Navigating USDA Research Reorganization and Administration

Congressional action to reorganize the extramural research program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) coincided with the election of President Obama and a significant shift in priorities for that Department.  Lewis-Burke assisted its clients by providing timely information as the new leadership team worked to elevate USDA as a science agency.  Direct contact with program officers during the internal agency process to establish the new National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) helped prepare Lewis-Burke clients for new priority areas and issues within the competitive extramural research program – the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).  Lewis-Burke provided detailed information to its clients on the reorientation of the research program into expanded and specific themes, including climate change, bioenergy, global food security, preventing childhood obesity, and food safety to better position them to be successful in applying for funding.  Lewis-Burke is part of the ongoing dialog with USDA on the next funding opportunity through AFRI, and works with a coalition of agriculture and related groups to successfully advocate for continued funding increases for AFRI research.