Adams, Luetkemeyer Introduce Bipartisan REAL Opportunity Act
Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Recognizing and Encouraging Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Opportunity Act. This legislation will increase the research capacity and outreach of 1890s HBCUs by creating six Centers for Excellence and Leadership on their campuses.
1890 HBCUs contribute more than $4.4 billion to their local economies and provide pathways of opportunity for 1000’s of Americans. That is why this bipartisan Act is essential. We must work together to ensure these schools finally receive the resources they need to continue their groundbreaking research and extension programs both locally and nationally,” said Congresswoman Adams. “As a proud alumna of NC A&T State University, an 1890 Land-Grant University, I have witnessed firsthand the impact these institutions have and I am pleased that Senator Brown successfully spearheaded an effort to included these Centers of Excellence in the Senate farm bill. Now, I urge my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to ensure this language is incorporated in the final farm bill.”
“As a proud alumnus of Lincoln University, an 1890 Land-Grant University, I understand firsthand the important role these institutions play in their local communities,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “By supporting research on regional priorities, the REAL Opportunity Act strengthens both HBCUs’ capacity for leadership and the communities they serve. I am proud to be a cosponsor of this important legislation, and I thank my colleague Congresswoman Adams for her leadership.”
“By creating these Centers of Excellence at schools like Central State University in Ohio, we invest in groundbreaking research and the economic development that HBCUs spur throughout their local communities. I hope Congress will pass this meaningful, bipartisan legislation immediately,” said Senator Brown.
The designated lead universities at each center will be required to develop public-private partnerships, to ensure that their research activities provide increased access and economic returns to farmers and rural communities, and to contribute to poverty reduction, reduce health disparities and economic vulnerability of local communities. Additionally, this legislation would authorize $20 million in mandatory federal funding over five years to be divided evenly between the Centers.