NIFA Update Oct. 4

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Editor: Kelly Sprute                                                                                            Oct. 4, 2018

Making a Difference

Humans and Food are Part of our Water Cycle graphic

Humans and Food are Part of our Water Cycle

Water is the basis of all life on Earth. Treating and managing water in a sustainable and integrated way helps maintain water quantity and quality for a variety of uses, including agriculture. This new animation is on YouTube from the CONSERVE Water for Agriculture CAP project at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and regional partners, supported by NIFA, Grant number 20166800725064. Watch the water cycle animation


Caroline Crocoll

Winner of the 2018 Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award

NIFA’s Caroline Crocoll, director of the Division of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS), is the winner of the Ellen Swallow Richards Public Service Award. The Board on Human Sciences award honors a nationally-recognized leader who has a significant history of promoting and advancing human sciences. As director of the Division of Family & Consumer Sciences for the past eight years, Crocoll has demonstrated a dedication to creating and facilitating a national agenda for human and community sciences, research, education, and extension programs to promote the well-being of families and rural communities. She has served the extension community at the county, state, and federal level in FCS and 4-H since 1993. She is currently the chair of the Alliance for Family & Consumer Sciences, past Foreign Agricultural Service and State Department Embassy Science Fellow, Corporation for National and Community Service National Service Fellow, and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute focusing on Leadership in a Democratic Society. Read the full Association of Public and Land-grant Universities news release

Dr. Hanu Pappu, Washington State University professor

$5.6 Million to Target Pests, Fungus - Work will Benefit Grape, Onion, Garlic Crops, Combat Disease-resistant Strains

Two national research teams led by Washington State University scientists have received over $5.6 million in Specialty Crop Research Initiative grants from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The researchers are working to protect valuable U.S. grape, onion, and garlic crops from devastating and adaptive pests and diseases. Hanu Pappu, a professor in the department of plant pathology, received $3.29 million to understand and stop pests and diseases harming onions and garlic through sustainable defenses. Michelle Moyer, viticulture and enology associate professor, received an initial $2.4 million to study and tackle fungicide resistance threatening wine, table grape and raisin crops. Read the full Washington State University story.

News for You

Colleen Martin (Curtiss)

Student Wins AABP Research Presentation Award

Michigan State University veterinary student Colleen Martin (Curtiss) won the 2018 student research award at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Annual Conference. Her research was supported in part by a NIFA AFRI Food Security Challenge award on dairy cattle mastitis (Grant No. 2013-68004-20439). Martin’s research involved working with the dairy industry in both Michigan and Florida. Read the full Quality Milk Alliance article

University of Arkansas logo

UA Researcher's Goal: Saving water to Farm

Challenges surrounding water usage also raise big questions that University of Arkansas, Fayetteville researcher Lauren Greenlee is working to answer. "How do we sustain our way of life? How do we sustain the lifestyle that we're all used to? How do we sustain being able to go to the grocery store and having this wide selection of products?" said Greenlee, an assistant professor of chemical engineering. Greenlee has won a $4.3 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to work with farmers on ways to recycle water. Read the full Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story

Harvest time on the farm, Augusta County, VA. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols

Strengthening Health and Farm & Ranch Vitality: Tools You Can Use

Health, access to care, and health insurance affect the vitality of agricultural enterprises and farm and ranch families, according to results from a national research project funded by the USDA. The webinar is designed for Extension, agricultural advisors, tax, loan, health insurance, and health professionals. This webinar will provide practical tools educators and advisors can use to help farmers and ranchers make informed decisions for their health and farm vitality. This project is supported in part by NIFA’s Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Program, grant number 2015-2014-05623. Register for the webinar online

USDA Message

USDA NASS blog image

NASS Gathers Feedback from Farmers and Ranchers about Their Survey Experience

Data collected from farmers and ranchers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) allows for timely and accurate statistics that help our customers, U.S. farmers and ranchers, among many others, make informed business decisions. This vital data also affects farm policy, influences trade and the markets, as well as academic and historical research. Producing these statistics depends on a positive survey experience for our customers. Read the full USDA blog

Award Notification

NIFA Invests $4.1 Million in Outreach to Farmers with Disabilities   

NIFA recently announced support for 14 new extension projects designed to support farmers with disabilities in the United States. The projects focus on increasing independent living and the quality of life for agricultural workers with disabilities by providing them and their families with farm safety education, assistive technology assistance, and networking support enabling them to return to/remain active and successful in agriculture production. NIFA also provided continuing funding for seven other ongoing projects in fiscal year 2018. These 21 grants are a part of NIFA’s Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities, also known as AgrAbility.

USDA SBIR Program awards $1,176,102 in Engineering Plant Production and Protection Grants to Small Businesses

The USDA Small Business Innovation Research Program, which is administered by NIFA recently awarded 12 grants  to US small business to enhance crop production in both conventional and organic systems by creating and commercializing engineering technologies that enhance system efficiency and profitability and that protect crops from pests and pathogens in economically and environmentally sound ways.

USDA SBIR Program awards $499,651 in Biological Plant Production and Protection Grants to Small Businesses

The USDA Small Business Innovation Research Program, which is administered by NIFA recently awarded 5 grants to U.S. small business to develop novel biological approaches for enhancing crop production and protection.