If Trump signs Farm Bill, area university could get millions more in federal funding

FILE: A view of the Central State University campus in Wilbeforce. In 1887, the Ohio General Assembly passed an act that created a Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University which would become Central State University. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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FILE: A view of the Central State University campus in Wilbeforce. In 1887, the Ohio General Assembly passed an act that created a Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University which would become Central State University. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

If the U.S. House approves the Farm Bill today it will head to President Donald Trump’s desk and could bring millions more in federal funds to Central State University.

For more than 100 years, Central State was denied 1890 Land Grant status, meaning it was ineligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for scientific research.

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But, a provision supported by Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown, Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, means CSU will be able to compete for up to $8 million more in federal funding.

“Our amendment is a commonsense fix to a historical oversight, and it will ensure that one of Ohio’s great universities gets its fair share of federal education dollars,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 at 4 p.m. today. If passed, the bill will head to Trump’s desk for his signature.

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“Central State deserves to be treated in the same way as other historically black colleges when it comes to accessing federal funding under the Farm Bill, and I was pleased this important amendment was included,” Portman said in a prepared statement.

Turner and Central State president Cynthia Hammond-Jackson announced an effort to get CSU’s status recognized by the federal government in June. Turner at the time described the status problem as “one of those issues where you can’t believe that type of wrong is happening in your community.”

If the bill becomes law and CSU becomes eligible for more federal funding it will be “really beneficial not only to Central State but to the entire state of Ohio,” Jackson-Hammond said in June. This news organization has reached out to a Central State spokesman about the bill and this afternoon’s vote.

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