Small businesses often bring an innovative approach to challenges the agriculture industry faces. Defined as being staffed by 500 or fewer employees, small businesses are a key component of a strong economy. Their size allows them to exercise the flexibility and focus to pioneer ground-breaking research and innovation in fields such as agriculture-related manufacturing and energy technologies.
Importance of Small Business
Small businesses frequently offer a fresh perspective to addressing agricultural, social, and environmental issues. Through partnerships with universities and the private sector, small businesses are able to access the resources to develop innovative tools and strategies to meet public needs.
These businesses help to drive economic development by providing:
- Job opportunities
- Groundbreaking research
- Innovative technology
NIFA programs foster small businesses’ capacity to conduct high quality, advanced research on vital agricultural issues.
The agency’s initiatives are:
- Stimulating technological innovation
- Strengthening the role of small businesses in meeting federal research goals
- Transferring USDA-supported research findings to the private sector
- Increasing participation of women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses in technological innovation
Primary Point of Contact: Charles F. Cleland