Programs

NIFA programs are the mechanism by which we pursue our mission to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. Some programs administer funding and offer leadership while others focus on national leadership and collaboration. For more information on a particular program, use the site’s search tool.

Capacity Grants

NIFA provides support for research and extension activities at land-grant institutions through grants to the states on the basis of statutory formulas. Eligibility is limited to the cooperating institutions, most of which are 1862, 1890, and 1994 land-grant institutions. NIFA capacity grants are subject to the same OMB Circulars and Department regulations, with the exceptions identified in the NIFA Regulations.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) is NIFA's flagship competitive grants program that provides funding for fundamental and applied research, education, and extension to address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture.

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. The program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses. The SBIR program also fosters and encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics Programs

NIFA provides leadership and coordination for national genomics research, supports plant breeding through multi-state efforts to identify critical needs, and helps focus federal research dollars on cutting-edge plant improvement for human and animal health, food security, sustainable production, and bioenergy.

Horticulture Programs

NIFA, through federal funding and program leadership, sustains cutting-edge horticultural research, education, and extension at our partner colleges and universities.

Agronomic & Forage Crops Program

NIFA supports research and extension efforts to achieve optimum economic returns with minimal adverse environmental impacts through the Agronomic & Forage Crops emphasis area.