Our Work


The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) was established by Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act for the purpose of advising the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on ways that universities, particularly the land-grant institutions, can help the agency achieve its goals for agricultural development, broadly defined. BIFAD is called upon to make informed and relevant recommendations to USAID on new and emerging issues related to food- and agriculture-related research, capacity development, trade and extension. As authorized by Title XII, the Board is presidentially appointed and composed of seven members, four of which must come from the university community.

From 2004 – 2020, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) provided programmatic and administrative support to BIFAD. APLU worked with the USAID BIFAD Secretariat to coordinate activities through four components, 1) programmatic, administrative, and logistical support; 2) linkages to the U.S. public and land-grant university community; 3) analytical studies; and 4) BIFAD working groups. APLU provided support in the execution of the Board’s general areas of responsibility, including “participating in the planning, development, and implementation of, initiating recommendations for, and monitoring, the Title XII activities…” (BIFAD Charter, March 2019).

Within that role, APLU was uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership and harness the collective expertise of the university community and their partners, including private sector; federal, state, and local government agencies; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); CGIAR; and developing country institutions, in support of BIFAD. Rallying the talents, knowledge, and expertise among its member institutions and the university community at large is critical to APLU’s mission. During its tenure administering BIFAD, APLU not only supported linkages to decision-makers in agriculture and higher education, but also to some of the top scientists in the world who bring their unique perspective from land-grant, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), tribal colleges and the private universities through our relationship with other higher education associations.

Over the past sixteen years, APLU provided support for 42 public meetings and, in the last decade, facilitated the commissioning of five studies on emerging issues related to food and agriculture research, capacity development.

Visit the APLU – BIFAD Library for archived BIFAD documents.

Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report