October 4, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Six Florida A&M faculty members have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture totaling more than $13 million to promote diversity among food and agricultural professionals.


FAMU was one of eight Historically Black Land-grant institutions to receive a combined $18.1 million investment in minority-serving institutions funded by the Inflation Reduction Act.

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Over the next five years, the FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences faculty members will collaborate in a consortium led by North Carolina A&T State University on three grants as part of a comprehensive program called “From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agricultural Professionals.”

Professor Lambert Kanga, Ph.D., is the director of the Biological Control Center and Entomology Program at FAMU. Kanga and two of his assistants will receive a $10 million grant for “Developing the Next Generation of Minority Leaders in Pest Management for Food and Agriculture in a Changing Climate.” Professor Kanga’s funding will go towards addressing the shortage of minorities in agricultural professions like pest management and crop production.

Harriet Paul is the director of International Agriculture Programs and the Center for International Agricultural Trade Development Research and Training. She’ll receive $2.2 million to help develop a global workforce through experiential learning.

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Neil James, Ph.D., the CAFS Associate Dean for Academic Programs, and Conchita Newman, the Assistant Director of the Cooperative Extension Program, will receive another $1.1 million as co-principal investigators to help strengthen the college-to-career ready pipeline for employment at the USDA and other related industries.

“The secured funds from the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences underscores the priority we have set forth as a university that targets student success and academic excellence related to faculty productivity,” FAMU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Allyson Watson, Ph.D. said in a statement.

According to a FAMU spokesperson, over the last three years, CAFS has received the largest quantity of grant funding it has ever received in the history of the university dating back to its founding in 1887

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