7 U.S. Code § 5926. Centers of excellence

(a) Funding priorities

The Secretary shall prioritize centers of excellence established for purposes of carrying out research, extension, and education activities relating to the food and agricultural sciences (as defined in section 3103 of this title) for the receipt of funding for any competitive research or extension program administered by the Secretary.

(b) Composition

A center of excellence is composed of 1 or more of the eligible entities specified in subsection (b)(7) of section 3157 of this title that provide financial or in-kind support to the center of excellence.

(c) Criteria for centers of excellence
(1) Required effortsThe criteria for recognition as a center of excellence shall include efforts—
to ensure coordination and cost effectiveness by reducing unnecessarily duplicative efforts regarding research, teaching, and extension;
to leverage available resources by using public-private partnerships among agricultural industry groups, institutions of higher education, and the Federal Government;
to implement teaching initiatives to increase awareness and effectively disseminate solutions to target audiences through extension activities; and
to increase the economic returns to rural communities by identifying, attracting, and directing funds to high-priority agricultural issues.
(2) Additional efforts

Where practicable, the criteria for recognition as a center of excellence shall include efforts to improve teaching capacity and infrastructure at colleges and universities (including land-grant colleges and universities, cooperating forestry schools, NLGCA Institutions (as those terms are defined in section 3103 of this title), and schools of veterinary medicine).

(Pub. L. 101–624, title XVI, § 1673, as added Pub. L. 113–79, title VII, § 7214(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 886.)
Prior Provisions

A prior section 5926, Pub. L. 101–624, title XVI, § 1673, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3773; Pub. L. 102–237, title IV, § 407(12), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1865; Pub. L. 104–127, title VIII, § 837, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1169; Pub. L. 105–185, title II, § 245, title III, § 301(b)(2), June 23, 1998, 112 Stat. 556, 563; Pub. L. 107–171, title VII, § 7121, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 434, established an agricultural telecommunications program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, § 7209, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1241, and Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VII, § 7209, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2003, effective May 22, 2008.

Effective Date

Pub. L. 113–79, title VII, § 7214(b), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 887, provided that:

“The amendments made by subsection (a) [enacting this section] shall take effect on October 1, 2014.”