NEED advocates for Northeast Extension priorities at NIFA Listens 2018

November 12, 2019

In October and November 2018, USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) hosted four in person listening sessions, titled “NIFA Listens”.

These sessions brought stakeholders together to take advantage of the opportunity to speak directly to agency leadership about what they need from the agency’s research, funding, and programmatic priorities.

Sessions were held in Hartford, Connecticut; New Orleans, Louisiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Albuquerque, New Mexico

Attendees were asked to respond to the following questions:

  • “When considering all of agriculture, what is the greatest challenge that should be addressed through NIFA’s research, education, and extension programs?
  • In your field, what is the most-needed breakthrough in science/technology that would advance your agricultural enterprise? Breakthroughs result in transformative changes in knowledge, technology, or behavior.
  • What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension, or education that NIFA should address?”

Ali Mitchell, NEED’s Executive Director, argued for northeast Extension priorities through a verbal presentation and agency leadership talk-back on October 11, 2018 in Hartford, CT. Stated priorities include but are not limited to intelligent farm management, small farm market support and inter-generational business planning, consumer literacy, nimble climate adaptation, and effective pest management.

Presentations were also given by representatives from NEED member Institutions – University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, and University of Massachusetts, Amherst – and Dr. Rick Rhodes, Executive Director of the Northeast Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.