Purdue receives two $1 million USDA sustainable agriculture grants

Posted: 11 April 2023 | | No comments yet

The USDA has allocated two separate grants of $1 million to Purdue University as part of two projects to enhance sustainable agricultural systems.


Perdue University has been allocated two $1 million grants from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of its National Institute of Food and Agriculture five-year projects.

It has said that the money will be used to facilitate research into agricultural systems in the US.

One of the grants is part of a wider $10 million project that is led by Michigan State University’s Brent Ross which created to develop more resilient food systems for coping with disasters, including pandemics, tornadoes and flooding.

The second grant is part of a different $10 million project led by Clemson University’s Raghupathy Karthikeyan which was devised to develop a controlled-environment agriculture platform for cultivating salt-tolerant food crops using saline irrigation water.

Perdue University has received additional grants earlier in 2023, including two other $10 million grants from NIFA as part of a $70 million investment in sustainable agriculture, integrating research, education and extension efforts. One of those grants supports work to improve the economic resilience and sustainability of Eastern US forests. The other grant aims to enhance Midwestern seafood production and consumption.

Heading the extension portion of the Michigan State University project is Maria Marshall, the Jim and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics. Meanwhile, in charge of the education programme development and evaluation portions of the Clemson project is Rama Radhakrishna, Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication.

“This grant is about looking at sustained multiple shocks. You have climate change that is already affecting different parts of the supply chain,” said Marshall.

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“Now you add COVID-19 on top of that. And then you add, for example, a train derailment. It’s one thing on top of another on top of another.”

Putting the funding to use, Marshall, along with Renee Wiatt, a family business management specialist in agricultural economics, are set to develop and coordinate the curriculum for farmers that they will deploy as a pilot program in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

“We will help translate research at the farm level, and then we will train extension professionals on this curriculum,” explained Marshall.

Perdue University has said that the long-term goal of the Clemson project is to develop a method for hydroponic cultivation of high-value crops using saline irrigation water in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

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