A major food systems challenge is the need to feed a growing global population with diminishing land and water resources in an increasingly variable climate. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invests in plant breeding coordinated agricultural projects (CAPs), which are funded by large-scale grants that promote collaboration across research, education, and extension. The Triticeae CAP (T-CAP) and its predecessor Wheat and Barley CAPs have focused on improving wheat and barley for changing environments. Like many of NIFA’s CAPs, the T-CAP bridges the gap across the academic research, industry, and the farming communities in order to produce higher yielding crops and support sustainable farming. The more than 100 commercial varieties developed through the T-CAP and its predecessor CAPs have a $1.8 billion production value. The Wheat, Barley, and T-CAPs have trained more than 100 students, preparing them to fill the projected annual opening of 57,900 jobs in agriculture-related fields between 2015 and 2020. The T-CAP has also had a positive impact in fostering international collaborations.