NIFA Seeking Stakeholder Input on Emerging Needs and Opportunities in the Food and Agricultural Sciences

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is soliciting stakeholder input on the emerging needs and opportunities in food and agricultural sciences. Through this initiative, “NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives,” stakeholders are invited to provide input to help ensure the strategic positioning and relevancy of NIFA’s investments in advancing agricultural research, extension, and education.

“NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives” focuses on garnering answers to two questions from stakeholders: “What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension, or education that NIFA should address?” and “What are the most promising science opportunities for advancement of food and agricultural sciences?” Continue reading

NIFA Invests $35 Million in Specialty Crop Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 12 new grants totaling $35 million for science-based solutions and new technology for the specialty crop industry.  Funding is made through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Specialty crops generally fetch high value for the farmers, but require more intensive farming than conventional crops, such as wheat or corn,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments in specialty crop research provide high-tech solutions to the needs of farmers and processors. They foster a competitive U.S. industry that offers abundant, nutritious, safe and affordable food sources.” 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 $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

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