HomeAbout UsGrantsFormsNewsroomHelpContact Us
Search NIFA
Advanced Search
Browse by Subject
Agricultural Systems
Animals & Animal Products
Biotechnology & Genomics
Economics & Commerce
Environment & Natural Resources
Families, Youth & Communities
Food, Nutrition & Health
Pest Management
Plants & Plant Products
Technology & Engineering

CSREES Update - March 12, 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.


  • REE Sponsors 2nd Annual Bio Energy Awareness Days
  • NAREEE Advisory Board Meets
  • 2008 National 4–H Conference
  • 4–H Wildlife Stewards Earn Wildlife Management Institute Award
  • National After-School Association Conference Set
  • Agency Featured in "Out-of-School Time" Strategy Brief
  • Kress, Wright Review Air Force 4–H Programs in Europe
  • CSREES News


  • USDA Awards More Than $4.1 Million For Use in Woody Biomass Development
  • Sign-Up for Dairy Disaster Assistance Program Resumes
  • USDA, DOE to Invest up to $18.4 Million for Biomass Research, Development, and Demonstration Projects
  • Schafer Announces Selection of Dr. Joseph Glauber as Chief Economist


  • 5th National Small Farm Conference
  • Journal Focuses on Integrating Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Community Development
  • Land-Grant Leaders Look to the Future
  • Pinney Appointed to Alaska Cooperative Extension Post


  • 2008 CYFAR Conference Registration Open



USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics Agency mission area (REE) is sponsoring its second annual Bio Energy Awareness Days (BEAD II), June 19–22, at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. BEAD II, co-hosted by the 25 X ’25 Alliance, will promote the sustainable production of agriculture- and natural resource-based renewable energy and the efficient use and conservation of energy. Land-grant colleges and universities may present exhibits in the following areas:

  • Increasing the production of renewable energy and alternative fuels;
  • Delivering that energy to consumers;
  • Meeting consumer demand; and
  • Enhancing sustainability, conservation, and energy efficiency

Proposals for exhibits are due by April 25. Notification of BEAD II Exhibits Committee decisions will be made by May 15. Exhibit space will be free of charge to those who are selected. Contact Karen Grillo, Administrator for the National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy, at 202–328–5183.

The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board will meet March 18–20 at the Double Tree Hotel, 1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer will provide opening remarks, and Gale Buchanan, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, will attend the evening session on March 18. The remainder of the agenda focuses on the meeting’s theme, "Educating the Future Work Force for Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Areas."

The 2008 National 4–H Conference, March 29-April 3, is sponsored by the National 4–H Headquarters, Families 4–H and Nutrition, CSREES, and USDA. The conference is the Secretary of Agriculture's premiere national youth development opportunity.  

This year’s keynote speaker is actor and environmental champion Ed Begley, Jr. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Gale Buchanan, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, will address conference delegates at the USDA Assembly on April 2. Program components include structured educational excursions in the nation's Capitol. Our private partner, the National 4–H Council, secured scholarship funds to increase participation by 1890 and 1994 partners. Scholarship recipients include Alcorn State University, Crownpoint Institute of Technology, Delaware State University, Langston University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and A&M College, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, South Carolina State University, and Tennessee State University.

4-H Wildlife Stewards, a recognized Program of Distinction, is receiving an award during the Wildlife Management Institute's 73rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, March 25–29, in Phoenix, AZ.  

Extension faculty from 27 land-grant universities are presenting seminars, workshops, and research findings at the National After-School Association Annual Conference this week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In addition, extension faculty are sponsoring a computer lab for the conference, and presenting sessions on technology. A National 4–H Headquarters, CSREES, and USDA exhibit is anchoring several extension programs that are featured in the exhibit hall.  About 3,000 people are attending the conference, which makes it the largest in the country for after-school staff and directors, and youth development professionals. Opportunities to raise the visibility of the land-grant university research, teaching, and extension contributions to the after-school field have been made possible, in part, through the leadership efforts of Nancy Valentine, national program leader for the Families 4–H and Nutrition Unit.

CSREES and several programs from land-grant universities are featured in "Financing and Sustaining Out-of-School Time Programs in Rural Communities," a strategy brief published by The Finance Project. Nancy Valentine, national program leader for the Families 4–H and Nutrition Unit, contributed and was an independent reviewer.

Cathann Kress, director of Youth Development, and Sherri Wright, national program leader for National 4–H Headquarters, reviewed 4–H programs at Air Force bases in England and Germany.  From March 5–12, Kress and Wright met with staff and youth at RAFs Lakenheath, Mildenhall, and Alconbury in the United Kingdom, and at Ramstein and Vogelweh in Germany. Following the tour, Kress delivered a keynote address at the 2008 European Youth Development Conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

More than 6,000 children of Air Force personnel are members of 4–H.  The 4–H/Air Force partnership brings land-grant university resources to children and youth whose parents serve in the military.

  • March 3 – Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that USDA is awarding $5.2 million in grants to 14 universities and the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct research aimed at improving and maintaining healthy watershed habitat and water supplies.  CSREES administered the awards through the National Research Initiative Water and Watershed competitive grants program. The program seeks to reduce pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, in waters derived from agricultural and rural watersheds, as well as maintain adequate water supplies for agricultural crop and livestock production and rural use. In the past 5 years, the program has awarded more than $23 million in grants.  Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view the entire release.


  • March 3 – Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that USDA is awarding $4.6 million to 13 universities and research labs to develop ecologically and economically rational strategies for management, control, and elimination of weedy and invasive species, which cause more than $100 billion is losses each year. CSREES administered the awards through the National Research Initiative Biology of Weedy and Invasive Species in Agroecosystems competitive grants program. This grant program has awarded more than $20 million in grants over the past 5 years.  Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view the entire release.


Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program - Various topic areas

See individual grant program

See individual grant program

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
Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities -National and Regional AgrAbility Project March 31, 2008 Bradley Rein
National Extension IPM Special Projects Program April 8, 2008 Martin A. Draper
Resident Instruction Grants for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas April 11, 2008 Gregory Smith
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.


WASHINGTON, March 7 – Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the award of $4.1 million to help 17 small businesses and community groups find more innovative uses of woody biomass from national forests in new products and renewable energy. The grants will help create markets for small-diameter woody material, damaged, and other low-valued trees removed to reduce the risk of fire hazard, insect infestation, or disease. "The renewable use of shrubs and underbrush removes unhealthy overgrowth in our national forests and creates local opportunity for new products and energy sources," said Schafer.  Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release

WASHINGTON, March 5 – Eligible dairy producers who suffered production losses in 2005, 2006, or 2007 may apply to receive benefits under the Dairy Disaster Assistance Program III.  Producers can sign up at their local USDA Farm Service Agency service center until May 5, when sign-up will end.  This dairy program will provide $16 million in benefits to dairy producers for dairy production losses that occurred between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2007, because of natural disasters.  Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ed Schafer and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel Bodman announced that combined, USDA and DOE will invest up to $18.4 million, over 3 years, for 21 biomass research and development, and demonstration projects. These projects specifically aim to address critical barriers to making production of biomass more efficient and cost-effective, in an effort to advance the Bush Administration's strategy of bringing online more clean, bio-based products, and biofuels to help reduce our dependence on oil from unstable parts of the world and mitigate climate change. Schafer and Bodman made the announcement March 4 while delivering remarks at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008.

"These grants help fund the innovative research needed to develop technologies and systems that lead to the production of bio-based products and biofuels," Schafer said. "Funding new technologies will help make biofuels competitive with fossil fuels in the commercial market, putting America on the path of reducing its dependence on foreign oil."  Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.

WASHINGTON, February 28 – Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the selection of Dr. Joseph Glauber as USDA Chief Economist. Glauber had served as acting Chief Economist since the January 3 retirement of Dr. Keith Collins.

As Chief Economist, Glauber is responsible for USDA's agricultural forecasts and projections and for advising the Secretary of Agriculture on economic implications of alternative programs, regulations, and legislative proposals. His responsibilities include the Office of the Chief Economist, the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit analysis, the Global Change Program Office, and the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses.  Visit the USDA Newsroom to view the entire release.

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting the 5th National Small Farm Conference, September 15–18, 2009 in Springfield, IL. Contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, extension specialist with University of Illinois Extension, for more information.

"Sustainable Development: Connecting Agriculture and Community" is a special issue of Community Development, the journal of the Community Development Society. This special issue furthers the dialogue about integrating sustainable agriculture and sustainable rural community development. According to the guest editors Lionel "Bo" Beaulieu, director of the Southern Rural Development Center, and Jeff Jordan, Southern Region SARE, "the articles showcased in this special issue illustrate how communities can strengthen the links and set the stage for long-term partnerships between sustainable agriculture and sustainable rural community development interests." Contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, or  Bo Beaulieu, for more information.

A report produced by Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) concluded that land-grant universities must be consumer-driven, break down barriers to cross-disciplinary collaboration, respond more quickly to a changing environment, and need additional funding if they are to address successfully the future needs of the nation’s food system.

A cohort of FSLI Fellows developed a project called "Vision 2020: An Integrated Food System." Vision 2020 engaged food system stakeholders, from nine different states, in a conversation about drivers of change in food systems.  The result is a report that looks at the food system and how it is changing.  It also looks at land-grant institutions and discusses how land-grants need to change to better serve the food system. 

FSLI provides leadership development opportunities to upper-level leaders in higher education, government, and industry, preparing these leaders to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.  The institute was developed by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Pete Pinney has been appointed interim vice provost for extension and outreach/director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.  Pinney will serve while the university searches for a permanent vice provost/director.  Pinney earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1980 and a master’s in creative writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1988. He served as associate dean of academic affairs, College of Rural and Community Development, University of Alaska Fairbanks, from 2005 until 2007.


Registration is open for the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Program (CYFAR) 2008 Conference, May 7–9 at the Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX. Visit the CYFAR 2008 Conference Web site for a conference agenda and program; to register for the conference, pre-conference, post-conference, and military tours; or to make hotel reservations.

An agenda of keynotes, research presentations, workshops, program showcases, and interactive sessions awaits participants. A 4–H Military Partnerships track, which includes visits to youth programs on installations and a post conference, is also on the agenda. There are special sessions for teen participants and a hands-on playground-building experience right in San Antonio. Contact Sherri Wright, CSREES national program leader and CYFAR grant program manager, 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 March 26, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by March 19, 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.