Research Funding

enlarged photo of rows of leafy greensMuch of the funding for the Institute for Food stems from several grants. The sources of these grants include the United States Department of Agriculture, Provost Interdisciplinary Innovation Fund, the Gross-Hutton Family Foundation, and the Ohio Humanities Council (among others).

United States Department of Agriculture Grant

The Institute for Food is a recipient of the United States Department of Agriculture's Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Capacity Building grant. The grant seeks to support the achievement of 3 core institute objectives:

  • education
  • research
  • outreach

With the support of the grant, the institute is establishing courses in agriculture, sustainability, and other food-related topics. Students can also participate in a hands-on internship program. In addition to the classes being offered at Miami University, the grant also funds research that will allow engineering faculty and students to develop a solar-powered drip irrigation system for the farm. Students will have the opportunity to design, construct, and optimize a sustainable irrigation system to further improve the farm's production.

Finally, the USDA grant supports the Institute's outreach programs within Butler County. Beth Miller, a Professor of Nutrition, will implement a community-based research program that will assess the impact of the locally grown produce on low-income families in the Talawanda school district by introducing home-based gardening programs and nutrition education. In addition, the farm is partnering with the Oxford Community Choice Pantry-Summer Harvest School Program, which provides school-age children with food during summer months when free or reduced-price school meals are not available.

Ohio Humanities Council

A grant from the Ohio Humanities Council funds the creation of a digital map of the Institute for Food Farm and a symposium at which collaboration for the project will take place. The interdisciplinary map project will bring together scholars of many specialties, including architecture, ecology, and geography, to plan and develop an innovative representation of the historic site. The finished digital map will enable students and community members to learn about the farm in an engaging and interactive way.

Provost Interdisciplinary Innovation Fund

The Institute for Food is a recipient of Miami University's Provost Interdisciplinary Innovation Fund. The 3-year grant enables the institute to develop interdisciplinary curricula, conduct research, and provide hands-on farming experiences to students. The Provost Interdisciplinary Innovation Fund enabled the initial startup of the institute, giving its faculty the resources necessary to compete for further funding.

Gross-Hutton Family Foundation

A generous gift from the Gross-Hutton Family Foundation, founded by Miami University alumna Sandra Gross and her husband Dr. John Hutton, aids the development of the Institute for Food Farm. Gross and Hutton own Sleepy Bee Cafe, a Cincinnati restaurant group dedicated to using locally sourced ingredients.