USDA awards $11.5M to help small, mid-size farms

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Farm Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On March 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an $11.5 million research investment to help ensure America’s small and medium-sized farms become more profitable and improve the quality of life in American farm communities.

“Few groups are as resilient and as determined as American farm families,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a news release. “Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is committed to creating a fairer, more equitable system for farms of all sizes to compete and remain profitable. This investment in innovative research will give these family farms the tools they need to be more sustainable, profitable and productive as they face agricultural and economic challenges. When American farmers have a chance to compete, they have a greater chance at succeeding.”

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded 24 grants to 20 universities and organizations through their Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the nation’s leading and largest competitive grants program for agricultural sciences. These research efforts focus on alternative crop enterprises, marketing, and scaling up fruit and vegetable production to overcome marketing constraints.

By focusing on these key elements, small and medium-sized farm operators can increase their competitiveness in local markets and can provide greater access to food for their communities. This is extremely critical as we build back a stronger, more equitable food and farming system.

NIFA awarded grants to the following institutions in the Farm Forum coverage area:

  • University of Minnesota in Minneapolis: “Building a Bidirectional Supply Chain for Farm to Rural Grocery to Wholesale (F2G2W)” ($500,000)
  • North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D.: “Novel merging of heifer reproductive and management systems efficiencies to expand small and medium-sized farm business profit” ($499,991)

Learn more about the impact and public value of NIFA’s research investments online at