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CSREES Update - April 9, 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.


  • New Program Specialist for SERD
  • CSREES Financial Literacy Day on the Hill
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Business Plan Guides National Animal Identification System
  • USDA Announces More Than $16 Million in Additional Funding To Eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis in Three States
  • United States, Mexico, and Canada Announce OIE Consistent Trade Standards for Cattle, Furthering Progress for NAFTA Partners


  • UMass Names NRE Dean/MAES Associate Director
  • SRDC Announces New Web Site


  • National Extension Volunteerism Conference 2009
  • Online Journal Seeks Papers on Rural Development



The Science and Education Resources Development (SERD) unit welcomes Jill Lee to its team.  As the new program specialist, Lee will work closely with Higher Education, Multicultural Alliances, and International Programs to help manage the diverse CSREES portfolio of programs to enhance agricultural sciences education throughout the system. Lee graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia with a master’s degree in journalism, and received her teaching certification in early childhood education from Montgomery College, MD. Lee held several positions prior to joining CSREES, including teaching assistant in Montgomery County, a public affairs specialist with USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, and program assistant with Cooperative Extension in Montgomery County. You can reach Lee at jlee@csrees.usda.gov; she is located in room 3245 Waterfront Centre.

The CSREES Financial Security program will be featured at the 2008 Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill, April 28, at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Convening organizations are the Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement Worldwide, and the National Council on Economic Education. Exhibitors include government, not-for-profit, and corporate organizations that promote financial literacy across the country. Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill is part of the April Financial Literacy Month activities. The America Savings Education Council meeting on April 16, which includes various partner organizations and land-grant universities, will highlight the extension financial network, especially eXtension. Today Jump$tart is releasing the 2008 Survey of Personal Financial Literacy Among High School Students. Visit the Jump$tart Web site for information.

  • Communities across the nation are fighting the increased incidence of childhood obesity and Type II diabetes. With CSREES funding, a group in Illinois is promoting environmental sustainability and healthy eating habits in the youngest Americans.

    Seven Generations Ahead (SGA), founded by Gary Cuneen in Oak Park, IL, in 2001, seeks to find local solutions to global environmental problems. The group offers a comprehensive "farm-to-school" program called Fresh from the Farm.

    Healthy, sustainably grown food items are not marketed to children as effectively as fast food items, which have limited nutritional value. SGA’s Fresh from the Farm program reconnects students, parents, and teachers in the Chicago metro area with the joy, value, and importance of eating a well-balanced and healthy diet. Recent program evaluations show that students' knowledge about healthy eating and locally grown foods has increased significantly. In addition to educating students, the Fresh from the Farm program offers teacher training and parent education. CSREES funded this research project through the Community Foods Project program. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full story Fresh Food Program Promotes Healthy Eating Habits Among Children.

  • As city dwellers seek a different way of life, the exodus from the urban environment to rural settings is increasing the fragmentation of central hardwood forests. With funding from CSREES, researchers in Missouri, Indiana, and Tennessee are using Geographic Information System-based landscape simulation models to aid landowners when making land use and management decisions. The models will also gain valuable insight for wildlife and habitat conservation by helping predict forest reaction to harvest events.

    Bill Kurtz and colleagues at the University of Missouri, Purdue University, and the University of Tennessee–Knoxville examined landscape fragmentation at three watersheds in Missouri, Indiana, and Tennessee. The scientists found that the presence or absence of habitat main lands and riparian corridors significantly affected wildlife's ability to survive in the highly fragmented areas. CSREES funded this research project through the Initiative for Future Agricultural and Food Systems program. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full story Fragmented Forests Could Lead to Habitat Disaster.

  • The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE) has translated its widely-used High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) student guide to Spanish. It is available online for Spanish speakers and teachers to use in learning or teaching about personal finances.

    "By offering this translation, youth whose primary language is Spanish can readily gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage money; a lifelong skill," said Jane Schuchardt, CSREES national program leader. CSREES partnered with NEFE to revise the HSFPP. To download the Spanish student guide, parents and students can go to their respective sections within NEFE Web site and click on the "Programa en Español" link on the left-hand navigation. Teachers may also access the information in the Instructor section of the HSFPP Web portal. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full story High School Financial Education Now Available in Spanish.

  • In vitro fertilization of livestock is an expensive venture that is complicated by the occurrence of polyspermy, a lethal condition occurring when more than one sperm cell penetrates the egg coat. With CSREES funding, a team of scientists in Missouri determined how synthetic antibodies during in vitro fertilization can significantly reduce the occurrence of polyspermy, resulting in increased normal, single-sperm fertilization.

    Peter Sutovsky and colleagues at the University of Missouri–Columbia, in collaboration with the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Queen's University in Canada, and Chungnam National University in Korea, examined a sperm cell's use of small particles, called proteasomes, which digest and weaken the egg coat during fertilization. Controlling animal reproduction is a critical step for the animal industry. The results from this project will provide substantial financial gain to the animal sector of U.S. agriculture from increased reproductive efficiency in livestock and distribution of new technology to commercial industries for animal fertilization. CSREES funded this research project through the NRI Animal Reproduction program. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full story Research Increases Success of In Vitro Fertilization.

  • Forest management programs in the western United States struggle to strike a balance between encouraging vigorous rural economies and maintaining sustainable forest environments. With CSREES funding, scientists in Idaho examined different forest management programs in order to develop a program that finds this balance.

    Timothy Link and colleagues at the University of Idaho, in partnership with Potlatch Corporation, conducted research at the Mica Creek Experimental Watershed in northern Idaho. Their work focused on how different forest management practices affect the surrounding watershed. As forest harvest intensifies, water flow increases in intensity and timing, which can impact surrounding communities. The results of the study suggest a combination of thinned and cleared areas provides a greater volume of runoff to the surrounding communities. In addition, the water flow is sustained into the summer dry season when water is most needed downstream by communities and for maintenance of aquatic ecosystem health. CSREES funded this research project through the Initiative for Future Agricultural and Food Systems program. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read the full story Researchers Try to Balance Rural Economies with Sustainable Forests.


Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Resident Instruction Grants for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas April 11, 2008 Gregory Smith
Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities -National and Regional AgrAbility Project, Smith-Lever 3B, 3C, and 3D Programs April 24, 2008 Bradley Rein
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Water Quality Program April 29, 2008 Michael P. O'Neill
Youth Farm Safety and Education Certification Program May 1, 2008 Bradley Rein
Global Change, Ultraviolet Radiation Monitoring Program (GCUVM) May 5, 2008 Daniel Schmoldt
Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program May 8, 2008 Audrey Trotman
Expert Integrated Pest Management Decision Support System May 12, 2008 H.J. Rick Meyer

Rural Youth Development Grants Program

May 21, 2008

Nancy Valentine

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, April 2 - USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today released a draft Business Plan to further the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). AMS encourages participants in voluntary marketing programs, such as the USDA Process Verified, the Quality Systems Assessment, and the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programs, to meet the inherent animal identification requirements by using NAIS. "The AMS Business Plan will allow for integration of the National Animal Identification System with AMS audit-based marketing programs," said Bruce Knight, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. "NAIS is a voluntary partnership among producers and government. This immediately provides the producer a twofold reward for a single investment. It ensures trace back of their animals for herd health reasons and provides benefits for marketing value-added animals domestically and internationally."

Currently, all AMS partners that have approved marketing programs are actively encouraging the use of premise registration and NAIS compliant Animal Identification Numbers for these marketing program participants. Using NAIS, producers at the same time would meet the requirements for animal identification and traceability for these AMS marketing programs. Further, use of NAIS along with enrollment in these voluntary AMS marketing programs ensures that cattle are eligible for the AMS Export Verification Program for Japan with an opportunity for significant premiums for cattle producers. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read Business Plan Guides National Animal Identification System release.

WASHINGTON, April 2 – USDA today announced the availability of $16.8 million in emergency funding to continue efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis in California, Michigan, and Minnesota. "Working cooperatively with state animal health agencies and U.S. livestock producers, we have made great strides towards eradicating tuberculosis from the nation's livestock population," said Bruce Knight, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. "We are another step closer towards eradicating bovine tuberculosis from our nation, and this should serve as a reminder why the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is so critical. By participating in NAIS, we protect our livestock and the future of American agriculture." The emergency funding will be used to depopulate known tuberculosis-affected cattle herds, which is crucial to prevent the spread of the disease and to indemnify producers. The funding also will be used for enhanced surveillance not only to identify affected herds but also to determine the source of infection. This enhanced surveillance will include free ranging white-tailed deer in Minnesota and Michigan, a possible source of the disease. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Announces More Than $16 Million in Additional Funding To Eradicate Bovine Tuberculosis in Three States release.

Protocols for Breeding Cattle

Protocol to Transit Bovines from Canada to Mexico

Washington, March 27 - Officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico concluded a series of meetings today that provided all three countries an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern affecting agriculture, food, and trade. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz held the first meeting between the countries since full implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on January 1, 2008. And, the United States, Canada, and Mexico announced protocols, effective tomorrow, to harmonize standards for the export of United States and Canadian breeding cattle to Mexico consistent with international standards. Visit the USDA Newsrooms to read United States, Mexico, and Canada Announce OIE Consistent Trade Standards for Cattle, Furthering Progress for NAFTA Partners release.


Brenda C. McComb has been named associate dean of the College of Natural Resources and the Environment and associate director of the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Massachusetts. McComb has been a faculty member in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at UMass–Amherst since 1996. She earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources conservation, University of Connecticut in 1974, her master’s in wildlife management, University of Connecticut, 1976, and doctorate in forestry (zoology minor) from Louisiana State University in 1979. McComb’s research efforts focused on quantifying the effects of land management practices on the abundance and distribution of vertebrates as a result of habitat change.

The Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) at Mississippi State University announced the release of its newly redesigned Web site in its continuing effort to provide relevant rural development information to land-grant colleagues and other customers in the South.  The Web site contains a wealth of valuable information not only for land-grant faculty and staff in the Southern region, but can be used by anyone nationwide with interests in any SRDC’s priority areas: Fostering Civic-Minded Communities, Building Economically Vibrant Communities, and Enhancing Distressed Communities. The site includes newsletters, trainings and events, publications, and tools for community development professionals. Contact Sally Maggard , CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems, or Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu, director of the Southern Rural Development Center, for more information.


The 2009 National Extension Volunteerism Conference (NEVC) is planned for April 27–30, 2009, at the General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, KY. The NEVC is an opportunity for sharing and learning the latest research and trends in volunteerism.

NEVC welcomes anyone who has local, state, or national responsibility for volunteer development; those interested in greater involvement of volunteers in extension programming or outreach education; and those who provide leadership for board development. Professional staff and key volunteers are encouraged to attend.

The NEVC planning committee will send out a call for proposals, preliminary agenda, and registration information soon. Contact Barbara Stone, CSREES national program leader in the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition unit, if you wish to be involved or want to recommend topics or educational content appropriate to this audience.

The Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy (OJRRP) is seeking research articles addressing rural development and community sustainability. OJRRP is a peer-reviewed Web journal focused on the issues and policies of the Great Plains. Suggested topics include rural economic growth; role of natural amenities and tourism in rural areas; rural landscape and cultural heritage; natural resource extraction; community development; rural population change; bioenergy production; transmigrational integration and ethnic change; technology and rural community social structure; and the role of agriculture in rural development. These topics are examples, and acknowledge the complexity of rural development; the journal is open to any area dealing with rural issues. Empirical research articles are especially welcome; conversely the journal is also interested in social capital and other traditional qualitative approaches. The deadline for submissions is October 1. Authors will be notified by November 15 of acceptance, with publication on January 1, 2009. Contact the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy 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 April 23, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by April 16, 2008.

Editor: Judy Rude, writer-editor, CSREES Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact him 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.