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CSREES Update - March 7, 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 National Program Leader for Agriculture in the Classroom
  • All New NEFE® High School Financial Planning Program® to Launch
  • CSREES Participates in Delegation to Israel/Jordan
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Facts about USDA's Proposed Adjusted Gross Income Limit
  • USDA Raises Agricultural Exports Forecast to Record $78 Billion for 2007
  • Secretary Johanns Meets with Mexican Officials and Renews U.S.-Mexico Consultative Committee on Agriculture


  • NAREEE Advisory Board Meets
  • New SDSU Interim Dean/Director
  • Wisconsin Names Interim Director
  • States Participate in the First Annual America Saves Week
  • eXtension Launches Financial Security Site
  • New USDA Outlook Diversity Program


  • Early Registration—2007 Urban Extension Conference
  • 2007 Family Strengthening Awards

Awards and Recognition

  • NPL Invited to Co-Chair Family Strengthening Peer Network



Thomas “Tom” G. Tate is now the CSREES national program leader for Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC). He has more than 30 years of national leadership in information technology education programs for the U.S. food system. Those programs include helping bridge the “digital divide” by establishing youth tech teams to work with senior citizens; helping rural communities to use geospatial technology; working with schools and teachers to implement computer technology in the classroom and developing Internet-based learning resources on Agriculture; developing a youth-centered 4-H community mapping movement in 44 states; and preparing communities for emergency events through teams of youth and adults using Global Positioning System and Geographic Information System technologies.  He has degrees from the University of Missouri and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Kathleen Cullinan, who moved to USDA's Farm Service Agency, formerly held the position. 

Cooperative Extension contacts from 47 states will gather in Denver March 12-15 with credit union professionals and others to launch the all-new National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE®) High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP®). CSREES renewed its longstanding memorandum of understanding with NEFE to revise, market, train teachers, and evaluate the program, which reaches more than a half-million youth annually.  In addition to CSREES and participating land-grant university Extension Services, the Credit Union National Association is a key partner with NEFE.

The updated curriculum, available in print at no cost to schools and is on the NEFE Web site, was completed by a 31-member task force including extension youth educators.  It is linked to education standards in 50 states, and to several national subject-area standards.  No-cost teacher training will be available in-person and online, along with step-by-step teaching plans.  The revised program's effectiveness will be evaluated by university researchers, school districts, and teachers.  Independent studies conducted by the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1998 and 2003 show conclusively that the HSFPP produces significant improvement in financial knowledge, confidence, and behavior among teens who have completed the program. Contact Jane Schuchardt, CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, for more information, or visit the CSREES Financial Security Web page.

A U.S. government delegation visited Israel and Jordan to identify multilateral training opportunities related to water resource management in the Middle East. The delegation met with top government officials from Israel and Jordan, as well as representatives from nongovernment organizations working with the Palestinians, to explore joint training needs for the three parties. The team also met with other governmental sponsors of water-related training programs in the region. The goal of the visit and meetings was to describe a multilateral training program that will lead to improved water resource management across the three parties as defined in the Middle East Peace Initiative. The meetings were organized through the EXACT (Executive Action Team) Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources. A final report describing recommended multilateral training activities is due in June. Mike O'Neill, CSREES national program leader for National Resources and Environment, represented the agency.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program – Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

1890 Facilities Grants Program March 14, 2007 P.S. Benepal
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers March 30, 2007 Michael Fitzner
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Water Quality Program April 4, 2007 Michael P. O'Neill
Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification April 6, 2007 Bradley Rein
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program April 13, 2007 Elizabeth Tuckermanty
Watershed, Conservation Effects Assessment, ICGP May 22, 2007 Michael P. O'Neill
National Research Initiative - Arthropod and Nematode Biology and Management (B) and (C): Suborganismal Biology and Tools, Resources, and Genomics June 5, 2007 Mary Purcell-Miramontes


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 fact sheet includes information on:

  • How Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Differs From Gross Income
  • The Administration's Proposed Changes to the AGI Limit
  • Facts About the Number of People with an AGI of $200,000 or More

Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the Fact Sheet.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced on March 1 an increase in the forecast for agricultural exports to a record $78 billion for fiscal year 2007.

"Projections show 2007 exports would be up $9.3 billion over last year, the second largest increase on record, and the fourth year of back-to-back records," said Johanns. "Two-thirds of this increase is due to the grain and oilseed sectors. Several trends are driving the rise in export value and keeping U.S. competitiveness strong, such as demand for corn due to increased ethanol production, reduced competition for wheat, and only moderate growth in South American oilseed production."

USDA's Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and World Agricultural Outlook Board release agricultural trade forecasts quarterly. The summary and full report of USDA's "Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade" is located on the ERS Web site.  

Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.  

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced on March 1 his travel to Mexico City, to discuss final implementation provisions of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexican Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cardenas and Economy Secretary Eduardo Sojo, and to renew the U.S-Mexico Consultative Committee on Agriculture (CCA).

Since implementation of the NAFTA in 1994, two-way agricultural trade with Mexico has risen from $6 billion to more than $20 billion in 2006. Since the first CCA was signed in 2002, United States and Mexican agricultural exports to each other have risen close to $1 billion per year.

Under NAFTA, the United States and Mexico have carried out a broad range of cooperative activities and initiatives aimed at smoothing the transition to free and open trade. Since 2005, the United States has invested nearly $20 million in programs and technical exchanges to assist Mexico in addressing production, distribution, and marketing related challenges.

Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.


The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board Meeting is March 8-9, 2007, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. The theme is “2007 Farm Bill and Food Safety and Human Health.”

On March 8th, the full advisory board meeting starts at 8 a.m. and adjourns at 5 p.m.  There is an evening session with a guest speaker from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  On March 9th, the meeting reconvenes at 7:30 a.m., with Secretary Mike Johanns' addressing the board at 11 a.m. The meeting will adjourn by 1 p.m.  Click to view the meeting agenda.  

Dr. C. Gregg Carlson is the new interim associate dean and director of the South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, effective February 1, 2007.

Carlson earned a B.S. in Agriculture Engineering and Mechanization from Western Illinois University in 1969.  He earned his M.S. degree in Plant Science and Agronomy and a Ph.D. in Agronomy from South Dakota State University in 1972 and 1978, respectively.  He has worked in the teaching, research, and extension areas of SDSU's plant science department since 1974.

Dr. Richard M. Klemme is the new interim director of Cooperative Extension Service, University of Wisconsin-Extension, effective February 1, 2007.

Klemme earned a B.S. in Economics and Mathematics from Illinois State University in 1976. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He served as associate dean, Agricultural & Natural Resources, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension from January 2000 until January 31, 2007.

Take financial action to build wealth, not debt. CSREES shares this vision with the Cooperative Extension System for the first America Saves Week, which ended March 4. Extension educators in 22 states reported pilot efforts to sign up youth and adult America Savers (visit www.americasaves.org). For example, six rural counties in Alabama hosted “decorate your piggy bank” competitions for youth.  In San Diego County, CA, more than 18,000 county employees received “San Diego Saves” messages.  A “roll your small change” campaign in Maryland drew approximately 1,000 participants.  New Jersey Saves Week encouraged more than 1,000 residents to open a savings account, save income tax refunds, and increase savings through plans at work. Tennessee Saves featured proclamations by the House, Senate, and governor, plus tours of financial institutions for prospective savers, and “saves night” at local basketball games. Of the 22 states reporting, 13 estimate reaching about 80,000 potential savers directly and more through media partnerships. Low- to moderate-income Americans of all ages will gain the knowledge, skills, and motivation to save, first for an emergency, and then for other life goals. Contact Jane Schuchardt CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, for more information.

eXtension launched the Financial Security for All Web site to coincide with the first America Saves Week, February 25-March 4. This learn anytime, anywhere Web-based tool brings the wealth of research-based university information on all aspects of attaining personal financial security. Financial Security for All provides Internet visitors with reliable and up-to-date financial security information through online lessons for self-paced learning and a knowledge base of commonly asked questions with research-based, peer-reviewed answers to help users learn more about specialized areas of personal finance. As with all of eXtension, Financial Security for All was developed through the collaboration of Community of Practice members--extension professionals with expertise in this area. To learn more about financial security and eXtension, go to http://www.extension.org and click on Personal Finance.

The USDA's Outlook Forum Diversity Program created a new sponsorship opportunity for agencies, corporations, and organizations for this year's conference, "Agriculture at the Crossroads: Energy, Farm, and Rural Policy,” March 1 and 2. The program sponsored students to attend the Agricultural Outlook Forum, promoting participation to educate students about agribusiness, the latest research, future trends, and policy in contemporary agriculture. These students represent the diversity of American agriculture and are among the next generation of agricultural industry leaders and future speakers at the USDA Outlook Forum. 

The Student Diversity Program was created to provide students a unique insight into their agricultural studies. The juniors and seniors majoring in agricultural-related studies at land-grant universities were selected based on their essays, "Why I Want a Career in Agriculture." The students' attendance at the Forum was sponsored by corporations and USDA agencies, which included the CHS Foundation; Deere & Company; Farm Credit Bank of Texas; AgFirst Farm Credit; Georgia Farm Credit Association; CSREES; Economic Research Service; and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. Henry Bahn, CSREES national program leader, and Antonio McLaren, program specialist, Economic and Community Services, were principals for CSREES in developing this program. 

Early registration is open until March 30 for the 2007 Urban Extension Conference,
“The Future Urban Extension Agenda: Reaching New and Diverse Audiences,”
May 7-10, 2007, Hyatt Regency, Kansas City. Visit the conference Web site for more information and registration.

The 4-H Families Count: Family Strengthening Awards, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, are again available through National 4-H Council. Five $15,000 awards are presented for programs that significantly involve families with youth. Programs that work with disadvantaged families in rural areas (populations of 50,000 or less) receive special emphasis. Programs must first meet the Programs of Distinction certification process through National 4-H Headquarters.  Information about this awards program is available at www.fourhcouncil.edu/4HFamiliesProgram.aspx.  Contact Sharon Anderson for more information.

Caroline Crocoll, CSREES national program leader for Family Science and Human Development, Families, 4-H, and Nutrition, is invited to co-chair the Family Strengthening Peer Network of the National Assembly of Health and Human Services-Family Strengthening Policy Center (FSPC). Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the FSPC is part of the Foundation's Neighborhood Transformation/Family Development and Making Connections initiatives. The Family Strengthening Peer Network, comprised of more than 50 national service organizations, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of American families and promotes family strengthening from the perspective that strong families raise children to become responsible, productive, and caring adults.

Family strengthening incorporates high-quality research evidence into a model that focuses on the entire family system within the context of its community. Prevailing human service interventions have been problem-specific, fragmented, and crisis oriented; family strengthening practice gives priority to the delivery of community-based, preventative, and comprehensive services and education. The Family Strengthening Peer Network provides opportunities for member organizations to share knowledge, learn what other organizations are doing, and find synergies and potential areas of collaboration to promote the health and well-being of families across the nation.  

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for March 21, 2007. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by March 14, 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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