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national institute of food and agriculture

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.

Ag Research Extends Beyond Crop Fields into Forests

The word “agriculture” does not usually come to mind when one thinks of forests, but perhaps it’s time that it should.

“The forest products industry employs nearly 1 million people and contributes $254 billion to America’s economy through sales and payroll,” said Eric Norland, a national program leader at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).