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House Agriculture Committee Examines Recruitment Challenges and Scholarship Opportunities of 1890 Land-Grant Institutions

Washington, D.C. - Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to explore recruitment challenges and scholarship opportunities in 1890 Land-Grant Universities.

As a network of historically black colleges and universities dedicated to providing educational opportunity for all through innovative scientific research and community-minded extension programs, the 1890 Land Grant universities have a long history of making significant contributions to agricultural higher education.

According to a report issued in May 2015 by Purdue University, there are an estimated 57,900 highly-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States. Even with this tremendous demand, an annual average of only 35,400 students in the U.S. will graduate with expertise in those fields. This leaves the remaining 22,500 jobs to be filled by employees without the desired agricultural skill set. There are opportunities to be found in this gap.

“The 1890 Land-Grant Universities provide an outstanding education and the opportunity to gain a valuable skill set in food and agricultural sciences for thousands of students each year. With the current unmet demand for highly-skilled jobs within the agricultural industry, these universities are crucial to the future of agriculture. I appreciate hearing from the leaders of these institutions on the challenges they face recruiting students to careers in agriculture, and I thank Rep. David Scott for his leadership in addressing this important issue,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.