CSREES Update - August 6, 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.
- CSREES Publishes Interim Rule
- Federal Register Notice: Intent to Revise a Currently Approved Information Collection
- CSREES Welcomes New Records Manager
- New NPL Joins National 4-H Headquarters
- CSREES News
- CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
- DOE and USDA Announce More than $10 Million in Bioenergy Plant Feedstock Research
- Secretary Schafer Awards $21.8 Million in Grants to States for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
- Statement of Secretary Ed Schafer Discusses Conservation Reserve Program Decision
- Schafer Announces $390 Million Available for Natural Disaster Recovery Assistance
- Feed Cost Webinar Sponsored by DAIReXnet
Awards and Recognition
- National 4-H Headquarters Recognizes Stevens for Outstanding Service
CSREES published an interim rule (7 CFR Part 3430) that establishes uniform administrative provisions for all competitive and noncompetitive grant programs, with the exception of the Small Business Innovation Research Program and formula grant programs. Although this interim regulation became effective on August 1, 2008, CSREES requests comments on or before September 30, 2008. Subparts A–E of the interim rule support federal initiatives to streamline and standardize all federal assistance processes. This interim regulation codifies CSREES grant policies procedures and business practices that it sought to standardize and streamline with other federal grant-making agencies in response to various laws, regulations, and presidential, departmental, and agency directives and initiatives. Published in the Federal Register on August 1, 7 CFR Part 3430 addresses policies and procedures that may conflict with federal government-wide or departmental assistance regulations due to statutory requirements, authorizing legislation, or when the federal regulations provide discretion to the agency. Subpart F addresses program-specific regulations for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Visit the Federal Register Web site for more information.
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, the notice announces the intent of CSREES to request approval for revision of the currently approved information collection for the CSREES application review process. Written comments on this notice must be received by October 8, 2008, to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. You may submit comments, by any of the following methods: Mail: Information Collection Officer, CSREES, USDA, STOP 2216, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-2216; Hand Delivery/Courier: 800 9th Street, SW., Waterfront Centre, Room 4217, Washington, DC 20024; Fax: 202-720-0857; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Federal Register Web site for more information.
The Information Systems and Technology Management unit welcomes Rob Martin to the staff as the new records manager. He is from the National Archives and Records Administration. He served as a records manager with the Air Force and has held several positions in private industry. In these roles, Martin has provided critical guidance, oversight, and training to assist in the proper execution of records programs. He received his B.S. in management from National University. You can reach Martin at email@example.com or 202-401-5924; his office is located in Room 4206, Waterfront Centre.
The Families, 4-H, and Nutrition unit welcomes Ryan Schmiesing to the National 4-H Headquarters staff as the 4-H Mission Mandates national program leader (NPL). Schmiesing was an assistant professor and co-interim assistant director, 4-H Youth Development at The Ohio State University. He has served as associate state 4-H leader and extension specialist. He has provided key leadership to the 4-H program, including leading efforts to integrate new technologies into the design of the new Ohio 4-H Center. Schmiesing served as chair, National Recognition on the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) Board and had other national experience as a member of the board of directors of Extension Journal, Inc., Art of Leadership, and the National 4-H Youth Development Professional Development Task Force. He received team awards from NAE4-HA for Educational Technology and Excellence in teen programming, as well as being a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and Achievement in Service Award. He received his doctorate from The Ohio State University in extension education, and his master’s degree in agriculture education. You can reach Schmiesing at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-720-5075; his office is located in Room 4423, Waterfront Centre.
- Scientists Discover a New Way to Fight Tooth Decay
Dental caries is an infectious disease that results in tooth decay and cavities if left untreated. It is one of the most common diseases around the world. With funding from CSREES a team of scientists in New York examined a group of compounds, called polyphenols, in grapes that could potentially fight the onset of tooth decay.
Streptococcus mutans, one of the primary microbial agents involved with tooth decay and cavity formation, produces a biofilm that covers the teeth. In creating the biofilm, it creates an acidic environment that breaks down the mineral structure of the tooth, producing points of weakness where the onset of disease can occur.
Hyun Koo and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station at Cornell University focused their analyses on red wine grapes and wine-derived byproducts due to their rich and diverse content of polyphenols and availability of the products for research. Previous studies show that polyphenolic compounds in the extracts of grape, apple, cranberry, and cocoa act as a natural biological agent against S. mutans' ability to cause the disease. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Scientists Discover a New Way to Fight Tooth Decay.
- USDA Renews Funding for Research, Education, and Extension in Swine Health
July 24, 2008 – CSREES renewed funding for the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP). The agency will invest $4.8 million over the next 4 years to reduce animal suffering and decrease economic losses from PRRS, which affects 60 percent of U.S. swine herds and costs the swine industry $580 million annually.
CSREES originally funded the project to the University of Minnesota in 2004, bringing together a community of scientists, veterinarians, pork producers, and industry to develop innovative strategies to lessen the impact of PRRS and work together to eliminate the virus. The second phase of the PRRS CAP will be led by Kansas State University. It will focus on prevention and control tools; knowledge needed to support scientists; application of existing and new technologies in regional disease eradication efforts; and development of educational and outreach programs for scientists, producers and veterinarians. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read USDA Renews Funding for Research, Education, and Extension in Swine Health.
- Scientists Unlock the Key to Rice Nutrition
Rice is the primary food for more than 3 billion people around the world. New research, funded by CSREES, may allow scientists to improve the nutritional value of rice, affecting the health of more than 70 million of the world's poorest people in developing countries.
Researcher Zhaohua Peng and colleagues at Mississippi State University and The Ohio State University determined that chromatin plays an essential role in the control of endosperm sizes and grain quality. The results obtained in this study are applicable not only to rice, but other cereal crops as well in improving grain yield and nutritional quality. The endosperm portion of grain is an important component in determining the nutrient content for most cereal crops as it provides growing plant nutrition, such as starch, oils, and protein. This makes endosperm an important source of nutrition in the human diet as well. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Scientists Unlock the Key to Rice Nutrition.
- From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals
Improving the nutritional value of school meals is a growing priority among school systems across the United States. In an effort to provide a solution for school administrators, CSREES funded a coalition of school districts and farmers from four states to participate in a new program called "From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals."
Farm-to-school programs connect schools with local farms to improve the nutrition of school meals, provide agriculture and health education, and support local farmers. The "Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals" project has been a powerful catalyst to establish farm to school programs as a model to address the diet-related health issues of children while supporting small and medium-scale farmers. The program's model allows schools to buy and feature farm fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans on their school lunch menus. The project initiated the collaborative framework that helped establish the National Farm to School Network with organizations in more than 38 states to support the expansion of regionally and locally appropriate farm to school models. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals.
- Lesquerella: The Next Source of Biofuel
While consumers are lately hearing a lot about corn-based ethanol, a group of scientists advocates using mustard as a lotion, paint, biodiesel additive, and lubricant. With funding from CSREES, a research group in Texas, Arizona, and Illinois is looking at Lesquerella, a member of the mustard family, as a potential source for energy. Lesquerella (Lesquerella fendleri) grows naturally in arid and semi-arid landscapes and is native to areas in the southwest United States and Mexico. The plant produces seeds that are slightly smaller than alfalfa, but hold a powerful resource: a unique vegetable oil rich in hydroxy fatty acids.
Seed oil is used in a wide array of products, including lithium greases, polymers in paints and coatings, base stocks as lubricants, and applications in the personal care industry. Researchers are excited about the potential of lesquerella because the current source of hydroxy fatty acids is imported castor, which contains the toxic chemical ricin. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Lesquerella: The Next Source of Biofuel.
- Selecting the Perfect Insect Pest
America's forests are under attack, but scientists believe the careful release of insect predators may effectively control the invasion. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has become an invasive species spreading throughout temperate forests across the United States. This plant is choking out native plants on forest floors and threatening ecosystem diversity. With funding from CSREES, an international group of scientists created a computer model to predict the perfect insect predators for this invasive plant.
Adam Davis and colleagues at University of Illinois, Michigan State, and Cornell University tackled this issue along with the Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control in Switzerland. The scientists believe the introduction of the perfect pest, in combination with quarantined research tests, will help reduce the garlic mustard population. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Selecting the Perfect Insect Pest.
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, DC, July 31, 2008 − Agriculture Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Gale Buchanan and Energy Department (DOE) Under Secretary for Science Raymond Orbach announced plans to award 10 grants totaling more than $10 million to accelerate fundamental research in the development of cellulosic biofuels.
"USDA is committed to fostering a sustainable domestic biofuels industry at home in rural America," Buchanan said. "These grants will broaden the sources of energy from many crops as well as improve the efficiency and options among renewable fuels."
"Cellulosic biofuels offer one of the best near- to mid-term alternatives we have, on the energy production side, to reduce reliance and imported oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions, while continuing to meet the nation's transportation energy needs," Orbach said. "Developing cost-effective means of producing cellulosic biofuels on a national scale poses major scientific challenges ¾ these grants will help in developing the type of transformational breakthroughs needed in basic science to make this happen." Visit the USDA Newsroom to view DOE and USDA Announce More than $10 Million in Bioenergy Plant Feedstock Research.
WASHINGTON, July 30, 2008 - Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced $21 million in final Fiscal Year 2008 grant awards to 49 state agencies and tribal organizations for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program. These senior's markets provide low-income seniors with coupons exchanged for fresh produce at farmers' markets, roadside stands and community-supported agriculture programs.
These grants will serve more than 900,000 low-income senior citizens nationwide this season. This year, coupons for fresh produce will be accepted by over 14,000 farmers at more than 5,100 markets, roadside stands and/or community-supported agriculture programs. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read Secretary Schafer Awards $21.8 Million in Grants to States for the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.
Washington, D.C. July 29, 2008
“We have just completed a very thorough review of whether we should allow the early release of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) without penalty to land owners.
After carefully considering recent crop reports and weather conditions, the price trends we are seeing in grain markets and the likelihood of increasing land for crop production, we have decided not to allow the penalty-free release of CRP land at this time.” Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the Statement of Secretary Ed Schafer Discusses Conservation Reserve Program Decision.
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2008—Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced $390 million is available through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program for landowners and communities to cope with the aftermath of recent floods, fires, drought, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. The $390 million is included in a $162 billion supplemental spending bill that helps the Midwest states with areas ravaged by recent flooding. However, it also provides funding to cover about $140 million in EWP projects from earlier natural disasters, such as tornadoes and wildfires.
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the EWP program, which provides technical and financial assistance to address public safety and restoration efforts on private, public and tribal lands. Through sponsorships, NRCS can pay landowners and communities up to 75 percent of the cost of removing debris from stream channels, road culverts and bridges; protecting eroded streambanks; correcting damaged drainways; and reseeding damaged areas. NRCS also can purchase floodplain easements on land that qualifies for EWP program assistance. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Announces $390 Million Available for Natural Disaster Recovery Assistance.
DAIReXNET is hosting a webinar for extension educators on August 11, 2008, at 2 p.m. (EDT) and one for producers on August 18, 2008, at 8 p.m. (EDT). The topic’s that will be discussed in the webinar are:
- Strategies to Lock in Milk and Feed Prices - Dave Byers
- Feeding Strategies with $7, $8, or $9 Corn - Mike Hutjens
- Alternative Feedstuffs for Corn and Soybean Meal - Randy Shaver
Each topic will be presented by the speaker for 10 minutes with Q&A at the end of the presentations. Information on how to connect to the Webinar will be available on the eXtension Web site. A sound card in your computer will be necessary to hear the webinar. Contact Donna M. Amaral-Phillips, DAIReXNET project management team leader, at email@example.com or 859-257-7542 for more information.
National 4-H Headquarters recognized Bill Stevens, retired conservation manager, Federal Cartridge Corporation, for his lifelong dedication to the 4-H Shooting Sports Program during the 2008 National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational.
During his 42-year career, Stevens dedicated countless hours to developing the 4-H Shooting Sports Program. As a member of the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee, he traveled across the nation by road to promote the concept of 4-H Shooting Sports to conservation organizations and shooting sports companies. His efforts transformed the program into a major youth development initiative in more than 46 states, where more than 300,000 youth built their appreciation of the great outdoors.
Stevens also worked on the National 4-H Shooting Sports Foundation, serving as a bridge between the shooting industry and the Cooperative Extension System of Land-Grant Universities to raise money in support of 4-H Youth Development. Stevens played a crucial role in teaching America’s youth the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and the importance of conservation ethics. He retired from Federal Cartridge Corporation in 2007, and currently lives in Fridley, MN. He continues to be an active 4-H volunteer.
For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for August 20, 2008. Submit news items to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 13, 2008.
Editor: Judy Rude, writer-editor, CSREES Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact her at email@example.com.
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Colien Hefferan, Administrator
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