HomeAbout UsGrantsFormsNewsroomHelpContact Us
Search NIFA
Advanced Search
Browse by Subject
Agricultural Systems
Animals & Animal Products
Biotechnology & Genomics
Economics & Commerce
Environment & Natural Resources
Families, Youth & Communities
Food, Nutrition & Health
Pest Management
Plants & Plant Products
Technology & Engineering

CSREES Update - May 2, 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.


  • Sowers New CRIS Team Leader/Project Manager
  • SACC Canola and Hesperaloe/Desert Crop RFA Issued
  • Stakeholder Comments for Animal Health
  • CSREES and WVU Partner on Outdoor Recreation Research and Education
  • CSREES RRDCs Release 2006 Annual Reports
  • NPDN Posts Proceedings
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Johanns Discusses USDA Farm Bill Proposals for Beginning Farmers


  • eXtension Launches Imported Fire Ants Web Site
  • Specialty Crop Workshop


  • Seminar on Tribal Colleges and Economic Development Available Online
  • PIPE: Call for Concept Notes
  • Registration Open for Energizing Entrepreneurship (e2) Workshop
  • National Pollinator Week
  • RIDGE Program Request for Proposals

Awards and Recognition

  • Gold & More for Partners Video Magazine



Carol Sowers, CSREES technology specialist in the Information Systems and Technology Management unit, is the new team leader and project manager for the Current Research Information System (CRIS) program. Sowers joined the CRIS staff in 2001 coming to CSREES from the National Agricultural Library. She has served in both technical and leadership roles in CRIS for the last 6 years. For the past 2 years she provided analytical support for the CSREES eGrants implementation, making significant contributions to the success of electronic grant processing. Contact her if you have any questions about CRIS, or if you need assistance from the CRIS staff, at csowers@csrees.usda.gov, or telephone 202-690-0122.

A new request for applications (RFA) was issued on Grants.gov Web site Friday April 28, for the Fiscal Year 2007 Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program (SACC), Canola and Hesperaloe/Desert Crop research. (See CSREES Update-- April 4, 2007.) SACC grants are made to develop and introduce income producing supplemental and alternative crops. The proposal deadline is close of business May 28, 2007, (5 p.m. eastern daylight time). Applications received after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

Contact James Parochetti, CSREES national program leader in the Plant and Animal Systems unit for Canola research information, and Carmela Bailey, CSREES national program leader for Plant and Animal Systems unit for Hesperaloe/Desert Crop research information.

The CSREES' Animal Health Team introduces the Animal Health Stakeholder Comment Form. To best serve public needs, and in accordance with relevant legislation, the team relies on input and feedback from stakeholders to set program priorities that align with USDA's strategic plan and determine the best use of limited resources. Input is significant if the following information is included: how priorities are connected to national needs; how they are related to existing initiatives; and their potential impacts on the quality of research, education, and extension activities. The animal health component of CSREES involves animal health, protection, and biosecurity. Use the Animal Health Stakeholder Comment Form to tell us what you believe are the top priorities in animal health. Visit the Stakeholder Comments for Animal Health Web page for more information.

CSREES is partnering with West Virginia University (WVU) to initiate a strategic planning process for outdoor recreation research and education for the 21st century. This strategic planning process will strengthen CSREES' outdoor recreation program. It will examine demographic, economic, ecological, and other societal changes that affect outdoor recreation participation, and will promote human health, rural economic sustainability, and quality of life.

A steering committee will meet May 15-17, in Baltimore, MD, to develop a 5-year strategic plan. The committee is a cross-section of representation from various land-grant universities and federal agencies, including the Economic Research Service, Forest Service, National Institute of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Sea Grant Programs), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Broader stakeholder input will come from roundtable discussions at various professional meetings (e.g., Northeast Recreation Research Symposium, International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, and the Society of American Foresters) and other venues, such as Web cast. Contact Fen Hunt, CSREES national program leader in the Economics and Community Systems unit, Catalino Blanche, national program leader in the Natural Resources and Environment unit, or Franklin E. Boteler, deputy administrator for the Economics and Community Systems unit for more information.

The 2006 CSREES Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) Annual Reports are available online. RRDCs play a unique role in USDA's service to rural America. They link the research and education outreach capacity of the nation's public universities with communities, local decision-makers, entrepreneurs, families, and farmers and ranchers to help address a wide range of rural development issues. The centers bring together innovative minds from inside and outside universities to focus on cutting-edge issues without regard to state boundaries. Much of their work is national in scope and each center tailors programs particular to their regional needs. Specific programs and focus areas for each center are described in their annual reports. Below are links to each RRDC annual report.


The Proceedings of the 2007 Meeting of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) is now available. NPDN was established by CSREES as the first line of defense in protecting the U.S. economy from thousands of potentially invasive pests and pathogens. NPDN facilitates the rapid detection and accurate diagnosis of plant pathogens and pests introduced to the United States as a consequence of global trade, natural weather occurrences, or intentional introductions. Published by the Plant Management Network , the proceedings include PowerPoint presentations, posters, event photographs, and session notes from the January 28-31, 2007, meeting.


Homeowners throughout the Chesapeake Bay region can make a significant impact in protecting the bay, according to a new educational campaign by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Quality Program (MAWQP), which is funded by CSREES. MAWQP partnered with the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to create the “Healthy Lawns, Clean Water” campaign to educate homeowners about proper fertilizer application techniques to reduce nutrient loss.

The campaign encourages homeowners to do their part in protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It notes that individual actions make a difference in improving local water quality and the health of the bay. Advertisements in major media outlets in the bay area, public service announcements, and public speaking opportunities promote seven simple lawn care techniques that can help protect and improve water quality. Visit the CSREES Newsroom Web site 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

ARPA: Agriculture Risk Management Education Program May 17, 2007 Jane Hipp
Rural Youth Development Grants Programs May 21, 2007 Nancy Valentine
Watershed, Conservation Effects Assessment, ICGP May 22, 2007 Michael P. O'Neill
SACC-- Canola and Hesperaloe/Desert Crop Research May 28, 2007 Jim Parochetti 
Carmela Bailey
Smith-Lever Special Needs Funding June 1, 2007

Dennis Kopp

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.


Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns described in great detail a broad package of proposed changes to several titles of the farm bill that will help future generations of farmers and ranchers become established in production agriculture.

Key elements of the beginning farmer and rancher proposals include: an increase in direct payments to major crop producers; targeting 10 percent of conservation payments to beginning farmers and ranchers; reducing the interest rate under the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Down Payment Loan Program and doubling the maximum loan amount among other enhancements; and creating a combined maximum of $500,000 for direct operating loans and direct ownership loans. Visit the USDA Web site to read the full release and to learn more about the major components of the proposals to assist beginning farmers and ranchers.


eXtension's Imported Fire Ants Web site was launched during the Annual Imported Fire Ant Conference in Gainesville, FL. The Web site provides a wealth of research-based information for consumers. It is an excellent resource for anyone needing information about imported fire ants and how to control them.

The site features the following:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) allows users to submit queries about imported fire ants. If an answer is not already available in the FAQs section, the question is directed to “Ask the Expert” where local contacts provide requested information.

  • Learning Sessions titled “Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas” and “Managing Imported Fire Ants in Cattle Production Systems” target unique situations facing homeowners and livestock producers.

  • News & Upcoming Events keeps the news and calendar of events current at the local, state, and national levels.

  • The soon-to-be-added Imported Fire Ant Management Decision Module will ask users a series of questions and then offer suggestions to help them decide what to do about fire ants in their urban landscapes or cattle operations.

Visit the eXtension Web site for information on Personal Finance, Horses, and Wildlife Damage Management.

Representatives from various specialty crop industries, federal agencies, equipment vendors, and academia attended the "Engineering Solutions for Specialty Crop Challenges" workshop, April 24-25 in Arlington, VA. The workshop was sponsored by the Agricultural Research Service, CSREES, National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, with support from several industry groups. The intent of the workshop was to develop a research and development (R&D) and application agenda for engineering science and technology that could benefit U.S. specialty crop industries. Tree fruit and nuts, citrus and subtropical, ornamentals, berries and brambles, and wine and grape were represented. In addition to the engineering areas of automation (robotics and mechanization), precision agriculture, sensors and sensor networks, and information technology and decision aids, attendees discussed education and workforce issues and engineering aspects of socio-economic concerns and enterprise activities. While this workshop was planned well in advance of the Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns' announced farm bill proposal for a Specialty Crop Research Initiative, outcomes from this gathering will provide industry and academic stakeholder input for a wide variety of future federal agency R&D programs. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the press release and for more workshop details.

An online graduate level course focuses on the role of tribal-chartered colleges and universities in economic development in Native American communities. Using a social capital analytical framework, students will examine and evaluate the tribal college model of economic development. Participants can earn one graduate credit hour or a noncredit certificate. The online, 3-week seminar is July 16 through August 3. Visit the University of Missouri Web site to register. Contact Dr. John Phillips, at phillipsjl@missouri.edu or 573-234-2064, for more nformation.

CSREES has issued a call for concept notes for new additions to the Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PIPE). The PIPE system originated out of the tracking and dissemination of information about soybean rust through USDA's Web site . Given its effectiveness as a coordinated, real-time national pest management framework, PIPE is expanding into other areas of pest management. The call for concept notes is an effort to gather information describing weed, insect, and disease pests that would be good candidates for tracking with the PIPE system. In addition to crop/pest combinations, any predictive modeling tools may be candidates for testing on PIPE. Visit the PIPE Web site to submit concept notes and for more program information.

The National e2 Institute was developed by the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and the Heartland Center for Leadership Development. The National Energizing Entrepreneurship Training Workshop is June 5-8, in Nebraska City, NE. Participants will leave this interactive workshop with tools and an action plan for promoting entrepreneurship in their communities. The 3-day workshop offers relevant content, dialogue, networking, and exercises focused on entrepreneurship as a key economic development strategy for rural communities. Technical assistance for group planning efforts will also be available. On the last day, participants will share their newly developed plans and gain feedback from one another. Visit the e2 Web site for registration information, or contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for the Economic and Community Systems unit.

It is important to remember the significance of pollinators and pollination that maintains the natural ecosystem as the foundation for the production of food, fiber, and fuel with the concern of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of bees. Extension educators can help the public understand the importance of this ecosystem service by participating in Pollinator Week, June 24-30. The Pollinator Partnership Web site contains a news release, fact sheets, stamps, art, and curricula to develop activities. Nature's Partners: Pollinators, Plants, and You, an educational curriculum written by the University of California , for grades 3-6, can be used in schools, 4-H, or other youth serving groups. CSREES and members of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign provided partial program support. Contact Greg Crosby, CSREES national program leader for the Sustainable Development in the Natural Resource and Environment Unit for more program information.

The Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) and the Economic Research Service released a request for proposals on food and nutrition-related research focusing on the South. The RIDGE (Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics) Program is designed to support innovative social sciences research that advances knowledge and understanding of food assistance and nutrition issues impacting vulnerable populations in the South. The maximum amount allowed for any proposal is $35,000. The deadline to submit proposals is June 20. Grant recipients will be notified on August 13. To learn more about the research themes and application guidelines visit the SRDC Web site . Contact Sally Maggard , CSREES national program leader for the Economic and Community Systems unit, for more information about RIDGE or SRDC.

Patrick Holian, public affairs specialist and Partners Video Magazine producer for CSREES' Communications Staff, won several awards in the Association for Communication Excellence's (ACE) Critiques and Awards program. Partners Video Magazine #16, Protecting the Homeland, won a gold award for scriptwriting. The series also won a gold award for the best television program based on three segments submitted: Saddle Magic (from Partners #15 Tribal Natural Resources), Wild Medicine (from Partners #14 NRI), and Hidden Danger (from Partners #17 Feeding America). Feeding America also won a silver award in the educational video category. ACE will present the Partners series three awards at its international meeting in Albuquerque, NM, in June. Visit the CSREES Web site to view these award-winning videos on CSREES funded projects.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for May 16. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by May 9, 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

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.