SU Ag Center and College of Ag Awarded Over $1 Million in USDA Capacity Building Grants

Baton Rouge, La. - The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SU Ag Center) and the College of Agricultural, Human and Environmental Sciences (CAHES) have been awarded three capacity building grants through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) 1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program.


This program aids 1890 historically black Land-Grant Universities in building capacity in the areas of teaching, research, and extension activities, which include enhancing curriculums and faculty development, student recruitment and retention, research enhancement, and extension program development.


The SU Ag Center has received grants through this program since it was established in 2001. This year’s projects include:


  • Project Farm to Feminine Hygiene: Enhancing the Textiles Lab for Research, Extension, a Scientific Instrumentation for Teaching at Southern University. This project received $600,000 in funding and will involve research, extension, and teaching components proposed to address the growing concerns and issues surrounding menstruation, including the potential health risks posed to users of synthetic feminine hygiene products (FHP). The project will research, process, and utilize three alternative natural fibers in the development of sustainable, reusable, and disposable FHPs, provide an educational program for women and girls on managing menstruation, enhance classroom instruction for students enrolled in Family and Consumer Sciences, Animal Science, and Plant and Soil Sciences programs by providing experiential learning experiences with industrial fiber production equipment and the product development process of FHP as well as other textile products, and will provide a local fiber processing center for local fiber growers in Louisiana.


  • Eco Leaders: Building a Workforce Pipeline through Natural Resource Leadership, Recruitment, and Career Skill Enhancement received $299,888 in funding. The project aims to establish a long-term pipeline of college-ready natural resource students and increase the number of high-quality candidates entering Southern University’s Urban Forestry and Natural Resource bachelor's degree program; create a statewide student-led urban forestry and natural resource service impact initiative to promote community stewardship, student engagement, and environmental awareness; and equip trainees with resources, career services, and career skills to deepen their knowledge and prepare them for a diverse workforce.


  • The Jagratory Youth S.T.E.A. M. Mobile Lab received $250,000 in funding. The mobile lab will provide youth with enriching experiences that introduce educational and career opportunities in agriculture, family and consumer science, and ag technology while introducing and broadening the youth's awareness of the educational and professional opportunities in the agricultural sector.


Funding for all three grants began in April and will continue until the year 2027.


This year, the USDA invested $30.8 million to fund 68 projects throughout the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. Additional awardees included: Alabama A&M University (4 awards); Alcorn State University (5 awards): Central State University (2 awards); Delaware State University (3 awards); Florida A&M University (6 awards): Fort Valley State University (4 awards): Kentucky State University (4 awards); Langston University (2 awards); Lincoln University (4 awards): North Carolina A&T State University (1 award): Prairie View A&M University (4 awards); South Carolina State University (1 award); Tennessee State University (5 awards); Tuskegee University (2 awards); University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (4 awards); University of Maryland Eastern Shore (5 awards); Virginia State University (1 award); and West Virginia State University (8 awards).


To view the USDA’s announcement visit,


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