The role of partnerships is at the core of the integrated approach NIFA uses to discover and apply groundbreaking solutions to critical issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities. NIFA engages scientists from diverse disciplines to bring solutions to challenges of agricultural production.

Our programs join strengths and skills from a wide range of organizations — universities, other federal agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, foundations, and associations — in order to drive innovation. Collaboration with land grant universities and other institutions across the nation ensures that NIFA’s resources extend to all Americans.

Land Grant University System

NIFA’s chief partner is the nation’s Land-Grant University (LGU) System, which includes historically black colleges,  tribal colleges and Hispanic- serving institutions. View a  list of NIFA's liaisons to regional groups associated with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. In addition to engaging in research and teaching, the more than 100 land-grant colleges and universities that comprise the system are federally funded to carry out an additional mission — providing extension services to address public needs. With educational institutions in each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia, the system is well-positioned to implement NIFA’s integrated approach. The agency also collaborates with institutions certified as Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture. 

Federal Agencies

NIFA collaborates with other federal agencies, both within and external to USDA, in order to accelerate progress on the discovery and application of solutions to high priority challenges. By partnering with agencies with complementary missions, we are able to bring a wider range of capabilities, expertise, and experience to our programs. Through collaboration, NIFA also serves as a vital contributor to federal science policy decision-making.

Private Sector

NIFA partners with private-sector businesses in order to leverage the best from the broad U.S. science and technology enterprise. To stimulate technological innovation, our programs strengthen the role of small businesses in meeting federal research and development needs. In addition, NIFA fosters public-private partnerships that focus on developing innovations to address emerging challenges to agriculture.

Non-profits, Associations, Committees, and Other Groups

NIFA funds programs that allow non-profit organizations to leverage their established relationships to bring agricultural science, educational and socio-economic support services to rural and urban communities. We also partner with professional societies, commodity groups, grower associations, multistate research committees, citizen groups, foundations, task forces, and other groups.

International Partnerships

Science partnerships that cross borders often benefit U.S. agriculture by advancing the science needed in this country while also promoting the science that’s needed to strengthen food security overseas. Our research partnerships support developing countries in addressing issues related to food safety, sustainability, resource management, biotechnology, and crop and livestock disease prevention.