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NIFA Releases First Three FY 2012 Requests for Applications to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative

Media Contact: Scott Elliott, (202) 720-7185

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2011 – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released the first three requests for applications (RFA) to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) funding opportunity to support research, education and extension in fundamental and applied food and agricultural sciences.

The newly released RFAs are for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change and Sustainable Bioenergy challenge areas and the NIFA Fellowships Grant program. NIFA anticipates releasing the Food Security RFA within the next ten days. Additionally, NIFA will release three more AFRI RFAs during the next several months, including the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Food Safety challenge areas and the AFRI Foundational Program.

AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill. It is anticipated that up to $264 million will be available in FY 2012 to support the AFRI program.

The AFRI challenge areas will continue to support societal challenge areas where research, education, and extension can achieve significant and measurable outcomes. The AFRI Foundational Program address the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge in fundamental and applied food and agricultural sciences critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas include: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. The NIFA Fellowships Grant program funds opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral fellowship grants.

All AFRI program information, including the RFAs, is available online. NIFA will post a series of webinars focused on the individual RFAs to provide an overview of the program areas. Visit for more information.

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.  More information is available at:


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