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Fish Innovation Lab accepting research pitches

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish is accepting proposals for research projects west Africa, east Africa, and Asia.

The lab intends to fund approximately 10 proposals for up to three years and with budgets in the $200,000 to $800,000 range. Current lab activities are in Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia. Other Feed the Future target and aligned countries may be considered if justified.

Areas of inquiry include advancing the productivity frontier, reducing and mitigating risk to fish production systems, and improving human outcomes. Successful proposals also will integrate four crosscutting themes: gender mainstreaming and youth engagement, improving human nutrition, resilience of fish value chains and households, and capacity building.

The competition is open to any qualified research, educational, governmental, private sector, or non-profit institution globally that has a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and is registered in the System for Award Management.

Concept papers are due May 24, and final proposals by July 24. More information about the funding opportunity and complete application instructions on the lab’s Piestar page.


USDA looks for US universities to train in aflatoxin control

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is looking for U.S. universities willing to host mid-level agricultural managers from lower and middle-income countries under the Cochran Fellowship Program. The program calls for universities to design and deliver a training program for six English-speaking fellows on improving food safety in Pakistan through aflatoxin control.

The objective of the Cochran Fellowship Program is to assist eligible countries to develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations. Strengthening and enhancing trade linkages between the eligible countries and the U.S. also is important to the program

The closing date for applications is Wednesday, May 1. Contact Zach Bachtell for direct inquiries about this program.



EasyJet bans peanuts

EasyJet has banned peanuts on flights, joining airlines such as Qantas, Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways that have yielded to pressure from customers. Peanuts will no longer be served on flights and passengers may be asked to refrain from eating nuts if someone on board reports an allergy when he buys his tickets.

Read the full story about EasyJet’s decision to no longer serve or sell peanuts.

Institute to prevent postharvest loss hiring asso. director

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is looking for an associate director of the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss (ADMI) within the Office of International Programs.

The primary responsibilities of the position are to provide project management, tracking and coordination for major international programs, particularly those relating to the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss, to track other international activities in the college, to deliver instructional and outreach content, and to develop international programs in ACES.

In addition to administering global research, outreach, and educational programs of the ADMI, the associate director supervises production of print publications and website content, represents ACES/OIP at meetings and conferences and delivers an 8-week online course related to international food issues for undergraduate students.

For initial consideration, apply by March 22, though the search will continue until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants should create a profile at and upload (as a single PDF) a resume, cover letter, and contact information of three references. Questions can be directed to Dr. Brenna Ellison, Chair of the Search Committee via e-mail at Additional information about the unit can be found at

Study shows nuts are important in slowing age-related cognitive decline

The Peanut Institute released a new graphic that showcases peanut’s place in the MIND diet, an eating plan designed to prevent cognitive decline.

A study published in December in “Nutrition, Health, and Aging” found that the MIND diet can reduce and delay the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Previous research shows the diet may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent.

The MIND diet combines the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets and recommends people choose from 10 brain-healthy food groups to improve brain function and prevent dementia. The food categories include green leafy vegetables and other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and a small amount of wine a day.

The MIND diet calls for five servings of nuts a week, and the flexibility of peanut products make that easy, said Dr. Samara Sterling, the director of research for The Peanut Institute. “You can have a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread or grab a handful of peanuts as a snack. Peanuts are a healthy, convenient and affordable way to hit that MIND target.”

Peanuts also contain high levels of niacin and are a good source of vitamin E – two nutrients that have long been known to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Check out the graphic here.


Nominations open for APRES awards

The American Peanut Research and Education Society is seeking nominations for 2019 awards, due by May 31. Nominations with supporting documentation should be sent to the chair of the particular award. Winners will be announced during the business Meeting at the 2019 Annual Meeting held July 9-11 at the Auburn University Hotel & Dixon Conference Center.

Grad students may enter the Joe Sugg Graduate Student Oral Presentation Competition (which is sponsored by North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and comes with a $500 prize for first place or $250 for second) or the Graduate Student Poster Competition (which is sponsored by National Peanut Board and has $350 and $100 prizes). To compete, however, students must submit an abstract to APRES by March 31.

For more info, go to the APRES website.

Peanuts in the spotlight this month

March is National Peanut Month, a time to celebrate the nutritious and delicious peanut.

Georgia Peanut Commission Chairman Armond Morris speaks at the PB&J event in 2017.

The Georgia peanut industry gathered together on March 4 to celebrate one of the most popular nuts in the world for the 2019 Georgia PB&J Day at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. Elected officials were involved in the celebration, including Governor Brian Kemp. The governor presented a proclamation recognizing March as National Peanut Month.

Peanuts and products made from peanuts are foods that can be celebrated not only for their taste, but also their nutritional value. Through one serving of peanuts, a person consumes a significant amount of protein, Vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus and magnesium.

Visit here for more information about peanuts and the 2019 Georgia PB&J Day.