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CSREES Update - October 31, 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.


  • Qureshi PAS Animal Section Director
  • Land Use Conference Brings U.S. and European Scientists Together
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Announces New MyPyramid for Pregnant and Nursing Moms
  • USDA Provides Disaster Food Assistance to Southern California
  • Transcript of Remarks by Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner Tele-News Conference Regarding the Farm Bill, USDA Responses to California Wildfires, and pending Free Trade Agreements
  • USDA Food Safety Guidance for Power Outages
  • USDA Awards $2.5 Million for Research on Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs
  • USDA Purchases Electronic ID Tags to Advance Animal Disease Control Capability


  • New Executive Director at UMaine
  • SARE's 20th Anniversary New Voices Competition


Muquarrab Qureshi is the new Animal Systems director within CSREES Plant and Animal Systems (PAS) unit. He is responsible for providing leadership for major research, education, and extension programs to address critical national needs related to animal production and animal protection systems. Qureshi served as national program leader for PAS Animal Genetics since June 2003. He worked closely with his colleagues in CSREES and the Agricultural Research Service to develop an effective framework for planning and implementation of major initiatives in Animal Genomics and Animal Breeding. 

Prior to joining CSREES he held several faculty positions at North Carolina State University (NCSU), including full professor and associate dean of the NSCU Graduate School. At NCSU he established a very successful and internationally recognized program in avian immunology. 

Qureshi received his D.V.M. in 1974 and M.S. in microbiology in 1977, both from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, and his Ph.D. in animal breeding and immunogenetics in 1996 from Cornell University.  

More than 130 scientists, educators, and policymakers from numerous counties in the United States and Europe met recently in Washington, DC, for a conference on "The Science and Education of Land Use: A Transatlantic, Multidisciplinary, and Comparative Approach." The conference was co-sponsored by the CSREES Economic and Community Systems (ECS) unit, Farm Foundation, and other land-grant universities.

The conference was held at a time of growing concern about climate change as well as renewed interest in sustainability. Participants appreciated not only the international nature of the conference, but also the multiple disciplines that do not normally interact with one another on a regular basis. The conference explored the causes and consequences of current land use trends and dynamics related to society, economy, and environment, as well as policy implications of land cover and land use changes. The conference included a study tour of land conservation versus housing development through Montgomery County, MD. Conference proceedings and additional information are on the conference Web site. Contact Fen Hunt, national program leader in ECS, for more information.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program - Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

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
Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Sustainable Community Projects December 10, 2007 Sharon Wright
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program December 14, 2007 Dionne Toombs
Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program January 11, 2008 Gregory Smith
International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program January 17, 2008 Hiram Larew
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 Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner announced on October 25 the launch of a new MyPyramid Web site designed specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. The new interactive guidance, found at MyPyramid.gov, provides unique, individualized nutrition guidance to meet the needs of expectant and new moms. Developed by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, in conjunction with the Food and Nutrition Service's Women, Infants, and Children Program and the Department of Health and Human Services, this new Web site provides nutrition guidance consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Announces New MyPyramid for Pregnant and Nursing Moms full release.

Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner approved on October 25 the State of California's request to operate a Disaster Food Stamp Program (DFSP) in San Diego County from October 21 to November 19, 2007. The DSFP allows people who ordinarily might not qualify for food stamp benefits to be eligible if they had expenses related to protecting, repairing, or evacuating their homes; or if they lost food or income as a result of the disaster. In the DFSP, eligibility and procedural requirements are minimized to enable local agencies to serve large numbers of people quickly and provide a 1-month benefit. People who already are participating in the Food Stamp Program may be eligible for additional benefits under the DFSP if they suffered a disaster-related expense and file a simple affidavit. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Provides Disaster Food Assistance to Southern California full release.

With the power outages caused by the devastating fires in Southern California, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service urges consumers to follow USDA's recommendations for keeping food safe after power outages. To learn more about USDA Food Safety Guidance for Power Outages visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced on October 24 $2.5 million in grant and cooperative agreement awards in 10 states and the District of Columbia for research on food and nutrition assistance. The goal of the research is to examine, evaluate, and enhance USDA's food and nutrition assistance programs. The grants and cooperative agreements will fund projects in California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Utah. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Awards $2.5 Million for Research on Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs full release.

USDA announced October 19 contracts with three manufacturers to produce 1.5 million radio frequency identification ear tags that are compliant with National Animal Identification System standards. The combined cost of the contracts is $1.7 million. The ear tags will be used specifically for USDA state-federal cooperative disease control and eradication efforts, such as bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis, and will be distributed in geographic areas that are determined to be of increased risk for disease outbreak or spread. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Purchases Electronic ID Tags to Advance Animal Disease Control Capability full release.

Former Program and Financial Administrator John Rebar was named executive director of University of Maine (UMaine) Cooperative Extension for a 2-year appointment, effective August 1. Rebar has been with UMaine Extension's administration since 1994, providing statewide leadership for natural resources, agriculture, 4-H youth development, and family and consumer sciences programs, and has served as interim director since February 2007. He is also associate director of the Maine Agricultural Center, which is a partnership between UMaine Extension and the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station.

Rebar's 23-year career with UMaine Extension includes 10 years as a county educator, where he earned national recognition for his work in family resource management. He earned his B.S. from the University of Maine at Fort Kent and his M.S. degree in zoology in 1983 from the University of Vermont.


Students and others can win a travel scholarship to the CSREES Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) 20th anniversary conference, "The New American Farm: Advancing the Frontier of Sustainable Agriculture," March 25-27, 2008, in Kansas City , MO. A "new voices" competition is seeking fresh perspectives on the path to a more sustainable American agriculture. Submissions can be in written, audio, or video format, with a due date of December 7. Visit the conference Web site for contest details. The conference program, featuring nearly 200 speakers and poster presenters highlighting results of SARE-funded research and education, will be posted on the Web site in November along with registration 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 November 14. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by November 7, 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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