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On Monday, Senator Roy Blunt spoke at the Darr Agricultural Center of Missouri State University. He announced federal budget changes that stand to make an impact on several Missouri universities, including MSU. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.
Last week President Obama signed the Agriculture FDA Rural Development Bill, which was recently passed by the Senate. Senator Roy Blunt traveled to Missouri State University to discuss its potential benefits. He says for the spending year beginning October 1st, the only area in agriculture that’s not receiving a five percent cut, is agricultural research. Blunt says what’s new in this bill is the 4 and a half million dollars allocated for competitive university grants.
“The one place where we created a new funding line specifically benefits Missouri State University, and schools like it all over the country. It’s not an earmark, it’s really funding an idea that establishes competitive grants for non-land-grant colleges that produce graduates in agriculture,” says Blunt.
Blunt says that 45 percent of all graduates in agriculture, food and renewable resources come from non-land-grant schools. He says that MSU produces the most graduates of the five Missouri universities eligible to compete for these grants. The other four are Southeast Missouri State, Northwest Missouri State, Truman University, and University of Central Missouri.
Blunt says funding agriculture programs and research benefit the whole United States, as well as many other countries it produces food for. He says this is the first time non-land-grant schools will have this kind of funding opportunity.
“All the non-land-grant schools that produce graduates in agriculture will be able to have access to this new line. Authorized in 2008, but never any money available for it until the bill that the President signed just a few days ago,” Blunt says.
Land-grant colleges are those that are designated by the government as focusing on agriculture, science and engineering. Whereas the University of Missouri is a land-grant university, MSU is not.
For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.