USDA announces $1 million to support agricultural science education for insular areas

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 26, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $1 million in available funding for projects to strengthen food and agricultural science education in insular areas of the United States. Funding is made through two NIFA programs, the Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas (RIIA) and the Agriculture and Food Sciences Facilities and Equipment (AGFEI) program.

"NIFA investments are helping to increase the number and diversity of students who will pursue food and agricultural science careers," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "By strengthening institutional capacities in instruction and curriculum, this program will help insular area institutions meet their unique needs."

The Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas seeks to strengthen the capacity of these institutions to carry out resident instruction, curriculum, and teaching programs in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences. NIFA investments also help upgrade agriculture and food science facilities and equipment necessary to conduct tropical and subtropical agricultural research through the Agriculture and Food Sciences Facilities and Equipment (AGFEI) Program. The eight insular areas specified in this request for applications are: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.

The deadline for applications is June 14, 2017.

Applications may only be submitted by eligible institutions. See the request for applications for details.

Among previously funded projects, the University of Guam developed new agricultural sciences curricula, materials, and library resources. The University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez offered onsite work experiences for undergraduate students studying agricultural sciences.


NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension and promotes transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA support for the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel has resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability, and ensure food safety. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science, visit, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.

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