Agriculture department funding climate, environmental studies

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Researchers will receive about $53 million in federal grants to help agricultural industries prepare for climate changes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and sequester carbon.

The Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced in late June that the money will be given through 13 grants to 10 universities and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The grants will fund multiyear projects connected with plant and animal agriculture; they will be provided through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and will be administered through NIFA.

The initiative is a competitive grant program established through the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, USDA information states.

The grants connected with livestock include about $5 million to the University of Arkansas to evaluate how swine operations can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, $4.7 million to the University of Delaware to consider how chicken producers can lessen their industry's environmental impact, and $4.3 million to the University of Nebraska to help extension services give animal agriculture producers science-based climate resources.