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Memorial Day: NIFA Supports U.S. Military Community

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports military members, veterans and military families through a variety of programs and services.

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Mint Your Own Garden Gold

With support from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and based at the nation’s Land-grant Institutions, Cooperative Extension offers a wealth of resources to help you turn waste into garden gold.

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Cookbook App a Recipe for Success

A USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture-funded mobile app is helping food pantry clients gain confidence in preparing healthy meals.

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NIFA-Funded Research Strengthens Tools for Wildfire Management, Adaptation and Recovery

According to the USDA, more than 10 million acres have burned nationwide since 2015, causing billions of dollars in losses. Every year, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funds projects that reduce the risk of destructive wildfires and restore forest health while also developing novel approaches for growers and rural communities to adapt to the increasing threat.

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National Wine Day: Growing Great Grapes

Grapes are the highest-value fruit crop grown in the U.S. To find the best grapes for U.S. growers and wine producers, researchers at Land-grant Universities across the country are testing the performance and resulting wine quality of different grape varieties, including traditional, lesser-known, and new varieties.

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Celebrating 30 Years of SNAP-Ed

This month, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) celebrates 30 years of providing evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions and projects for those eligible for SNAP benefits. Through complementary direct education, multi-level interventions, and community and public health approaches to improve nutritional health of historically underserved populations, this federally funded grant program has impacted lives for three decades.

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World Bee Day: May 20

There are over 20,000 known bee species in the world, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. They range from the tiny (2 mm) and solitary Perdita minima, known as the world’s smallest bee, to kumquat-sized species of carpenter bees.

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Planting for the Future

A name like Junior Master Gardeners evokes images of planting seeds with a hope for a bountiful harvest. But the bountiful harvest that Cooperative Extension educators want to achieve isn’t vegetables or fruits. Rather, the Junior Master Gardener® (JMG ®) program works to grow an even more important resource.

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University of Hawaiʻi Maui College Expands Aquaponics Training

At the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, educators have launched the Adapting Precision Farming Technologies for Sustainable Aquaponics Systems

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AgMIP Co-Founder Cynthia Rosenzweig Receives 2022 World Food Prize

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), has received the 2022 World Food Prize from the World Food Prize Foundation. According to the World Food Prize Foundation, the World Food Prize is a prestigious international award conceived as the "Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture" with a mission to elevate innovations and inspire action to sustainably increase the quality, quantity and availability of food for all.

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You Say Tomato, I Say Okay!

May is National Salad Month! Created by the Association for Dressing and Sauces in 1992, National Salad Month encourages people to incorporate more salads into their daily food regimen. 

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May: Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is an often-overlooked challenge farmers face nationwide. Farmland loss and land access issues, rising production costs, plummeting farm incomes, climate change and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic are contributing to a mental health crisis within the farming community. Suicide rates among farmers and ranchers are well above the national average, while mental health services are less available and accessible in rural areas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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May 13 - National Apple Pie Day: Getting to the Core of NIFA-funded Apple Research

Apples are the most consumed fruit in the U.S., followed closely by oranges. In 2019, the average U.S. per person consumption of all forms of apples had increased to about 26.3 pounds. The per person consumption of apple juice and cider decreased to 12.6 pounds. The consumption of fresh market apples in 2019 accounted for 10 pounds, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.

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Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab Wins NPDN’s Rotten Tuber Award for ‘Hazmat Team Called for Bee Excrement!’

The Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab at Utah State University recently was awarded first place in the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN)’s Rotten Tuber Awards for its submission, “Hazmat Team Called for Bee Excrement!” The Rotten Tuber Awards recognize unique samples that leave plant diagnosticians asking themselves, “What was this person thinking when they sent this sample?”   

Blog

National Plant Diagnostic Network Recognizes Outstanding Service, Lifetime Achievement

The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) recently recognized several members for outstanding service and lifetime achievement. The NPDN is an internationally respected consortium of plant diagnostic laboratories. It was established in 2002 by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Office of Homeland Security to enhance agricultural biosecurity by detecting instances of biological attacks.   

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Lettuce Celebrate National Salad Month

May is National Salad Month. Created by the Association for Dressing and Sauces in 1992, National Salad Month encourages people to incorporate more salads into their daily food regimen.

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Research Tackling Lyme Disease and Other Tick-borne Diseases

Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases pose very real threats to human health. A 2021 estimate suggested that more than 470,000 people in the United States are diagnosed annually for Lyme disease alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides critical funding to Land-grant Institutions as they work to understand expanding ranges of ticks, to better manage tick populations, to minimize human exposure to ticks, and to reduce tick-borne infections.

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May the 4th Be With You

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) may not fund light saber or droid research but, with support from NIFA, scientists are developing advanced technologies to meet the complex agricultural challenges faced by the United States and throughout the world. On this May the 4th, learn how scientists at the Land-grant Universities are conducting cutting-edge research to help farmers produce higher quantities of safer and better-quality food, fiber and fuel to meet the needs of a growing population with support from NIFA.

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Beefing Up the Cattle Industry

May is National Beef Month. As of January 1, there were 91.9 million head of cattle and calves on farms in the United States. In 2021, cattle production was forecasted to represent about 17% of the $391 billion in total cash receipts for agricultural commodities, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.

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NIFA’s Evergreen Commitment to Protecting Trees, Forests

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, which began in Nebraska after the newly arrived settlers sorely felt the absence of trees — as windbreaks and shade, or as building material and fuel — in their new lives on the plains.

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National Wildflower Week

Hundreds of wildflower species bring immense beauty to the United States throughout the year from Maine’s red trilliums and Texas bluebonnets to Alaska’s fireweed and Nevada’s desert sand verbena. Whether growing in their native habitats or being actively cultivated in public and private spaces, wildflowers are important elements in healthy ecosystems, providing food and shelter to pollinators.

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NIFA-Funded Research Works to Strengthen Veterinarian Career Field

April 30 is recognized as World Veterinary Day, created by the World Veterinary Association in 2000 to celebrate the veterinary profession and promote the amazing work that veterinarians do. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) support the needs of the veterinarian career field.

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NIFA-Funded Research and Outreach Helping Producers Meet High Demand for Blueberries

Blueberries are the second-most produced berries in the United States, after strawberries, according to USDA’s Economic Research Services. Over the past 10 years, the supply of fresh blueberries available for American consumption has increased fivefold. As a result, U.S. production of blueberries has increased rapidly to meet year-round consumer demand. Land-grant Universities across the nation are working to support blueberry producers working to meet this increase in demand by conducting blueberry research and outreach with funding from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

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Squashing the Spread of the Spotted Lantern Fly

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with states to detect, contain, control and suppress spotted lanternfly, a deadly nonnative invasive pest that threatens American agriculture and natural resources.

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National Volunteer Month Spotlight: Dr. Shannon Wiley

April is recognized as National Volunteer Month and serves as a time to honor volunteers who are positively impacting their communities. The following is an interview North Carolina A&T State University Extension Specialist Dr. Shannon Wiley. Dr. Wiley was once a 4-H’er who now helps guide volunteers within the 4-H community.
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