North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is getting a nearly $2 million investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a new innovation center for farm businesses.

The federal Department of Agriculture says the center is part of a broader plan to expand the capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to support new and existing farming-related enterprises. 

Lydian Bernhardt is interim communications director for A&T's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She says the center will help spur entrepreneurship among minority farmers and those with limited resources.

“So, led by North Carolina A&T, the center will provide both virtual and in-person technical assistance and workforce development training in a variety of ways,” she says.

Bernhardt says A&T will be at the center of the program's activity. But other HBCUs across the country will also contribute their resources and expertise to increase the number of successful agricultural businesses across the country.

She says much of the hands-on learning will take place in the school's new $6 million farm pavilion that opened last year.

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