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CSREES Update - May 30, 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.


  • Graves to Retire June 1
  • AITC Holds National Conference
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Clears Swine for Processing -- Human Health Risk Assessment Updated
  • USDA Releases Poultry for Processing
  • Fact Sheet -- Interim Melamine and Analogues Safety/Risk Assessment Update 5/24
  • Fact Sheet -- Actions Requested of the People's Republic of China by the U.S. Government to Address the Safety of Food and Feed


  • SARE Names New National Communications Specialist
  • First National Rural Assembly
  • eXtension Provides Solutions to Wildlife Damage Through Launch of Web Site
  • Dickey to Open National e-Commerce Workshop
  • 05/05/2010

    Awards and Recognition

    • Maggard Receives NACDEP Award



    Chuck Graves, CSREES national program leader for Volunteer Development, 4-H Name and Emblem in the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition unit (F4HN), will retire June 1. He has worked diligently to communicate clear information about applicable policies and regulations, particularly those tied to 4-H's tax exempt status. Graves will wrap up his 37-year federal career and looks to other opportunities for the future.

    Barbara Stone will assume leadership for the Volunteer Development responsibilities previously under Graves' leadership. Questions related to 4-H Name and Emblem or other policies and regulations should be forwarded to Cathann Kress, CSREES director for Youth Development in the F4HN unit or Maria Arnold, CSREES national program specialist in F4HN.

    CSREES's Ag in the Classroom (AITC), in cooperation with the Agriculture in the Classroom Coalition, is sponsoring the 2007 National Agriculture in the Classroom National Conference, June 6-9, in New Orleans, LA. More than 350 K-12 teachers and educators will meet and attend workshops to share best practices to help 5 million students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies. Five teachers, selected from a strong field of 120,000 Ag in the Classroom teachers, will be recognized as the 2007 outstanding teachers of the year. Visit the AITC Web site for more information. Contact Tom Tate, CSREES national program leader for Ag in the Classroom in the Science and Education Resources Development unit.


    Vitamin C is essential in the diet of all children, but it plays an even more important role to children exposed to tobacco smoke in their daily environment. New research suggests intervention programs should focus on healthy snacks, such as fruit or vegetables, to help mitigate the effects of tobacco smoke on this high-risk group.

    Tobacco smoke has been linked to cancer-causing agents. In addition, research suggests smokers are not as likely to consume as healthy a diet as non-smokers. Exposure to smoke and decreased access to healthy food places children in a perilous position.

    Vitamin C is an antioxidant that removes free radicals found in cigarette or tobacco smoke from the body. Children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke need higher levels of vitamin C than the Requested Daily Allowance (RDA). This is the first study that evaluates meal preference and vitamin C intake in children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Visit the CSREES News room to read the full release.

    Educators nationwide now have an additional information resource for teaching high school biology students about avian influenza, specifically highly pathogenic H5N1. The Understanding Avian Influenza lesson plan and instructor's guide were offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. The lesson explains to students the many reasons why they should know about the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus that currently is spreading overseas and what it would mean if it is detected in the United States.

    Understanding Avian Influenza is available through Agriculture in the Classroom, a grassroots program coordinated by USDA. The program's goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society. The program is carried out in each state, according to state needs and interests, by individuals representing farm organizations, agribusiness, education and government.

    The Understanding Avian Influenza lesson plan and instructor's guide are available at Ag in the Classroom and CSREES Web sites. Information about USDA's avian influenza efforts can be found at www.usda.gov/birdflu and on the U.S. Government's Web site for avian influenza and human pandemic preparedness at www.pandemicflu.gov. 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

    Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program June 29, 2007 Audrey Trotman
    Regional Aquaculture Center Program, Section 1475 August 15, 2007 Meryl Broussard


    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.


    Testing confirms that meat from swine that were fed rations supplemented with pet food scraps containing melamine and related compounds are safe for human consumption, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow swine held on farms to be released and approved for processing.

    Testing of meat from swine exposed to the feed in question confirms that melamine and melamine compounds do not accumulate in pork and are filtered out of the body by the kidneys. The testing also bolsters the conclusions of a human health risk assessment that there is a very low risk of human illness from the consumption of meat from animals exposed to the feed in question. Swine known to have eaten this feed appear healthy, which will be confirmed as these animals undergo the rigorous inspection that Food Safety Inspection Service provides for all meat and poultry prior to processing. Go to the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

    Testing confirms that meat from poultry fed rations supplemented with pet food scraps containing melamine and related compounds is safe for human consumption. Based on the validated test results, USDA will allow the release and processing of approximately 80,000 birds held on farms in Indiana.

    Testing of meat from poultry exposed to the feed in question confirms that melamine does not accumulate in birds and is eliminated quickly by the body. The testing also reinforces the conclusions of a human health risk assessment that there is a very low risk of illness from the consumption of meat from animals exposed to the feed in question. Poultry held on farms appear healthy, which will be confirmed upon the rigorous inspection that USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service conducts on all poultry during processing. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

    Collection of facts from the "Interim Melamine and Analogues Safety/Risk Assessment " conducted by the Food and Drug Administration in collaboration with scientists from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service and in consultation with scientists from a number of other federal agencies.

    Representatives of the United States Government met with representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China to request rapid action to accomplish certain goals related to food safety. U.S. representatives presented this request during several bilateral sessions conducted in conjunction with the second cabinet-level meeting under the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in Washington DC. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the fact sheet.


    Dena Leibman is the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education's (SARE) national communications specialist. Her background is in the natural sciences and communications. Upon completing her undergraduate degree in environmental biology, she worked for the National Park Service and National Forest Service as a wildlife field biologist and ranger in the Western United States. After a graduate degree in journalism, she began a career in writing, editing, fundraising, and communications. She has worked for the past 18 years for wildlife and environmental nonprofits, the Environmental Protection Agency, and various international development organizations focusing on the nexus of poverty, the environment, and rural development. You can reach her via telephone, at 301-504-5230, or by e-mail communications@sare.org. Liebman is working for SARE through the CSREES and University of Maryland cooperative agreement, as did her predecessor, Valerie Berton, along with the other SARE national staff in Beltsville, MD.

    More than 300 rural leaders from across the United States will participate in the first National Rural Assembly, June 25-27, 2007, in Chantilly, VA. At the invitation of Ford Foundation President Susan V. Berresford, and Kellogg Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Sterling K. Speirn, Sally Ward Maggard, CSREES national program leader for Centers for Rural Development in the Economic and Community Services unit, will engage in a 21st Century town meeting. At the meeting, rural leaders will learn from a new national survey of rural America's concerns, examine rural development alternatives, and network with national leaders to raise the visibility of rural issues.  Assembly participants will represent the Land-Grant University System, nonprofit sector, tribal, state and local elected officials, philanthropists, rural development experts, and policy-makers. This meeting is the inaugural "National Rural Assembly" of a multi-year effort to define an agenda and strategy for realizing the opportunities facing rural America.

    The eXtension Wildlife Damage Management Web site was developed through the collaboration of nationally recognized wildlife biologists, nuisance wildlife control operators, educators, and people interested in the field of human-wildlife relations.

    The Web site puts a wealth of information directly on consumers' computer screens. It's an excellent resource for anyone needing information about managing wildlife problems. To take full advantage of the site, register at www.extension.org and choose Wildlife Damage Management.

    The backbone of the site is a series of illustrated pages on 65 wildlife species that cause damage or nuisance problems in North America. For each species, you can navigate easily through life histories, behavior, damage identification, economics, legal issues, and a complete list of methods for managing wildlife damage.

    The eXtension Wildlife Damage Management Web site also features:

    • Frequently Asked Questions allows users to submit queries about wildlife management;
    • Ask the Expert provides answers to questions not already available in the Frequently Asked Questions section, usually within 24 hours;
    • News & Upcoming Events keeps the news and calendar of events current at the local, state, and national levels; and
    • Glossary & Diseases lists terms and illnesses commonly found in wildlife damage management.

    eXtension is an educational partnership of more than 70 land-grant universities helping Americans improve their lives with access to timely, objective, research-based information and educational opportunities.

    Elbert Dickey, dean and director of the University of Nebraska Extension Service, will deliver opening comments at a national roll-out of new e-commerce educational curricula at the E-Commerce Strategies for Small Businesses and Communities: A National Extension Workshop, June 4-6, 2007, at Nebraska City, NE. More than 70 extension professionals will have hands-on access to an exciting variety of new e-commerce-related educational curricula. Workshop topics include increasing digital connectivity in rural communities; internet tools for farm business managers and for niche artisans; on-line retailing; working with limited-resource clients; and retailing rural foods. The four CSREES Regional Rural Development Centers host the workshop.

    Dickey offers a unique perspective on the need for e-commerce extension programs and the importance of e-commerce as an economic development strategy for rural America. The University of Nebraska is a recognized national leader in delivering high-quality extension e-commerce educational programming to Nebraska businesses and communities. Dickey also serves as the education and extension advisor for Competitive Programs at CSREES.

    Funding to develop the workshop's featured curricula came through a national competitive grants program administered by the Southern Rural Development Center as part of the Rural e-Commerce Extension Initiative: A National Demonstration Project. The initiative was launched in 2003 with funding from Congress through CSREES. To view the workshop agenda visit the SRDC Web site.

    Sally Ward Maggard, CSREES national program leader for the Centers for Rural Development in the Economic and Community Systems unit, was named "Friend of National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals" (NACDEP) at the 2007 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. NACDEP President Richard Senese, associate dean of the University of Minnesota Extension Service, presented the award at the April 18 awards ceremony. The award recognized Maggard for her “vision, dedication, and assistance in the formation and sustainability of NACDEP, as a partner in advancing the profession, practice, and science of community development within extension.” 

    For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for June 13. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by June 6, 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.