NIFA invests over $7m to support research innovations

NIFA supports research innovations and workforce development at ag colleges.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announces an investment of over $7 million in research grants to U.S. Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA). These grants aim to increase research, education, and outreach capacity at Non-Land-grant Institutions to support development of the innovations and workforce needed to sustain the agriculture industry in the future.

“The National Institute of Food and Agriculture awards research, education and extension grants to solve the grand challenges before us,” said NIFA director Dr. Carrie Castille. “These efforts will help improve rural economies, increase food production and agricultural profitability and sustainability, address climate change and related issues, ensure food and nutrition security and train the next generation of the agricultural workforce.” Examples of the 24 funded projects to U.S. Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture include: Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, will prepare a diverse pool of natural resource scientists to enter a workforce focused on climate-ready and sustainable agricultural practices, particularly in rangelands ($299,999). Texas A&M University, Commerce, Texas, collaborating with Tarleton State University, will learn how pollinator-friendly perennials in ornamental landscapes can provide a solution to decades of major declines in pollinators, through their Plant Drought Response and Insect Pollinator Studies project ($299,867). American Indian Higher Education Consortium, working in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, will create a network of scientists and educators to facilitate research, education and outreach activities relating to soil and water quality ($29,827).



Non-Land-grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) and NLGCA Institutions are public colleges or universities offering a baccalaureate or higher degree in food and agricultural sciences. Land-grant Universities (also called Land-grant Colleges or Land-grant Institutions) are U.S. higher education institutions designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890.


Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Program provides funding to NLGCA institutions supporting educational, research, and outreach activities that address priority concerns of national, regional, state, and local interest.  To determine if an institution is eligible to be designated as an NLGCA institution as defined in the 2018 Farm Bill, please visit NIFA-19-005 NLGCA Eligibility Flow Chart resource page. This NIFA-certified designation is an eligibility requirement for the Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-grant Colleges of Agriculture program.


NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and Extension across the nation to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In FY2020, NIFA’s total investment was $1.95 billion. 


Visit our website:; Twitter: @USDA_NIFA; LinkedIn: USDA-NIFA. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science (searchable by state or keyword), visit

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