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Whitten Building. Photo credit: Creative Commons

Who We Are

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) was established by the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) to find innovative solutions to issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities.

One of four agencies that make up USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area, the agency is structured to direct federal funding effectively to programs that address key national and global challenges. NIFA addresses these challenges by supporting a clear mission, a vision, and goals.


“Invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges."


“Catalyze transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges.”


Our goals include advancement and application of science and technological tools in order to:

  • Achieve global food security and fight hunger
  • Mitigate climate change impacts on agricultural, forest, and rangeland systems
  • Improve and increase the production of goods and services from working lands while protecting the nation’s natural resource base and environment
  • Contribute to the nation’s energy independence through sustainable production of bioenergy and bio‐based industrial products
  • Combat childhood obesity by ensuring the availability of affordable, nutritious, and safe food and providing individuals and families science‐based nutritional guidance
  • Ensure the development of human capital, communities, and a diverse workforce

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