Hoeven Announces More Than $160 Million in Available Funds Through USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

Senator Continues Efforts to Support Ag Research, Help Farmers Overcome Challenges

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has made more than $160 million available through six competitive programs of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which supports research, education and extension projects that address key challenges affecting U.S. agriculture producers. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Agriculture Committee and conference committee that crafted the final version of the farm bill, Hoeven worked to reauthorize and secure support for such programs at USDA in the 2014 farm bill and annual appropriations bills. The senator encouraged interested applicants to review NIFA’s request for applications for information about specific program requirements and deadlines. 

“Our farmers and ranchers do tremendous work,” Hoeven said. “They feed our nation and much of the world despite the challenges and uncertainty they face from year to year. That is why we worked hard to make sure the farm bill included both improved tools for managing their risk as well as research programs to support innovative solutions to the greatest problems affecting our producers. Our land-grant institutions like North Dakota State University, the Extension Service and others now have the opportunity to apply to these programs. I look forward to the advancements researchers in our state will make in support of our farmers and ranchers.”

The fiscal year (FY) 2015 USDA funding bill provides $1.13 billion for the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and $1.3 billion for NIFA, increases of $10 million and $12.4 million over FY2014, respectively. The NIFA funding includes a $9 million increase for AFRI.

In December, Hoeven organized a meeting with North Dakota State University (NDSU) faculty, researchers and administrators as well as local commodity groups and producers to highlight the importance of agriculture research conducted by America’s land-grant institutions. On average, NDSU has received about $10 million per year in formula funds and competitive grants since FY2011 to support research and extension activities. During the meeting, presentations were made by two researchers whose work is supported by grants provided through AFRI.