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NIFA invests over $7m to support ag colleges

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Grants aim to increase research, education and outreach capacity to support development of innovations and workforce needed to sustain ag industry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced an investment of over $7 million in research grants to U.S. Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA).

These grants aim to increase research, education and outreach capacity at Non-Land-grant Institutions to support development of the innovations and workforce needed to sustain the agriculture industry in the future.

“The National Institute of Food and Agriculture awards research, education and extension grants to solve the grand challenges before us,” said NIFA director Dr. Carrie Castille. “These efforts will help improve rural economies, increase food production and agricultural profitability and sustainability, address climate change and related issues, ensure food and nutrition security and train the next generation of the agricultural workforce.”

Examples of the 24 funded projects to U.S. Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture include:

  • Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, will prepare a diverse pool of natural resource scientists to enter a workforce focused on climate-ready and sustainable agricultural practices, particularly in rangelands ($299,999).
  • Texas A&M University, Commerce, Texas, collaborating with Tarleton State University, will learn how pollinator-friendly perennials in ornamental landscapes can provide a solution to decades of major declines in pollinators, through their Plant Drought Response and Insect Pollinator Studies project ($299,867).
  • American Indian Higher Education Consortium, working in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will create a network of scientists and educators to facilitate research, education and outreach activities relating to soil and water quality ($29,827).

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In FY2020, NIFA’s total investment was $1.95 billion.


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