News Release

NIFA announces $320,000 for sustainable community projects

Grant and Award Announcement

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $320,000 in funding to develop and deliver educational programs that equip at-risk youth with the skills they need to lead positive, productive, and contributing lives. The funding is made available through the Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk Sustainable Community Projects (CYFAR SCP) grant, which is funded through section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, administered by NIFA, and authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

"As a nation, we have a responsibility to provide communities the support needed to help children and families succeed," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "CYFAR SCP propels this mission by providing educational programs that help those who are at risk meet their basic needs and flourish in society."

The goal of the CYFAR program is to marshal resources of the Land-Grant University and Cooperative Extension Systems so that, in collaboration with other organizations, they can improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive, community-based programs. Specifically, the CYFAR SCP grant promotes on collaboration across disciplines, program areas, and geographic lines, as well a holistic approach that views the individual in the context of the family and community.

This year's applications should lead to the accomplishment of one of the four National CYFAR Outcomes:

1. Early Childhood: Children will have their basic physical, emotional and intellectual needs met. Babies will be born healthy.

2. School Age (K-8): School-age youth will demonstrate knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior necessary for fulfilling, contributing lives.

3. Teen: Teens will demonstrate knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior necessary for fulfilling, contributing lives.

4. Parent/Family: Parents will take primary responsibility for meeting their children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs and providing moral guidance and direction. Families will promote positive, productive and contributing lives for all family members.

Applications addressing the early childhood and parent/family national outcome are encouraged.

Applications are due March 29, 2017. See the request for application for specific program requirements.


NIFA will host two free informational webinars for interested applicants from 2-3 p.m. EST March 7 and March 9.

Previously funded projects include the Sustainable Community Revitalization in Appalachia Through Children's Hands (SCRATCH) Project, operating at three sites around Huntington, West Virginia. The project teaches local children sustainable gardening and how to sell their produce to local restaurants and farmer markets, thus helping feed the community and add to the local economy. Additionally, it addresses high obesity rates, lack of access to nutritional meals, unemployment, blight, and property crime.

Another project, the 4-H VIP (Very Important Parent) teen program in North Carolina, helps teen parents improve their parenting, relationship, and life skills through a combination of face-to-face and distance education learning engagements. Results show parents are increasing their technological literacy and two-way communication skills.

Since 1994, CYFAR SCP has awarded over $162 million to 313 projects in 50 states.

NIFA invests in and advances innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA's integrated research, education and extension programs support the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel whose work results in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability and ensure food safety.

To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural science, visit, sign up for email updates or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.

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