NIFA Update - Dec. 4, 2019

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Editor: Kelly Sprute                                                                                            Dec. 4, 2019

Making a Difference

Andrea Lucky in her ant research lab. Image courtesy of Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS.

Andrea Lucky in her ant research lab. Image courtesy of Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS.

University of Florida Professor Awarded USDA’s National Early Career Teaching Award

When Kayli Sieber sat down for a lecture on the history of taxonomy and categorization of insects, she expected a repetition of previous history-based lectures. But when the University of Florida senior biology student heard her teacher Andrea Lucky, Ph.D., speak about the topic, she was fascinated and hooked on every word.

“Everything she said was so applicable to our own insect collection projects for class,” said Sieber, an entomology and nematology minor. “Dr. Lucky made the topic really engaging with funny videos and interactive classroom activities.” This snapshot into a class with Andrea Lucky exemplifies why she was one of two 2019 recipients nationally of the Early Career Teacher Award by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Read the full University of Florida article.

Angle's Update

J. Scott Angle, NIFA's Director

NIFA Highlights Research, Education, and Extension Successes

As 2019 comes to a close and NIFA celebrates our tenth year, we reflect on our successes of agricultural research, education, and Extension (also referred to as the Cooperative Extension System) and our endless endeavor to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. With the 2018 Farm Bill signed into law late Dec. 2018, NIFA diligently worked to implement new Farm Bill provisions, as well as carry out existing programs that were reauthorized and subsequently funded by appropriations. Read more of NIFA’s accomplishments. As you continue to work on your NIFA funded projects, please feel free to share success stories with us, so we can highlight through this weekly update, social media, and annual reports. Send your stories to


USDA graphic symbol

USDA Announces Fellowships to Develop the Next Generation of Agriculture

USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) recently announced fellowship opportunities to connect USDA resources with faculty and staff at Hispanic Serving Institutions, 1994 Tribal Colleges and Universities, and 1890 Land-Grant Universities. The purpose of these fellowships is to connect participants to USDA and other federal resources while focusing on student development. Read the full USDA press release.

Details of the 2020 Agricultural Outlook Forum Program

96th Agricultural Outlook Forum graphic

USDA recently announced the details of the 96thAgricultural Outlook Forum program, which takes place Feb. 20-21, 2020 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The 2020 Forum is themed "The Innovation Imperative: Shaping the Future of Agriculture." The Forum’s plenary panel and several breakout sessions will focus on the central role science and innovation play in driving future growth and addressing challenges facing farmers. Read the full USDA press release.

News for You

From left to right: Dr. Desmond Mortley, Dr. Adelia C. Bovell-Benjamin, Dr. Kokoasse Kpomblekou-A, and Dr. Franklin Quarcoo of Tuskegee University.

Tuskegee Receives USDA Grant to Broaden Organic Farming in the Southeast

A $50,000 competitive grant from NIFA will allow Tuskegee University’s College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences to broaden the adoption of organic farming throughout the Southeast. An upcoming forum the college is planning will address the latest organic farming research information and highlight how to promote and strengthen organic farming infrastructure throughout the region. Read the full Tuskegee University article.

Researchers on the grant include from left to right: Dr. Desmond Mortley, Dr. Adelia C. Bovell-Benjamin, Dr. Kokoasse Kpomblekou-A, and Dr. Franklin Quarcoo. Image courtesy of Tuskegee University.

Multistate research and extension impact infographic

Research & Extension Help Rural Cooperatives

The latest Impact Statement showcases multistate research and Extension efforts that help rural communities manage effective cooperatives to meet common needs, such as agricultural inputs, farm machinery, emergency services, utilities, and more. View the multistate infographic.


Environmental Protection Agency logo

National Priorities: Research on PFAS Impacts on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations

Join in for an informational webinar to learn more about the National Priorities Research on PFAS on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations funding opportunity, Dec. 5 at 2 to 3 p.m. EST. Register for the webinar online.