Tag Archives: NIFA

Tennessee State University researcher receives national excellence award for multistate water conservation project

Dr. Dilip Nandwani
Dr. Dilip Nandwani

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)— A researcher from Tennessee State University received a national award for excellence recently for his work on water conservation.

Dr. Dilip Nandwani, associate professor of organic agriculture with the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, received the individual Award of Excellence from the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy November 3, during the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Nandwani also accepted the 2014 Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research Award on behalf of the 20 land-grant university research team involved in the study.

Nandwani served as the committee chair for the collaborative team studying how farmers can best use microirrigation systems to sustainably irrigate their land, especially during droughts and water shortages. The five-year project included agricultural engineers, plant and soil scientists, and economists conducting a variety of studies and outreach efforts across the country.

The multistate team, which worked on the project officially known as the W-2128 Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use Project, was supported in part through USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) by the Multistate Research Fund, established in 1998 by the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act (an amendment to the Hatch Act of 1888) to encourage and enhance multistate, multidisciplinary agricultural research on critical issues. Additional funds were provided by contracts and grants to participating scientists.

“It is a great honor to be recognized at the APLU’s Annual Meeting,” Nandwani said. “This award validates our hard work over the last five years.”

Nandwani began work on the project while a member of the faculty at the University of the Virgin Islands. During the course of the five-year project, the multistate team’s research led to new microirrigation equipment and tools that are easier to install, more durable and more precise. The advances have encouraged adoption of microirrigation systems, which has led to significant economic and environmental impacts.

Highlights of the project included the University of Idaho demonstrating better crop yields with microirrigation than with center-pivot irrigation, while New Mexico State University tested and compared several models of drip tubing and emitters that could be used for inexpensive, low-pressure microirrigation suitable for small farms.

Iowa State University showed that fewer sensors, if placed correctly, could provide cost-effective, detailed maps of soil moisture content, while Oregon State University calibrated soil-water sensors to improve the precision of irrigation scheduling.

“My goal is to ensure the science we invest in leads to solutions to today’s most pressing challenges,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of USDA-NIFA. “One of those challenges is finding ways to feed the growing population while minimally impacting the environment. A safe, reliable supply of water is inextricably linked to food security. The five-fold increase in irrigated acres that took place during the 20th century cannot be repeated in the 21st century — there isn’t the space. Instead, we must increase efficiency of the irrigated farmland we have, and that’s what this project is doing.”

In addition to Tennessee State University, the other participating land-grant institutions included: Auburn University; University of Arizona; University of California, Davis; University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Colorado State University; University of Florida; University of Hawaii; University of Idaho; Kansas State University; Mississippi State University, University of Nebraska, New Mexico State University; Cornell University; Oregon State University; University of Puerto Rico; Texas A&M AgriLife Research; University of the Virgin Islands; Washington State University; and University of Wyoming. The universities also collaborated with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Agricultural Research Service.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Receives More Than $2.6 Million Grant for Research, Teaching, Extension

Dr. Ahmad Aziz, associate professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, carries on an experiment with graduate assistant Abdul Mujeed Yakubu, in his lab. Dr. Aziz received a teaching grant for his research on bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources. (courtesy photo)
Dr. Ahmad Aziz, associate professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, carries on an experiment with graduate assistant Abdul Mujeed Yakubu, in his lab. Dr. Aziz received a teaching grant for his research on bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Coming on the heels of a soon-to-be dedicated multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art biotechnology center, agricultural research, extension and teaching at Tennessee State University have received a major boost with new funding from the federal government.

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the University received a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support capacity-building endeavors.

The amount was part of 76 grants totaling $35 million awarded to 21 Historically Black Colleges and Universities or 1890 institutions to support research, teaching and extension activities through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture program.

This achievement for TSU is the result of the success of six grant proposals submitted by faculty members or project directors and their collaborators in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, in addition to funding received for NIFA programs.

In the last four year, TSU has been one of the leading 1890 grantees, usually ranking in the top three spots. This year is no different, with University officials and students expressing their excitement about the institution’s success rate.

“We are quite pleased with the success of our faculty in garnering these USDA funds to build our Ag program,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS. “These funds help to build capacity in new areas of agricultural research, teaching and outreach, as well as help in remodeling and building research facilities.”

Alison Leathers, a graduate student in Agricultural Education, Leadership and Extension from Preston, Minn., described the new funding along with the upcoming biotechnology center as “positives” that will enhance learning in new areas of research and awareness.

“I think the new money and building will certainly help to expand the amount of knowledge and expertise we have in the college by having more labs and more equipment that will help my fellow students and me,” Leathers said.

In announcing the grants Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the goal was to build on efforts that foster strong partnerships with the 1890 community, ensure equal access to USDA programs and services, and support educational opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

“For nearly 125 years, the 1890 land-grant institutions have played a vital role in ensuring access to higher education and opportunity for underserved communities,” said Secretary Vilsack. “These competitively-awarded grants support high quality research, teaching and Extension activities and support the continued leadership of 1890 institutions in the fields of agriculture, the environment and public health.”

Faculty members (or project directors) who led the proposal submissions that resulted in the research, teaching and Extension grant awards, and their research focus are:

  • Dr. Karla Addesso, assistant professor of Chemical Ecology – Sustainable agriculture – $299,751 (Research)
  • Dr. Dafeng Hui, assistant professor of Biological Sciences – Bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources; Global climate change – $299,874 (Research)
  • Dr. Fur-Chi Chen, associate professor of Food Science – Food Safety – $299,999 (Research)
  • Dr. George Smith, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture – Water quality – $249,797 (Extension)
  • Dr. Janice Emerson, associate professor and director of the Center for Prevention Research – Childhood Obesity – $248,886 (Extension)
  • Dr. Ahmad Aziz, associate professor of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – Bio-energy/biofuel and natural resources – $150,000 (Teaching)

Additionally, TSU received about $1.1 million NIFA award through the 1890 Facilities Grant Program, with Dr. Reddy as the PI. The fund will be used to remodel the Ferrell Westbrook Building with new laboratories for recently hired agricultural faculty.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

College of Ag Executive Council Receives Prestigious USDA Partnership Award

Members of the College of Agriculture Executive Council are Front row (from left): Dr. Jan Emerson, Dr. Gearldean Johnson, Ms. Rhonda Moore Back row (from left): Dr. Surendra Singh, Dr. Muhammad Karim, Dr. Carter Catlin, Dr. Chandra Reddy, Mr. William Hayslett, Dr. Latif Lighari Members of the CAHNS EC not pictured: Mr. Sam Comer, Dr. Nick Gawel, Dr. Terrance Johnson, Dr. Roger Sauve. (courtesy photo)
Members of the College of Agriculture Executive Council are Front row (from left): Dr. Jan Emerson, Dr. Gearldean Johnson, Ms. Rhonda Moore
Back row (from left): Dr. Surendra Singh, Dr. Mohammad Karim, Dr. Carter Catlin, Dr. Chandra Reddy, Mr. William Hayslett, Dr. Latif Lighari
Members of the CAHNS EC not pictured: Mr. Sam Comer, Dr. Nick Gawel, Dr. Terrance Johnson, Dr. Roger Sauve. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has received the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture Partnership Award for Effective and Efficient Use of Resources.

The award, directed at the CAHNS Executive Council, recognized the group for its “exemplary work and outstanding contribution” in support of the mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and for its positive impact on agriculture.

“NIFA recognizes that there are many outstanding contributions that our partners in the land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions and organizations achieve,” said Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director of NIFA. “[We] want to recognize them through this awards program.”

The award will be presented in Washington, D.C., Nov. 10 at the annual meeting of the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities.

“We are quite ecstatic about this recognition as it validates our restructuring effort and recognizes our growth and leadership success,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS,” under whose leadership the Executive Council worked to identify and execute strategies to boost enrollment and graduation rates, enhance outreach activities and improve research efforts.

The Council, which comprises associate deans, department heads, and research center directors, among others, was established in 2008 by Dr. Reddy to serve as a policy-making and program-coordinating arm of the college.

Under the Council’ guidance, the College has doubled its student enrollment in agricultural and family and consumer sciences, tripled its research portfolio in five years, and expanded its outreach efforts to 46 counties from 12 counties in 2008, while graduate enrollment in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has grown to more than 100 students from 11 students in the same year.

NIFA, one of the four research, education and economics agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also recognized the CAHNS Executive Council’s help in governing and integrating the academics, research and outreach of the College, as well as helping the College secure funds to improve its physical facilities, including a 25,000-square-foot agricultural biotechnology building, a new open-roof greenhouse range, a state-of-the-art landscape studio, and a 4,800-square-foot. agriculture teaching/research facility.

“The NIFA partnership award provides positive feedback for the hard work of the Executive Committee,” added Dr. Reddy, who was recently recognized as one of the top professors at Historically Black Colleges, by Affordable Colleges Online.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University
With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.