Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Federal Grants will Fund Study of Food System, Environment

Published: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, November 01, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Cornell University grant will help tackle some of the biggest questions in affecting agriculture.

How can farmers battle marmorated stink bugs in vineyards or late blight threatening a tomato crop? Can urban trees help mitigate climate change? What breeding programs will keep American crops competitive? Cornell faculty and extension educators will tackle these and other questions this year with $9 million in Federal Formula Funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The annual grants go to land-grant universities established as a result of the Morrill Land Grant Act. The act founded colleges focused on the practical teaching of agriculture, science and engineering; this year marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing it into law.

"These funds were created to help institutions tackle real-world issues," said Michael Hoffmann, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES). "That mission continues today. From developing bioenergy sources to improving nutrition in schools, the challenges we face are wide-ranging, widespread, and must be addressed across disciplines."

Through a competitive process involving a 43-member council of farmers, health and nutrition specialists, business leaders and Cornell experts, these funds are allocated to CALS, Human Ecology and Veterinary Medicine faculty by CUAES, Cornell University Cooperative Extension (CCE) and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva.

"We review proposals and rate them in a number of categories, including their relevancy to the needs of New York," said Helene Dillard, CALS associate dean and director of CCE.

A few of the 354 projects receiving funding this year are:

•    Biology, impact and management of spotted wing drosophila, an economically significant pest of fruit crops that has rapidly expanded its range.
•    Developing a novel, rapid on-site biosensor for detecting food pathogens.
•    On-farm opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining soil and water quality.
•    Analysis of whether perennial grass bioenergy crops improve the hydrology of marginal New York soils.
•    Collaborative potato breeding to develop attractive, high-yielding, disease-resistant potato varieties for Eastern U.S. markets.
•    The gateway to a more nutritious lunch: increasing milk and dairy consumption in school lunchrooms.

"The projects we're funding this year reflect the changing needs of growers and other stakeholders," said Thomas Burr, CALS associate dean and director of NYSAES. "We saw proposals focused on traditional concerns like crop viruses and diseases, and others tackling emerging issues like West Nile virus and the emerald ash borer invasion."

Hoffmann notes a growing interest in climate and energy issues, something he thinks is reflective of people's experiences this year with floods and droughts.

The grants help fill funding gaps that are wider than ever. "With significant reductions in public funding sources, these Federal Formula Funds are a crucial lifeline for research and extension," said Dillard.

Faculty who access this initial support often use it to attract additional funds for more in-depth research. A 2010 study by Cornell that looked at funded projects over 10 years showed that every dollar in formula grant funding allocated to its researchers leveraged an additional $5.62.

Ultimately, the three directors emphasize, the real beneficiaries of this research are growers, food businesses and local communities. "Food and agricultural sectors are major drivers of economic development, and this sector depends on applied research to compete and prosper," said Burr.

"We've got to get creative to find new sources of reliable funding," he added. "But these grants plant essential seeds. They allow scientists to grow solutions to the problems we face in New York state and around the world."


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

On the Environmental Trail of Food Pathogens
Learning where Listeria dwells can aid the search for other food pathogens.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Fracking Flowback Could Indirectly Pollute Groundwater
Chemical makeup of wastewater could cause the release of tiny particles in soils that often strongly bind heavy metals and pollutants.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Wood Chips Could Help Cleanse Farm Field Run-Off
Cornell hydrologists may have found a simple solution to a complex pollution problem caused by agricultural run-off: wood chips.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Cornell to Partner with DEC, Local Stakeholders on Cayuga Lake Water Quality
Partnership aims to improve Cayuga's waters.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Using Electroactive Bacteria, Students Design Toxin Sensor
Designed to detect the toxic substances arsenic and naphthalene in water by using electroactive bacterial species S. oneidensis MR-1.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Scientific News
Pesticide Found in 70 Percent of Massachusetts’ Honey Samples
New Harvard University study says that the pesticide commonly found in honey samples is implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder.
Ocean Acidfication may have a Dramatic Affect on Marine Life
Study finds many species may die out and others may migrate significantly as ocean acidification intensifies.
Nanoparticles Can Clean Up Environmental Pollutants
Researchers have found that nanomaterials and UV light can “trap” chemicals for easy removal from soil and water.
Fossil Fuel Emissions will Complicate Radiocarbon Dating, Warns Scientist
The paper is published in the journal PNAS.
New Research will Show How the Environment Could Change the Way We Eat
A new study funded by the Wellcome Trust will investigate how environmental changes over the next 20-30 years may impact the way we eat, in the UK and worldwide.
Bedside Ebola Diagnostic
A new test can accurately diagnose Ebola virus disease within minutes, providing clinicians with crucial information for treating patients and containing outbreaks.
The Deep Carbon Cycle
Over billions of years, the total carbon content of the outer part of the Earth—in its upper mantle, crust, oceans and atmospheres—has gradually increased, scientists report.
Profiling DNA Viruses in Arctic Lakes
The Arctic's freshwater lakes contain viral communities composed of DNA viruses from lineages that are largely distinct from those described elsewhere, a new study suggests.
Unravelling the Mysteries of Carbonic Acid
Researchers have shown how gaseous carbon dioxide molecules are solvated by water to initiate the proton transfer chemistry that produces carbonic acid and bicarbonate.
Algal Blooms Pose Health Risks Downstream
A new study has found that toxic algal blooms in reservoirs on the Klamath River can create unsafe water conditions far downstream on lower parts of the river in northern California.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!