USDA Announces $400,000 to Support Ag Science Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced availability of $400,000 through a new competition to help university researchers bring their discoveries to the marketplace. The Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) competition is a joint initiative of NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Federal funding is crucial to agricultural research, especially to help move university-developed technologies into commercial products, aka technology transfer,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “I-FAST competition gives researchers the training they need to help make their research marketable.” Continue reading

USDA Announces $400,000 to Support Ag Science Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced availability of $400,000 through a new competition to help university researchers bring their discoveries to the marketplace. The Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) competition is a joint initiative of NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Federal funding is crucial to agricultural research, especially to help move university-developed technologies into commercial products, aka technology transfer,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “I-FAST competition gives researchers the training they need to help make their research marketable.”    Continue reading

USDA Announces $7.2 Million for Research on Plant-Biotic Interactions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 10 grants totaling $7.2 million for research on the interactions of plants, microbes, and invertebrates. This is the first round of grants awarded through the Plant-Biotic Interactions program, a joint funding opportunity established through a partnership between NIFA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NIFA funding is made possible through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The research to be supported by these grants will help reveal the mechanisms that govern how plants interact with the world around them,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The expectation is that NIFA investments will result in tools for growers to help plants thrive in the face of pest and environmental constraints, along with other challenges.”  Continue reading

NIFA Seeks Partners for SARE National Coordinating Office and Regional Hosts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a new competitive opportunity to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office or as one of the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE).

SARE’s four regions offer competitive grants for farmers and ranchers, researchers, agricultural educators, and graduate students in the United States. Grants invest in applied research and education on the core components of sustainable agriculture: productivity, profitability, environmental stewardship and quality of life. In particular, research and outreach projects seek to increase knowledge of sustainable agricultural production systems that increase employment opportunities and profitability in agriculture; maintain soil quality, conserve water, natural resources, and wildlife habitat; preserve the quality of surface and ground water; protect the health and safety of people involved in the food and farm system; and promote the well-being of farm animals. Continue reading

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

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-Supported Researchers are Finding Solutions to Bee Losses

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue declared this week as “National Pollinator Week” to help call attention to these losses, which are caused primarily by biological and environmental stressors. On June 6, Secretary Perdue joined Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, to announce the installation of a honey beehive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence in Washington, D.C.

NIFA has supported researchers to halt the declining bee population and address the threat it poses to our nation’s long-term agricultural productivity. Through a coordinated effort across USDA and with land-grant university partners, NIFA has funded a number of projects seeking to find solutions. Continue reading