FVSU President Paul Jones Appointed to USDA/1890 Task Force

Posted on Dec 19, 2022

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) President Paul Jones, Ph.D., has been appointed and will serve as co-chair of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/1890 Task Force by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. 

President Jones will serve as co-chair along with Terry Crosby, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service at USDA. The USDA/1890 Task Force seeks to strengthen the partnership with the USDA and 1890 land-grant universities.  

“I am honored to serve on the task force and as a co-chair to expand opportunities for sustainability and the impact of HBCUs, particularly in the area of agriculture,” said President Jones. “I look forward to working with many dynamic leaders to continue building the institutional capacities of 1890 land grant institutions.” 

USDA has a long history of investing in and supporting historically Black universities, especially the land-grant universities established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890. The USDA/1890 Task Force serves as an advisory body for partnership initiatives and ensures the realization of mutual benefits and interests.

“USDA’s partnership with the 1890 Council of Presidents is key to shaping the next generation of leaders in agriculture and ensuring access to USDA programs in underserved communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is eager to continue working with the leadership of 1890 institutions, to create pathways to agricultural careers in the federal government and beyond.” 

USDA/1890 Task Force 

USDA members: 

  • Terry Cosby, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (Co-Chair) 
  • Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
  • Daniel Whitley, Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) 
  • Monica Rainge, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) 
  • Dionne Toombs, Director (Acting), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 
  • Hubert Hamer, Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 

1890 Land-Grant University presidents: 

  • Dr. Paul Jones, President, Fort Valley State University (Co-Chair) 
  • Dr. Felicia Nave, President, Alcorn State University 
  • Dr. Kent J. Smith, President, Langston University 
  • Dr. Makola Abdullah, President of Virginia State University 
  • Dr. Larry Robinson, President, Florida A&M University 
  • Dr. Jack Thomas, President, Central State University 

The 1890 land-grant system consists of the following 19 universities: Alabama A&M, Alcorn State University, Central State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Fort Valley State University, Kentucky State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Southern University, and A&M College, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia State University and West Virginia State University.

 USDA touches the lives of all Americans daily in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, The USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local & regional food production; there are fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy. Nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

  • Categories:
  • FVSU Agriculture College
  • Leadership