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CSREES Update - January 10, 2007

CSREES Update, from the Office of the Administrator, is a biweekly newsletter for research, education, and extension partners at land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions.


  • New Partners Video Magazine – Feeding America
  • CSREES Responds to Need for International Database
  • Agricultural Curriculum Development Discussions with India
  • NSF Appoints NPL to AgrowKnowledge
  • Mertz New NRE Program Specialist
  • Competitive Programs Lead Program Assistant Retires
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Proposes to Allow Additional Imports from BSE Minimal-Risk Countries


  • New Agribusiness Education Study Report
  • Women's Agricultural Network Offers On-line Training


  • Volunteers Needed for Programs of Distinction
  • Energy Seminar for Extension Agents
  • 2007 Joint Meeting of AFHVS and ASFS

Awards and Recognition

  • Asoyia Chief Receives Iowa Farm Bureau Award



CSREES latest episode of Partners Video Magazine, Feeding America, is now available. The video focuses on the complex, multi-layered food production process in America. It features four untold stories of vital endeavors that are part of the amazing mosaic of agriculture.

Hidden Danger shows North Carolina State University scientists in their quest to understand a deadly fungus that threatens the safety of food around the globe. Asphalt Gardens visits The Food Project of inner-city Boston where local youth grow crops for their urban neighborhood. The Rust Invasion goes back in time to show how the United States narrowly avoided an agricultural catastrophe from a devastating plant disease. And Robot Farm proves that the future is now as Oklahoma State University researchers develop the very latest devices for precision agriculture.

National program leaders Kitty Cardwell, Ann Lichens-Park, and Elizabeth Tuckermanty served as script consultants. Feeding America is available in streaming video or DVD on the Partner Video Magazine Web site. Free copies of the series' 2007 annual planner are also available.

In partnership with Virginia Tech University and others, CSREES is supporting the expansion of the Food and Agricultural Education Information System (FAEIS) to include information on universities' international capabilities. The data will be useful in planning programs, in assessing trends, and in building the communities' presence internationally.  Designed with input from several universities, the database will be alpha pilot tested first by Washington State University, Florida A&M University, and Michigan State University, and then beta tested by an additional 10 universities before being fully implemented in 2007.  Contact Hiram Larew for more information.

Under the auspices of the United States-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative (AKI), 80 colleagues from both the United States and India will meet in New Delhi on January 22 and 23, 2007, to discuss best practices and innovations in agricultural curriculum development and delivery in higher education. Organized by colleagues at Cornell University and the Indian Council on Agricultural Research, the meeting responds to the AKI's call for a focus on human and institutional capacity development. The meeting is supported by a grant from the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).  CSREES is providing guidance on this and other AKI activities.  Visit the FAS Web site for more information on the AKI. Contact Hiram Larew or Patty Fulton for more information on CSREES' activities in the AKI.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) appointed CSREES National Program Leader Henry M. “JH” Bahn, to the National Visiting Committee for the AgrowKnowledge: Advanced Technology Education (ATE) National Center for Agriculture Education, Cedar Rapids, IA. The center is funded by the ATE program at the NSF, which is jointly managed by the Division of Undergraduate Education and the Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education. National Visiting Committees serve three primary functions: provide advice to the project staff; prepare annual reports to NSF and the project team which assess the project's progress and plans; and advocate for the project and help dis­seminate the project's achievements.

Bruce Mertz is the new program specialists in CSREES Natural Resources and Environment unit. He moved to his new position on December 11.  He worked with CSREES Science and Education Resources Development unit for 14 months prior to his new appointment.  Mertz served nearly 7 years as the founding executive director of the nonprofit Future Harvest, A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, based in Stevensville, MD. He also worked for the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Agricultural programs and was an information analyst for many years at Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA.  He received his B.S. in biology from Kutztown University, PA, and his M.S. in entomology from the Pennsylvania State University.  He is located in room 3181, Waterfront Centre, telephone: 202- 401-4601. 

Betty Wilder, lead program assistant with Competitive Programs Team 2 Peer Review, retired January 6th with 21 years of Federal service.  Betty began her career in 1985 as a clerk with the Competitive Research Grants Office for the Plant Pathology and Insect Pest Science Program.  She later became head secretary and worked with three chief scientists. Under the National Research Initiative, Wilder acted as the supervisory program assistant for the Natural Resources Division.


In an effort to protect fresh produce from E. coli and other harmful bacteria, scientists are working to develop an edible, all-natural, antimicrobial vegetable-based film that creates an additional layer of protection when applied to fresh fruits and vegetables. Epidemiological studies suggest E. coli O157:H7 sickens approximately 100,000 people each year with more than 100 fatalities, leaving the food processing industry in a continuous struggle to control the spread of pathogenic bacteria. In recent months, news stories linking E. coli to fresh produce have caused national concern.

Funded by CSREES National Research Initiative (NRI) Food Safety program, Tara H. McHugh, a food technologist, along with fellow researchers at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Albany, CA, is researching the effectiveness of using plant essential oils in developing the vegetable-based film. Plants already produce and secrete essential oils to protect against attacks from insects and microbes; the layer of film adds an additional layer of protection. Visit the CSREES News room to read the full release.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program – Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

Secondary and 2-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program January 11, 2007 Gregory Smith
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Food Safety Initiative January 12, 2007 Jan Singleton

Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 Program (Tribal Colleges Extension Services Program)

January 19, 2007 Joan F. Gill
Higher Education Program: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program January 25, 2007 Irma Lawrence
Higher Education Challenge Grants February 1, 2007 Gregory Smith
Special Research Grants Program: Citrus tristeza Research Program February 7, 2007 Kitty Cardwell

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Integrated Pest Management Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program

February 12, 2007 Robert Nowierski
Integrated Research, Education, And Extension Competitive Grants Program: Integrated Pest Management Crops at Risk Program February 12, 2007 H.J. Rick Meyer
Special Research Grants Program: Pest Management Alternatives Research February 15, 2007 Monte Johnson
Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program February 15, 2007 Daniel Jones
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Integrated Pest Management Methyl Bromide Transitions Program February 21, 2007 James L. Green
Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (formerly Extension Indian Reservation Program) February 23, 2007 Joan F. Gill
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Water Quality Program April 4, 2007 Mike P. O'Neill


CSREES advertises all of its funding opportunities through "Find Grant Opportunities" on the Grants.gov Web site. This site is searchable and contains summary information on all Federal funding opportunities with links to the full announcements. Users can search announcements by topic, funding agency, and date, as well as subscribe to an e-mail notification service based on these parameters.


The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a proposal to expand the list of allowable imports from countries recognized as presenting a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) into the United States. Currently, Canada is the only minimal-risk country designated by the United States.

The proposal expands upon a rule published by APHIS in January 2005 that allowed the importation of certain live ruminants and ruminant products, including cattle less than 30 months of age for delivery to a slaughterhouse or feedlot, from countries recognized as minimal-risk. In the rule announced, APHIS is proposing to allow the importation of:

  • Live cattle and other bovines for any use born on or after March 1, 1999, the date determined by APHIS to be the date of effective enforcement of the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban in Canada;
  • Meat products from cattle born on or after March 1, 1999;
  • Blood and blood products derived from bovines, collected under certain conditions; and
  • Casings and part of the small intestine derived from bovines.

APHIS invites comments on this proposed rule. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before March 12, 2007. Visit the USDA Web site to read the full release and details on proposal submissions.

Working with CSREES support, the National Food and Agribusiness Management Education Commission has completed a comprehensive study of agribusiness education in the United States. The study report describes the current state of food and agribusiness management education at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities; identifies key issues facing food and agribusiness management programs; and presents recommendations for educators. Data collection involved interviews with leading CEO's in the industry and reviews of agribusiness curricula. Information about the report is available from Michael Boland (Kansas State University) mboland@ksu.edu or Jay Akridge (Purdue University) akridge@purdue.edu.

National 4-H Headquarters, CSREES/USDA is requesting applications from individuals interested in peer reviewing Programs of Distinction manuscripts from around the country. Please note this is a volunteer position, and reviewers donate their time for manuscript review and peer reviewer training. The Programs of Distinction review team is comprised of 4-H youth development educators and specialists, family and consumer science (FCS) and human development educators and specialists, and other extension professionals familiar with the youth development field.

Benefits to reviewers include:

  • An opportunity to select outstanding Cooperative Extension youth development programs for the National 4-H Headquarters' Programs of Distinction database.
  • An opportunity to network with other youth development and FCS professionals from around the country.
  • A professional development experience to enhance your evaluation and program development skills.
  • A valuable addition to your resume, vitae, or promotion and tenure file.

Reviewers should be able to:

  • Review and return the manuscripts submitted in a timely manner—within 2 weeks.
  • Make recommendations based on how well the submission meets established criteria.
  • Provide specific comments that will be returned to the author.
  • Serve as a peer reviewer for a minimum of 1 year (maximum of 2 years)
  • Participate in a 2-hour Web-based training


Contact Suzanne Le Menestrel, national program leader for Youth Development Research, via email for more information slemenestrel@csrees.usda.gov. Visit the following link to download a reviewer application: http://www.national4-hheadquarters.gov/about/POD_Rev_App_2007.doc. Return the completed application as an attachment and send an email to POD@csrees.usda.gov, with “POD Reviewer Application” as the subject line.  Applications are due January 16, 2007.

Colorado State University is sponsoring a 2-day seminar entitled Renewable Energy Options: The Role of Extension Agents in the 21 st Century Energy Economy, March 19-20, 2007, in Denver, CO. Geared specifically for Extension agents, participants will learn about energy from agriculture including wind and solar power, and how farmers and ranchers can learn if they have the right conditions to pursue these options.  Experts from around the nation will provide practical guidance about renewables and the impact they have on communities, their economies, and creating a more sustainable environment.  Contact Leigh Fortson at Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, telephone: 970-241-3346 or Leigh.Fortson@colostate.edu for more information.

The Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for The Study of Food and Society (ASFS) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their respective organizations May 30 - June 3, 2007, at The University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia.

The theme of the 2007 joint meeting is Changing Ecologies of Food and Agriculture: Building on 20 Years of Scholarship.” The dialectic between eco-social diversity and economic efficiencies directly or indirectly informs many focus issues for both societies and is at the heart of the struggle for "sustainability." Victoria is a striking example of this dialectic - an international agro-culinary tourist destination that demonstrably supports its island food community. Proposals for sessions are due January 31, 2007. Papers, panels, and events are sought on any topic related to agriculture, food, and society. Visit the respective Web sites: http://www.afhvs.org/2007call.html or http://food-culture.org/conference.html for more information. Contact Sean McGovern, Sustainable Agriculture Network, 1372 Norris Drive, Columbus, OH 43224. Telephone: 614-306-6422; Fax: 614-268-7544; Email: outreach@sare.org; Web site: http://www.sare.org for more information.


Vivan M. Jennings, founder, chief technology officer, and former CEO of Asoyia LLC received the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). IFBF President Craig Lang presented Jennings with the award at the organization's annual meeting in Des Moines on December 9. The award honors individuals for service to agriculture at the local, state, and/or national levels. This is the 29th year for the award.

Jennings served as the first CSREES deputy administrator for Natural Resources and Environment in Washington, DC. Visit Asoyia Web site to read the full release.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for January 24, 2007. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by January 17, 2007.

Editor: Judy Rude, Public Affairs Specialist, CSREES Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact her at jrude@csrees.usda.gov.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an e-mail message to jrude@csrees.usda.gov. In the body of the message, type: subscribe csrees-update OR unsubscribe csrees-update.

Back issues of CSREES UPDATE are available on the CSREES Web site.

Colien Hefferan, Administrator

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