USDA Invests $17.7 Million in Plant Health and Production Workforce

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 54 grants totaling more than $17.7 million for plant research that helps optimize crop production, mitigate disease, and increase yield. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Plants are the foundation of diet for both humans and animals,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is imperative to invest in research to stay ahead of the biological and environmental constraints, and develop new technologies to produce a secure, nutritious food supply for a growing population.” Continue reading

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

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

USDA Announces $1.2 Million to Support Aquaculture Research Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $1.2 million in available funding for aquaculture research projects in the areas of genetics, disease, production systems, and economics. Funding is made through NIFA’s Aquaculture Research Competitive Grants Program, authorized by the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act.

“Sustainability of the aquaculture industry is important both from the perspective of nutritional security and the creation of jobs,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “We’re committed to investing in science and education to ensure that our nation’s aquaculture industry thrives.” Continue reading

USDA Invests $4.8 Million in University Agricultural Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 19 grants totaling $4,790,100 to support agricultural science programs at non-land-grant universities. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Our nation’s ability to achieve nutritional security in the context of the multitude of biological and environmental constraints will require continued new discoveries and a cadre of graduates who are prepared to enter the agricultural workforce,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in supporting transformative research and education at the more than 80 higher education institutions that offer strong agricultural sciences programs is critical.” Continue reading

USDA Announces $1.7 Million to Support Research at Tribal Colleges and Universities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $1.7 million in funding to build research capacity at land-grant tribal colleges and universities. Funding is made through NIFA’s Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP).

“1994 land-grant universities represent a critically important part of our nation’s construct of academic institutions providing the leadership to address nutritional security amongst tribal populations while protecting our environment and natural resources, and at the same time ensuring young people are receiving education that prepares them for the workforce,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. Continue reading

USDA Announces $2 Million in New Grants for STEM-related Teacher Professional Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $2 million in grants to train high-school educators to improve student outcomes in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) sciences. These awards are made through NIFA’s Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers (PD-STEP) program, the newest grant offering under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative program.

“Every professional in agricultural research remembers a teacher who inspired them,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Supporting talented educators who want to enhance their students’ learning is one of best ways to ensure our scientific workforce continues to have the skills and preparation needed to meet the demands of the future.” Continue reading