MU Receives USDA Research Funds

USDA Invests in Research to End Hunger and Address Food Security Challenges

Published on: Mar 7, 2013

The University of Missouri is one of 21 U.S. universities receiving grant funding for research that will find solutions that will help end hunger.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced more than $75 million in grants for research, education and extension activities to ensure greater food security in the U.S. and around the world. The awards were made to teams to conduct research that will find solutions to increasing food availability and decreasing the number of food insecure individuals.

The University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., will receive $2.99 million. "Millions of American households lack the resources to access sufficient food, and many of those, including our children, may go hungry at least once this year," said Merrigan. "The grants announced today will help policymakers and others better recognize the food and nutrition needs of low-income communities in our country, while improving the productivity of our nation's agriculture to meet those needs. Globally, the population is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050. By investing in the science of America's renowned land-grant universities, our aim is to find sustainable solutions to help systems expand to meet the demands of growing populations."

"The grants announced today will help policymakers and others better recognize the food and nutrition needs of low-income communities in our country, while improving the productivity of our nations agriculture to meet those needs. Globally, the population is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050. By investing in the science of Americas renowned land-grant universities, our aim is to find sustainable solutions to help systems expand to meet the demands of growing populations," Merrigan said.
"The grants announced today will help policymakers and others better recognize the food and nutrition needs of low-income communities in our country, while improving the productivity of our nation's agriculture to meet those needs. Globally, the population is expected to grow by more than 2 billion people by 2050. By investing in the science of America's renowned land-grant universities, our aim is to find sustainable solutions to help systems expand to meet the demands of growing populations," Merrigan said.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) made the awards through the 2012 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's (AFRI) Food Security program. The program supports research that will keep American agriculture competitive while helping to end world hunger, and focuses on achieving the long-term outcomes of increasing domestic and international food availability and food accessibility.

This year's funded projects include research at South Dakota State University to examine community efforts to encourage healthy food choices; research at Purdue University to develop new strategies to defend against ear rot diseases in corn. Scientists at the University of Tennessee will identify ways to improve milk quality in the Southeast and enhance the sustainability of the Southeast dairy industry. A team at the University of California in Berkeley will work with tribal groups in the Klamath Basin in Oregon and California to build sustainable regional food systems to aid in enhancing tribal health and food security.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Fiscal year 2012 awards include:

Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., $3,963,395

University of California, Berkeley, Calif., $3,997,212

University of California, Davis, Calif., $3,750,000

University of California, Riverside, Calif., $416,130

University of Delaware, Newark, Del., $26,000

University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $410,906

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., $5,349,650

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa $5,358,680

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $2,998,931

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, $20,195

Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., $5,500,000

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., $2,925,456

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $2,989,032

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $2,913,199

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., $3,997,207

University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., $2,997,040

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb., $3,730,635

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb., $1,166,650

State University of New York, Buffalo, N.Y., $3,965,003

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., $3,971,568

Pennsylvania State University, University, Park, Pa., $420,000

South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., $3,964,611

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn., $3,000,000

Texas AgriLife Research, College Station, Texas, $2,977,638

Virginia State University, Petersburg, Va., $1,141,005

Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., $2,984,255

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., $33,400

USDA Agricultural Research Service, Fort Pierce, Fla., $419,631

AFRI is NIFA's flagship competitive grants program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill. The five AFRI Challenge Areas—food safety, global food security, childhood obesity prevention, sustainable bioenergy and climate adaptation—advance fundamental sciences and deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions.

These grants complement numerous efforts by USDA and partners to end hunger. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act President Obama signed into law in 2010 is a significant investment in our children and efforts to end childhood hunger. The Act expanded the at-risk meals program (CACFP) which provides supper and after-school snacks to low-income children in all states. The Act also makes it easier for children to receive free meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs through more expansive direct certification and community eligibility using existing data sources. USDA oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and Extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

Source: USDA