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USDA NIFA awards 27 grants totaling $2.6 million

Grant are for innovations that address plant and animal health and production.

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded 27 grants totaling $2.6 million to support the initial development of innovative ideas in agriculture and food production through the Exploratory Research Grants program. Funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The ERG program fosters the creation of transformative innovations that address plant and animal health and production, food safety and nutrition, bioenergy, natural resources and environment, agriculture systems, technology, agricultural economics and rural communities. AFRI is America’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. 

“We have made tremendous strides with conventional agricultural practices,” said NIFA Director Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy. “However, with an expected population growth of more than 9 billion by 2050, progressive, high-yielding innovations are necessary in order to ensure food production and security for a growing population.”

The full list of grantees follows:

  • University of California, San Diego, California, $100,000
  • Connecticut State Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut, $99,999
  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, $99,979
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $100,000
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $100,000
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $99,961
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, $100,000
  • University of Georgia-School of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, Georgia, $100,000
  • University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, $100,000
  • University of Illinois-School of Veterinary Medicine, Champaign, Illinois, $100,000
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, $100,000
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, $94,202
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, $100,000
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, $99,370
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, $100,000
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, $100,000
  • University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, $100,000
  • University of Missouri, Rolla, Missouri, $100,000
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, $100,000
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, $100,000
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $100,000
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, $100,000
  • Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, $100,000
  • Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, $100,000
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, $99,879
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, $100,000
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, $99,255

Project details can be found at the NIFA website.

The ERG program, which accepts letters of intent and proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year, addresses emerging challenges that require new or unconventional approaches and yield high potential impact. This program area supports research projects, including blue sky and high risk/high reward hypotheses, to develop proof of concept for untested ideas that will lead to positive disruption of the agricultural norm.

NIFA reviews all proposals accepted in NIFA’s competitive grant programs through a peer review process in which experts from within the respective field in question take part. Specific details review formats and evaluation criteria may vary among programs.

Source: USDA NIFA

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