NSAC's Blog

Opportunity to Give Input on AFRI RFA

May 7, 2010

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting public comments on its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to help guide the development of the 2011 Requests for Applications (RFAs).

NIFA will also host a public meeting on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at One Washington Circle Hotel, 1 Washington Circle NW, Washington, DC, 20037.  See below for details on submitting comments or pre-registering for a five-minute comment period.

In late April, AFRI released six comprehensive RFAs representing $233 million of the $262 million in available funds.  The RFAs included some specific programs that are particularly relevant to organic and sustainable agriculture research, including funding for projects on Small and Medium Farms and Rural Communities, Sustainable Food Systems, and Conventional Breeding and Climate.  A seventh RFA supporting pre- and post-doctoral fellowships is scheduled for release in May.

NSAC submitted comments in September 2009 to inform these 2010 RFAs.  While AFRI does include some opportunities for sustainable and organic researchers, extension agents, and educators to read themselves into the RFA, there is still room for significant improvement, for example, allowing the option for integrated projects within the Foundational RFA rather than limiting to research-only projects without education or extension components, providing for a greater diversity of grant sizes, and including clearer sustainability criteria.

NSAC plans to present comments at the stakeholder listening session in June and will also submit written comments to NIFA at a later date.  To stay up to date on these and other NSAC activities, sign up for NSAC’s weekly roundup and action alerts.

To preregister for a five minute comment period at the public meeting, contact Ms. Terri Joya at (202) 401–1761, by fax at (202) 401– 1782 or by email at tjoya@nifa.usda.gov.

Written comments can be submitted until close of business on June 7, 2010.  Submit comments online.  Comments can also be submitted by email: afri@nifa.usda.gov (include Docket Number NIFA– 2010–0001 in subject line of the message); by fax: 202–401–1782; by mail or courier.  Read the full notice in the Federal Register.

Categories: Grants and Programs, Research, Education & Extension

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