USDA announces grant to decrease impact of disasters

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $462,000 in available funding to decrease the impact of disasters through cooperative extension programming. Funding is made through NIFA's Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program (SLSNCGP).

"There has been an increase in the number and severity of disasters, from tornadoes to acts of terrorism," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "This grant program supports innovative, education-based projects that address emergency preparedness and specific responses related to natural and human-made disasters."

The Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program supports quality of life in communities across the United States by addressing disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in the context of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. SLSNCGP provides information and tools to USDA, stakeholders, and collaborators to improve decision-making in handling disasters. SLSNCGP sponsors targeted projects that enable the Cooperative Extension Service to assist in preparing for, providing an educational response to, and recovering from disasters.

Eligibility is limited to 1862 land-grant institutions in the 50 states and the U.S. territories, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2017

See the request for applications for details.

Since 2009, NIFA has invested more than $3 million through SLSNCGP. Examples of previously funded projects include Preventing Outbreaks of Avian Influenza Science through Timely Dissemination of Practical Science Based Information, a University of Maryland project that focuses on the importance of biosecurity education and compliance in preventing avian influenza outbreaks. A Mississippi State University grant is a model that includes delivery of emergency preparedness information for teens. This project delivers the certified Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) curriculum, career exploration, smoke alarm awareness, CPR/AED certification, and disaster simulation training to develop sustainable youth preparedness program in each partner state.

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