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USDA Funds Research on Helping Small Farms Prosper

Ed Loyd, (202) 720-4623
Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

Printable Version

BILLINGS , Mont. , Dec. 8, 2005– Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced today that USDA has awarded $5 million in grants to researchers who will seek new ways to help small farmers remain profitable. Through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), 15 colleges and universities in 13 states will receive grants of $500,000 to better understand what makes small and mid-sized farms and rural communities prosper.

“We heard a lot about the challenges facing small and beginning farmers throughout our nationwide USDA listening tour and grants like these help us to develop long-term solutions as we look to the future,” said Johanns. “The viability and competitiveness of small and medium-sized operations are an important part of American agriculture.”

The Agricultural Prosperity for Small and Medium-Sized Farms program is part of CSREES' National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program. The NRI fosters interdisciplinary studies that improve our understanding of the interactions between the economic, social, biological and environmental components important to agriculture and rural economic development. Most of the projects supported by this NRI program are in the areas of product differentiation and marketing, sustainable agricultural practices, and rural agribusiness development.

Projects are eligible for up to $500,000 for two to four years of support. The funded projects are listed on the attached fact sheet.

The NRI is the largest peer reviewed, competitive grants program in CSREES. Its purpose is to support research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.