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CSREES Update - January 30, 2008

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.


  • Administrator To Give Keynote Address at CSREES Water Conference
  • Wagner Joins OPA
  • Elliott Temporary Update Editor
  • F4-HN Peer Review Deadline Nears
  • President Establishes Advisory Council on Financial Literacy
  • Bahn Re-elected President of Economics Group
  • CSREES Launches International Database
  • Markell 2008 NACo Fellow
  • Registration Open for SARE’s 20th Anniversary Conference
  • Integrated Competitive Programs Grantsmanship Workshop


  • Ed Schafer New Secretary of Agriculture
  • ERS Fact Sheets Chock-Full of Good Data
  • USDA Accepts Applications for Crop, Feed, and Livestock Losses Feb. 28-Dec. 31, 2007
  • Conner: Nearly $75 Million in Additional Funding for Light Brown Apple Moth Eradication
  • Conner Unveils First Wildlife Plans in New Conservation Practice
  • USDA and DOE Name Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee Members


  • Teachers Want to Teach Nutrition
  • Dooley Appointed Vice President of UCANR
  • SRDC Showcases Food Assistance Research
  • WRDC Publishes Rural Entrepreneurial Newsletter
  • WRDC Offers Training DVD on Entrepreneurial Sustainable Agriculture
  • 2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference



Colien Hefferan, CSREES Administrator, will be the keynote speaker at the CSREES Water Conference in Reno, NV, on February 3-7. Dan Kugler, Michael O’Neill, Mary Ann Rozum, Bruce Mertz, and Alexandra Raver will facilitate sessions. Oral papers and posters will be presented from the National Integrated Water Quality program. A principal investigator session will be held for the National Research Initiative funded projects. An additional symposium will be held February 7 to begin synthesizing results from watershed projects funded through the Conservation Effects Assessment Project. Leaders from two synthesis teams will conduct the symposium. These two projects and the 13 participating watershed studies are part of a joint competitive grant program funded by CSREES and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Trisha Wagner joined the Office of Planning and Accountability as a program analyst. She has a master’s degree in land resources policy and management and agronomy.  She has worked for Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Michael Fields Agriculture Institute, USDA’s Dairy Forage Research Center, and most recently in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Scott Elliott will edit the next few editions of the Update newsletter until Judy Rude returns from extended leave to resume that post.  He can be reached at 202-720-7185, or selliott@csrees.usda.gov.

The deadline for applications to peer-review Programs of Distinction manuscripts from around the country is January 31. This is a volunteer position, and reviewers donate their time to review manuscripts and for peer reviewer training (conducted on the Web). The Programs of Distinction review team is comprised of 4-H youth development educators and specialists; family, consumer science, and human development educators and specialists; and other extension professionals familiar with the field of youth development.  Visit the National 4-H Headquarters Web site to download the application form and for more information.

President George W. Bush signed an executive order on January 22 that established the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy within the U.S. Department of Treasury.  According to the executive order, the council will “help keep America competitive and assist the American people in understanding and addressing financial matters...” The 19-member council, representing the private and non-private sectors, is chaired by Charles Schwab of Charles Schwab & Company, Inc., and vice-chaired by John Bryant, chairman and founder of Operation HOPE. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), composed of 20 federal agencies and established through federal law, will complement the council’s work. CSREES, the federal partner in the Land-Grant University and Cooperative Extension Systems, is an active part of FLEC due to its leadership of the Financial Security program.  Frank Boteler, CSREES deputy administrator for Economic and Community Systems (ECS), represents USDA on FLEC.  Boteler is assisted by Jane Schuchardt, national program leader in ECS.

Henry Bahn, CSREES national program leader for agricultural marketing and trade, was re-elected President of the USDA Economists Group at its 2008 annual Membership & Awards meeting, January 23.

On January 15, CSREES and the Food and Agriculture Education Information System (FAEIS) launched the International Program Database (IPD).  For nearly 25 years, the FAEIS database gathered and shared key information about the number and kinds of agricultural and related science higher education programs offered around the United States. With the rollout of the IPD as part of the FAEIS database, decisionmakers and other stakeholders will have access to information that describes what American campuses are doing to ensure that their teaching, research and outreach/extension programs are globally engaged.  Contact Hiram Larew for more information or to participate in the database.

Jeanne Dolan Markell, associate dean for extension at the University of Minnesota, is the 2008 National Association of Counties (NACo) Fellow.  Markell will work closely with Pat Hipple, the CSREES liaison to NACo.  CSREES, in partnership with the NASULGC and NACo support the Ralph L. Tabor Extension Fellow Program, which enhances the partnership between the nation’s counties and extension through relationship building and program activities.   

Registration is open for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education's (SARE) 20th Anniversary New American Farm Conference, March 25–27, 2008, in Kansas City, MO. Tap into 20 years of groundbreaking SARE-funded research, experience, and innovations. The complete schedule, including details on breakout sessions and tours, along with a link to online registration is available on the conference Web site. Exhibitor registrations must be submitted via registration form and cannot be made online. Exhibits will be available for nonprofit entities only. Space is very limited, so act quickly.

The 1890 Region and Florida A&M University will host a Grantsmanship Workshop March 10-11, in Memphis, TN.  The workshop will cover CSREES Integrated Competitive Programs, focusing on the Section 406 Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Program and opportunities within the National Research Initiative for support of integrated activities. Agency staff will give an overview of CSREES Integrated Competitive Programs and describe how to integrate research, education, and extension in developing and implementing competitive proposals. Experienced project directors will speak on how to successfully design a strong integrated project, write a winning proposal, and implement a successful integrated project. Faculty in research, extension, and academics are encouraged to attend. Visit the Florida A&M Web site for additional details and registration information.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program - Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

Education Challenge, Higher Ed, HEP

February 1,

Gregory Smith

Higher Education Program: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program

February 8, 2008

Irma Lawrence

Capacity Building Grants Program: 1890 Institution Teaching and Research Capacity Building Grants Program February 15, 2008 Ali I Mohamed

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program

February 19, 2008 Saleia Afele-Faamuli
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Integrated Pest Management Methyl Bromide Transitions Program February 22, 2008 William Hoffman

Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 Program

February 22, 2008

Joan Gill

Biotechnology Risk Assessment February 28, 2008 Daniel Jones
Crops At Risk, ICGP February 29, 2008 H.J. Rick Meyer
Risk Avoidance, Mitigation, ICGP February 29, 2008 Robert Nowierski
Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program March 17, 2008 Saleia Afele-Faamuli
1890 Facilities Grants Program March 28, 2008 P.S. Benepal
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Water Quality Program April 29, 2008 Michael P. O'Neill

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.


Ed Schafer was sworn in as the 29th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on January 28, 2008.

Secretary Schafer brings a record as an innovative two-term governor of North Dakota to USDA, along with extensive private sector experience as both an entrepreneur and a business executive.

Schafer served as North Dakota's governor from 1992 to 2000 and made diversifying and expanding North Dakota's economy, reducing the cost of government, and advancing agriculture his top priorities in office.  Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the Secretary’s complete biography.

Economic Research Service state fact sheets contain frequently requested data for each state and for the total United States. These include current data on population, per-capita income, earnings per job, poverty rates, employment, unemployment, farm and farm-related jobs, farm characteristics, farm financial characteristics, top agricultural commodities, top export commodities, and the top counties in agricultural sales.  Note – the latest (2005) data on poverty are now available.  Fact sheets are available on the ERS website.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that eligible farmers and ranchers who suffered livestock, livestock feed and crop losses that occurred before Dec. 31, 2007, can now apply to receive disaster payments.

On Dec. 26, 2007, President Bush signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (2008 Act). The 2008 Act amends certain sections of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, which allows agricultural producers who suffered losses for crops planted before Feb. 28, 2007, or eligible livestock or livestock feed losses between Jan. 1, 2005, and Feb. 28, 2007, to apply for disaster payments under the Crop Disaster Program (CDP), Livestock Compensation Program (LCP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). The 2008 Act extends CDP, LCP and LIP payments to eligible farmers and ranchers who suffered 2007 crop, livestock and livestock feed losses throughout the 2007 crop year before Dec. 31, 2007.  Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2008—Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced the availability of $74.5 million in emergency funding to continue efforts in California to stop the spread of the light brown apple moth.

USDA also will initiate a 50-state national detection survey to verify that light brown apple moth is not present anywhere else in the continental United States. Nursery stock, which is a major pathway for the spread of this pest, will be a target of the survey. Other priority areas for the survey include orchards and urbanized areas with ornamental plantings that are attractive to the light brown apple moth. Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.

ST. PAUL, MINN., Jan. 19, 2008 - Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said USDA has approved conservation projects on more than a quarter-million acres in 18 states under a new partnership within the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

When USDA announced this program last year, it set the State Acres For wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) enrollment goal at 500,000 acres. The announcement approves 45 projects for up to 259,776 of these acres as wildlife habitat for threatened, endangered and other high-priority species. SAFE, like other continuous CRP practices, targets smaller parcels of the most environmentally sensitive land to achieve maximum environmental benefit. Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2008 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Acting Secretary Chuck Conner and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel Bodman announced the appointment of six new members and the reappointment of seven members to serve on its Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee for a term of three years. The committee was established by the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 to assist USDA and DOE in meeting important national goals for a healthier rural economy and improved national energy security.

The committee provides expert advice on strategic planning; the technical focus and direction of requests for proposals issued under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative; procedures for reviewing and evaluating proposals for funding; and encouraging closer collaboration among federal and state agencies, industry and growers. The committee holds meetings quarterly, with the next meeting scheduled for February 6-7, 2008, in Washington, DC. Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.


The current issue of The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management describes new results on how to effectively address the issue of childhood overweight. With funding from the NRI Human Nutrition and Obesity program and USDA’s Economic Research Service Food Assistance and Nutrition Research program, Dr. Mary Murimi and colleagues at Louisiana Tech University surveyed 7th grade teachers in Louisiana to determine their attitudes toward and confidence levels in teaching nutrition, the nutrition topics they actually taught, and the materials they used.  Nearly all teachers who completed the survey (92 percent) reported teaching nutrition in their classes.  While a majority of teachers (56 percent) recognized “Weight Management” as important, only 37 percent of teachers reported actually teaching it.  The majority of teachers (52 percent) reported that their district or state office did not provide curriculum assistance or a sequence in nutrition to guide them.  The authors concluded that there is a need to develop a standardized nutrition curriculum that is easily available to teachers expected to teach nutrition, and that faculty in institutions of higher education and members of nutrition professional organizations can play an important role by offering continuing education opportunities in nutrition for teachers.

Daniel M. Dooley has been named vice president of University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources.  In this capacity, he assumes directorship of Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station.  Dooley was inducted into the CSREES Research Hall of Fame in 2004.  He previously served as vice chair of USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board and as a member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade.  He has also led a national effort involving Congress and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges to establish the National Institutes for Food and Agriculture within USDA.

The Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) program is a joint effort between the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) and the Economic Research Service to support innovative social sciences research that advances knowledge and understanding of food assistance and nutrition issues that impact vulnerable populations in the South. In light of the extensive list of RIDGE projects that have been supported, SRDC is showcasing the scientific richness of studies undertaken since 2000 with six 1-page documents that highlight the variety of food assistance and nutrition studies supported by the RIDGE program. Visit the SRDC Web site to view the highlights. Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, or Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu, director of the Southern Rural Development Center.

The Western Rural Development Center’s (WRDC) most recent issue of Rural Connections highlights several research projects on rural entrepreneurship in the West. It looks at Western trends in non-employer statistics, the impact of entrepreneurial farmers on their communities, and showcases Washington State University Extension’s recent designation as the economic development leader for Jefferson County. Rural Connections is a newsletter published several times a year that features regional news items from the West. Submissions come from faculty, researchers, agencies and organizations from throughout the Western region. To access the newsletter visit the WRDC Web site. For more information, contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, or John C. Allen, director of the Western Rural Development Center.

The Western Rural Development Center (WRDC), with funding from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE), organized a regional team of faculty and experts to develop a training DVD that helps communities enhance the sustainability and viability of their local agriculture producers. The DVD, “Entrepreneurial Sustainable Agriculture: Alternatives for Processing, Packaging, Labeling, and Marketing in Retail/Internet Environments” provides tools for extension educators and agriculture producers. To request your copy send an e-mail to the WRDC. To learn more about the DVD visit the WRDC Web site. For more information, contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, or John C. Allen, director of the Western Rural Development Center.


2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference

The 2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference is April 1–2, 2008, in Oklahoma City, OK, with a pre-conference seminar scheduled March 31. The number of women either taking over as the principal operator or beginning new farming and ranching enterprises continues to increase. Educators are seeing a demand for specialized farm management and risk management training focusing on the woman owner/operator.

The 2008 conference brings together private- and public-sector educators, crop insurance agents, lenders, and other agricultural professionals who are involved in outreach education, to share ongoing and emerging successful risk management education efforts directed toward women involved in production agriculture. Conference participants will learn about educational efforts which assist women producers and their families effectively manage financial, production, marketing, legal, and human resource risks associated with agricultural businesses. The pre-conference seminar focuses on agricultural law and will include presentations concerning liabilities associated with farming and ranching operations, estate planning and farm succession, and a session designed to assist those working with farmers and ranchers in designing and executing agricultural legal education activities. Presentations and poster sessions will be offered. Visit the conference Web site for additional information. Contact Janie Hipp, CSREES national program leader for Risk Management Education/Farm Financial Management, in the Economic and Community Systems Unit, for more information.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Scott Elliott. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for February 13, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by February 6, 2008.

Editor: Scott Elliott, writer-editor, CSREES Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact him at selliott@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.