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Secretary Vilsack Awards $17.8 Million to Cultivate the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers, Sets Stage for Continued New Farmer and Rancher Support

In a meeting with new and beginning farmers at Iowa State University today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new investment of $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The investment is made through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $126 million into projects targeting new and beginning farmers and ranchers through BFRDP. Continue reading

Secretary Vilsack Announces $36.5 Million for Specialty Crop Research and Extension Investments

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced 19 grants totaling $36.5 million for research and extension to support American farmers growing fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops including floriculture. The grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“America’s specialty crop farmers face many challenges ranging from a changing climate to increasing production costs. Investing in cutting edge research helps uncover solutions to keep their operations viable and ensures Americans have access to safe, affordable and diverse food options,” said Vilsack. “The universities, state departments of agriculture and trade associations that partner with USDA address challenges at the national and local levels to help sustain all parts of America’s food and agriculture system, whether the farms are small or large, conventional or organic.” Continue reading

USDA Awards More Than $14.5 Million to Support Plant Health and Resilience Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $14.5 million in grants to support research into plant health, production and resilience. These grants were made through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“As global temperatures rise, we are already seeing that our crops and native plants are increasingly threatened by pests, diseases and invasive species,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Research into growing more resilient, stress tolerant crops that use water and nutrients more efficiently will offer farmers new tools to produce crops sustainably, and will benefit consumers with food security in the face of climate change and the loss of agricultural land.” Continue reading

Vilsack announces new projects that will fight plant pests and diseases

In Southwest Farm Press

USDA officials report another year of grants are being rolled out over the next few weeks in support of hundreds of new research projects designed to develop better and more effective ways to fight the spread of plant diseases and curb invasive pest outbreaks in the years ahead.

Section 1007 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 provides annual funds to be allocated for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to review and award funding to projects that focus on the growing problems of plant disease and pest pressure on U.S. agriculture and ways to better manage and control them with environmentally-friendly strategies. Continue reading

USDA Secretary Vilsack Announces $58.25 Million to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases Through 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has allocated $58.25 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill. This money will support 434 projects that prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment and ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States. Funding will be provided to 50 States plus Guam and Puerto Rico to implement projects suggested by universities, States, Federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, non-profits and Tribal organizations. Continue reading

Overview of the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request for NIFA

You are cordially invited to attend an overview of the President’s proposed FY17 NIFA Budget presented by Sonny Ramaswamy, director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, on Tues., Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. EST.  Continue reading

USDA Seeks Fellowship Applications for Future Agricultural Scientists, Science Educators

Nearly $19 Million Available to Students and Educators for Fellowships to Address Challenges in Nutrition, Food Security, Climate Change, and Other Agricultural Areas

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $18.9 million in competitive grants to support fellowships and other higher education training projects in food, nutrition, natural resources and agriculture fields. These fellowships are administered through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and will support pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, undergraduate fellowships, and professional development for secondary school teachers and educational professionals. Continue reading