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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).

(d) Centers of excellence at 1890s Institutions
(1) Recognition

The Secretary shall recognize not less than 3 centers of excellence, each led by an 1890 Institution (as defined in section 7601 of this title), to focus on 1 or more of the areas described in paragraph (2).

(2) Areas of focus
(A) Student success and workforce development

A center of excellence established under paragraph (1) may engage in activities to ensure that students have the skills and education needed to work in agriculture and food industries, agriculture science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related fields of study.

(B) Nutrition, health, wellness, and quality of life

A center of excellence established under paragraph (1) may carry out research, education, and extension programs that increase access to healthy food, improve nutrition, mitigate preventive disease, and develop strategies to assist limited resource individuals in accessing health and nutrition resources.

(C) Farming systems, rural prosperity, and economic sustainability

A center of excellence established under paragraph (1) may share best practices with farmers to improve agricultural production, processing, and marketing, reduce urban food deserts, examine new uses for traditional and nontraditional crops, animals, and natural resources, and continue activities carried out by the Center for Innovative and Sustainable Small Farms, Ranches, and Forest Lands.

(D) Global food security and defense

A center of excellence established under paragraph (1) may engage in international partnerships that strengthen agricultural development in developing countries, partner with international researchers regarding new and emerging animal and plant pests and diseases, engage in agricultural disaster recovery, and continue activities carried out by the Center for International Engagement.

(E) Natural resources, energy, and environment

A center of excellence established under paragraph (1) may focus on protecting and managing domestic natural resources for current and future production of food and agricultural products.

(F) Emerging technologies

A center of excellence established under paragraph (1) may focus on the development of emerging technologies to increase agricultural productivity, enhance small farm economic viability, and improve rural communities by developing genetic and sensor technologies for food and agriculture and providing technology training to farmers.

(3) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(4) ReportNot later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, and every year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing—
the resources invested in the centers of excellence established under paragraph (1); and
the work being done by those centers of excellence.
Editorial Notes
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.


2018—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 115–334 added subsec. (d).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
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.”