USDA Announces Availability of Funding to Support Agriculture and Food Research at Tribal Land-Grant Colleges

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $1.7 million in funding to improve the capacity of tribal land-grant colleges to undertake food and agriculture research. The funding is made available through the 2014 Farm Bill.

“These grants will help tribal land-grant colleges develop infrastructure and faculty expertise so they can carry out research projects that identify and solve problems within tribal and American Indian communities,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “Projects will also offer students the research experience they need to carry on their educational pursuits or enhance career opportunities in the food and agricultural sciences.”

The Tribal College Research Grant Program (TCRGP) builds scientific capacity at tribal land-grant colleges, also known as the 1994 land-grant institutions, by creating collaborations with other land-grant institutions. Tribal colleges may use funding to conduct scientific inquiry that addresses health, environmental or agricultural concerns of their reservations. They may also conduct applied research for publication or scientific investigations and seek funding to conduct investigations on the optimal ways to teach and mentor American Indian students as they pursue their goals of research excellence in the sciences.

The 1994 land-grant institutions have been required in past years to partner with another land-grant university. The 2014 Farm Bill gives applicants greater flexibility in forming partnerships. In addition to working with land-grant universities, 1994 institutions may also partner with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, universities funded under NIFA’s McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry program or colleges and universities certified by NIFA as Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture. The Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture must be public institutions providing four-year degrees or higher in food and agriculture.

TCRGP offers three types of funding options: New Discovery Research for projects involving peer reviewed scientific inquiry; Capacity Building Research to address a specific research concern of the reservation community; and Student Research Experience which allows tribal college students to learn scientific techniques while conducting research projects.

The deadline for applications is July 25, 2014.

Today’s announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

View this news release online: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2014news/07021_tribal_research.html

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