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

Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE)

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE) is authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642) to award grants to eligible entities to conduct research and extension activities, technical assistance and development activities to: (a) combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive and including huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid, which pose imminent harm to United States citrus production and threaten the future viability of the citrus industry; and (b) provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies discovered pursuant to research and extension activities funded through SCRI/CDRE and other research and extension projects targeting problems caused by citrus production diseases and invasive pests. Continue reading

Food Safety Outreach Program

The Food Safety Outreach Program will complement and expand the national infrastructure of the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program. The Food Safety Outreach Program will build upon that national infrastructure, with a sustained focus on delivery of customized training to members of the target audiences. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups. Continue reading

CDRE 2018 call for pre-applications is open

The FY 2018 Citrus Disease Research and Extension (CDRE) is now available for public viewing. 

NIFA Funding Opportunity Page: https://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/citrus-disease-research-and-extension-cdre.

Grants.gov Page: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=303677.   

This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFPA) and the application package.

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

USDA Provides Almost $70 Million in Fiscal Year 2018 to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases through the 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating almost $70 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 494 projects in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. These projects prevent the introduction or spread of invasive plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States.

“Through the Farm Bill Section 10007, the USDA strengthens our nation’s ability to safeguard U.S. specialty crops, agriculture, and natural resources by putting innovative ideas into action,” said Under Secretary Ibach. “Getting these funds into the hands of our cooperators around the country helps us to keep U.S. plants, crops, and forests safe from invasive pests and diseases, enhances the marketability of our country’s products, and makes American agriculture and natural resources thrive.” Continue reading

Farmers.gov highlights producers, latest information

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled Farmers.gov, the new interactive one-stop website for producers maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Farmers.gov is now live and will have multiple features added over the coming months to allow agricultural producers to make appointments with USDA offices, file forms, and apply for USDA programs. The website gathers together the three agencies that comprise USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) mission area: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.

This month, the website launched its blog, which features stories from all three agencies including articles on crop insurance. Monday they kicked-off a special blog feature called Fridays on the Farm (#FOTF):