NIFA Update Oct. 30

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Editor: Kelly Sprute                                                                                          Oct. 30, 2019

Making a Difference

Three beef heifers. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Division of Agriculture Researchers to Study Influences on Bovine Respiratory Disease

NIFA awarded a $400,000 grant to a team of faculty researchers within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture to study the respiratory microbiome and metatranscriptome of beef cattle and their influences on bovine respiratory disease. The grant will fund a four-year study focusing on what is widely considered the most common and costly disease facing beef producers. Read the full University of Arkansas news story.

Three beef heifers. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Angle's Update

Dr. J. Scott Angle NIFA's Director

Dear NIFA Stakeholders,

I have been getting questions on a variety of issues. Should you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to reach out to respective offices: ASAP Inquires, e-mail; reimbursable agreements, e-mail; Capacity programs and administrative questions relating to the completion of the forms, e-mail; Competitive programs, send post-award requests and reports to; and REEport forms and submissions, e-mail the Planning, Accountability, and Reporting Staff at We are committed to providing the best customer service.


Mr. Robert Magill, image courtesy of Peggy Grep ARS.

Acting Deputy Directory for NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management

Mr. Robert Magill will serve as the acting Deputy Director for the Office of Grants and Financial Management. Magill has been with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) since Oct. 2001 and has served as the Research, Education, and Economics Chief Financial Officer since Nov. 2012. He also serves as the director of the Financial Management and Agreements Division within ARS. Magill has worked closely with OGFM over the years and looks forward to assisting OGFM through the transition period.

USDA NIFA & ERS Career Expo graphic

USDA Career Opportunities Expo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will hold a Career Opportunities Expo Nov. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Kansas State University Olathe campus. From those seeking an internship to those seeking an “encore career,” this event is perfect for anyone who is interested in working for ERS or NIFA in Kansas City. Both agencies recently relocated to the area and are seeking qualified candidates for a variety of positions. Candidates can apply for job openings on the website as opportunities become available. Find more NIFA career opportunities on our website.  

USDA Messages

USDA graphic symbol

USDA Announces 1890 National Scholars Program Funding Opportunity

The USDA announced the opening of the 2020 scholarship application cycle for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program. The program aims to increase the number of students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. This program is available through the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. Read the full USDA press release.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

USDA Establishes Domestic Hemp Production Program

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. This program, required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States. “At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” said Secretary Perdue. Read the full USDA press release.

News for You

Snakofa Farms and Duke University project graphic image.

Sankofa Farms and Duke win USDA Service Learning Grant

Sankofa Farms and the Duke World Food Policy Center are among five teams winning grants from NIFA. The Nutrition and Agriculture Service Learning Program grants aim to increase the knowledge of agriculture, improve the nutritional health of children, and increase the capacity for food, garden, and nutrition education. Through the two-year, $225,000 grant, the Sankofa/Duke project team will develop a curriculum for 5th grade students that fosters health improvements through knowledge of food and agriculture. Read the full Duke University new story.

Snakofa Farms and Duke University project graphic image.

Award Announcements

NIFA invests $16.3 in Small Business Advanced Innovation Research

NIFA recently announced 26 grants to domestic small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. All these awardees displayed promise through SBIR Phase 1 projects and warrant a larger SBIR Phase 2 grant based on demonstration of relevant technical objectives; a potential viable market, customers and marketing strategy; significant intellectual property; and financing. Awards were made in pursuit of the following topics:

  • Forests and Related Resources
  • Plant Production and Protection – Biology
  • Plant Production and Protection – Engineering
  • Animal Production and Protection
  • Aquaculture
  • Conservation of Natural Resources (formerly Air, Water and Soils)
  • Food Science and Nutrition
  • Rural and Community Development
  • Biofuels and Biobased Products
  • Small and Mid-Size Farms