USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Exploratory Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded grants to support the initial development of innovative ideas in agriculture and food production through the Exploratory Research Grants (ERG) program. Funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The ERG program fosters the creation of transformative innovations that address plant and animal health and production, food safety and nutrition, bioenergy, natural resources and environment, agriculture systems, technology, agricultural economics and rural communities. AFRI is America’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. Continue reading

Three Funding Opportunities Announced: Organic Ag., Collaborative Robotics, and Crop Breeding

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced three new funding opportunities: Organic Transitions, the National Robotics Initiative through AFRI, and Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Organic Agricultural Programs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $3.8 million in available funding to address critical issues related to organic agriculture. Funding is made through NIFA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants – Organic Transitions (ORG) program.

The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming.

The deadline for applications is March 29, 2018. See the funding opportunity for details. Continue reading

Partnership as a Verb

By Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Merriam-Webster defines partnership as a noun: The state or condition of being a partner.

I define partnership as a verb: To join or associate with another to create outcomes. Continue reading

USDA Invests in Research on Next Generation of Agricultural Technology

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 17 grants for research on the next generation of agricultural technologies and systems to meet the growing demand for food, fuel, and fiber. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Technology is front and center in agricultural production,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA is investing in research on precision and smart technologies to maximize production efficiencies, including water and fertilizer use, and to produce nutritious food, new biofuels, and bioproducts.” Continue reading

NIFA Invests in Research on Organic Agriculture and Animal Health

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in Research to Help Boost Organic Farming, Ranching

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Oct. 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to help farmers and ranchers grow and market high quality organic food, fiber, and other products. The grants are funded through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Organic Transitions Program (ORG). Read the full announcement at the NIFA website.

NIFA Invests in Research to Maintain Healthy Agricultural Animals

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 11, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to help maintain healthy agricultural animals. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Read the full announcement at the NIFA website.

USDA Invests $7.6 Million for Research on Pests and Beneficial Species

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 21 grants totaling $7.6 million for research to help manage pests and beneficial species that affect agricultural crops. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“There continues to be a critical need to develop new ways to defend our crops against pests,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments will also help to develop better strategies to foster the beneficial insects and microbes that have potential to combat pests.” Continue reading

USDA Invests $6.8 Million for Research and Extension Grants on Pollinator Health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced seven grants totaling $6.8 million for research and extension projects to sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation’s food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“An estimated $15 billion worth of crops, including more than 90 fruits and vegetables, are pollinated by honey bees alone,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “With the recent declines in pollinator populations owing to various factors, it is imperative that we invest in research to promote pollinator health, reduce honey bee colony losses, and restore pollinator habitats.”  Continue reading