USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Invests in the Safety, Health of Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for projects that strengthen food and agricultural science education in insular areas of the United States. Funding is made through three NIFA programs:

  • Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas (RIIA), which work to strengthen institutional educational capacities in instruction and curriculum within a broadly defined arena of food and agricultural sciences-related disciplines,
  • Distance Education Grants (DEG) for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas, which support projects to improve formal, post-secondary agricultural sciences education through distance education technology, and
  • Agriculture and Food Sciences Facilities and Equipment (AGFEI) program, which supports the construction or upgrade of agriculture and food science facilities and equipment necessary to conduct tropical and subtropical agricultural research.

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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’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Tribal Extension and Research Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to fund programs that promote learning, opportunity, and health within the American Indian community. The funding is made possible through two NIFA programs: the Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program and the Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program.

“1994 land-grant institutions are an important part of our educational and innovation system that underpins our nation’s food, agricultural, and natural resources enterprise,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These grants support educators and extension specialists who engage with tribal communities by providing education and research-based knowledge.”  Continue reading

NIFA Supports Increasing Rural Prosperity through Education, Mentoring, and Technical Assistance Programs for the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced awards made to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The BFRDP program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, aims to help address issues associated with the rising age and decrease in the number of U.S. farmers and ranchers.

“According to the 2012 Agriculture Census undertaken by the National Agricultural Statistics Survey, the average age of the American farmer is approximately 59 years old,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides the training and resources to attract a wide range of communities – veterans, refugees, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, women, individuals from underrepresented groups, small farmers, aspiring farm workers, and others – into farming and ranching.”  Continue reading

Organic grain, soybean study establishes early production recommendations

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

After one year of studying organic grain and soybean cropping systems, Texas A&M AgriLife scientists say they know more about what not to do moving forward.

Three Texas A&M researchers are using a $475,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to study organic grain and soybean cropping systems over a three-year period. Continue reading

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Education, Mentoring, and Technical Assistance Programs to Help New Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $17.7 million in available funding to support the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs that help beginning farmers and ranchers in the U.S. and its territories. Funding is made through NIFA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2018, at 5 p.m. Eastern time. See the funding opportunity for details.

USDA/NIFA Invests in Programs to Increase Crop Productivity, Profitability, and Stewardship of Three Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support for research to increase the productivity, profitability, and natural resources stewardship of canola, potato, and alfalfa production systems. The grants are funded through three NIFA programs: Alfalfa and Forage Research, Supplemental and Alternative Crops, and Potato Breeding Research.

“For American farmers to continue to prosper and help feed the world, research serves as an accelerator for discovering innovative ways to increase farm productivity and profitability,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These programs help sustain and expand the acreage and use of alfalfa, potatoes, and canola for long-lasting impacts through collaborations between universities, federal agencies, and industry organizations around the country.” Continue reading