NIFA Awards $14 Million in Scholarships to 1890 Land-Grant Universities

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

UAPB_SAFHS_FB_logo_v2The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced 19 grant awards totaling more than $14 million to provide scholarships at 1890 land-grant colleges and universities. Dr. Doze Y. Butler, dean/director for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences (SAFHS), said the scholarships will help achieve rural prosperity and economic development in areas served by the university through the education of a highly skilled workforce.

“UAPB will receive $750,000 in program funding for 2020-2021,” Dr. Butler said. “The total amount for four years is at least $2.25 million.”

Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman (4th district) said the scholarship program will allow UAPB students to access a wide range of educational, mentorship and recruiting opportunities, which will continue opening up career options for them after graduation.

“I’ve been privileged to meet many exceptional UAPB students over the years, and I look forward to seeing how those interested in food and agricultural sciences benefit from this USDA scholarship,” he said.

Dr. Butler said nationally, there are more career opportunities in food and agriculture than there are graduates to take advantage of the opportunities.

“At UAPB, the 1890 Scholarships Program will allow us to recruit undergraduate students who are interested in careers in these fields and related areas,” she said.

The program provides scholarships to support recruiting, engaging, retaining, mentoring and training of undergraduate students at the nation’s 19 historically black land-grant universities (the 1890s). The scholarships are intended to encourage outstanding students at 1890 institutions to pursue and complete baccalaureate degrees in the food and agricultural sciences and related fields.

“The scholarships were authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill,” Dr. Butler said. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Rep. David Scott (Georgia’s 13th congressional district) and the other members of Congress who championed our efforts to secure the funding to make the scholarships a reality at all the 1890 land-grant institutions.”

At UAPB, the 1890 Scholarships Program offers scholarships to U.S. citizens who are seeking a bachelor’s degree at UAPB in one of the SAFHS degree areas. Individual participants will be eligible to receive $2,000 to $10,000 annually. They will receive half the total amount of their scholarship each semester.

The UAPB 1890 Scholarships Program participants must:

  • Be a citizen or national of the United States.
  • Have been accepted for admission to UAPB.
  • Begin school at UAPB no later than the first fall semester following their high school graduation or completion of an Associate of Arts degree for transfer students.
  • Agree to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in an accepted major within SAFHS.
  • Intend to pursue a career in the food and agricultural sciences or other related disciplines (agricultural sciences, aquaculture and fisheries sciences or human sciences).
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application (either from high school if entering as a freshman or community college if entering as a transfer student). The scholarship recipients must maintain the required GPA on a semester and cumulative basis for the approved scholarship award to continue.
  • Be enrolled in at least 15 credits in a SAFHS degree program leading to an undergraduate degree during each semester that he/she receives 1890 Scholarship support.

For more information on the program or in case of questions, students can contact Dr. Marilyn Bailey, interim assistant dean of academics for SAFHS, at (870) 575-7214 or

Dr. Butler said UAPB and the 18 other 1890 land-grant universities were created as result of the Second Morrill Act of 1890.

Justin Morrill, the author of the Act, believed that all people deserved the right to education, regardless of race or social class. The Second Morrill Act extended educational access to minorities with the creation of the 1890 land-grant universities and Tuskegee University. The universities had a shared goal of educating students in practical fields such as agriculture.

Today, NIFA’s 1890 land-grant institution programs are intended to strengthen research, Extension and teaching in the food and agricultural sciences by building the institutional capacities of the 1890 institutions.

In addition to UAPB, the 1890 land-grant system consists of the following universities: Alabama A&M, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all of its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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