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CSREES Update - March 21, 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.


  • CSREES Appoints New Shared Faculty for Wildlife and Fisheries
  • New IPA to Review Social Sciences in CSREES Natural Resource Programs
  • CSREES Grant Helps Fund Extension Agents Work in South Africa
  • 2007 National 4-H Conference
  • CSREES Releases RFA -- New Technologies for Ag Extension Program
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Avian Influenza Update
  • What They're Saying About the Administration's Farm Bill Proposals
  • USDA Awards More Than $415,000 in Weather Radio Transmitter Grants to Bring Early Warning Broadcasts to Rural America


  • New Interim Directors -- University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • New Rural Realities Focuses on Rural America's Food Deserts
  • New Publication Focuses on Community and Economic Development


  • Extension Risk Management Education Conference
  • National Conference on Recruitment and Retention at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions
  • Registration Open for Minnesota Tourism Conference
  • NCRCRD Announces Training in Community Development Skills

Awards and Recognition

  • UCOWR Honors CSREES National Program Leader



Dr. Bob Williamson, North Carolina A&T University, is serving in a shared faculty position covering CSREES Wildlife and Fisheries national program responsibilities. Williamson is committing 20 percent of his time to this position, which began March 1. 

Williamson represents CSREES on wildlife and fisheries concerns.  This includes addressing the wildlife and fisheries component in the upcoming annual review of the USDA Strategic Plan's Goal #6 -- “Protect and Enhance the Nation's Natural Resource Base and Environment.”  He will also represent CSREES at the 2008 North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Phoenix, AZ.  

He has a B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Microbiology from Howard University. His Ph.D., in Wildlife Biology, is from the University of Massachusetts.  He has served as a natural resources specialist, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Cooperative Extension since 1984. 

Dr. Maureen McDonough is serving with CSREES on a 4-month Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) position through June 1, 2007.

McDonough will work with national program leaders to review the degree in which social sciences are addressed in the agency's natural resource programs.  She will participate in the Social Sciences Working Group, recommend models and processes for incorporating more social sciences in Request for Applications and formula funds, and explore the needs and options and make recommendations for CSREES staffing in the social science and human dimensions of forestry and other natural resources.

She has served as professor and extension specialist, Department of Forestry, at Michigan State University (MSU) since June 1990, and as affiliate faculty with MSU's Department of Sociology since 1989. McDonough earned her B.S. in Biology from Baldwin-Wallace College; an M.S.F. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida; and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. Her areas of specialization are natural resource sociology, human adaptations to natural resources, and communication sciences.

The 77th National 4-H Conference, March 24-29, 2007, is sponsored by the National 4-H Headquarters, Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, and USDA. The conference is the Secretary of Agriculture's premiere national youth development opportunity, which engages youth in developing recommendations for the 4-H Youth Development Program.  National 4-H Headquarters, on behalf of the Secretary, invites land-grant institutions to send a delegation to the conference. This year's theme, “Our Changing World,” reflects the question, “As the world changes, how do we enhance 4-H to ensure it remains significant and relevant for today's youth?” Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Gale Buchanan will address the conference delegates at the USDA Assembly March 28. Exciting new program components include “Citizenship Excursions,” structured educational excursions in our nation's capitol that will set the foundation for roundtable discussions and a dynamic town hall meeting.  Our private partner—National 4-H Council—secured scholarship funds this year to increase participation by our 1890 and 1994 partners.  Scholarship recipients include Alcorn State University, Crownpoint Institute of Technology, Delaware State University, Langston University, Lincoln University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and A&M College, Tuskegee University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

This is the first year a delegation from Crownpoint Institute of Technology is attending the conference and presenting a program workshop. More than 350 conference delegates will represent their land-grant universities at the conference. Conference leadership includes 19 youth and adult members of the Conference Planning Committee and 20 collegiate 4-H members who serve as conference facilitators. Visit the National 4-H Conference Web site for more information.

Three Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and two Virginia Tech faculty members in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science are now in the middle of a 17-day journey to farms and research centers in South Africa. They write about and share their experiences overseas in a blog created for their journey. Thus far they have posted several entries and photos to the blog. Led by Mary Ann Hansen, manager of Virginia Tech's Plant Disease Clinic, the team is studying disease management in agronomic crops. They hope to learn how farmers in South Africa deal with potentially devastating plant diseases, such as Asian Soybean Rust, and then bring that information back to Virginia farmers. This work is supported under CSREES' International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program. To visit the blog go to: http://www.weblogs.cals.vt.edu/spanning

CSREES released the 2007 Request for Applications (RFA) for the New Technologies for Ag Extension Program to increase each state's capacity to contribute expertise and content to the development of eXtension. eXtension is a national Web-based information and education delivery system that provides direct access to science-based educational resources from land-grant and other partner institutions on subjects of high importance to the public. This initiative will dramatically change how the Cooperative Extension System (CES) does business with its customers. In FY 2007, CSREES plans to support partial deployment of eXtension, enabling our technology-conscious nation the use of valuable CES information and education. Applications are due by close of business, April 16, 2007. The full RFA is on the CSREES Web site under Funding Opportunities.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program – Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

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
Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants Program April 16, 2007 Tim Grosser
New Technologies for Ag Extension, Smith-Lever 3B, 3C, and 3D Programs April 16, 2007 Greg Crosby
Resident Instruction Grants for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas May 2, 2007 Jeffrey Gilmore
ARPA: Agriculture Risk Management Education Program May 17, 2007 Mark Bailey
Watershed, Conservation Effects Assessment, ICGP May 22, 2007 Michael P. O'Neill
Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program June 1, 2007 Audrey Trotman
Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program June 29, 2007 Audrey Trotman


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.



This is a collection of quotes from national newspapers, agribusinesses/organizations, Congress, and private industry on the Administration's Farm Bill proposals. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on March 13 announced the award of more than $415,000 in grants for Weather Radio Transmitters to extend the coverage of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) early warning system to seven rural communities.

"With the tragedy of the tornadoes hitting towns in Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia recently, we have heard national broadcasters saying everyone should have a NOAA Weather Radio," Johanns said. "These seven grants to rural communities who do not have coverage from NOAA Weather Radio Transmitters will help save lives."

The NWR is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting 24 hours a day from National Weather Service offices to alert people of approaching dangerous weather and other emergencies, including natural, environmental, and public safety alerts. The Weather Radio Transmitter grant program helps provide coverage to those rural areas that do not have NWR coverage or are poorly covered. The grants awarded are funded using residual funds from grant projects that were completed under budget.

Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.


The University of Maine Cooperative Extension named the following new interim directors:

Address: University of Maine, Cooperative Extension, 5741 Libby Hall, Room 102, Orono, ME 04469-5741; Phone: 207-581-2811.

Rural Realities is a research information series that offers a scientific lens to the critical issues impacting rural people and places. The latest issue examines the distribution of food deserts across the United States and describes the major socioeconomic attributes associated with these places. A case study in Iowa demonstrates the economic and health effects of living in a food desert. Rural areas with limited, if any, grocery stores are considered “food deserts.” The research brief also offers insights on what local communities and policymakers can do to expand access to quality food for rural people living in food deserts. To view this issue, visit the Rural Sociology Society Web site. Contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader, Economic and Community Systems for more information.

Community and Economic Development extension professionals in Iowa announce a new publication, Community Matters. This quarterly publication will highlight extension's programming, staff and faculty accomplishments, partnerships with other groups and organizations, and the accomplishments of community partners. Research and outreach programs with applications to community and economic development efforts will also be covered. Community Matters will provide useful information and resources to local and state leaders that will help them improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. The first issue describes a variety of community and economic development programs and strategies. Go to Iowa State Extension's Web site to view the publication.

The National Extension Risk Management Education Conference is April 17-18, 2007, in Phoenix , AZ. This conference is co-sponsored by CSREES with the four Regional Risk Management Education Centers and the Digital Center for Risk Management Education at the University of Minnesota . This biennial conference is the premier gathering and networking event for risk management education. Conference agenda and registration information is available on the Web site. A preconference session on Farm Business Succession and Estate Planning is the afternoon of April 16. The conference will provide public- and private-sector educators, crop insurance agents, lenders, and local and state governments (including those helping socially disadvantaged and underserved audiences) with an opportunity to learn about ongoing and emerging successful risk management education efforts for agricultural producers and their families. Conference attendees will learn what is working to help producers manage financial, production, marketing, legal, and human resource risks. 

The National Conference on Recruitment and Retention at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions: Best Practices in the Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences is November 8-9, 2007, at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock, AR.

This is the first conference for the 1890 community to share and learn from the knowledge and experiences of what they do and how they do it best. Recruitment and retention issues at 1890 land-grant institutions are unique to the clientele served by these institutions. Who should attend? Academic and student affairs administrators, faculty, students, researchers, and personnel interested in best practices at 1890 institutions in recruitment and retention. The conference includes poster and concurrent sessions, and Best Practices Panel. Speakers include: Lettie Robb, executive director, University College, Prairie View A&M University; and Dr. Jacquelyn W. McCray, dean/director, School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Click on the individual links for information and deadlines on: conference proposals and registration, travel scholarships, and hotel registration. Contact Linda L. Okiror, Assistant Dean, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, AK 71601, Phone 870-575-8538, Fax 870-575-4678, e-mail okirorl@uapb.edu; or Usman Adamu, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, AK 71601, Phone 870-575-7203, Fax 870-575-4629, e-mail adamu_u@uapb.edu for additional conference information. The conference is hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff through at the CSREES Capacity Building Grant Program.

The University of Minnesota Tourism Center is hosting the 2nd Minnesota Conference on Sustainable Tourism, in Chaska, MN, April 25-26, 2007. The keynote address will discuss global warming impacts on recreation and tourism. Goals for the conference include establishing a common language and understanding of sustainable tourism and identifying issues impacting tourism in Minnesota and the region. The conference is for tourism practitioners, community decisionmakers and elected officials in Minnesota , students, and others interested in sustainable tourism. Attendees will learn ideas and practical examples of sustainable tourism that work, identify market demands for sustainable practices by tourism businesses, and connect with regional resources. For more information or to register visit the Tourism Center's Web site.

The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) is offering a 7-part series on “Understanding Communities and their Dynamics,” a distance education program. The training focuses on the ability to understand community of place, the nature of public issues, the dynamics and interdependencies of the various community segments, and the basics of community development work. The series is the first component of the “Foundations of Practice: Community Development Core Competencies for Extension Professionals,” a professional development framework developed by leading extension professionals to provide a common language and understanding of community development work. The 1-1/2 hour sessions are offered through Breeze technology. Registration is available for the fall 2007 series, which starts in mid-September and runs 7 consecutive weeks. Visit the NCRCRD Web site, or contact Janet Ayres at ayres@purdue.edu for more information.

The Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) named Mike O'Neill, CSREES national program leader for Water Quality and Water Resources in the Natural Resources and Environment unit, a 2007 recipient of the Friends of UCOWR Award. The annual award is given to individuals in recognition of their contributions toward UCOWR goals. O'Neill will receive the award during the 2007 UCOWR/National Institutes for Water Resources Annual Conference Awards Banquet in Boise, ID, July 23-26, 2007.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for April 4, 2007. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by March 28, 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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