The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture today announced three grants designed to boost food security by minimizing livestock losses to insects and diseases. The awards to support research, education and Extension efforts were made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which is authorized by the 2014 farm bill.
NIFA made the awards through the AFRI Food Security challenge area, which seeks to increase sustainable food production. Priority was given to projects that will improve prevention, early detection, rapid diagnosis, or recovery from new, foreign, or emerging diseases or arthropods (like fleas and ticks) that have the potential to cause major impacts on food security. NIFA will make additional awards later this spring through the AFRI Food Security challenge area that focus on minimizing crop losses by arthropods and diseases.
The fiscal year 2014 awards are:
- University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt., $1.48 million – Reduce the impact of new, emerging and foreign pests and diseases to domestic production of cattle, swine and small ruminant foods and byproducts.
- Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $1.46 million – Develop knowledge-based integrated approaches to detect, control, and prevent poultry respiratory diseases in the United States through new and improved diagnostic tools, vaccines, and novel preventive measures.
- Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Miss., $47,464 – To create a portable computer and communication center for training veterinary students, graduate students, practicing veterinarians and other food production stakeholders to use system dynamics modeling, other forms of stochastic and deterministic modeling and health data management or analysis software to protect livestock from pests and disease.
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Today’s grants include research on alternatives to antimicrobials, such as improved vaccines, which could lead to a decrease in antimicrobial use. Antimicrobial resistance has been an area of focus during the past two decades as the USDA plays a dual role in protecting animal agriculture and public health. Recognizing AMR as a potential and serious threat, the USDA’s AMR activities focus on surveillance; research and development; and education, extension, and outreach.
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.
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