WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. —The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has made $4.7 million available in funding to support agricultural science programs at non-land-grant universities. Funding is made through NIFA’s Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Program (NLGCA).

“Colleges and universities with strong agricultural science programs need support so they can address our nation’s challenges to food security and safety,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “NIFA investments in the Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Program support research and education at more than 80 higher education institutions to help build the science and train the future agricultural science workforce.”

NIFA’s NLGCA program offers competitive grants to help these institutions maintain and expand their capacity to conduct education, research, and outreach activities in agriculture, renewable resources, and related disciplines. NLGCAs also support the economic vitality of rural communities by funding new degree programs that emphasize new and emerging employment opportunities. Focus areas in this RFA include agricultural economics and rural communities; agriculture systems and technology; animal health, production, and products; bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; food safety, nutrition, and health; and plant health, production, and products. NIFA encourages projects that focus on increasing the number and diversity of students entering the food, agriculture, and natural resource systems in the U.S.

Eligible applicants include Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCAs) certified as such by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Since 2012, NIFA has invested more than $21 million through the NLGCA program. Among past projects, Fort Hays State University in Kansas is developing curricula to help the next generation of farm managers, technicians, and crop advisors use small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) in precision agriculture.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 15, 2017. For more information or request for application, click here