Davis Announces USDA COVID-19 Research Funding for AgCreate in Monticello
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded AgCreate Solutions, Inc. in Monticello a $99,986 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) COVID-19 Rapid Response grant. The COVID-19 targeted funding is aimed at the most critical issues facing university researchers, small businesses and consumers across America during the pandemic. AgCreate was one of fourteen recipients nationwide.
The funding will be used to research and develop innovative, competency-based educational technologies to best prepare farm labor to care for daily livestock mortalities and also be ready to manage carcasses during catastrophes.
“This USDA award will fund the rapid research and development of training curriculum that will equip our farmers with the tools and knowledge they need to manage high livestock mortality situations safely and effectively,” said Davis. “Agriculture has been impacted in many ways by this pandemic and this grant will allow AgCreate in partnership with USDA to be part of addressing this particular issue."
“It was quickly evident at the onset of the pandemic that the food supply, agricultural systems, families and education – key focus areas for USDA and our partners – would be greatly impacted by all the changes facing our society,” said USDA-NIFA Acting Director Parag Chitnis. “USDA-NIFA is uniquely positioned to help fund rapid response research, outreach and education efforts, while continuing to support our base research, Extension and 4-H youth development programs that are in place at all times to respond to producer and consumer needs, large and small, across the nation.”
"As we raise food in the US, competent labor prepared to manage daily livestock mortalities and potential depopulation catastrophes maximizes the ability for American producers to prosper," said DVM Sarah Probst Miller, Creative Director and President of AgCreate Solutions. "Knowing depopulation could happen again with Foreign Animal Disease (FAD), US livestock producers’ COVID-19 instigated experiences underline the importance of innovative, competency-based educational technologies to best prepare farm labor to care for daily livestock mortalities and also be ready to manage carcasses during catastrophes. Expanding mortality management training via technologies like this goes beyond the farm and contributes to environmental stewardship thus adding to societal value. Improving American labor competencies allows American producers to remain competitive in the global marketplace and contributes to global food security."