UMES home to International Center of Excellence | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

UMES home to International Center of Excellence

  • Center of ExcellencePRINCESS ANNE, MD – (June 3, 2020) – The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $1.6 million competitive grant to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, home to the newly organized Center of Excellence for International Engagement and Development. Established to strengthen global food security and education, the center is one of three administrative units focused on fostering global engagement and leadership skills development among land-grant university faculty, staff and students.

    “This center provides a unique opportunity to leverage the collective capacity across the nineteen 1890 universities to address these key issues,” said Dr. Moses Kairo, dean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences. “We are very excited about this and anticipate that the center will begin to deliver beneficial outcomes relatively quickly. We are deeply grateful to legislators on the Hill for the foresight to fund the center.”

    Three 1890 Centers of Excellence were originally established in 2015 during the land-grant system’s celebration of the 125th anniversary of the passing of the Second Morrill Act of 1890. The Centers of Excellence were formally created in the 2018 Farm Bill with an accompanying funding level of $10 million a year for five years. The signing of the 2019 Appropriations Bill for the Centers of Excellence at 1890 Institutions Program preceded the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, however, providing $4.8 million or $1.6 million for each of three host universities.

    Legislators key to the 2018 Farm Bill process include House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Sanford Bishop, D-GA; U.S. Representatives Alma Adams, D-N.C., Michael Conaway, R-Texas, Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, and Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Doug Jones, D-Ala., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

    The CEIED will fund teaching, research, extension and integrated projects designed to supply the country with a globally educated workforce and support critical global development needs. Projects may include, but are not limited to, experiential learning opportunities for students, collaborative research to address trans-boundary challenges and extension projects that have mutual benefits domestically and abroad. Along with UMES, Tuskegee University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University were granted centers made to provide programmatic and administrative direction for various groups of 1890 universities. Tuskegee hosts the Center for Innovation and Sustainable Small Farms, Ranches and Forestlands in Tuskegee, Alabama, and North Carolina A&T hosts the Virtual Center to Motivate and Educate for Achievement in Greensboro, North Carolina.

    “Access to research and educational opportunities is a cornerstone of prosperity, and this investment will help provide opportunities for America’s underserved and disadvantaged farmers by providing access to research and educational opportunities that will enhance the quality of life in our rural communities,” said Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins. Hutchins leads USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area and provides strategic leadership for the mission area’s scientific research portfolio.  

    For more information about the Center of Excellence for International Engagement and Development Announcement, visit


    About UMES:
    UMES is one of two land-grant institutions in the state of Maryland that provides leadership for research in agriculture, food science, biomedical science and natural resource conservation and use. The UMES School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences has established and maintained strong collaborative partnerships with state and federal agencies as well as other academic institutions. For information about the school, visit  

    UMES is an equal opportunity employer.    

    About NIFA:
    NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural sciences, visit, NIFA’s website, and follow NIFA on Twitter.

    Suzanne Waters Street, agricultural communications specialist, School of Agricultural & Natural Sciences, 410-621-3850,