USDA-AFRI Funding (and other upcoming opportunities)

The USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) has a handful of opportunities open between now and the end of July for its Foundational and Applied Science Program, and we are planning to respond to one or more of the following three areas:

  1. Engineering for Agricultural Production Systems
  2. Data Science for Food and Agricultural Systems
  3. Economic and Social Implications of Food and Agricultural Technologies

I am looking for collaborators, team members, and organizational partnerships to work with us on technologies for integrated pest management in agriculture. I focus mostly on fruit, nut, and vegetable crops in western North America. The work will encompass a wide range of activities related to:

  • Electronics and mechanical engineering: from the component-level to systems design and manufacturing
  • Digital signal processing and machine learning
  • Computational ecology
  • IPM specialists working in specialty crops
  • Software development of all kinds, but especially focused on taking models from R and moving them into a production web/mobile environment.

The work will also cross over into questions about governance, policy, community economics, and quantitative social science.

This funding opportunity also includes conference grants, which provide up to $50,000 for events related to AFRI’s areas of focus, which also include animal health and more fundamental biology/crop science topics. While I don’t have the ability to lead a conference grant application myself, I would be very willing to help if others are interested in any of those three topics I mentioned above.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, please respond here, or send me an email: Thanks for reading!


Hey Kyle - sounds interesting in general, would be great to discuss using SurveyStack + farmOS as a potential information solution (or one option among several). But one particular item that we’ve been working on is the R --> web api chain. @OctavioDuarte recently implemented this on one of our projects for delivering nutrient density predictions, and I’m really keen on improving the process and standardizing it. I think git automated CI pipelines are really a game change going forward. Please put us on the list!

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Will do, Greg! I’m working on a short synopsis this week.

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Hey Kyle: also interested! I have a couple of projects that might be relevant depending on which of the activities you end up focusing on. We do a fair bit of design research, decision support tools, and systems architecture.

I also wonder if, @gbathree, if we have bandwidth to do a conference grant for GOAT?