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

Antkey Mobile, USDA ITP’s newest mobile app, is here!

The USDA APHIS ITP team is pleased to announce the latest addition to our mobile app collection: Antkey Mobile. Developed in cooperation with the tool’s author, Eli Sarnat, and Australia’s Identic team, this app is based on ITP’s web-based tool, Antkey .

Lucid Mobile apps offer you the identification keys you’ve come to rely on from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet. Antkey Mobile (free for Android or iOS) allows you to take your Lucid key with you into the field for surveys and screening, even if your field site lacks internet access. Continue reading

USDA Announces more than $8.6 Million to Support Community Food Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced more than $8.6 million in available funding to assist low-income individuals and communities in developing local and self-reliant food systems. This funding is available through NIFA’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“This program is important because it reaches beyond short-term food relief,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It integrates economic, social, and environmental impacts to form comprehensive solutions to problems across all food system levels.” Continue reading

Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP)

The purpose of this competitive undergraduate scholarship grant program is to increase the multicultural diversity of the food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce, and advance the educational achievement of all Americans by providing competitive grants to colleges and universities. Continue reading

Collaring the Mice that Carry Lyme Disease-Causing Ticks

White-footed mice in Howard County, Maryland are being collared as part of a study to improve control of the ticks that spread Lyme disease. The mouse collaring research, never before done in Maryland, is a partnership of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks (HCRP), and University of Maryland (UMD).

The mouse tracking is part of a larger five-year ARS Tick Management Project evaluating the use of minimal pesticide or integrated pest management methods to lower the number of black-legged ticks. Some of those ticks carry Lyme disease-causing bacteria and are around single-family yards and gardens adjacent to large Howard County parks. Continue reading

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announces $945,000 in funding to recruit and educate a more diverse agricultural workforce

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $945,400 in available funding to help foster the next generation of multicultural scholars in agricultural sciences.  Funding is made through NIFA’s Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP).

“The Multicultural Scholars Program seeks to help young people reach their potential in the agricultural sciences,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It is important to develop the most diverse talent pool possible and show these students the abundant opportunities in the agricultural sector.” Continue reading

Intercropping boosts vegetable production

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

The old ways could be the best ways when it comes to small-acreage vegetable production, according to a newly published article available through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Dr. Jose Franco, a U.S. Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service agroecologist, Mandan, North Dakota, conducted the two-year study of intercropping at the Texas A&M University Horticulture Farm in Bryan for his doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Dr. Astrid Volder, former Texas A&M University faculty and current University of California at Davis plant physiologist; Dr. Stephen King, a former professor and vegetable breeder with Texas A&M department of horticultural sciences, College Station; and Dr. Joe Masabni, AgriLife Extension small acreage horticulturist, Overton.  Continue reading