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Impact of Federal Capacity Funds

Whether it be investments in research to combat invasive species or outreach efforts to build healthier communities, Federal Capacity Funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) provide vital support for a broad base of critically important programs that address local, state and national issues. At Cornell University, no other source of continuous funding addresses such a broad array of real-time, real-world issues important to our citizens, our food supply, our environment, and our future.

The $6 million project portfolio managed by Cornell AES supports an average of 175 researchers in three colleges. If projects also include an outreach and extension component, they might receive additional funding from Cornell Cooperative Extension, who manages Federal Capacity Funds from the Smith-Lever program.

In addition to directly addressing a range of important issues facing our region and especially New York State, funded research projects also enable faculty to be more competitive in applying for subsequent research funding from other sources.

Read about the impacts of selected projects from previous funding cycles below. 

Impacts of Research Funded by Federal Capacity Funds

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Emerald Ash Borer

Task Forces Help with Invasive Beetle Management

Mar 15, 2016

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive, non-native beetle that will likely kill all species of ash in New York. Counties, municipalities, and landowners must make management decisions to mitigate EAB impact. This project create local task forces to provide assistance in this process. (PDF)

Berry production in a high tunnel

High Value from High Tunnels

Mar 14, 2016

From vegetables, to berries and flowers – unheated high tunnels can extend New York’s growing season by two months, benefiting producers and consumers alike. Cornell’s research on best varieties, growing methods and economic viability helps growers to successfully utilize high tunnel production and increase profits. 

Trees in urban landscape design

Maximizing Ecosystem Benefits of Urban Trees

Mar 13, 2016

By advancing urban forestry research and training foresters, architects and students, this program provides the knowledge and tools to successfully integrate trees in urban landscape design and mitigate the effects of urban heat islands. (PDF)

Girl eating fruit

Using Technology to Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

Mar 12, 2016

Use of social media and mobile technology in nutrition education, supports youth in adopting healthy eating habits. Communications by text message and social media are cost effective and can reach large audiences, even after youth graduate from high school. (PDF)

Red barn at a small farm

The Cornell Small Farms Program (CSFP)

Mar 11, 2016

The CSFP has been a visionary leader in translating and delivering agricultural research to small family farms. Small farms contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment. The CSFP addresses the unique challenges small farms face through trainings, tools, and other resources. (PDF)

David Brown

Strategic Outreach to Local Government

Mar 10, 2016

In an environment where local policy and decision-making becomes ever more important, this project aims to enhance the effectiveness of conveying research-based information to local policymakers. The group identifies, why academic research may be used in the local government decision-making process. (PDF)