Grant Will Fund Crop-to-Food Innovation Undergraduate Training Program | Nebraska today

A research team from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has received a $742,000 grant from the we Department of Agriculture to create the Undergraduate Research and Extension Experiments Program.

The five-year Crop-to-Food Innovation program will provide students with 10-week summer research experiences and training in science communication and leadership. The project will create opportunities for students to work with scientists who are developing new crop traits and applying innovative bioprocessing and formulation technologies to evaluate and develop new food and feed applications.

The project also aims to increase the participation of underrepresented students in careers related to science and agriculture. This will be achieved through recruitment focused on historically black colleges and universities, especially land-grant universities that share Nebraska’s mission of agricultural research, extension, and education.

The project is a collaboration between Nebraska’s Center for Plant Science Innovation, Nebraska Food for Health Center, Food Innovation Center, and Industrial Agricultural Products Center, who together conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. The project is led by Principal Investigator Edgar Cahoon, George Holmes Professor of Biochemistry and Director of the Center for Plant Innovation, and Co-Principal Investigators Amanda Ramer-Tait, Maxcy Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Paul Velander, Professor biochemistry assistant and Nebraska extension specialist. The team includes 13 other faculty members from the departments of Biochemistry, Agronomy and Horticulture, Food Science and Technology, and Biological Systems Engineering. These faculty will mentor undergraduate students from across the United States in biological sciences, chemistry, food science, engineering, and related fields over the next five summers.

Student research projects will involve collaborations between participating laboratories across the field-to-market product development pipelines that deliver new food and feed to consumers and farmers. The program will emphasize teamwork as the foundation for creating innovations with real impact and will include formal training in scientific leadership and communication, and biotechnology laboratory skills. Students who complete the program are expected to have a broad overview of food science and be better prepared for careers and graduate studies in agriculture. ROD disciplines.

Cahoon sees the Crop-to Food Innovation program as “a great opportunity to impact student lives and careers and promote the participation of a greater diversity of people and ideas needed to solve global challenges. “.

The grant is funded by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Workforce Development Program.

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