TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University interim President Larry Robinson testified Wednesday before a congressional committee in favor of legislation that would boost scholarship funding for historically black, land-grant colleges such as FAMU.
Robinson was part of a panel that included presidents of some of the 19 historically black colleges and universities that would benefit from legislation (House Resolution 6020) filed by U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Georgia Democrat who is also a 1967 graduate of FAMU.
Scott's legislation, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., would provide $1 million a year, over five years, in scholarship funding for students at each of the 19 schools.
The students would have to commit to pursuing studies that would lead to careers in agriculture-related fields, including agribusiness, food production, retailing, clothing industries, energy and finance.
"There is a tremendous need to increase the number of young African-Americans seeking careers in agriculture," Scott said, noting the rising age of farmers across the nation.
Scott's bill was heard by the House Agriculture Committee.
In addition to Robinson, other college presidents scheduled to testify included Cynthia Hammond of Central University, Paul Jones of Fort Valley State University and Juliette Bell of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
A similar bill has yet to be filed in the U.S. Senate.