research and development.

Mangum and the Committee


Rep. Gwen Graham (FL-2) shaking the hand of Dr. Elmira Mangum, FAMU president.

Mangum was introduced in the Committee meeting by Rep. Gwen Graham (FL-2), who praised FAMU for its history of excellence and for “leading the way in innovative research.”

Mangum begin her remarks by thanking Congress for providing FAMU, and the other 18 LGUs, with the funding that has enabled the University to fulfill its land-grant mission and become a major research university that holds nine agricultural patents and is undertaking groundbreaking research and outreach throughout Florida, the nation, and the world. 

“The strength of Florida’s agriculture is due, in part, to the strength of the state’s two land-grant institutions – Florida A&M University and the University of Florida.”

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