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Iowa State Broiler Research Points to Lasers as Environmental Enrichment Devices

To celebrate National Poultry Day, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by Iowa State University. 

Broiler chickens are motivated to move by dot-sized laser lights on the floor of pens. Credit: Iowa State University.


A Look Back: Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program Increases Fruit and Vegetable Purchases, Leads to Launch of GusNIP

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is looking back on past program successes.

Food background fruits and vegetables collection. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.


Professor Receives USDA-NIFA Grant to Address Need for Human Nutritionists

A researcher at the University of Arkansas has been awarded a USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to help educate and train master’s degree students to fill expected job openings in diverse communities.  

Portrait of Donna Graham, University Professor and Director of the School of Human Environmental Sciences in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.


1890 Colleges and Universities Support STEM Education

People in science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) careers help fuel innovations vital to improving people’s quality of life, spurring economic growth and expanding the nation’s technological advances. 

Elementary school students performing scientific experiment. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.


UMES Awarded NIFA grant Aimed at Helping Hemp Growers Combat Pests, Diseases and Weeds

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore in partnership with the University of Maryland College Park and Alabama State University aims to help industrial hemp growers on Delmarva manage pests, plant diseases and weeds through a new…

Dr. Simon Zebelo, (at left), an associate professor of entomology and plant biology at UMES, serves as the principal director for the $600,000 three-year award. Photo by Todd Dudek, agricultural communications, University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences


Research Expanding Opportunities for Commercial Seaweed Production

Seaweed aquaculture has great potential for growth in the U.S., but currently production is limited to a small number of farms that cultivate just one or two species of kelp. Supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and…

Dulse, a red seaweed, grown by Springtide Seaweed. Photo by Sarah Redmond.


UConn Researchers Studying Unintended Effects of Gene Editing in Tomatoes

Researchers in UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources are exploring options to help ensure consumers have a safe, abundant and nutritious food supply. The project, which is studying a genetic editing technique in…

UConn doctoral student Hengsong Li inspects tomatoes.


Research Improving Dairy Cow Nutrition

Many Americans eat dairy regularly, and dairy farms contribute to rural economies, but dairy farmers face many challenges, such as keeping up with costs, managing manure and emissions, and protecting animal welfare.

Cows in a farm. Courtesy of Adobe Stock.


Battling Exotic Ant Pests in American Samoa

Strengthening American Samoa's ability to prevent, detect and respond to invasive exotic ants is essential to preserving the territory's agricultural production, its environment and its people's unique way of life. Thanks to funding…

Eli Sarnat, PIAkey: Invasive Ants of the Pacific Islands, USDA APHIS PPQ,


National Animal Health Laboratory Network: Protecting the American Agriculture System for 20 Years

The U.S. livestock and food sectors, which account for more than $150 billion in annual cash receipts, are under continual threat from outbreaks of foreign and emerging animal diseases. Since 2002, these agricultural assets have been…

Tollett Lab Director Randy Moore, DVM and microbiologist Amy Chapman analyze samples in the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Credit: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture


UNM Biologists Make Breakthrough in Fish Mucosal Immune System Research

Researchers in the Salinas Lab at UNM’s Department of Biology have discovered an immune structure in the nasal cavities of rainbow trout that scientists previously didn’t think existed. The new knowledge will allow fish immunologists…

Researchers in the Salinas Lab at UNM’s Department of Biology have discovered an immune structure in the nasal cavities of rainbow trout that scientists previously didn’t think existed.


Building a Culture of Composting

Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state, and University of Illinois Extension professionals are using the fall favorite to build awareness of the importance of composting in Cook County.

Close up on pumpkin in a pumpkin patch. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.


Even After a Wildfire, Dangers Persist

There has been an unprecedented increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires with 2020 marked as the most active wildfire year across the Western United States. While direct impacts from wildfires are devastating as singular…

A car is lodged in a Montecito, California, home following a January 2018 debris flow following the massive Thomas Fire. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.


Land-grant University Researchers Helping in Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

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…

Researcher looking through a microscope. Courtesy of Adobe Stock.


NIFA-Funded Drought Research Inspires Scientist’s Poetry

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture-funded researcher Jess Gersony, who formerly was a postdoc at the University of New Hampshire, has turned her passion for studying natural resources and the environment into poetry. Now at…

Illustration by Smith College student Marge Poma of a tree surrounded by tall buildings. 


Respecting Roots and Growing for the Future with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Six years ago, there was a 300-acre parcel of wooded land in North Stonington, Connecticut. A dirt road led into the property, and Jeremy Whipple, executive director of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) Department of…

Members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Extension educator transplanting hydroponic lettuce at the Meechooôk Farm. Meechooôk Farm produces lettuce, tomato, and herbs hydroponically, and three sisters (corn, bean, and squash), pumpkin, strawberry, blueberry, and many other crops in the field. (Remsberg Inc.)


National Clean Plant Center for Berries Expands Capabilities

The Arkansas Clean Plant Center for Berries at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station has moved into a renovated laboratory, expanding its capability to assure that nurseries and growers have plants free of harmful pathogens. …

Research scientist Dan Villamor sets up samples in the centrifuge in the Arkansas Clean Plant Center for Berries. The center moved into new and updated facilities in October 2022. Credit: Fred Miller/U of A System Division of Agriculture.


Virginia Tech-led Group that Researched Boxwood Blight Wins USDA Award

The Boxwood Blight Insight Group (BBIG) was awarded a Partnership Award from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the Program Improvement through Global Engagement Category.

Researchers at Virginia Tech studied the emerging destructive disease of boxwood blight, which has destroyed entire crops, resulting in significant economic losses for garden centers and production facilities. Image courtesy of Virginia Tech.


Research and Extension Supports Local Food Systems

In the South, local food systems face numerous complex issues, such as barriers to entry, fragmentation, and racial injustice. These issues can keep producers and consumers from fully participating in local food systems. Strengthening…

A father and son shop at a farmer’s market.


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Proclaims October 2 - 8 as National 4-H Week 

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has proclaimed October 2 - 8 as National 4-H Week! You can read and download the Proclamation on National 4-H Week, 2022 - United States Department of Agriculture. 4-H engages, enables and empowers…

Image of kids running at 4-H event, courtesy of NIFA


Helping Western Tribal Communities Understand the Impacts of and Adaptation Options for Climate Change

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is providing important financial support through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program to the Desert Research Institute and its Native Waters on Arid Lands project…

Trent Teegerstrom (UA, Tribal Ext Dir) and Virgil Dupuis (SKC, Extension Dir) looking over agriculture lands fed by the Flathead River on the Flathead Reservation of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT)


A New Cash Oilseed Cover Crop for Midwest Corn and Soybean Rotations

Thanks to a $10 million dollar grant awarded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture in 2019, a new oilseed is moving ever closer to becoming a cover crop that can be used both as a component in biofuels and livestock feeds…

Field pennycress. Credit: Ohio State Weed Lab at The Ohio State University.


Langston University Excels in Daylily Research

Despite its rich environmental, nutritional, medicinal and research history, daylily’s economies evolve mainly around the beauty of its flowers. The diversity and complexity of its colors are unparalleled across ornamental crops. With…

Daylily cultivar Mels Folly, courtesy of Langston University.


SDSU Researchers Working to Fill Educational Gaps for Rural Students

Two South Dakota State University researchers have begun working to help “fill in the gaps” that rural students might be missing in their education. The idea came from hearing conversations parents were having regarding their children’s…

The curriculum LaunchSkills assists professionals support developing life readiness skills in youth as they make the transition from high school to either college or the workforce. Photo courtesy of SDSU.


Oregon State Researchers Discover Compounds Contributing to Smoke Taint in Wine and Grapes

With funding from NIFA, an Oregon State University-led research team has discovered a class of compounds that contribute to smoke taint in wine and grapes.

Wine grapes in an Oregon vineyard. Credit: Tiffany Woods/Oregon State University.
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