The U.S. Land-Grant University System: An Overview


The US LandGrant University System An Overview

The first Morrill Act was passed by Congress in 1862. This act provided funding for public schools. The goal of this act was to provide free public education for all children in America. The land grant college system was created as a result of this act. The land grant college is an institution of higher learning that focuses on agriculture and the mechanical sciences. Many of these colleges are located in rural areas and are known for their high quality of education.

The land grant university system continues to evolve through federal legislation, such as the Morrill Acts of 1862, 1890, and the Equity in Educational Lands-Grants Status Act of 1994. The USDA’s NIFA distributes these funds to states as capacity grants, based on formulas set by statute, or to eligible institutions on a competitive basis, according to statutory criteria. The 1862 Institutions include the first land-granted institutions, the 1890 Institutions include historically black colleges and universities, and the 1994 Institutions include tribal colleges and universities. Other institutions, such as NLGCAs and HSACUs, were later added to the system.

The Hatch Act of 1887 was passed by Congress in order to prevent political interference in scientific research. The Evans-Allen Act of 1937 was passed to ensure that agricultural research conducted at state universities was independent of politics. The Agricultural Research, Extension, And Education Reform Act of 1998 provides the framework for funding research in agriculture. The 1862 Institutions receive federal funds with a one-for-one match. The 1890 Institutions receive federal funds without any match. The 1994 Institutions receive federal funds through competitive grants programs, but they must meet a certain percentage of their match. The Native American Institutions Endowments fund is distributed according to a formula based on the number of acres of land owned by each institution.

Land-grant universities operate the U.S. cooperative extension service. Their mission is to provide non-formal education and research to agricultural producers and communities. In addition, they help farmers by providing technical information and advice. The Smith-Levin Act of 1914 established the land-grant universities as an integral part of the federal government. This act also created the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NARETPA was passed in 1977 to strengthen the land-grant institutions. The American Reformed Religion Extension Educational Resources Enhancement Act of 1998 (AREERA) authorized $1 billion per year over five years to fund the land-grant colleges and universities. The Smith-Liver Act of 1914 was amended in 1962 to include the 1890 institutions. These institutions were originally chartered by Congress but later became independent colleges. The 1862 institution receives federal capacity funds while the 1890 institution receives federal extension funds. The 1994 institutions may receive federal extension funding via competitive grants.

The planned move of NIFA from Washington, DC to Kansas City, MO will be met with much resistance by many people. The government is trying to make sure that farmers get more money for their crops. This will cause problems because some farmers do not want to pay more taxes. These farmers also think that the government should spend less money on farming.


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