Clif Bar & Company Announces $1 Million Organic Research Endowment to Tuskegee University

Investment aims to advance organic agriculture and support equity in farming  

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Nov. 15, 2022 – Today, Clif Bar & Company announced a $1 million endowment to Tuskegee University to support the advancement of organic agriculture and farming practices through  the University’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS). With this  investment, Tuskegee University becomes the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to  receive a Clif Bar endowment and is the fifth recipient in the company’s $10 million program to support  organic research at land-grant universities. This endowment is being matched by the Foundation for  Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), a non-profit organization that builds public-private partnerships to  fund research addressing challenges in food and agriculture, doubling the total gift to Tuskegee  University to $2 million. 

Over the last three decades, research capabilities at the nation’s Black land-grant universities have been  underfunded by at least $12.8 billion, compared to their predominantly white counterparts.1 The growth  of organic farming has also lacked regional and racial diversity.2 According to the latest U.S. Census of  Agriculture, of the 30,909 certified organic farmers in the U.S., only 0.5% are Black-owned. This  endowment aims to increase equity in organic farming by supporting the work of plant and soil science  professors and researchers, Dr. Joe K. Kpomblekou and Dr. Franklin Quarcoo, whose work was  highlighted on Nov. 14 at the annual Agriculture Workers Conference in Montgomery, AL.  

“Investing in an organic and equitable future for U.S. farming and agriculture is imperative to advancing  our food systems and ensuring broader access to organic food for all,” said Dr. Kpomblekou. “We are  grateful to Clif Bar for their industry leadership and commitment to organic research and education  which will ultimately benefit not just Tuskegee University but inspire more Black leaders in organic  farming.” 

“Organic farming research can assist producers in implementing sustainable soil health management  practices, increase resilience to climate change and strengthen our food systems,” said Dr. LaKisha  Odom, FFAR scientific program director and Tuskegee alumna. “FFAR is proud to partner with Clif Bar to  maximize investment in the advancement of organic agriculture and support equity in farming through  this endowment to Tuskegee University.” 

Founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee has a long history of innovation in agriculture,  including the contributions of George Washington Carver who worked at the university most of his adult  life and is known for his work on soil chemistry and crop rotation, and his commitment to support  Southern Black farmers. Today, the university has a center for Plant Biotechnology Research which is  training scientists from around the world and has one of the first centers funded by NASA to develop a  technology for growing food in space during human space missions. 

Clif Bar has been a champion for the planet since its founding 30 years ago, which includes a longtime  commitment to sustainable agriculture practices including organic, having purchased more than 1.4  billion tons of organic ingredients since 2003. 

1Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System 

2 Rodale Institute, “How Diverse is the Organic Movement,” Oct.10, 2022. movement/

“At Clif, our purpose is to redesign the business of food for the benefit of health, equity and Earth, and  supporting Tuskegee’s work to make organic more accessible and equitable is a meaningful way to  deliver on that promise,” said Senior Vice President of Impact & Communications at Clif Bar & Company,  Roma McCaig. “We are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and are proud to  support Tuskegee’s work that will help create a more inclusive future for organic farming.” 

About Clif Bar & Company 

For 30 years, Clif Bar & Company has crafted nutritious and organic food for CLIF®, CLIF Kid®, and LUNA®  brands. Through its Five Aspirations, Clif Bar is committed to sustaining its people, community, planet,  brands, and business. For more information, please visit, check us out  on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube 

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