January 18, 2011
USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) dribbled out two announcements last week on 2010 awards under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). AFRI is the largest of several NIFA competitive grants research, education and extension programs.
On January 13, a grant award to Oregon State University for childhood obesity prevention in rural Oregon was made public. The nearly $5 million, 3-county obesity intervention project will be run by Cooperative Extension and will utilize community-based research results from six Western states. Childhood obesity is one of the five AFRI challenge areas, and nutrition and health is one of the six AFRI priority areas.
On January 12, two AFRI Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) awards were announced within the climate change and bioenergy challenge areas.
A 5-year, $25 million award to a multi-institutional 55-person research team led by a UC Davis researcher will develop new varieties of wheat and barley to tolerate changes in climate. The project will also include a Plant Breeding Education Network to train new doctoral students in plant breeding.
A 5-year, $14.6 million grant to sequence the loblolly pine, sugar pine, and Douglas fir genomes to accelerate breeding efforts for the biofuel and biopower markets also will be headed up by UC Davis and include several other universities.
It is not yet clear if NIFA will continue to announce the 2010 awards one or two at a time via press releases, or will follow the more usual pattern of posting all of the awards for the program as a whole, or at least within a given category, at the same time. We will alert readers as we learn more.
Read our post on the first of seven 2011 AFRI Request for Applications here.