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Solving the Honeycrisp Apple Ancestry Mystery

Thanks to DNA-based tracking, NIFA-supported researchers at the University of Minnesota (U of M) have finally traced the family tree of the Honeycrisp apple — one of the top 10 varieties produced in the United States. Recently published in HortScience, the findings are the result of sifting through thousands of DNA markers to unwind the pedigrees of many of the U of M’s best apple cultivars.
Honeycrisp apples, courtesy of Adobe Stock


University of Nebraska Continues to Assist with 2019 Flooding Recovery

When the COVID-19 pandemic descended on the world in March 2020, Nebraska and its neighboring states already had been reeling for a year from a previous, record-setting, climate disaster.
There was vast flooding in Nebraska. Credit: Nebraska Emergency Management Agency


Master Gardener and Other Extension Efforts Boost Food Security

Millions of Americans face food insecurity. While the overall food insecurity in the country stands at about 10.5 percent, households with children have a substantially higher rate of food insecurity—almost 15 percent—than those without children. Across the United States, Extension Master Gardener (EMG) programs and other Extension efforts work to reduce food insecurity in their communities.
Collage of images of gardens and plants courtesy of AdobeStock

Press Release

NIFA Invests Nearly $18M for Small Business-Led Innovations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture today announced that it is doubling down on its small business innovation investments, extending almost $18 million in research funds to further develop transformative agricultural solutions.
Image of trees next to a lake in Maine. Courtesy of Getty Images.


NIFA Celebrates Financial Capability Month

More than half of Americans report living paycheck to paycheck and experiencing financial crisis because of inadequate savings, too much debt and poor planning. USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) coordinates with expert partners to help people acquire the knowledge, skills and motivation they need to build financial security - the cornerstone of prosperous communities, nurturing neighborhoods and strong families.
Financial capability month. Image of woman working on budget courtesy of AdobeStock


Combining Methods to Better Managing Pests

From rodents and insects to weeds and microorganisms that bring disease, pests can evolve to withstand the methods we’ve developed to control their spread and impact. The use of chemicals might become less effective, for example, or pests can adapt to the cultural/physical/biological control strategies that are used to contain them.
Image of pigweed courtesy of AdobeStock


Navigating the Landscape of Selected NIFA Funding Opportunities

National Program Leaders will discuss education and extension-related funding opportunities. Faculty, staff, graduate students, and other stakeholders from institutions and organizations interested in NIFA funding opportunities are encouraged to


National Beer Day: Brewing Up Markets for Spent Grain

Barley starts as a highly nutritious grain, known to be rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants. After the brewing industry borrows it to extract the least nutritious portion of the grain, what can be done with the leftover 4.7 million metric wet tons of a nutritionally potent grain known as brewers spent grain (BSG)? On National Beer Day, learn more about how NIFA-funded scientists are working on ways to utilize this rich resource to create new and better markets.
National Beer Day: image of barley field courtesy of AdobeStock


NIFA Celebrates World Health Day

Every year on World Health Day, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) highlights the many ways its programs and partnerships help to advance human and environmental well-being. This year’s theme, “Our planet, our health,” focuses attention on the steps we all can take to ensure the health of people and the planet, both of which are USDA priority areas.
NIFA Celebrates World Health Day. Images courtesy of AdobeStock


GusNIP Nutrition Incentive RFA Webinar (Part 2)

NIFA staff for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) will host a 2-part webinar for applicants interested in applying to the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive competitive program on April 25, 2022 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time (Part 1) &


GusNIP Nutrition Incentive RFA Webinar (Part 1)

NIFA staff for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) will host a 2-part webinar for applicants interested in applying to the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive competitive program on April 25, 2022 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time (Part 1) &


Nebraska Faculty Lead National Cover Crop Course

With a lot of time, planning, collaboration with other institutions and a $10 million NIFA Coordinated Agricultural Project grant, an idea from two University of Nebraska professors became a reality and they were able to offer a cover crop course like none other in the country.
Sarina Janssen, a senior agronomy major (from left), and Benjamin Janssen, a junior plant biology major, with course instructor Andrea Basche, identify plants grown for the Cover Crop Challenge activity in Agronomy 425/825 Cover Crops in Agroecosystems. Students selected their own cover crop mixes.Credit: Lana Koepke Johnson/University of Nebraska


NIFA Nutrition Security Webinar Series – April Edition Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program: Overview, Impacts & Opportunities

This month’s edition on Tuesday, April 26th at 3:30 to 5:00 pm ET will first provide an overview of the Gus Schumacher Nutrition


Application Deadline: Tribal Colleges Extension Program - Capacity Applications

Tribal Colleges Extension Program - Capacity Applications provides funding to (1) increase Extension program capacity at 1994 Land-Grant Institutions; and (2) address special needs, take advantage of important opportunities, and/or demonstrate


Highlighting the Impact of Volunteers

Within the 4-H community there is a network of over 500,000 volunteers helping support and mentor six million 4-H’ers, according to the 4-H website. These volunteers play a vital role in helping grow the next generation of leaders.
National volunteer month, images courtesy of AdobeStock


Master Gardeners by the Numbers

For almost 50 years, Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) have educated millions about sustainable and environmentally friendly garden practices. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides crucial support to the Extension Master Gardener program through capacity funding to Extension programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
National garden month. Images courtesy of AdobeStock


Wildlife Habitat Education Program: Fostering Future Stewards of Natural Resources

For more than 40 years, the Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) has been fostering future stewards of the nation’s abundant natural resources. WHEP is a 4-H and FFA youth natural resource program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to young people.
National Wildlife Week April 5-9

Dionne F. Toombs

Dr. Dionne Toombs is currently the Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) extramural grant funding agency for agricultural research, education, and Extension programs


Test Program

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