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WSSA-USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Fellow

The WSSA Board of Directors created the position of WSSA NIFA Fellow in 2013. This liaison position is a partnership between WSSA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Division of Plant Systems-Protection. Dr. Donn Shilling, University of Georgia was selected as the first USDA-NIFA Fellow in late 2014 and his work in this role began in 2015.

The purpose of the WSSA NIFA Fellow is to serve as a weed science resource and subject matter expert within USDA-NIFA and to act as a liaison between WSSA members and USDA-NIFA employees. The WSSA NIFA Fellow provides input on a wide range of topics such as current weed management practices, herbicide resistance management, weed biology and ecology, invasive plants, and the role of weed control in land management. The WSSA NIFA Fellow learns about USDA-NIFA policies and procedures, becomes familiar with the USDA-NIFA staff and their roles in the agency, and develops a basic understanding of how USDA-NIFA funding priorities are established and grants awarded. The overall vision and goal for the WSSA NIFA Fellow is to help enhance NIFA’s understanding of Weed Science and vice-versa that results in a positive impact for both Weed Science and Agriculture.

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