Real Plants Florida
Growing, planting and promoting
Florida native plants for sustainable landscapes.
Gardeners & Homeowners

Volunteer as a reviewer and influence NIFA funded research and extension

Volunteer some time every winter to review proposals submitted by academic/industry/nonprofit organizations and help influence US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) funded research, education and extension to include more horticulture, particularly native plant horticulture.

HORTICULTURE is a specialty crop and native plants are a horticulture specialty. The Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) seeks representatives from the specialty crop industry to serve as reviewers of industry relevance for SCRI applications submitted to USDA National Institute for Food & Agriculture (NIFA). The specialty crop industry requested a separate relevancy review, and Congress included this requirement in the Farm Bill. The additional review ensures that proposals submitted for scientific merit review are focused on topics that are current and relevant to industry needs. NIFA seeks help from the specialty crop industry to accomplish this review.


  • Read and evaluate up to 15 Stakeholder Relevance Statements (SRS) and submit reviews in NIFA’s online Peer Review System. There is no need to travel to participate.
  • Participate in a review panel conference call of approximately one hour to agree on ranking of proposals with each topic group.
  • The estimated time commitment is between 10 and 15 hours.

Typically December and January of each year.

Tom Bewick
Megan O’Reilly