USDA Invests $17.5 Million for Resilient Rural Communities and a Sustainable Agriculture Economy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 47 grants totaling nearly $17.5 million to improve sustainable agriculture and help rural communities thrive. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“A number of factors are involved in achieving economic success in rural communities,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These NIFA investments will help us understand the social and behavioral factors that inform decision-making in agriculture, which can help rural communities thrive.” Continue reading

Renewable Resources Extension Act-National Focus Fund Projects (RREA-NFF)

The purpose of the grant program is to provide funds for pilot projects that: (1) Address emerging forest and rangeland resource issues, (2) Have national or regional relevancy, or (3) Develop new and innovative projects that can be replicated at other institutions.

Who is eligible to apply:

1862 Land-Grant Institutions, 1890 Land-Grant Institutions

Request for Applications Continue reading

USDA Announces $300,000 to Support America’s Forest and Rangeland Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $300,000 in funding to support America’s forest landowners and ranchers. The grants are being funded through the Renewable Resources Extension Act – National Focus Fund Projects (RREA-NFF), administered by NIFA.

“More than half of forest lands in the United States are privately owned,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in extension forestry and rangelands education programs help ranchers, farmers, land managers, and scientists make informed decisions about how to use and sustain these natural resources.” Continue reading

You’re Invited…2017 Competitive Funding Opportunity Workshop Webinar

The workshops are designed to assist both new and veteran applicants with optimizing their chances of successfully competing in a peer-reviewed grant application process. Writing an effective grant application takes hard work, practice, and skill to communicate science ideas into a successfully funded peer-reviewed grant award. Continue reading

NIFA Announces $6 Million for Research on Plant-Biotic Interactions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of approximately $6 million to support agriculturally relevant research on the symbiotic relationship between plants and other living organisms. The Plant-Biotic Interactions program is a joint funding opportunity established through a partnership between NIFA and the National Science Foundation.

There are more than three decades of research on the molecular mechanisms that inform the interactions of plants, microbes, and invertebrates. “There is a continued need for applied tools and technologies to sustain and improve agriculture for a growing world population,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of NIFA. The Plant-Biotic Interactions program will support fundamental and applied research to provide a deeper understanding of these complex interactions. Research may lead to novel cropping systems that help plants extract nutrients from their environments, ward off diseases, and thrive in the face of extreme environmental conditions. Continue reading

Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs-General Award Administrative Provisions and Specific Administrative Provisions

A Federal Register Notice entitled “Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs-General Award Administrative Provisions and Specific Administrative Provisions” was published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2017.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is publishing as a final rule, a set of general and specific administrative requirements applicable to competitive and non-competitive non-formula programs. The purpose of this final rule is to implement sections of the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79 or the 2014 Farm Bill), making it necessary to add a new section for centers of excellence by modifying Subparts A, B, C and D of the general administrative provisions. Although this final rule becomes effective on the date of publication, NIFA is requesting comments for a 30-day period as identified below.

The comment period ends on June 5, 2017.

Send in nominations for the 2017 Seaman A. Knapp Lecture

Each year the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) joins with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to sponsor a lecture presented at the APLU Annual Meeting. The lecture honors one of the three most important historical figures of the Land-Grant University System, William Henry Hatch for research, Seaman A. Knapp for extension, and Justin Smith Morrill for whom the Morrill Act, which created the Land-Grant University System, is named.

NIFA and APLU are seeking nominations to honor Seaman A. Knapp, the father of the Cooperative Extension concept. In 1906, Knapp initiated the county-agent plan. To promote the plan, he organized boys’ cotton and corn growing clubs and in 1910, a girls’ corn and poultry club. These organizations were the forerunners of the modern 4-H clubs. In today’s rapidly changing world, Cooperative Extension has evolved to meet the shifting local, national, and global needs of the people it serves. Continue reading