According to Bakery and Snacks, Clif Bar, which makes wholesome energy bars with rolled oats and other ingredients to deliver sustained energy for various outdoor activities, including hiking and rock climbing, will support the advancement of organic farming practices through Tuskegee University’s College of Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS).
Clif Bar has been a leading private funder of organic research in the U.S. and has been gifting endowments to land-grant universities and colleges since 2015. Tuskegee is the first HBCU to receive funds from the endowment and the fifth school to receive funds from Clif Bar’s $10 million program to increase organic research.
“This endowment creates opportunities for Tuskegee students to have an active role in our research and development with certified organic farmers in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Charlotte P. Morris, president of Tuskegee University, according to Bakery and Snacks.
“We are also honored to be selected as the first HBCU to receive a Clif Bar endowment.”
She continued, “This shows our work in agriculture and farming has made a lasting impact and now has an extended reach. For this, we are grateful.”
The grant will also be matched by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit organization that matches federal funding from Congress with private funding to address food and agricultural challenges in the U.S.
The $2 million endowment will support the work of Tuskegee CAENS professors Dr. Joe K. Kpomblekou and Dr. Franklin Quarcoo. The funding is badly needed to fight a significant lack of racial diversity in farming in the U.S.
“We are excited about the impact of our Organic Agriculture Program,” said Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller, dean of the Tuskegee Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences per Bakery and Snacks.
“This gift will go a long way in supporting our efforts as we strive to become an epicenter in the southeast.”
“The future of the Tuskegee University Organic Agriculture Program is brighter than ever, and the team looks forward to having an even greater impact on organic agriculture research and education as it moves to establish an Organic Agriculture Institute at Tuskegee University with support from Clif Bar, FFAR and other stakeholders.”
According to McKinsey, just 1.4% of U.S farmers are Black, and they represent 0.5% of total U.S. farm sales.
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