USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) this week released the first Annual Synopsis for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants program, which awarded more than $176 million in 470 research, education and extension grants in fiscal year 2009. Fiscal year 2009 was the first year that NIFA administered the AFRI program, which was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. In the first year, AFRI solicited competitive grant applications in 40 programs addressing the areas of plant and animal health and production, plant and animal products, food safety, nutrition and health, renewable energy, natural resources and environment, agricultural systems and technology, and agricultural economics and rural communities. More than 2,000 competitive grant applications were received and reviewed through a competitive peer review process comprised of more than 500 subject matter experts from across the country. Twenty-seven grants were made to new investigators receiving their first federal grant and 13 postdoctoral fellowships. Thirty percent of grants made were for integrated projects that combined research, education and extension components.