NIFA Update June 12

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

NIFA Update Banner

Editor: Kelly Sprute                                                                                       June 12, 2019

Making a Difference

WSU associate professor Hanwu Lei, left, and his team. Photo courtesy of WSU.

WSU associate professor Hanwu Lei, left, and his team, in the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory. Photo courtesy of WSU.

Plastic Water Bottles May One Day Fly People Cross-Country

A research group led by Washington State University (WSU) scientists has found a way to turn daily plastic waste products into jet fuel. In a new paper published in the journal Applied Energy, WSU's Hanwu Lei and colleagues melted plastic waste at high temperature with activated carbon, a processed carbon with increased surface area, to produce jet fuel. "Waste plastic is a huge problem worldwide," said Lei, an associate professor in WSU's Department of Biological System Engineering. "This is a very good, and relatively simple, way to recycle these plastics." Read the full WSU Insider article

NIFA supported this research through an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2014-38502-22598, 2016-67021-24533, 2018-67009-27904.


Youth learn about computers at a 2018 Air Force 4-H camp in New York. (Photo courtesy of 4-H).

Youth Aim High at 4-H Military Partnership Summer Camps

Military-connected youth have an exciting opportunity to join other members of the military family this summer. These residential and day camps will develop skills and teach the campers new techniques that will help prepare them to be productive citizens.

The 16 camps, held in 15 states, are 4-H camps sponsored by Air Force Child and Youth Programs, with programs tailored to meet the needs of both the host unit and regional 4-H programs. Camp themes range from leadership development to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); from sustainable energy to college prep; from drones and geospatial technology to outdoor forestry and farm conservation; and more. Read the full USDA blog.

Youth learn about computers at a 2018 Air Force 4-H camp in New York. (Photo courtesy of 4-H).

2020 NERAOC graphic logo

2020 NERAOC Topics Due by June 28

University of Missouri and Lincoln University will host the 2020 National Extension and Research Administrative Officers Conference (NERAOC), April 19-22, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. As planning gets underway for the 2020 conference, the National Planning Committee is seeking your valuable input and ideas for potential sessions and speakers, use the online form to suggest topics. Topic deadline is June 28. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact any of NIFA’s NERAOC Coordinating Committee members Sharon LumpkinErin Daly, or Lisa Read.


Federal Register graphic logo

Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) Certification Process

The Federal Register on June 7 published a notice entitled "Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) Certification Process.” This amendment to NIFA regulations updates the list of institutions that are granted Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) certification by the Secretary and are eligible for HSACU programs for the period starting Oct. 1, 2018, and ending Sept. 30, 2019. This rule is effective June 7, 2019 and applicable from Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019. Read the Federal Register notice.

Award Announcements

NIFA Invests $8.35 Million to Improve Food Quality and Function

NIFA recently awarded 20 function and efficacy of nutrients grants to investigate the role of bioactive components of food to prevent inflammation and promote gastrointestinal health. NIFA support enables scientists to investigate the role of whole food and bioactive components to develop innovative approaches and improve access to high-quality, nourishing food that leads to better health. These grants are part of NIFA’s Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

NIFA Invests $2.85 Million in Animal Well-being Program

NIFA recently awarded six animal well-being grants that advance research to understand how to better assess well-being in agricultural animals, while also identifying and lessening negative effects of stressors on farm animals. Enhancing the overall well-being of farm animals increases profitability and assures consumers that they have abundant, safe, nutritious, and affordable food animal products. These grants are a part of NIFA’s AFRI program.