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CSREES Update - August 22, 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 Reporting Web Conference Series
  • Foundation Again Highlights Challenge and Change Program
  • New Publication on Agriculture in Space
  • Agricultural Economics Associations Joint Meeting
  • CSREES Research Results
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • American Angus Association Partners with USDA to Register Premises as Part of NAIS
  • Transcript of Remarks by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Regarding the 2007 Farm Bill and Beef Trade -- August 9, 2007


  • Allen-Diaz Named UC-Berkeley ANR Assistant Vice President for Programs
  • Futuring for Families Think Tank and National Extension Family Life Specialists' Conference
  • NERCRD Releases Paper on Entrepreneurship
  • New Report on Overweight and Obesity in the South
  • Sustainable Community Proposals Invited
  • Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging
  • Registration Open for Series on Building Communities
  • Workshop Focuses on Frameworks for Entrepreneurship
  • Registration Open for Well Water Symposium

Awards and Recognition

  • Wright Receives Humanitarian Award



CSREES, in partnership with Texas A&M University, announces a new bi-monthly CSREES Reporting Web Conference Series. This series originated from requests for more information on various topics identified at the CSREES Planning and Accountability Mini-Conference and Administrative Officers meeting held this spring in Seattle. Topics for the series include:

  • Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act (AREERA);
  • Plans of Work (POW);
  • annual reports;
  • One Solution;
  • CRIS (soon to become CSREES Information System (CIS)); and
  • outcome reporting-covering guidance on what the agency is looking for in these reports, as well as the software tools and requirements for them. 

Each bi-monthly Web conference will cover two, 1-hour topics, usually 1 hour on software or report formats and 1 hour on content quality guidance. Half of each session will be reserved for answering questions. The topics for the first Web conference include: Transitioning the CRIS Progress Report to the Office of Science and Technology Policy Standard Progress Report and Information and Guidance for the New AREERA Annual Reports. Topics for future sessions, with input from the audience, may include best Plan of Work/Annual Report practices from other states; One Solution updates; best practices for impact and outcome reporting; how CSREES uses your reporting, outcomes and indicators; and logic model development. A "reporting Web conference" e-mail list will notify interested parties on news, schedules, and other issues relating to the series. Interested parties may subscribe to the list by sending an e-mail message to: lyris@lyris.csrees.usda.gov. Skip your subject line and in the body of your message type: subscribe reportingwc - then hit your send button. Be sure you receive an e-mail confirming your subscription. CSREES expects the series to begin in early fall after the final logistics are completed. Further details will be forthcoming.

The Challenge and Change Program: Challenge Yourself, Change the World program, funded by the CSREES Rural Youth Development grants (See CSREES Update - July 11, 2007), was again highlighted in the Skoll Foundation's August 2007 newsletter, eNews. It was first highlighted in their September 2006 edition, "as a new summer program for Girl Scouts to become leaders of community change." The Skoll Foundation's mission is to advance systemic change to benefit communities around the world. They also support many of the top social entrepreneurs-proven leaders helping to better the lives and circumstances of countless underserved or disadvantaged persons. It is this type of program support that continues to elevate the importance of partnerships and collaboration. Contact Nancy Valentine, CSREES national program leader for the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition Unit, for more program information.

USDA's Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, announced that Volume 3 in the "Growing Space" series, aimed at increasing middle school student interest in science and agriculture literacy, is now available. The "Growing Space" kids magazine is part of a joint venture between AITC and NASA called Space Agriculture in the Classroom, which is operated through cooperative agreements with the University of Florida. Space Agriculture in the Classroom is designed to boost student awareness of the space program and the role of agriculture in our economy and society. Articles in the magazine highlight the connections between agricultural practices and space-based research having application both for space travel and food production on Earth. Volumes 1 and 2 of "Growing Space" are available online and limited numbers of Volume 3 can be requested from the University of Florida at 352-392-0502 ext. 231, or at ewo@ufl.edu. Contact Tom Tate, CSREES national program leader for Agriculture in the Classroom, for more information.

CSREES co-sponsored the 2007 American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA), the West Agricultural Economics Association (WAEA), and the Canadian Agricultural Economics Association (CAEA) Joint Annual Meeting, held July 29-August 1, in Portland, OR. AAEA and CAEA are the national flagship organizations of the agricultural and resource economics professionals in the United States and Canada, respectively; WAEA is one of the four regional organizations in the United States. The CSREES Economic and Community Systems (ECS) Unit partnered with several land-grant universities and the Farm Foundation to co-sponsor a pre-conference workshop entitled, "Fundamentals of Spatial Economics" on July 28. Over 90 people, including 20 graduate students, attended this workshop. Five invited internationally renowned scholars from the United States, New Zealand, and Canada presented their long-term research results on spatial dynamic issues, such as migration-induced landscape change, amenity-driven urban/suburban development, and firm location behavior. Attendees actively engaged in dialogue with the presenters. Anecdotal evidence from workshop evaluations indicated that the workshop was well received by the participants. The workshop promotes cutting-edge knowledge and education in integrating the Geographic Information System (GIS) technology with economic theories.




Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program - Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) - Various topic areas See individual grant program See individual grant program
Risk Management Education - Native American Tax Guide RFA August 31, 2007 Janie Hipp


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 announced August 8 a partnership with the American Angus Association that will facilitate the registration of up to 15,400 new premises as part of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The premises registration component of NAIS ensures the availability of a nationwide communications network to assist livestock owners and animal health officials in the event of an animal disease event. More than 408,500 premises nationwide have been registered to date. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read American Angus Association Partners with USDA to Register Premises as Part of NAIS full release.

Dr. Barbara Allen-Diaz is the new Agricultural and National Resources (ANR) assistant vice president (AVP) for programs, effective September 1. Allen-Diaz is currently a professor and the Russell Rustici Chair in Rangeland Management in the University of California (UC) Berkeley College of Natural Resources (CNR). As AVP, she will be the programmatic leader for ANR and responsible for guiding all ANR academic programs at the statewide level. The AVP-Programs serves as the statewide administrative leader for county-based Cooperative Extension programs and the director for the research and extension centers.

Allen-Diaz served UC for over 20 years as a Berkeley professor and member of the Agricultural Experiment Station. She also served as department chair of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and executive associate dean of CNR. She earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at UC-Berkeley. Before joining the UC faculty in 1986, she worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 6 years as a regional ecologist for Region 5, with responsibilities for California 's 20 million acres of national forest. The Society for Range Management honored her with its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001, and the following year the California chapter named her its Range Manager of the Year.

A Futuring for Families Think Tank and the 2007 National Extension Family Life Specialists Conference were held July 30-August 2, in Atlanta, GA. The events were hosted by the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences and co-chaired by Ted Futris and Diane Bale.

Participants in the think tank event engaged in a "dream big" FCS approach to visioning for successful family outcomes via facilitated discussion. They recommended and prioritized action strategies that would lead to positive outcomes for families by discussing the benefits of approaching family issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, gaining exposure to multidisciplinary extension programs with the potential for national reach, and framing future priorities for national program leadership and local applications.

Following the think tank, participants attending the conference shared strategies, research, and programs addressing contemporary and emerging family issues; formulated grant proposals for multistate projects; connected and networked with representatives from CSREES and partner organizations, including the National Fatherhood Initiative; engaged and collaborated on the eXtension Initiative; and shared resources, challenges, and successes with valued extension colleagues.

CSREES F4HN and ECS Units will host a Breeze conference for FCS leaders on August 23 to share information gathered from both events.

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) recently published "Regional Listening Sessions on Rural Entrepreneurship: Lessons from the Northeast" (Rural Development Paper No. 37). The report is based on five entrepreneurship listening sessions with over 100 stakeholders in the northeast region. The listening sessions were hosted by the NERCRD and funded by the Kellogg Foundation. The purpose of this paper is to use the stakeholder input to define entrepreneurship, identify the needs of entrepreneurs, and outline what the land-grant universities can do to help meet those needs, as well as define opportunities for collaborative research and outreach projects across state lines. To view the complete report, visit the NERCRD Web site. Contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader, Economic and Community Systems Unit, or Stephan Goetz, director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, for more information.

The Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) published "Overweight and Obesity in the South: Prevalence and Related Health Care Costs Among Population Groups." This report is part of the SRDC's series on Food Assistance Needs of the South's Vulnerable Populations. Overweight and obesity are leading public health concerns in the United States. National estimates of obesity-related health care costs are alarming, yet, to date, no such estimates have been published for the Southern region overall, or for population groups in the South. The Southern states have some of the highest rates of adult obesity in the nation. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the Southern region for adults overall and for population groups, and to estimate overweight- and obesity-related health care expenses for adults overall and for population groups, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, education and income groups. Jerome Kolbo, Wendy Bounds, and Jacquelyn Lee, from the University of Southern Mississippi, and Amal J. Khoury from the University of Florida, conducted the study. Visit the SRDC Web site to view the report. 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.


Proposals are invited for the 2007 Southern Region Sustainable Community Innovation (SCI) grants to fund projects linking sustainable agriculture to rural community development. The grants have a funding maximum of $10,000 for up to 2 years. Proposals will be accepted until October 1, 2007, with awards announced mid-to-late December.

Any individual, nonprofit or for-profit organization, governmental, or educational organization may apply for a SCI grant. Applicants must be from the Southern Region, which consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Proposals must be submitted through an online template. The call for proposals is on the Southern SARE Web site. SCI grants are a partnership of the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and the Southern Rural Development Center.

"Aging in the Workplace" is this year's focus for the Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging, October 24-25, in Loveland, CO. As the workforce of the United States changes, older workers will play a key role in meeting the needs of employers. The conference features general session speakers, concurrent sessions, and exhibitors who will address intergenerational communication, life management issues, public policy, and universal design for older workers. Nineteen concurrent sessions will be given throughout the conference.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Neil Charness, from Florida State University, presenting "Preparing for a Diverse Older Workforce: Changing Environments and Changing Workers." The luncheon presenter on October 24 is Emily Allen, AARP senior advisor, speaking on "What Boomers Will Mean to Business and Industry." Thursday's general session opening speaker is Ava Diamond, from the Diamond Success Group, on "Zapping the Generation Gap: Managing a Multigenerational Workplace." The capstone speaker is Dr. Harvey Sterns, from The University of Akron, on "Life-Span Development and the World of Work." Early-bird registration with a reduced fee is due August 31. Complete conference information is on the conference Web site, or contact fmcclanahan@larimer.org.

This 10-part series will explore how to best position communities to succeed in the 21st century economy. It is targeted to extension educators, their collaborators and partners, and practitioners. Beginning Friday, September 14, 2007, and continuing the second Friday of each month through June 13, 2008, this 1-hour Web-based conference will highlight both the process of developing a good local economic development strategy and some of the key ingredients to making that strategy succeed. A University of Wisconsin faculty member will facilitate each session. Visit the Center for Community and Economic Development Web site to register. Contact Greg Wise, professor and community development specialist, University of Wisconsin, or Gary Green, co-director, Center for Community and Economic Development, for more information.

The McQuinn Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the University of Missouri's Division of Applied Social Sciences are hosting a 2-day workshop on research frameworks for studying entrepreneurship in food, agriculture, natural resources, and rural development. The workshop is October 18-19, at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO, and will bring together researchers and practitioners who seek a better understanding of the nature, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial activity for food and agricultural production and the development of rural communities. Panels and presentations will focus on issues such as the definition and measurement of entrepreneurship, the nature of teams and "collective entrepreneurship," the effects of networks and social capital on entrepreneurial activity, and the managerial and organizational response to technological innovation. Keynote speakers include Cornelia Flora, director of Iowa State University's North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Randall Westgren, University of Illinois, Pierre Desrochers, University of Toronto, and Sandy Kemper, a well-known serial entrepreneur. For more information or to register visit the McQuinn Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Web site.

The 2007 New England Private Well Water Symposium is December 3-4 at the Hyatt Regency in Newport, RI. The Symposium brings together scientists, public health officials, educators, and a variety of other professionals. The program integrates research, extension, and regulatory efforts within the field of private well protection to protect groundwater quality, drinking water wells, and the health of those who depend on these resources. This year's themes include presentations and posters on land use and groundwater, public health, well water treatment, legal and regulatory issues, education and risk communication, and naturally occurring contaminants. Visit the Symposium Web site for more information and registration.


Sharon Wright, CSREES national program leader for Families, 4-H, and Nutrition Unit, has won the Air Force District of Washington's (AFDW) 2006 Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Award. Wright distinguished herself as a national 4-H program leader, from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2006. She helped foster the development of a U.S. Air Force and 4-H partnership that provides support to families and youth experiencing the challenges and hardships of deployment. She expertly managed the interagency agreements with the Air Force that created collaborative programs, developed curriculum, and sponsored training for educators who serve military youth and families. Her distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself, USDA, CSREES, and the U.S. Armed Forces. As the AFDW Command winner, her award package now goes on to compete at the Air Force level.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for September 5. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by August 29, 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.