Georgia Pecan Research and USDA Wildfire Investment
**Georgia is the nation's leading pecan-producing state, and University of Georgia researchers intend to keep it that way.
Working with an international team of experts, four faculty members from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have received a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture award for the second phase of a study to adapt the pecan, one of Georgia’s top commodities.
The $737,227 award will further their interdisciplinary research project.
**Data from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture annual Feeding the Economy Report shows food and ag industries and their suppliers contribute over $8.6 trillion to the U.S. economy.
This year's report shows the U.S. food and ag sector directly supports nearly 23 million jobs, provides $927 billion in wages, and is vital to rural communities.
The 2023 report shows that manufacturing ag products accounts for nearly one-fifth of total U.S. manufacturing jobs.
**The USDA announced the first investment of a $1 billion effort to mitigate wildfire risks as the nation faces an ongoing wildfire crisis.
USDA announced a $197 million investment for 100 projects that benefits 22 states as part of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program.
USDA's Forest Service worked with states and tribes through an interagency workgroup to develop the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program, originally announced last June.