Abstract #7

# 7
Opportunities for federal funding of modeling research.
Steven I. Smith*1, Mark A. Mirando1, 1USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, Washington, DC.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–246; i.e., the 2008 Farm Bill) established the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). NIFA directs federal funding to advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve agricultural challenges. In FY2017, NIFA invested a total of approximately $1.5 billion: $854 million in Research and Education Activities, $478 million in Extension Activities, $159.6 million in Mandatory and Endowment Funding, and $36.0 million in Integrated Activities, as designated in the 2017 Congressional Appropriations Act (Public Law No: 115–31). This investment is broadly split between Capacity Funding and Competitive Grant Funding. NIFA administers more than 30 Competitive Programs with broad eligibility. NIFA’s flagship competitive program is the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). Mathematical modeling is recognized as a powerful tool that can be effectively applied to organize and interconnect what is known, to highlight knowledge gaps and areas needing research, and to prompt investigators to ask better questions. As a result, there are currently 80 active AFRI livestock projects with a modeling component, 8 of which directly involve the dairy enterprise. These dairy projects address a broad array of topics including ruminal metabolism, genomic prediction, whole genome selection, host-pathogen interaction, metabolic diseases, antimicrobial resistance and nutrition. NIFA has published 3 AFRI Request for Applications (RFAs) in FY 2018; (1) the Foundational and Applied Science Program RFA, (2) the Education and Workforce Development RFA and (3) the Sustainable Agricultural Systems RFA. It should be noted that modeling is specifically invited in 9 of the Foundational program area priorities, as well as the program area priority for Sustainable Agricultural Systems. A list of NIFA RFAs can be found at https://nifa.usda.gov/rfa-list

Key Words: modeling, nutrition, funding