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Improving Drainage Management on Agricultural Lands

A team of 22 Land-grant University researchers are working with USDA scientists and industry partners to develop new technologies and strategies that improve drainage.
Example of water management practice. Improved drainage management could significantly reduce water quality problems and related environmental and human health risks. Image courtesy of Lynn Betts, SWCS. NRCS.

Press Release

USDA Invests Nearly $8M to Improve Dietary Health and Nutrition Security

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of nearly $8 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Produce Prescription Program. The funding is part of USDA’s American Rescue Plan efforts and will be administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Farmer Woman Holding Fresh Vegetables; courtesy of Adobe Stock

Impact

Developing New Measures to Assess Factors Associated with Food Insecurity in the U.S.

Tackling food and nutrition insecurity is one of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s top priorities. Developing and validating tools to measure the emerging concept of nutrition security will help accelerate USDA’s progress.
A smiling woman cropping the fruit for a fresh fruit salad. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Blog

Farmers Markets Bring Bounty to Tables Across the Country

Summertime would not be complete for most people without at least one visit to a farmers market. In 2020, farmers and producers sold almost $3 billion worth of products directly to consumers through farmers markets and on-farm stores.
Left image of individuals holding tomatoes at a farmers market. Right image of various peppers displayed at a farmers market stand. Images courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Blog

Oyster Researchers Helping Keep Consumers Safe from Dangerous Pathogens

Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of seafood-borne bacterial infections in the United States. Contaminated raw oysters can cause Vibriosis, a gastrointestinal illness that can be life threatening and even fatal for people with liver disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system.
Left image of hand holding oyster. Right image of oyster farmer examining oysters. Images courtesy of Adobe Stock. .

Blog

State of Success: Georgia

To celebrate National Georgia Day on Aug. 3, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by the University of Georgia (UGA).
United States of America lights during night as it looks like from space. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Blog

Bioproduct Pilot Program Seeks to Boost Economic Development in Rural America

NIFA’s Bioproduct Pilot Program (BPP) is a new program created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This crucial program seeks to study the benefits of using materials derived from covered agricultural commodities for the manufacture of construction and consumer products.
image of farm combine harvesting corn, courtesy of AdobeStock

Blog

Protecting the Environment via Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry

A healthy environment is a foundation for a stable and healthy human society. On World Nature Conservation Day, learn about how NIFA-supported research and Extension at Land-grant Universities are helping conserve and protect the environment and natural resources via climate smart agriculture and forestry.
Left image of women holding plant. Right image two hands holding together a green young plant. Images courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Press Release

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation, including New Resources from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a strategy for how the Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will address a reforestation backlog of four million acres on national forests and plant more than one billion trees over the next decade.
Forestation worker walking through field, courtesy of Adobe Stock

Blog

Highlighting NIFA’s Efforts on the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Thirty-two years ago, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law, following years of focused educational efforts from disability rights groups and a lengthy bipartisan effort in Congress. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is committed to ensuring its programs are inclusive and provide equal opportunities for all.
Farmers in various fruit orchards. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Impact

Multistate Project Focused on Protecting One of Nation’s Largest Aquifers

Rapidly dropping reservoir levels in the West are capturing national media attention, but the nation’s underground aquifers are also under threat. The Ogallala aquifer is one of the world’s largest fresh water resources. Communities and agriculture in eight states in the High Plains region of the country rely on it.
Aerial view of irrigated and non-irrigated fields in eastern Colorado. Photo by Bill Cotton, Colorado State University.

Blog

Make Your Summer Picnics Shine

Grab your picnic basket – July is National Picnic Month! Picnics are a perfect way to combine outdoor activity, healthy eating and time spent together with family and friends. Extension and research efforts supported by USDA NIFA that create more and better markets for producers and consumers and tackle food and nutrition insecurity and safety can help your family picnic become a favorite summer activity.
July is National Picnic Month! Left image of picnic type food. Middle image of family enjoying a picnic. Right image of sandwiches. Courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Impact

Diversity and Inclusion in Agriculture: The Case for Missouri Latino Farmers and Ranchers

Since 2007, the U.S. Census of Agriculture has consistently documented a demographic shift in the agricultural sector. Although this shift reflects a more diverse farming community that collectively contributes to reducing food insecurity across the United States, the need to integrate and include non-white farmers and ranchers’ communities into the mainstream agriculture and USDA support programs has increased.
A group of Latino farmers learning grass management practices at a Southwest Missouri Ranch. Photo courtesy of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension.

Blog

We All Scream for Ice Cream Day

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! At the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, we certainly believe National Ice Cream Day is worth celebrating! The agency is proud to support research that serves the U.S. dairy industry.
Left image of dairy researcher in the lab. Right image of freshly scooped ice cream cone. Both images courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Blog

Wild Blueberries—The Maine Event

Love the juicy pop of flavor in wild blueberries? Thank growers in Maine. Maine is the leading producer of lowbush or wild blueberries. Lowbush blueberries are native to northern New England and Atlantic Canada. Almost 500 farmers manage 36,000 acres of commercial wild blueberry land in Maine.
Left image of farmer carrying a crate of freshly picked blueberries. Right image of blueberries in a basket. Both images courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Press Release

USDA Invests More Than $14M to Support Agricultural Workforce Training for Historically Underserved Communities to Bolster U.S. Meat and Poultry Sector Resilience

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an additional investment of more than $14 million to support agricultural workforce training in historically underserved communities that will increase the resilience of the U.S. meat and poultry processing sector.
Farmer family holding a chicken. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Blog

What is a Schedule A?

Schedule A refers to a special hiring authority that gives federal agencies an optional, and potentially quicker, way to hire individuals with disabilities. Applying under Schedule A offers an exception to the traditional competitive hiring process. You can apply for jobs using Schedule A if you are a person with an intellectual disability, a severe physical disability or a psychiatric disability.
Illustration of colleagues working together at a conference table.

Blog

Technology Transforming Forest Management

Supported by funding from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Purdue launched the Integrated Digital Forestry Initiative (iDiF). The initiative’s goal is to develop digital forestry tools to save time, money and achieve a deeper understanding of a vital natural resource.
Left image of individual exploring a forest. Right image of sunlight breaking through forest trees. Images courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Impact

A Closer Look at Rural Populations: Multistate Research Monitors Changes and Issues Affecting Rural Areas

Rural areas make up 72% of the nation’s land area, house 46 million people and are essential to agriculture, natural resources, recreation and environmental sustainability.
Downtown Durham, New Hampshire. Image courtesy of University of New Hampshire.

Impact

NIFA Celebrates Disability Pride Month

A collective case study of Land-grant University leaders discovers strategies for the retention of students with learning disabilities. Such outcomes could prevent bullying on campuses and in the workplace.
Illustration of happy people, courtesy of AdobeStock

Blog

Cooperative Extension Grows People and Communities

As the United States celebrates its founding this Fourth of July, it is a good time to reflect on how Cooperative Extension based at the nation’s Land-grant Universities works to grow both people and communities.
Left image of a family of four celebrating Independence Day. Right image of fireworks and an American flag in the background. Both images courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Blog

National Pollinator Month Profile: Dr. Ramesh Sagili

In celebration of National Pollinator Month, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting NIFA-funded researcher Dr. Ramesh Sagili, who serves as an associate professor at Oregon State University.
Dr. Sagili’s current research program aims to address current and emerging problems pertaining to commercial beekeeping industry. Image provided by Dr. Sagili.

Blog

Celebrate the 160th Anniversary of the Morrill Act

Celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Morrill Act with USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and its history.
July 2: 160th Anniversary of the Morrill Act. Right image of USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Right image of previous Vermont Congressman Justin Smith Morrill.

Blog

National Dairy Month Profile: Dr. Janos Zempleni

In celebration of National Dairy Month, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting NIFA-funded researcher Dr. Janos Zempleni.
Dr. Zempleni serves as the director of the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Disease through Dietary Molecules at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Image provided by Dr. Zempleni.
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