National Institute of Food and Agriculture Law and Legal Definition

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The NIFA was created pursuant to the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. NIFA replaced the former Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, which had been in existence since 1994.

NIFA's unique mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations

The NIFA is one of four USDA agencies that make up its Research, Education, and Economics mission area. NIFA does not perform actual research, education, and extension services. But it helps fund these activities at the state and local level and provides program leadership in these areas. It also plays a key leadership role in creating and disseminating knowledge concerning the biological, physical, and social sciences related to agricultural research, economic analysis, statistics, extension, and higher education.