NIFA Invests Millions in Critical Research and Extension to Address Urgent Needs in Agriculture

Dan Cotton, Field Crops, Georgia, Nursery Crops, Research, USDA-NIFA


Two southern universities were recipients of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

It recently awarded more than $8.5 million in funding for 29 research and Extension grants that will advance solutions to critically important problems in U.S. agriculture.

These grants, which are part of NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, include some projects co-funded by commodity boards through a Farm Bill provision by the American Pulse Association and The Cotton Board. The two southern universities that were impacted include:

  • University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia: “Advancing Host-Plant Resistance to Cotton Leafroll Dwarf Virus, an Emerging Cotton Viral Disease” ($294,000)
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee: “COVID-19 Rapid Response: Developing the Technology of Pandemic Responses for Garden Centers and Nurseries” ($300,000)

“These NIFA investments in user-inspired projects bring together researchers, Extension experts, and practitioners to find solutions that can be rapidly adopted by the agricultural community,” said NIFA Director Carrie Castille.

“Critical problems impede efficient food and agricultural systems at local, regional, and national scales,” Castille said. “Work supported by this federal investment enables partnerships and close coordination across the entire food and agriculture spectrum on efforts to yield practices that meet pressing needs.”

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