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national institute of food and agriculture

NIFA Highlights Research, Education, and Extension Successes of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) celebrates our tenth year (see this USDA blog for more on NIFA’s history), we reflect on our successes of agricultural research, education, and Extension (also referred to as the Cooperative Extension System) and our endless endeavor to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. With the 2018 Farm Bill signed into law late December 2018, NIFA diligently worked to implement new Farm Bill provisions, as well as carry out existing programs that were reauthorized and subsequently funded by appropriations.

NIFA at Ten Years – Celebrating Our History of Research, Education, and Extension

On October 1, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) celebrated our tenth anniversary. Ten years ago, we replaced the former Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service when Congress established NIFA through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-246, enacted June 18, 2008, also known as the 2008 Farm Bill). As USDA’s extramural research funding agency, NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension and seeks to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.

Mirror, Mirror, What Do You See? I See a Scientist Looking at Me

Strolling down the aisles of most toy departments, parents are likely to see more diverse options such as a brown-faced doll holding her microscope and African-American action figures in engineering sets. Many toy manufacturers have removed the stigma of “traditional gender roles” and created science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) toys with diverse physical features to encourage all children to see themselves in these roles. USDA strives to make these same improvements in the agriculture sector. It’s National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week and we’re celebrating the student support our science agencies provide every day to create a research workforce more reflective of our society.

Purple Corn Offers Benefits Inside and Out

Purple corn is more than tasty and eye-catching. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a game-changing element of purple corn – it may help reduce the risk of major health diseases.