USDA NIFA is actively working to increase support for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA). In October, NIFA announced funding of a program titled, “Increasing DEIA Programming for Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A Model for USDA NIFA-funded Organizations,” that will be spearheaded by the North Central IPM Center in coordination with the Regional IPM Centers.
This program aims to alter the culture within Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for a more inclusive and equitable environment. The existing culture within IPM is shaped by long-standing values, norms, and traditions, often rooted in the experiences of those who have dominated the field historically. This can lead to negative experiences for individuals who were historically excluded due to factors like gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, and their intersections. To address this, the Regional IPM Centers (RIPMC) will work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive culture that reflects the diversity of the U.S. population and the communities served. This aligns with one of the USDA’s priorities in 2022, focusing on advancing racial justice, equity, and opportunity, and eliminating disparities.
This program will work to advance DEIA within IPM through a comprehensive approach. Initially, it seeks to gain a better understanding of past and present IPM activities to pinpoint areas that need improvement through a needs assessment. Then, it establishes the groundwork for future DEIA initiatives and cultural transformation with guidance from a newly formed DEIA Steering Committee. Finally, it secures additional resources to bolster DEIA efforts in IPM through partnerships with DEIA programs and institutions by offering fellowships and funding for pilot projects directed at underserved communities.
This initiative marks a significant step towards enhancing DEIA within the field of IPM. Please visit our Funding page for information on these funding opportunities.