President Mangum Afforded Exclusive Opportunities in Agriculture

Florida A&M University President Dr. Elmira Mangum has been selected by United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to join the 39-member Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) for Trade.

In 1974, the U.S. Congress created the advisory committee system to guarantee that U.S. trade policy and negotiating objectives accurately represent U.S. commercial and private-sector interests. The APAC advises the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative and aids in implementing and enforcing existing U.S. trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements.

Dr. Mangum was selected to serve on the APAC via national competitive process. She is one of only two university administrators serving on the committee—the other being Dr. Won Koo, director of the Center of Agricultural Policy and Trade Studies at North Dakota State University.

Fourth-year food science student Ryan Kornegay of Greenville, FL exclaimed that Mangum’s appointment is a milestone in FAMU’s agricultural history and an integral part of the advancement of students in the College of Agriculture & Food Sciences (CAFS).

“FAMU would not be where it is today without its roots in agriculture. Dr. Mangum's selection to serve on this committee gives our institution an edge like no other school in the land grant system,” said Kornegay. “Not only will Dr. Mangum provide integral insight on the direction for [agricultural] trade to go, but she will serve amongst the ranks of [leaders] of major agricultural companies & organizations with very diverse backgrounds.”

Dr. Mangum further extended her role in representing the interests of U.S. Agriculture by appearing before the House Committee on Agriculture (July 15, 2015). In light of the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, House Agriculture Committee Chair John Conway (R-Texas) invited her to testify before the committee.

The FAMU CAFS was established through the Second Morrill Act, which generated a network of historically black colleges and universities committed to providing educational opportunities for all. Six of nineteen 1890 land-grant university presidents have been invited to testify before the committee.

Darias Bowers, a second-year agri-business student from Live Oak, FL, is excited about the recognition that the CAFS will receive via President Mangum’s address.

“The opportunity that Dr. Mangum has been afforded is not only a great achievement for the university, but an opportunity to shed positive light on our often overlooked college,” said Bowers. “It infuses me with a sense of hope and elation for the bright future ahead as we continue to produce leading researchers and leaders in the field of Agriculture and Food Sciences,” he continued.

The CAFS administration also shares excitement with the students in light of Dr. Mangum’s address.

“The invitation itself is high recognition for Dr. Magnum and the entire FAMU community, and [is a] testament to the value and importance of the university land grant mission,” said Dr. Violeta Tsolova, professor and interim director of the FAMU Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research.

The committee hearing was one component of a week of events that highlighted how 1890 land grant universities continue to contribute to research efforts and education in the United States. Nationwide legislators, representatives of agri-businesses, and leaders of research agencies participated in the week’s events and celebrated the past 125 years’ advancements while preparing for new advances of the future.