USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) announced Dec. 17 the addition of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to its funding portfolio as authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill. The Request for Applications is expected to be released early in 2009 on the CSREES and Grants.gov Web sites.
“AFRI continues CSREES’ commitment to advance fundamental and applied sciences in support of agriculture,” said Gale Buchanan, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “By combining research, education and extension, CSREES ensures science-based knowledge is delivered to the public, allowing them to make informed, practical decisions.”
In FY 2009, CSREES anticipates that $190 million will be available for AFRI. However, the enactment of the FY 2009 Appropriations Act may impact the overall level of funding for the AFRI program.
AFRI replaces the former National Research Initiative and the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems programs and addresses six priority areas: 1) plant health and production and plant products; 2) animal health and production and animal products; 3) food safety, nutrition and health; 4) renewable energy, natural resources and environment; 5) agriculture systems and technology; and 6) agriculture economics and rural communities.
AFRI will support grants to address key problems of national, regional and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture. The flexibility in programming provided by the 2008 Farm Bill allows for support of a variety of project types, all of which will be reflected in the 2009 AFRI request for applications. These include single-function as well as integrated, multi-functional research, education and extension projects.
Applicants and other parties interested in the AFRI funding opportunity are encouraged to contact CSREES at (202) 401-5022 or AFRI@csrees.usda.gov. The complete public announcement can be viewed online at www.csrees.usda.gov/funding/afri/pdfs/program_announcement.pdf
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. For more information, visit www.csrees.usda.gov.