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Pallone Announces Agricultural Research Grants for Rutgers University

August 3, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced that two projects under the direction of Dr. Cristi Palmer at Rutgers University, New Brunswick have been awarded $2.9 million in federal grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative.  The funding was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and will support a broad range of agricultural research and extension activities.  Specifically, Dr. Palmer’s research will address two areas of growing concern — the impact of downy mildews and the declining health of pollinator populations, both of which threaten global food production.

“In the current environment, farmers face a variety of challenges that make it harder to produce the safe, affordable and nutritious food that Americans have come to rely on. And as we look at ways to overcome these barriers, you cannot overstate the importance of investing in research ,” said Congressman Pallone. “Rutgers University has a long history of supporting the Garden State’s agricultural production and through advances made in projects like these, we can continue to enjoy Jersey fresh blueberries for generations to come.”

USDA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) develops and disseminates science-based tools to address the needs of specific crops. The funded projects address research and extension needs that span the entire spectrum of specialty crops production from researching plant genetics to improving crop characteristics; identifying and addressing threats from pests and diseases; improving production and profitability; developing new production innovations and technologies; and developing methods to respond to food safety hazards.