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Senators: USDA awards Cornell University $980K for oats research


Cornell University LogoITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell University will use $980,000 in federal funding for research in the genetics and seed composition of oats.

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) said in a news release posted Wednesday on Schumer’s website.

The school’s effort will focus on “developing and evaluating” new methods for North American breeders to use in the milling industry.

“Plant breeding involves far more than simply ensuring that crops grow better,” Kathryn Boor, dean of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said in the lawmakers’ news release. “Our research aims to optimize the healthful components of the foods that families rely on every day. Oats play a crucial role in human nutrition, and this grant furthers our mission to improve health through innovative science.”

NIFA grants support research and programs that help specialty crop growers achieve long-term viability, high yield, and labor efficient production of locally grown grains, fruits, and vegetables.

The USDA NIFA program aims to strengthen local food systems and support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, and nursery crops through research, agricultural extension activities, and initiatives to increase demand and address the needs of America's specialty crop industry.

“Cornell has once again proven itself to be a national leader when it comes to agricultural research,” Schumer said in the news release. “This funding will allow Cornell to contribute critical research on improving the methods our nation uses to grow and mill important grains like oats. In addition, Cornell’s ground breaking genetic research will help New York farmers build on upstate New York’s long standing agricultural tradition. I am committed to securing resources like this grant that support universities like Cornell while also helping our nations agricultural industry." 

“Cornell University is one of the most innovative institutions in the country and an ideal place for this significant federal investment, which will give Cornell the tools to continue its groundbreaking advanced research to strengthen the nation’s food and agricultural industries.” Gillibrand said in the news release.

Gillibrand is a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, according to the news release.


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