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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 Announces $3.1 Million Available to Support Food and Agricultural National Needs Fellowship Grants Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $3.1 million in available funding to train the next generation of policymakers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. There is a significant shortfall between the number of jobs being created and availability of graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or environmental specialties.

“These investments support future science leaders,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “We are cultivating students’ skills in leadership, management, critical thinking and problem-solving, along with technical knowledge in the food and agricultural disciplines so they can address the emerging agricultural challenges of the 21st century.”  Continue reading

NIFA Announces $4.3 Million for Higher Education Support

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 20 grants totaling $4.3 million to help higher education institutions teach the next generation of food and agricultural science professionals. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program.

“NIFA invests in the development of future agricultural professionals,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA helps advance education of our nation’s agricultural workforce at our public and private colleges and universities.” Continue reading

NIFA Investment in K-14 Agricultural Education Helps Grow the Next Generation of American Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to support public secondary schools, non-profits, community and junior colleges, and four-year colleges and universities to engage K-14 students in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) sciences. These awards totaling about $841,250 are made through NIFA’s Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) program.

“Fostering curiosity about the world and a love of discovery begins in pre-school and can grow or wither depending on how much we invest in educational quality,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Ensuring a robust educational system down to the youngest grades is critical to ensuring our scientific workforce continues to have the skills and preparation needed to meet the demands of the future.”  Continue reading

Secretary Vilsack Awards $17.8 Million to Cultivate the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers, Sets Stage for Continued New Farmer and Rancher Support

In a meeting with new and beginning farmers at Iowa State University today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new investment of $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The investment is made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $126 million into projects targeting new and beginning farmers and ranchers through BFRDP. Continue reading