Agriculture economics and rural communities

The Hunt for Genetically Engineered Organisms

Similar to a Star Trek Tri-Corder device, physicists and biologists at the University of Notre Dame, Rice University, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York have teamed up to develop a field-ready device to detect the genetic or protein signature of genetically engineered (GE) organisms in the environment.

Saving Ranchers Money

Glenn Shewmaker, professor at the University of Idaho, wants to help ranchers save money. According to Shewmaker, livestock producers who implement managed grazing practices could see increased carrying capacity of pastures, extended grazing seasons, and reduced winter feed costs.

AgrAbility Helps Ag Workers with Disabilities Succeed

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers have one of the most dangerous occupations in America, suffering more fatal work injuries each year than most other professions. There were 570 fatalities in 2015 and even more debilitating injuries.

Determined to Farm

AgrAbility at work. Three generations of the Beckman family have farmed the fields of northeastern Nebraska. However, that legacy almost ended for Eric Beckman in May 2007 when he rolled his pickup truck. The trauma he sustained included a high level spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

4D innovation in Georgia fields

Traditionally, crop monitoring has been done manually, which is very labor and cost intensive. More recent precision agricultural tools such as satellites and unmanned aerial and ground vehicles have reduced costs, but the amount of useful information that can be gathered from 2D images and 3D reconstructions is limited. Thanks to a new research collaboration by the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech Research Institute, farmers may soon have a 4D crop monitoring system at their fingertips.

Small Town 4-H’er Reaches for the Stars

Many kids gaze up into the night’s sky and dream of touching the stars. Peggy Whitson, NASA astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, turned that dream into reality.

NIFA Programs Salute and Assist Veterans and their Families

Whether protecting our nation and its highest ideals with military service or ensuring a safe, abundant, and nutritious food supply as veterans, we are grateful for their willingness to serve.

Youth Embracing Agricultural Innovation Grows a Three Leaf Clover into 4-H

National 4-H Week happens each October, a time when nearly six million youth celebrate their participation in 4-H. Every year, clubs around the country showcase the great things that 4-H offers young people and highlight the incredible things they do to make a positive impact in their communities.

University of New Mexico-Taos Develops the Next Generation of Climate Change Scientists

Climate change presents real threats to U.S. agricultural production, forest resources, and rural economies. These threats have significant implications not just for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, but for all Americans. Addressing climate change is a priority for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Stronger Economies Together: Helping Rural Counties Excel through Regional Approaches

Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) play a unique role in USDA’s service to rural America. They link the research and educational outreach capacity of the nation’s public universities with communities, local decision makers, entrepreneurs, families, and farmers and ranchers to help address a wide range of development issues. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provides core funding for RRDCs and integrated research, education, and extension activities.