April 6, 2010
This is the first in a series of articles drilling down into some sections of the six Request for Applications (RFAs) recently released by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the 2010 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).Look out over the course of this week for more information on other opportunities in research on local and regional food systems, plant breeding and climate change, and organic agriculture.
The Foundational Program within AFRI provides competitive “research-only” grants in six key areas which correspond to the overarching grant categories from the farm bill. Each area is subdivided into a number of programs.
The new RFA collapses two long-standing program areas: Agricultural Prosperity for Small and Medium-Sized Farms and Rural Development into the new Prosperity of Small and Medium-Sized Farms and Rural Communities Program.
The RFA acknowledges the diverse challenges confronting small and medium-sized farms, which make up 92% of U.S. farms and are critical to the overall prosperity of rural America. As part of a multidisciplinary approach to addressing these challenges, the RFA is targeting research that, among other things,
To this end, the RFA includes five program area priorities relating to these goals. Applicants must address at least one of these priorities directly in their proposals.
In 2009, this program’s predecessor funded a project at the University of California, Davis on Values-Based Distribution networks. These networks allow small and medium-sized producers to aggregate their product, while maintaining differentiation and market premiums that come along with embedded values like environmentally sound production or community-oriented business practices. The project sought to understand best practices in Values-Based networks, as well as key challenges to their success.
There are approximately $7.0 million available in program funds and proposed budgets can include up to $500,000 for project periods of up to 5 years. Colleges and universities, research organizations, federal agencies, private organizations, and individuals are all eligible to apply for AFRI research projects.
No Letters of Intent are necessary. Grant proposals are due July 14, 2010.
To access the full RFA, click here.
For more information on this program, contact Dr. Suresh Sureshwaran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-720-7536
AFRI programs are currently seeking qualified experts to serve on review panels. If you do not plan to apply for a grant in this program in 2010, consider serving on a review panel. Click here for more information.