LORMAN — Alcorn State University will receive federal agriculture research resources to study how small farming operations in rural Mississippi can fight crop diseases.
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who is ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee and who serves on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making $246,318 available to investigate small farm ecosystem crop diseases and the integration of plant pathology resources for limited-resource farmers in rural Mississippi.
“Controlling the diseases that can ruin crops is an ongoing fight for farmers, and for small farming operations the battle can be even more difficult,” Cochran said. “Alcorn State University has the research capacity to help find the tools to help enable these agriculture producers to be successful.”
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is providing the funding through the 1890 Capacity Building Grants program. The research investigation, which is expected to be performed through August 2017, will be carried out through the Alcorn’s Center for Biotechnology and Genomics.
The 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Competitive Grants Program was created in 1977 to foster partnerships between the USDA and land grants schools to promote the application of food and agriculture sciences and professional careers in the agricultural field.
Cochran, who has supported the CBG program and advancement of agriculture research Alcorn State, visited the university and President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. in early August to discuss how 2014 farm bill programs might benefit the school.