The times could certainly be better, but because they’re not, the timing was essential for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff when it received $255,ooo in supplemental match funds from the state in a Thursday morning event at the S.J. Parker 1890 Extension Complex.
With acknowledgement that state and private funds have been allowing its school of agriculture, fisheries and human services programs to continue while federal money withers during the ongoing national government shutdown, UAPB — the nation’s oldest historically black land grant intuition — accepted a ceremonial check for the amount from state Sen. Stephanie Flowers of Pine Bluff.
Flowers sponsored a Senate act on the appropriation of 1890 research and extension programs matching funds that was adopted by the full Legislature during the past session. The appropriation is derived from the state’s general improvement fund.
Noting that more funds could be coming, the senator thanked her legislative colleagues for “their support and knowledge of UAPB,” adding that the body recognizes the university’s economic impact.
UAPB Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander declared that Flowers’ presentation made it a “great day at UAPB,” especially when considering the fact that agriculture remains Arkansas’ top industry and the appropriation will serve to strengthen an already strong directive.
James O. Garner Jr., director of UAPB’s 1890 research and extension programs, pointed out that the overall effort supports around 70 projects throughout the state. Garner also noted that Arkansas is the second-leading catfish-producing state in the U.S.
UAPB’s fisheries program is nationally recognized.
Jefferson County farmer Ester Dolittle gave testimony to UAPB’s contribution to his professional success. Dolittle said he has benefited from guidance he’s received through the UAPB Small Farm Project.
Also participating in the presentation — which was attended by about 60 students, faculty members and administrators — were 1890 programs Associate Dean Edmund R. Buckner and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Mary E. Benjamin.