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CSREES Update - June 27, 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 CSREES Deputy Administrator for PAS
  • CSREES/DOE Joint Sustainable Bioenergy Workshop
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Lowell Randel Named Deputy Assistant Secretary of Congressional Relations for USDA
  • USDA Reports Progress at U.S.-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative Meeting
  • USDA Announces CRP Re-Enrollment Opportunities for Eligible Producers in 2007 Continuous Sign-Up Contracts Set to Expire September 30, 2007


  • Name Change for ISU's College of Agriculture
  • Gardner Joins WSU
  • New Report Focuses on Our Nation's Food Assistance Programs


  • USDA Seeks Nominations for NAREEEAB
  • Conference on Recruitment and Retention at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions
  • Invitation to Join the Regional Entrepreneurship Resource Teams



Meryl C. Broussard is the new CSREES Deputy Administrator for Plant and Animal Systems (PAS), effective July 1. Broussard was the Animal Systems section director for PAS since 2002. He joined the Department of Agriculture in 1985 as the national program leader in Aquaculture, where he provided leadership in the development and implementation of major aquaculture research and extension educational programs. He chaired the Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture (JSA) on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture for more than a decade. The JSA is a federal-wide interagency coordinating entity charged with enhancing the overall effectiveness of federally administered aquaculture programs and reports to the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is also a past president of the World Aquaculture Society. Before joining USDA, Broussard held several faculty positions at Texas A&M University and spent 4 years working in aquaculture development programs in the Philippines. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University with a major in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences-Aquaculture. His B.S. and M.S. degrees are from the University of Memphis, majoring in Biology-Vertebrate Zoology. He is a native of New Orleans and currently resides in northern Virginia.

CSREES and the Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research sponsored the "Sustainable Bioenergy" Workshop, June 21-22, in Washington, DC. Social scientists and environmental experts from universities, the federal government, and the private sector discussed the economic, environmental, and societal implications of the expected increase in demand for bioenergy crops. The output from the workshop will be a summary of critical areas of research, education, and extension needed to support the long-term sustainability of bioenergy crops in agriculture. CSREES organizers included Pat Hipple and Jill Auburn, CSREES national program leaders in the Economic and Community Systems unit, and Anna Palmisano, CSREES deputy administrator of Competitive Programs.

The USDA and the U.S. Senate have named June 24-30, 2007, National Pollinator Week in recognition of the importance of pollinator species to agriculture, forest and grassland environments, and other ecosystems.

USDA events scheduled during National Pollinator Week:

--CSREES hosted a seminar by Dr. Mark Kraemer, Virginia State University, on the Blue Orchard Bee on June 26 at 1:30 p.m.

--USDA will host a reception at the USDA Whitten Patio featuring Dr. E.O. Wilson, June 27 at 6 p.m.

--An unveiling of the new Pollinator Exhibit at the U.S. Forest Service Visitors' Center will take place from 10-11 a.m. on June 28, and feature the Forest Service Chief, Gail Kimbell. The visitors' center will be open to the public starting at 11 a.m.

--The U.S. Postal Service will hold a 1st Day of Issue Ceremony for the new Pollination stamp series, at the USDA Whitten Patio at 10 a.m. June 29, and will feature Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Postmaster General John Potter.

Various events are scheduled nationwide. The Pollinator Partnership Web site has a list of events in your area. 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
Rangeland Research Program July 9, 2007 Charlotte Kirk Baer
National Extension Integrated Pest Management Special Projects Program July 20, 2007 Martin A. Draper
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.  

USDA Assistant Secretary of Congressional Relations Linda Strachan announced June 20 the appointment of Lowell Randel as deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Congressional Relations. "Lowell has a wealth of experience working with Congress on behalf of agriculture," Strachan said. "He was actively involved in the 1996 and 2002 Farm Bills, and I am excited to have him on our team for the 2007 Farm Bill. Coming from one of USDA's mission areas, his strong experience in agricultural policy in both the public and private sectors gives him a unique perspective for service." Prior to this appointment, he served as director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for USDA's Research, Education, and Economics mission area. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced June 15 the collaborative achievements of the U.S.-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative (AKI) following the group's fifth board meeting. President Bush and Premier Dr. Manmohan Singh announced the AKI in July 2005 to renew collaboration between the United States and India. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Trade Development Agency, AKI activities under the four areas of agricultural collaboration include Capacity Building, Food Processing and Marketing, Biotechnology, and Water Resources Management. Attendees from CSREES included George Cooper, deputy administrator for Science and Education Resources Development, Hiram Larew, director, International Programs, and Patty Fulton, international programs specialist. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Floyd Gaibler announced June 22 that more than 14,000 agricultural producers and landowners may be eligible to re-enroll their land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continuous sign-up if their contracts expire on September 30, 2007.

"More than 300,000 acres enrolled under these contracts are scheduled to leave the program at the end of September," said Gaibler. "Re-enrolling these acres is an important conservation decision because continuous sign-up contracts involve some of the nation's most environmentally sensitive land."

Farmers and ranchers with general sign-up CRP contracts that expire September 30, 2007, and did not take advantage of last year's re-enrollment or extension offer also may be eligible for the continuous sign-up. Farm Service Agency officials at USDA Service Centers began notifying general sign-up CRP contract holders last month of this possibility. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, recently approved a proposal to change Iowa State University's College of Agriculture to Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The new name "more accurately describes both the long-held and the modern emphasis and breadth of the college and will help us communicate our contemporary programs and directions," said Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Iowa State and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are celebrating their sesquicentennial this academic year. Iowa established the institution in 1858 as an agricultural college and model farm.

John C. Gardner joins Washington State University (WSU) July 1 as the new vice president for economic development and extension. Elevating extension to the vice presidential level gives it a boost within WSU and with external audiences.  

Gardner has served as vice president for Research and Economic Development at the University of Missouri (UM) since October 2005. Prior to joining the UM system, he served as associate dean of Research and Outreach in University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. He brings a wealth of expertise and some very real "on the ground" experience in economic development. Linda Kirk Fox, current dean and director, WSU Extension, will see a title change to "associate vice president and dean, extension" to reflect the close relationship between the two responsibilities.

The Southern Rural Development Center recently released "Strengthening Our Nation's Food Assistance Programs," a report that highlights important and practical contributions of studies that focused on providing access to healthy foods at affordable prices, improving nutrition to build a healthy workforce, and responding to diverse needs. The studies were funded through the Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program. RIDGE supports innovative social sciences research that advances knowledge and understanding of food assistance and nutrition issues that affect vulnerable populations in the South. RIDGE is funded by USDA's Economic Research Service and provides research that informs program administrators, policymakers, and analysts. The report can be viewed at http://srdc.msstate.edu/publications/ridge07.pdf. Contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader, Economic and Community Systems unit, or Lionel "Bo" Beaulieu, director of the Southern Rural Development Center, for more information.

USDA is seeking nominations for the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB). The board provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on national priorities and policies related to agricultural research, extension, education, and economics. Each of the 31 members represents a specific area of expertise or affiliation in the farm bill (The Farm Bill, Public Law 140-174, Section 802). This year, USDA is seeking nominations in 10 categories for representatives who will serve 3-year terms. The 10 vacant categories include:

  • National Food Animal Science Society;
  • National Crop, Soil Agronomy, Horticulture, or Weed Science Society;
  • 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities;
  • 1994 Equity in Education Land-Grant Institutions;
  • American Colleges of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Food Retailing and Marketing Interests;
  • Rural Economic Development;
  • National Consumer Interest Group;
  • National Forestry Group; and
  • National Conservation or National Resource Group.


For membership consideration, each nomination must include a completed AD-755 form "Advisory Committee Membership Background Information." The nomination and letter must be postmarked or received via fax (202-720-6199) no later than July 20, 2007. Because standard mail may be delayed due to federal government mail handling procedures, it is suggested that nomination packages be faxed and original documents sent by express mail. Contact Joseph Dunn, executive director, NAREEE Advisory Board, or Shirley Morgan-Jordan, program coordinator, at 202-720-3684, for more information.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, through the USDA Capacity Building Grant Program, will host the National Conference on Recruitment and Retention at 1890 Land-Grant Institutions: Best Practices in the Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences, November 8-9 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, North Little Rock, AK.

Recruitment and retention issues at 1890 land-grant institutions are unique to the clientele served by these institutions. This is the first conference for the 1890 community to share and learn from the knowledge and experiences of what we do and how we do it best. The conference program will feature poster and concurrent sessions and a 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. Travel scholarships are available. Contact Linda L. Okiror, assistant dean, at Mail Slot 4990, Pine Bluff, AR, 71601, or telephone 870-575-8538, fax 870-575-4678, or e-mail okiror_l@uapb.edu; or Usman Adamu, assistant professor, at Mail Slot 4913, Pine Bluff, AR, 71601 , or telephone 870-575-7203, fax 870-575-4629, or e-mail adamu_u@uapb.edu for additional information.

The National eXtension Entrepreneurship Community of Practice (COP) seeks advice from educators and key partners across the United States who are engaged or interested in entrepreneurship-related subjects. In an effort to build a strong team of extension educators involved in entrepreneurship efforts, the eXtension Entrepreneurship COP is working with the Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) to form "Regional Entrepreneurship Resource Teams." These regional teams will provide input to the National eXtension Entrepreneurship team on various components of the eXtension Entrepreneurship Web site. They will alert the Entrepreneurship COP of important research and educational products/resources for possible inclusion in the entrepreneurship section of the national eXtension Web site.

If you have an active interest in entrepreneurship-related activities, the RRDCs invite you to join their regional entrepreneurship resource teams. The teams are not limited to land-grant faculty/extension educators. Community college faculty, government organizations, nonprofit groups, foundations, small business representatives, entrepreneurs, community leaders, etc., are invited to join this important regional team. To sign up for an entrepreneurship resource team, contact the RRDC in your region by visiting their Web site: Southern Rural Development Center, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. In the western region, e-mail the Western Rural Development Center at wrdc@ext.usu.edu. Contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader, Economic and Community Systems unit, for more information.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for July 11. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by July 5, 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.