Last year, Central State University, the historically Black university in Wilberforce, Ohio, was designated a land grant university by the U.S. Congress. It joined Ohio State University as the only two land-grant institutions in Ohio. The university now has access to a share of federal funds earmarked for land-grant universities. But access to these funds is contingent on the state of Ohio providing matching funds.
The Ohio Legislature with the support of GOP Governor John Kasich has shifted $1,625,000 in matching funds to the fiscal year 2016 budget to enable Central State to qualify for $5.1 million in federal funding.
The land-grant funding will allow Central State to create a statewide agricultural research and extension network that will serve farmers and other interests on issues related to sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and water resources. Central State’s program will augment the statewide extension services currently provided by Ohio State University and provide services to additional localities. In some localities, the two land-grant universities will share extension offices.