NIFA Update - Nov. 30, 2022

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Editor: Maggie Lawrence                                                                       November 30, 2022

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Land-grant University Researchers Help in Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week NIFA graphic.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Learn how researchers at four Land-grant Universities are tackling the problem.

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In Case You Missed It

NIFA Nutrition Security Webinar: The Role of 1890 LGUs in Prioritizing Nutrition Security

In November, NIFA held the latest edition of its Nutrition Security Webinar Series. The event focusesed on the role of 1890 Land-grant Universities in prioritizing nutrition security. The session began with NIFA’s Acting Director Dr. Dionne Toombs providing an overview of the recent White House Conference for Hunger, Nutrition and Health and sharing how NIFA is working to implement the National Strategy with the goal of ending hunger, improving nutrition and physical activity, and reducing diet-related diseases and disparities. Dr. Manoharan Muthusamy provided an overview of the 1890 Centers of Excellence Program, followed by featured panelists highlighting work being done through the Center of Excellence for Nutrition, Health, Wellness and Quality of Life. View the recording of the webinar on NIFA’s YouTube channel.

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We Want to Hear From You About NIFA’s Grants Modernization Initiative

As part of NIFA’s Grants Modernization Initiative, we are examining NIFA’s current external-facing grants management system capabilities and exploring two new grants management solutions – eRA and GrantSolutions. As part of our process, we are considering a number of factors, such as what advantages our current systems have in meeting our customers’ needs; what the “gaps” are in our current systems’ capabilities; how familiar our external stakeholders are with the eRA (Commons) and GrantSolutions systems; and what grants management features are most important to our customers’ experience.

We welcome your feedback on NIFA’s Grants Modernization Initiative. If you have any comments, questions or concerns about NIFA’s current grants management systems or the grants management systems NIFA is considering adopting in the future (eRA or GrantSolutions), please send them to

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Upcoming Events

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USDA’s New Nutrition Research Initiative Launch

Join USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA Chief Scientist & Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young on Monday, December 5 at 9 a.m. EST for a virtual event announcing USDA’s new initiative to better support USDA nutrition research coordination and enhance community access to nutrition information. Register by 5 p.m. EST Friday, December 2.

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Registration Now Open for 2023 Agricultural Outlook Forum

USDA’s 99th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, will be held in-person at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott on February 23-24, 2023, and all sessions will be livestreamed on a virtual platform. More than 30 sessions and 100 agriculture leaders and subject matter experts will discuss key issues impacting the sector. Learn more about the Forum and register here.

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Application Deadlines

News from NIFA

Farm worker using COVID training materials, courtesy of Texas A&M

NIFA-funded Project Brings COVID-19 Education, Vaccines to Rural Dairy Farms

Research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally impacted U.S. dairy farm workers — especially Hispanic populations — and affected the dairy industry in several ways, from decreased milk prices and disrupted milk supply chains to worker shortages, increased production costs and lack of operating capital. Through a project funded by NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Texas A&M researchers developed COVID-19 training resources for U.S. dairy industry producers and workers and partnered with the State Department of Public Health to hold on-farm mobile vaccine clinics.  Learn more about their work here.

Farm worker using COVID training materials, courtesy of Texas A&M

Read More:
Impacts of NIFA-funded research and Extension programs on our blogs page.

NIFA Webinars

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CPPM Applied Research and Development RFA Technical Assistance Webinar

Join NIFA staff for a technical assistance webinar December 1 at noon EST to learn more about the Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) Applied Research and Development program. This program addresses high-priority issues related to pests and their management using integrated pest management (IPM) approaches at the state, regional and national levels. The CPPM program supports projects that will ensure food security and respond effectively to other major societal pest management challenges with comprehensive IPM approaches that are economically viable, ecologically prudent and safe for human health.

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Live FAQ Session: Rapid Response to Extreme Weather Events Across Food and Agriculture Systems

NIFA will hold an FAQ session December 8 at 3 p.m. EST for those interested in the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Rapid Response to Extreme Weather Events Across Food and Agricultural Systems (A1712) program area priority. This AFRI priority area is designed to rapidly identify and implement strategies to protect the nation’s food and agricultural supply chains and the people who support them during and after extreme weather events.

Specialty Crop Research Initiative RFPA Technical Assistance Webinar

On December 9 at 2 p.m. EST, NIFA staff will discuss the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Request for Pre-Applications requirements and will provide technical assistance to applicants. The purpose of the SCRI program is to address critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and Extension that address focus on key challenges of national, regional and multistate importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems.

Methyl Bromide Transition RFA Technical Assistance Webinar

Join NIFA staff December 20 at 2 p.m. for a technical assistance webinar regarding the Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program. This program addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has been a pest and disease control tactic critical to pest management systems for decades for soilborne and postharvest pests. The MBT program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions.

Impact of NIFA-Funded Research and Outreach

Kids in the Kitchen participants, image courtesy of North Carolina A&T.

Kids in The Kitchen Offers Healthy Recipes, Family Fun

Kids in the Kitchen is a summer program through Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T State University. Virtual and in-person classes offered during the past three summers have given children a chance to do cooking demonstrations and gain an introduction to international cuisines and cultures. Learn more about Kids in the Kitchen here.

Kids in the Kitchen participants, courtesy of North Carolina A&T.

A flowering pepper banker plant, courtesy of University of Florida.

Banker Plants Effective for Managing Thrips on Roses

Chilli thrips are a nuisance to rose growers, as their feeding causes foliar and flower damage. University of Florida researchers investigated using a banker plant system for managing chilli thrips on roses. Recently published research demonstrates the potential of this system for helping rose growers using two predatory mite species. Read more here.

A flowering pepper banker plant hosts beneficial predatory mites,
courtesy of University of Florida.

NIFA In the News

Tweet of the Week

Tweet of the Week – Nov 30 2022 – NMSU pecan research

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is leading a group of scientists working to develop genetic tools and resources to breed climate-adapted pecan trees that could combat vivipary - a condition that causes nuts to germinate prematurely on trees. Read more at NMSU online.

LinkedIn Post of the Week

2023 National 4-H Conference graphic.

Join NIFA for a virtual information session on December 7 at 4 p.m. EST to learn more about the 2023 National 4-H Conference including the registration process, schedule and key events, chaperone roles and travel logistics. Register online.