Jacobs-Young Announces Shanower as Acting NIFA Director

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education, Economics and Acting Chief Scientist Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young announced today that Thomas Shanower will become Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Shanower will be replacing outgoing NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy.

“Dr. Shanower brings more than 20 years of experience in scientific research and management, and he will maintain a steady hand at the helm of NIFA,” said Dr. Jacobs-Young. “NIFAs’ support of the best and brightest scientists has resulted in groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, explore new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability and ensure food safety. We salute Dr. Ramaswamy for his tireless enthusiasm at NIFA in support of agriculture-related research and education.” Continue reading

USDA NIFA invests in food safety outreach and education

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced awards to provide food safety education for producers and processors affected by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Funding is provided through the NIFA’s Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP).

“Education and outreach are essential for the continued implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, as foodborne illness is both a public health problem and a threat to the economic well-being of any food system,” said NIFA Director Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy. “With a multi-layered approach of multi-state, community outreach, and pilot projects, small farmers, wholesalers, and small-scale processors can increase their bottom line while meeting the critical need of food safety in the United States.” Continue reading

NIFA announces partners for SARE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced partners to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO) and as the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE). NIFA’s SARE program supports farmer-focused solutions that boost production, increase profitability, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance quality of life in rural communities.

The NRCCO for the SARE program and the four regional SARE host institutions will serve for five years from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 through 2022. The NRCCO works with NIFA and the national SARE Operations Committee to administer national reporting, coordination, and communications. Each regional host institution collaborates with NIFA to implement regional competitive grant and outreach programs as guided by the Regional Administrative Council (AC). Continue reading

USDA awards five grants to combat citrus greening

In Southwest Farm Press

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded five grants to combat citrus greening disease. The funding is made through the emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE). CDRE was authorized as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The need to advance research and extension to develop management strategies for huanglongbing (citrus greening disease) has reached a critical juncture,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Severe damage to the Florida citrus crop from 2017 hurricanes further exacerbates the pressure on the industry and the need for new strategies to address the disease.” 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’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

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