The black land-grant colleges' contributions to developing the rural South are traced back before they were added to the land-grant system by the passage of the Morrill Act of 1890. The 1890 Extension target clientele are small farmers and limited resource persons who were not being reached by the conventional delivery system. Before 1972, the 1890 institutions primarily assisted the 1862 universities to serve black farmers and provide training and housing for black specialists and agents. In 1972, the passage of USDA Appropriation Act, under 3(d) section of the Smith-Lever Act, provided funds for the 1890 institutions to fulfill the Extension function of the land-grant mission. Programs are designed to improve the well-being of all rural citizens. Accomplishments discussed include programs in such areas as leadership training, economic development, farmers' markets, and developing community organizations to improve the clientele's ability to participate in the democratic process. An expanded role for the Extension programs of the 1890 institutions is proposed.

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