Last Wednesday Florida A&M University President Elmira Mangum announced, FAMU will receive 3,800 acres of land in Brooksville, Fla. from the federal government.
During her testimonial in front of Congress on Wednesday, Mangum admitted to members of the House Agriculture Committee that the addition of the land will enhance FAMU's research capacity. Mangum believes that this move will better position itself to suit agricultural needs and better serve the state.
"FAMU is well positioned to help Florida and the nation meet the agricultural demands of the 21st century and beyond," Mangum testified. "To realize our vision, FAMU will leverage its reach across the state of Florida, including extension programming at satellite locations and research and development at the Brooksville property."
Brooksville is located in a subtropical region, acquisition of the property will allow FAMU to venture into research related to subtropical fruits and animals. It will also allow researchers to conduct research of significance to Central and South America, and the Caribbean, the university statement said. Acquisition of the property will also enable the university to expand its organic farming research efforts.
FAMU alumnus, Terry Longwood, an agriculture instructor at Burns Middle School in Brandon, Fla., is familiar with the Brooksville area and feels that it is a good area for expansion and will benefit more than just FAMU.
"I have done some work in that area, it is an ideal location for development," said Burns. "This new land is big for the state as well not just for FAMU since all of Florida and the world will benefit from the findings in research."
This transfer will be one of the largest to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in history.
Khalil James, a third-year, FAMU pharmacy student from Jacksonville, Fla. is pleased with the university’s expansion and feels that it will generate more revenue.
"I'm excited that FAMU will be the largest HBCU in history due to this expansion," James said. "The research that will be gathered will certainly put FAMU on another plateau making us a leader in the agriculture field again."
Mangum was of one six land grant college presidents attesting before the House Committee on Agriculture. The hearing coexisted with a week-long series of events centered on the critical role land grant universities play in promoting research, outreach, teaching, and economic development.