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CSREES Update - October 3, 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 Program Leaders Meet with Agricultural Economics Leaders
  • FCS Administrator's Annual Meeting
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Awards $21.2 Million in Partnership Agreements to Develop Risk Management Tools and Education
  • Transcript of Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner's Remarks Regarding Pending U.S. Trade Agreements - September 27, 2007
  • Statement by Dr. John Clifford on Avian Influenza Detection in Canada - September 27, 2007


  • Engineering Solutions for Specialty Crop Challenges Workshop Report Online
  • Extension-NAIS Conference Call on October 18
  • WRDC Announces Mini-Grant Program


The National Association of Agricultural Economics Administrators asked CSREES Economics and Community Systems and Competitive Programs representatives to give a number of presentations at the association's Washington, DC, meeting held September 17-19. Anna Palmisano, CSREEES Competitive Programs Unit deputy administrator and Siva Sureshwaran, national program leader for Small Business Innovation Research Grants program, conducted a session on CSREES funding opportunities. Economics and Community Systems Unit national program leaders Fen Hunt, Janie Hipp, and Antonio McLaren, program specialist, presented an update on departmental grants. Henry Bahn, national program leader for ag marketing and trade participated in a panel discussion on changing research, teaching and extension budgets at the state and federal levels. It was an excellent opportunity to meet and network with the Association.

The 2007 Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Administrator's Meeting was held September 19-20 in conjunction with the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Conference in St. Paul, MN. Hosted by CSREES, the FCS Administrator's Meeting brought together nearly 70 administrators from land-grant universities around the nation working in family and consumer sciences. The meeting is held annually and brings together FCS leaders to network and share strategies, research, and programs that address contemporary and emerging FCS issues. The annual event provides mentoring and professional development opportunities for new administrators as well. Next year's FCS Administrator's Meeting will be held during Galaxy III, September 15-19, 2008, in Indianapolis, IN.

    Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced on September 24 that USDA is awarding more than $14 million in food safety grants to researchers and educators at 17 universities throughout the United States . The USDA grants will focus on improving food safety nationwide, while reducing the incidence of food borne illness among children, adults, and older Americans.

    Each year, CSREES awards National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI) grant funds so that sound, practical, science-based knowledge can be shared among teachers, scientists, health professionals, researchers, farmers, food processors, food service workers, and all who impact the safety of the U.S. food supply. NIFSI grant funds are frequently used to develop education and outreach programs for consumers. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read USDA Awards More Than $14 Million in Food Safety Grants.

    Soil erosion from rain and wind produces water quality issues in streams, rivers, and lakes, degrades soil quality, and affects human health. Forest Concepts LLC, a small business in Auburn, WA, developed an environmentally-friendly solution called WoodStraw, an innovative erosion control material made from sliced strands of wood that is tailor-made for use on forests, highway projects, watersheds, and other natural areas.

    The patented WoodStraw brand wood-based erosion control material is highly effective. An American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers study in California and Washington indicated application of the WoodStraw product reduced erosion by 98 percent compared to bare soil. In addition, a field experiment by the USDA Forest Service in Colorado noted WoodStraw outperformed all other mulch treatments.

    This project received Phase I and Phase II funding from CSREES Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) for developing and marketing this product. The SBIR program enabled the rapid successful commercial launch of WoodStraw. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Controlling Soil Erosion.

    Glue is the latest product to go green. Researchers at Oregon State University developed a new, environmentally friendly adhesive made with renewable natural resources. The glue, which replaces current adhesives that release cancer-causing chemicals into the air, will improve the environment and human health, as well as provide new markets for U.S. soybean farmers. Since the 1940s, adhesive products used to make wood products, i.e., plywood, particleboard, and fiberboard, contained cancer causing-chemicals, such as phenol-formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde resins.

    This product, developed by Kaichang Li and colleagues at Oregon State University, provides a high-performance, formaldehyde-free adhesive alternative. The soy-based adhesive is stronger than, and cost-competitive with, conventional adhesives. Application of this adhesive in U.S. wood products may improve the global competitiveness of U.S wood composite companies, including furniture and kitchen cabinetry industries. In addition, the use of a soy-based adhesive product will enhance the economic benefits to U.S. soybean farmers. 

    CSREES funded this research project through the National Research Initiative (NRI) Biobased Products and Bioenergy Production Research program. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Glue Goes Green.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program - Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Program: Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERNet) October 17, 2007 Sharon Wright

Critical Issues: Plant and Animal Pests and Diseases

November 11, 2007 H.J. Rick Meyer
Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program January 11, 2008 Gregory Smith


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.


Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced September 27 awards of nearly $21.2 million in agricultural risk management partnership agreements throughout the United States . The agreements fund projects to develop new risk management tools for farmers and ranchers, as well as outreach and education opportunities to limited-resource and other traditionally under-served farmers and ranchers.

"These partnerships can provide producers with the information and resources to make informed decisions about crop insurance and other risk management strategies," said Conner. "Our goal is to improve revenue and reduce risks for the producers we serve." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Awards $21.2 Million in Partnership Agreements to Develop Risk Management Tools and Education full release.

The final report from the Engineering Solutions for Specialty Crop Challenges workshop held September 24-25 is available on the CSREES Web site. The workshop was organized and convened through a joint effort and support of four federal agencies (CSREES, Agricultural Research Service, National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration) and several industry partners. During the meeting, researchers and educators had an opportunity to interact with specialty crop industry producers and representatives. Breakout groups identified current and future needs for the industries in attendance (tree fruit and nuts, berries and brambles, wine and grape, citrus, and ornamentals). Subsequent breakout groups suggested new engineering knowledge, technology, and capabilities that would be needed to address industry concerns. In addition to the R&D agenda contained in this workshop report, an Engineering Solutions Specialty Crop Working Group (members from industry, universities, and federal agencies) formed to advance collaborative opportunities and to develop other planning documents.


Mark your calendars! On October 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, USDA is hosting a conference call to give Extension educators the opportunity to get their questions answered about National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The conference call will feature an overview of the Extension-NAIS Resource Center, the latest NAIS program updates, as well as NAIS success stories from fellow Extension educators. On the call, you can look forward to an open dialogue with NAIS and CSREES leadership. If you would like to suggest an additional topic for the October 18 Extension-NAIS conference call, please contact the NAIS Program staff at  nais_info@aphis.usda.gov. Call-in details will be provided in the October 17 - CSREES Update.

The Western Rural Development Center's (WRDC) Rural Development and Natural Resources Research Mini-Grant Program focuses on rural development and natural resources issues that enhance the quality of life and environmental integrity of the people and places in the West. The WRDC supports innovative social sciences research to advance our knowledge and understanding of rural development and natural resource issues in the West. The maximum amount available for this program is $20,000. The program requires a 1:1 match. WRDC expects to fund from one to three proposals. These grants will support either new research or the syntheses of current research. Proposals involving multistate or institutional collaborations are encouraged and will be considered for higher levels of project funding. WRDC will publish the research product after peer review. Contact Betsy H. Newman or John C. Allen, or call the WRDC office at 435-797-9732, 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 October 17. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by October 10, 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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