Every time we close out a fiscal year and report on the outcomes our grants have supported, I am always astounded by the vast scope of work accomplished by the thousands of grantees who have received awards from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). During our annual awards ceremony this week, we took time out to honor the outstanding work of the best of the best — four grantees received NIFA Partnership Awards for their exemplary work and contribution in support of the USDA mission and for their positive impacts on agriculture.
There are four categories of Partnership Awards: mission integration, multistate efforts, innovative program models and effective and efficient use of resources. This year we awarded Partnership Awards to:
- Mission Integration: University of Nevada-Reno, Family Storyteller Team. This team has made measurable differences for Nevada families by helping parents play a vital role in improving the literacy development of their children.
- Multistate Efforts: University of Illinois, National Food MarketMaker Project. This online marketing resource gives farmers greater access to regional markets by linking them with processors, retailers, consumers and other food supply chain participants.
- Innovative Program Models: University of California-Davis, National Plant Diagnostic Network. This national network developed preparedness programs and interagency partnerships that have enhanced the security of crop agriculture in the United States.
- Effective and Efficient Use of Resources: University of Vermont, eXtension HorseQuest Leadership Team. This eXtension Community of Practice was the first to launch its contents online in 2006 and has set the standards for creative development, management, cooperation, collaboration and delivery of peer-reviewed, science-based information on the Internet.
Even though this recognition goes to the lead institution, most of these projects were implemented by a team of collaborators from across the country. You can find a full list of awardees on the NIFA website.
As NIFA Director Roger Beachy mentioned at the awards ceremony, it’s important for us to highlight the important role our partners play in helping us meet our goals. NIFA strives to enhance food and agricultural science, education and extension, and we could not do this without the work of our grantees. Our research partners are an integral part of helping us accomplish our mission. Join us in congratulating this year’s Partnership Award recipients!