Michael R. Schläppi, a researcher at Marquette University, Wisconsin, has determined that certain rice varieties are suitable for cultivation in a cold climate such as Wisconsin's. NIFA supported Schläppi’s work with an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grant to study the mechanisms of cold stress tolerance in rice. The AFRI grant provided funds to screen and re-screen hundreds of germplasm from the USDA rice collection and to perform field evaluations of selected rice lines generated for this project. Schläppi then partnered with a local non-government organization and, with funding from Marquette University, involved local Hmong farmers to establish a rice cultivation business in the Milwaukee area. The Hmong have a rich history and tradition of growing rice.
NIFA supports the project through AFRI.
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