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CSREES Update - October 17, 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.


  • Ron Brown, Louise Ebaugh, and Eddie Gouge Inducted Into CSREES Hall of Fame
  • CSREES eGrants Implementation Team Receives 2007 USDA Secretary's Honor Award
  • CSREES Honors Employees of the Year and Diversity Award Winner
  • CSREES Employees Team Efforts Recognized at Day of Appreciation
  • CSREES Initiates Partnership Awards at Annual Day of Appreciation
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • 1890 Land-Grant Institutions Selected For Funds to Promote Job and Business Growth


  • Former CSRS Administrator John Patrick Jordan Retires
  • New CES Director for Purdue University
  • Reminder--Extension Educators-NAIS Conference Call


At its October 10th Day of Appreciation, Ron Brown, Louise Ebaugh, and Eddie Gouge were inducted into the CSREES Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding individuals who have worked, coordinated, or supported activities exemplifying CSREES' synergy of excellence in any combination of research, education, and extension approaches on local, regional, national, or international levels, and demonstrated a measurable and positive impact on the agency.

Dr. Ronald Brown is executive director of the Association of Southern Region Extension Directors. He works with Cooperative Extension Service directors in 13 Southern States to promote efficiency and effectiveness by expanding multistate extension programs through electronic technology and the sharing of resources. From 1996 to 2001, Brown served as director of the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service. From 1989 to 1996, he was associate vice president of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine at MSU. He also served as director of the Office of International Programs and held the rank of professor in the MSU Department of Agricultural Education and Experimental Statistics. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education from MSU and a doctorate from the University of Illinois. He has written or co-authored more than 50 articles, papers, and manuscripts. Brown developed a firsthand knowledge of agriculture during the many years he lived on a diversified livestock, row crop, and vegetable farm. He also was active in 4-H during his time as a high school teacher, helping teach young people and adults the importance of agriculture. Brown was a driving force and supporter for eXtension and without his tireless efforts to promote the idea, eXtension as we know it would not exist. Through his initiative, persistence, and commitment to cooperation across universities and within CSREES, Cooperative Extension has redefined itself for the 21st century as an innovative, collaborative system working together to assure new, useful, and sound information for citizens' access.

Over a 35 year career in public service, Louise Ebaugh held numerous positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her last position was as the deputy administrator for the Office of Extramural Programs (OEP) in CSREES. In that role she was responsible for directing 70 employees engaged in work associated with awarding and administering more than $1 billion in congressional appropriations for CSREES grants, cooperative agreements, and formula funds. She worked with the CSREES financial assistance programs for 22 years, during which she aligned financial assistance programs in research, education, and extension, and created a management structure through which all employees could find opportunities for advancement. She was trusted and viewed as a leader who listened to both stakeholders and customers and found ways to accommodate their needs as reflected in her outstanding leadership of the first-ever CSREES customer service satisfaction survey. She was highly regarded by other federal agencies who worked collaboratively with USDA to accomplish mutual goals. In 2004, Ebaugh volunteered to lead agency staff in piloting the proposed Grants.gov system for accepting electronic proposals. Her efforts illuminated the need for further work on the part of Grants.gov and ultimately helped shape this national program. Her national contribution and willingness to break new ground are typical of her career. Ebaugh's achievements resulted in numerous prestigious awards that enhanced both her professional and the agency's stature. Most notable among such awards were a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service, the USDA Secretary's Honor Award for Equal Opportunity and Reinventing Government, and USDA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer's Excellence in Financial Management Award.

Eddie Gouge is the associate director of Federal Relations for Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET) at the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). He joined NASULGC on September 1, 1989. Prior to joining NASULGC, he served as the assistant director for Legislative Education and Assistant for Public Affairs at the Navy League of the United States. He also has held several positions on Capitol Hill between 1977 and 1985. Gouge grew up in a military family spending time in various parts of the world and the United States, but he and his family call Spruce Pine, NC, home. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed an independent study program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, after which he was selected to participate in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern Program in the U. S. House of Representatives. He helped CSREES work with critical stakeholders, whether it was making sure we were part of the Science on the Hill project or keeping us in the loop with CARET. While many of us like to think we are dealing with big picture issues, he understands and implements the operational details needed to make big ideas happen. Gouge is vital to the strength of the federal and state partnership underlying the Land-Grant University System.

The CSREES eGrants Implementation Team was honored by USDA with a Secretary's Honor Award for Supporting the President's Management Agenda and Civil Rights. The prestigious award recognizes exceptional leadership, contributions, or public service by individuals or groups who support the mission/goals of USDA. The team's efforts have resulted in CSREES being able to process electronic applications quicker and with considerable savings.

CSREES recognized three employees as Employees of the Year and also honored one CSREES employee for his work in diversity with the A. J. Dye Diversity Award at its Day of Appreciation.

Greg Crosby, CSREES national program leader, was named Employee of the Year in the Science and Education category. Crosby has provided national leadership in three novel and important areas: One Solution, eXtension, and Sustainable Development. His leadership resulted in development of a Leadership Management Dashboard; a new CSREES Standard Report for reporting progress on research, education, and extension projects; and a national eXtension program. These outputs will positively affect CSREES business and information processes and ultimately lead to improved program management, accountability, and increased visibility for CSREES programs.

Janine Gillis was named Employee of the Year in the Administrative and Technical category. As the information technology (IT) workforce trainer, Gillis has touched the lives of virtually every CSREES employee by providing classes, training, instruction, and building the skill sets of the agency's workforce. With her boundless energy and enthusiasm, her upbeat and positive attitude, she has made learning new technology skills accessible, easy, and even fun! Through her patience and encouragement, she has trained our workforce in an enormous range of IT skills, from Excel and access to PowerPoint, to Microsoft Word, to Ag Learn, and much more. She was instrumental in training CSREES for transition to electronic granting. Without her efforts, CSREES would not have been able to move as effectively from paper to electronic processes.

Georgette Clark was named Employee of the Year in the Administrative Support category. She is lead program assistant in the Competitive Programs Unit. This year, she was called upon to backfill during the absence of the research supervisor in addition to her regular responsibilities. These additional duties include the distribution of staff assignments, providing training as needed to staff, completing supervisor special assignments, attending meetings in the absence of the research supervisor, and assisting the Peer Review director as needed—all while maintaining a harmonious working relationship with the Competitive Programs staff, panel managers, Office of Extramural Programs, and external customers. No matter what is needed, the Competitive Programs Unit can rely upon her to resolve issues with creative solutions, go beyond the call of duty to complete assignments, and provide excellent customer service with a smile.

Brad Rein was the recipient of the A. J. Dye Award for Diversity. Through his leadership, AgrAbility has become one of rural America 's most valuable and cost effective resources. This program provided on-farm assessments to over 13,000 farmers and ranchers with disabilities since it was established under his leadership in 1991. Since the inception of the AgrAbility program, he was the primary force in developing partnerships between land-grant colleges/universities and nonprofit disability organizations. Under his leadership the program has grown from serving 8 states to more than 30 states. The program has also served as the model for programs in Canada and Australia. He has also supported diversity through innovation of program design and implementation of the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Program.

Four groups of CSREES employees were honored for contributions to the agency's mission. They were honored for helping to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities. The four groups honored include:

-- The One Solution team for providing leadership and commitment to the development of a One Solution reporting system for research, education, and extension projects across CSREES. One Solution will improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of many CSREES business practices. Team members include Michel Desbois, Elbert Dickey, Djime Adoum, Henry Bahn, Teresa Bailey, Joseph Barbano, William Bristow, Aunica Brockel, Peter Burfening, Greg Crosby, Erin Daly, Ellen Danus, Henry Doan, Debora Hamernik, Barton Hewitt, Jason Hitchcock, Peter Johnson, Ray Knighton, Robert MacDonald, Hendrik Meyer, John Mingee, Brad Rein, John Snyder, Carol Sowers, Ann Marie Thro, Alexander Turell, and Dennis Unglesbee. Also honored for their efforts on One Solution were Barquin International contractors Owen Dall, Thomas Gedle, Haroon Jaffer, Melissa Todd, Edmund Vergel de Dios, and Christopher Woody.

-- The National Program Leader (NPL) Liaison Committee was cited for their leadership and coordination of the agency's NPL Liaisons to States effort, resulting in improved communication and stronger partnerships with land-grant universities. Group members include Mike Fitzner, Janine Gillis, Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Carol Langguth, Mary McPhail Gray, Suzanne LeMenestrel, Mike O'Neill, Anna Palmisano, Audrey Trotman, and Jodi Williams.

--The members of the USDA Blueprint for Animal Genomics team were honored for their work to set priorities for Animal Genomics research, education, and extension for USDA for the next 10 years. Honored were Peter Burfening, Debora Hamernik, Mark Mirando, and Muquarrab Qureshi from CSREES, and Ronnie Green from the Agricultural Research Service.

-- The Grantsmanship Workshop Committee was honored for their commitment to educate prospective applicants about CSREES programs, especially young scientists new to grant processes, by conducting grantsmanship workshops that reached over 400 scientists. Honored were Mark Mirando, Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Audrey Trotman, and Pushpa Kathir.

Recognizing there are many outstanding contributions that partners at the land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions and organizations achieve, CSREES established a new Partnership Awards Program as part of its 2007 Annual Day of Appreciation. The initiation of these awards was in response to the USDA Secretary's Honor Awards Program being changed in 2006, by significantly reducing the number of awards given. The CSREES Partnership Awards recognized excellence in Mission Integration, Multistate Efforts, Innovative Program Models, and Effective and Efficient Use of Resources. This year's awardees include:

-- The Mission Integration award was presented to The University of Kentucky Wheat Science Group for planning and implementing coordinated wheat research and educational functions to benefit Kentucky 's wheat producers. Honored were Bill Bruening, Dottie Call, John Grove, Jim Herbek, Don Hershman, Marilyn Hooks, Douglas Johnson, Saratha Kumudini , Chad Lee, James Martin, Sam McNeil, Lloyd Murdock, Greg Schwab, Laura Skillman, Richard Trimble, David Van Sanford, Ole Wendroth, and Bill Witt.

-- The Families First: Nutrition, Education, and Wellness System, a wellness education consortium of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Southern University, Langston University, and Prairie View A&M University, was the winner in the Multistate Efforts category for the successful multistate programming in disseminating nutrition education to culturally diverse audiences. Honored were Gina Eubanks, Irene K. Lee, Jacquelyn McCray, Carolyn Nobles, Linda Williams-Willis, and Dorothy Wilson.

-- The Rutgers University Food Innovation Center was honored for Innovative Program Models for its achievements as a model for community and economic development and jobs creation. Honored were Margaret Brennan, Dianne Carbonetta, Carol Coren, Lou Cooperhouse, Julie Elmer, Bernadette Gill, Diane Holtaway, Sho Islam, Tom Orton, Regina Plaire, and Christopher Shyers.

-- Steven S. Poindexter, Michigan State University, was honored for Effective and Efficient Use of Resources for his leadership and commitment to increasing efficiencies in the Michigan sugar industry by facilitating university, grower, and industry partnerships through the Sugar Beet Advancement Program.

    CSREES' Northeastern Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center and USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are training growers in practices that will minimize environmental impacts while improving crop yield and pest control. At the same time, IPM and NRCS professionals are learning about each other's work and how to reap benefits from the strengths of both USDA-funded groups.

    With funding from a 2006 CSREES Extension-IPM grant, the Northeastern IPM Center brought together four states to design a series of on-farm workshops. Land-grant-based IPM specialists, private consultants, state employees, growers and NRCS staff are becoming partners in cross-educating themselves about these related, but still very distinct, USDA programs. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full story.

    CSREES on October 11 announced more than $4.7 million in grants to 13 universities and research laboratories for tomato and potato specialty crops genetic research that may lead to improved fruit quality, yield, stress tolerance, and disease resistance.

    "Specialty crops are a major contributor to U.S. agriculture and are valued at $53 billion in sales annually," said Gale Buchanan, USDA under secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. "New knowledge is needed to develop plants with enhanced economic value, which will ultimately allow the specialty crop industry to remain competitive in the global environment and contribute to the U.S. economy."

    The goal of the research program is to increase fundamental knowledge of the structure, function, and organization of plant genomes to improve agricultural efficiency and sustainability; effectively integrate modern molecular breeding technologies and classical breeding practice for U.S. crop improvement; and improve U.S. varieties for agricultural growers and producers. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full release.

    Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced October 10 that more than $11 million in grants will be awarded to universities nationwide to address water supply and water quality issues in rural, agricultural, and urbanizing watersheds. Highlighted among these grants are two projects that address bioenergy production and water resource issues. The two projects, funded by CSREES, take unique approaches to addressing bioenergy development.

    Investigators at Washington State University will explore the impacts of irrigating switchgrass for bioenergy development. The project will test long-lived, water-efficient perennial grasses for biofuel production to supplement the nation's energy supply, saving water for human, food and other societal needs. At the University of Wisconsin, investigators are attempting to address the environmental and economic impacts of an emerging bio-economy in 14 Midwest states. Their efforts focus on how best to provide a research-based understanding of the issues and provide a robust outreach program that engages communities and key stakeholder interests in appropriate decisionmaking that respects local economies and the environment. Visit the CSREES Newsroom for listing of other grant recipients and 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

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 7, 2007 H.J. Rick Meyer
Regional Integrated Pest Management Program - North Central Region November 9, 2007 Michael Fitzner
Regional Integrated Pest Mgt. Northeastern November 28, 2007 Michael Fitzner
Regional Integrated Pest Mgt. Southern December 3, 2007 Michael Fitzner
International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups December 5, 2007 Siva Sureshwaran
Regional Integrated Pest Mgt. Western December 7, 2007 Michael Fitzner
Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program January 11, 2008 Gregory Smith
Education Challenge, Higher Ed, HEP February 1, 2007 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 October 11 the selection of 15 historically African-American land-grant institutions in 14 states to receive $1.5 million in job creation and business promotion grants. The grants will be used to help create new businesses, promote cooperatives, and provide new employment opportunities through the promotion of rural development programs. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Dr. John Patrick Jordan will retire and conclude over 52 years of public service on January 3, 2008. Jordan currently serves as center director for the Southern Regional Research Center of USDA's Agricultural Research Service in New Orleans, LA. Anyone wishing to send a letter with reflections and reminiscences for his retirement book should send the letters to Trinia Bax, USDA-ARS-SRRC, 1100 Robert E. Lee Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70124. Letters should arrive no later than November 30. The letters will be presented at his retirement luncheon on December 6.

Dr. Charles Hibberd was appointed director of Cooperative Extension for Purdue University, effective November 1. Hibberd served as district director of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center and Panhandle Extension District for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, from 1994 to present. He earned his bachelor of science degree in animal sciences from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He spent 17 years in Oklahoma, first as a graduate student at Oklahoma State University, then 12 years as a faculty member in the Animal Science Department. He received his Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Oklahoma State University. He succeeds David Petritz, who retired June 30.


On October 18 at 2 p.m. EST, 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. The dial-in number is 888-790-1712. Please use the passcode 63520 - and if asked for the call leader's name, it is Ed Curlett. 

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 31. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by October 24, 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.