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CSREES Update - July 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.


  • Kellogg Foundation’s Food and Fitness National Initiative
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Schafer Announces Clark as NASS Administrator
  • Fact Sheet: Midwest Flood Response USDA Actions—Updated: July 1, 2008
  • USDA Issues Advance Direct Payments -- Authorized in New Farm Bill


  • Gardner Appointed Interim Administrator of University of Arkansas CES
  • A New Publication Explores the Viability Of Agriculture



The Kellogg Foundation’s Food and Fitness National Initiative is investing to address social and environmental conditions and to create vibrant communities that support access to locally grown, healthy, affordable food, and safe and convenient places for physical activity and play—for everyone. CSREES, other USDA agencies, and the Cooperative Extension Service support community efforts in a number of ways to encourage healthy living. W.K. Kellogg Food and Fitness grants have been awarded to organizations in nine communities nationwide. The communities are Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Holyoke, MA; Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties, in north east Iowa; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle/King County, WA; and Tohono O’odham, AZ. Each is facilitating collaboration across multiple sectors, from transportation to public health, from agriculture to education, from youth to the faith community. The goal is to advance integrated, sustainable, and practical solutions that can serve as models for positive change for all communities. About 30 people from each of the communities convened June 23–26 in Detroit, MI, to build relationships across communities, promote new learning, and inspire action. Dan Kugler, interim Deputy Administrator for F4HN represented CSREES. Many of the community-based organizations are already making positive strides despite many challenges and obstacles. Contact Shirley Gerrior, CSREES national program leader, for more information.

  • Eco-labeling is a new certification program similar to the organic label, but goes beyond the organic concept by reflecting new land management practices for the entire farm ecosystem, including noncrop lands. With funding from CSREES, a team of scientists, growers, and environmentalists in Wisconsin developed the "Healthy Grown" label to reflect this land management practice to promote balanced agricultural management and support broad ecosystem health.

    Dr. Paul Zedler from the University of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, is studying the biodiversity and ecological benefit of noncrop lands in agricultural landscapes. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view The Healthy Grown Label: Healthy Food and Healthy Land.

  • Toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) kill some key agricultural pests, but cause little or no harm to people, wildlife, and even most other insects, including the natural enemies of pests. For decades, Bt toxins were used successfully in organic and mainstream agriculture. Widespread exposure to Bt toxins, however, increases the chances that pests will adapt and evolve resistance—just as pests have evolved resistance to conventional insecticides. With funding from CSREES, researchers in Arizona and Mexico have collaborated to design, create, and test genetically modified Bt toxins that kill insects resistant to standard Bt toxins.

    Since 1996, cotton and corn crops have been genetically engineered to produce their own Bt toxins. These crops have grown on more than 490 million acres worldwide, with most of that acreage in the United States. With Bt toxins increasingly important for pest control and the threat of resistance also mounting, the modified toxins could help to protect the nation's food supply and promote sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view Countering Insect Resistance with Designer Bt Toxins.


Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Multicultural Scholars, HEP July 28, 2008 Audrey Trotman
RREA - National Focus Funds Projects July 28, 2008 Eric Norland

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, June 27, 2008 – Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the selection of Cynthia Clark as administrator of the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Clark will oversee the agency's efforts to collect and disseminate data on every facet of U.S. agriculture.

"Cynthia Clark is known as an accomplished statistician, highly respected both here in the United States and overseas for her expertise in survey research and development," said Schafer in announcing the selection. "I look forward to working with her as the NASS administrator." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read Schafer Announces Clark as NASS Administrator.

Midwest Flood Response USDA Actions—Updated: July 1, 2008

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2008 - America's farmers will receive up to $1.15 billion in 2008 advance direct payments beginning today.

"We pledged to make the Direct and Counter-cyclical payment Program (DCP) available to producers as quickly as possible. Signup began June 25th and today we are distributing payments to those producers who elected to receive a 22 percent advance payment at enrollment," Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Issues Advance Direct Payments -- Authorized in New Farm Bill.


Dr. James O. Garner was appointed interim administrator, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas–Pine Bluff, effective July 1. Garner earned a B.S. in science education from Delta State University in 1970; a M.S. in horticulture from Mississippi State University in 1972; and his Ph.D. in vegetable crops from Cornell University in 1976. Garner can be reached at: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Department of Agriculture, 1200 North University Drive, Mail Slot 4913, Pine Bluff, AR 71601; Telephone: 870/575-7199, FAX: 870/543-8033, and E-mail: garnerj@uapb.edu.

“Farming in the Urban Shadow: Supporting Agriculture at the Rural-Urban Interface” was published in Rural Realities, Volume 2, Issue 4, a Rural Sociological Society publication.  The authors examine agricultural production in the rural-urban interface. This type of agriculture is not only very important to regional and national food production, accounting for about 55 percent of all farm sales in the United States, but also contributes to protecting the open space and creating local food systems with associated benefits to communities. Results suggest that innovative local, state, and national programs can have important effects on the viability of farming in the rural-urban interface. This study is part of a research project funded through the CSREES National Research Initiative Rural Development Program. Contact S. Sureshwaran CSREES national program leader, or Jeff Sharp, associate professor at The Ohio State University, 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 July 23, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by July 16, 2008.

Editor: Judy Rude, writer-editor, 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.