With NIFA funding, researchers across our nation make significant strides toward solving society's challenges in the areas of climate, bioenergy, education, the environment, family & consumer sciences, food safety, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and youth development.

The following pages contain a small fraction of the thousands of NIFA-supported research, education, and extension projects:
Seed corn is being harvested outside of Bode, Iowa, Sept. 17, 2017.

NIFA Grantee Earns Golden Goose Award

Kaichang Li, a wood products researcher at Oregon State University, has developed new environmentally friendly adhesive products. Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)
NIFA Grantee Earns Golden Goose Award What do mussels, soy, kitchen cabinets, and golden geese have in common? Just ask Oregon State University (OSU) wood chemist Kaichang Li. Since his days as an organic chemistry graduate student, he was interested in reducing the need for hazardous solvents. One day, Li was out crabbing at the beach, and noticed how mussels clung tightly to rough, unwashed surfaces. In 2001, Li received a NIFA grant to develop a soy-based wood glue that could mimic the marine adhesive proteins found in the tenacious mussels.

Li filed a patent application for his mussel-inspired wood adhesive. A few years later, Columbia Forest Products (CFP) asked Li to develop a commercially viable soy-based glue to replace the formaldehyde-based adhesives the company used to produce plywood. For more than a decade, CFP had been formaldehyde-free and much of the industry has followed its lead.

In September, Li received a 2017 Golden Goose Award for creating a safer glue for plywood. The Golden Goose Award honors scientists whose federally funded work may have been considered odd or obscure when first conducted, but has resulted in significant benefits to society.

Read more about Li’s Golden Goose Award on the OSU website(link is external).