NIFA Honors Land-Grant University Partners, Announces NIFA Hall of Fame Inductees

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NIFA announcement

NIFA Honors Land-Grant University Partners, Announces NIFA Hall of Fame Inductees

Recognizes “positive change” through agricultural research, education, and extension.

NIFA Honors Land-Grant University Partners, Announces Hall of Fame Inductees. NIFA Photo by Dorissel Resto.

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 25 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today honored several land-grant university partners during its annual Day of Appreciation ceremony. Those honored were recognized for supporting NIFA’s mission to advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges.

“We are committed to supporting the research, education, and extension efforts of our partners,” said NIFA Director J. Scott Angle. “We value the contributions of the researchers and individuals whose work has significantly made a difference in elevating agriculture and science for the benefit of Americans.”

The 2019 NIFA Partnership Awards were presented in three different categories to the lead institutions of NIFA-supported projects that resulted in exceptional impacts.

The Mission Integration of Research, Education, and Extension award honors teams who work across all three of NIFA’s mission areas to produce positive outcomes in agriculture, the environment, communities, or people. The Children’s Healthy Living Program for remote underserved minority populations in the Pacific region partners with communities to elevate the capacity of the region to build and sustain a healthy food and physical environment to prevent obesity among young children in the region. The program combined efforts to train a public health nutrition workforce; conduct public health nutrition research; develop a food, nutrition, and physical activity data-management and – evaluation system; and communicate nutrition – and health-related information to the public.

The Multistate Efforts award recognizes partnership projects that respond to critical needs important to each project leader’s state. Beef produced on pasture and rangeland forages and dual-purpose winter wheat in the Southern Great Plains (Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas) provides a significant portion of the nation’s red meat while contributing greatly to farm income in the region. The Great Plains Grazing Team is a coordinated, region-wide network of researchers and extension specialists that came together to develop science-based knowledge, address climate adaptation and mitigation, and support on-farm decision-making in forage-based beef production systems. In addition to Kansas State University, the team included scientists and extension specialists from Oklahoma State University, Tarleton State University, and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

The Innovative Programs and Projects award acknowledges a project that uses a unique combination of resources and disciplines to enact positive outcomes in response to important regional or national issues. Women have significant employment, management, and ownership of family farms and agribusiness in Iowa. Based on the 2012 Census of Agriculture, women represented 25 percent of all farm operations in the state. Since 2016, over 50 percent of undergraduates in the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are women. The 2017 Study of Farmland Ownership and Tenure in Iowa shows women own 47 percent of all Iowa farmland. There is a critical need for education directed specifically to women in agriculture to empower them with the skills and knowledge they need to make their farms and agribusiness successful. The Women in Ag Team addresses this need through curricula and programs, storytelling, innovative research, and partnerships.

The agency also inducted three individuals into NIFA’s Hall of Fame, established in 2011 to recognize individuals whose exceptional contributions to NIFA’s mission at the local, regional, national, or international level have made a positive impact on the lives of citizens.

Dr. Gina Eubanks is the Associate Vice Chancellor and Program Leader for Nutrition and Food Sciences at the Louisiana State University. Eubanks also served as the Vice Chancellor for Extension at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Eubanks participated in 4-H during high school and attended Southern University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in clothing and textile science. She then attended Oklahoma State University and earned a master's degree in clothing and textiles and a Ph.D. in home economics.

Dr. Charles Hibberd is the Dean and Director of the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Division. Prior to that he was the Director of Extension and Associate Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University. Previously, he was the Director of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. Hibberd also served as the Chair of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Hibberd received his bachelor's degree in agriculture, with an animal science major, and his master's and Ph.D. degrees from Oklahoma State University in animal science and animal nutrition, respectively.

Dr. Ian Maw served for 15 years as the Vice President for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the Academic Committee on Organization and Policy, the Academic Programs Section of the Board on Agriculture Assembly, and the Director of Academic Programs. He retired from Rutgers University after a 34 year career as a faculty member at Cook College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and earned a master’s and doctorate degrees from the Pennsylvania State University.

NIFA’s mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA’s investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural sciences, visit, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAImpacts.


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