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CSREES Update - August 20, 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.


  • 2009 National Extension and Research Administrative Officers’ Conference
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the National Pest Management Association
  • Schafer Announces Help for Drought-Stricken Counties
  • Schafer Announces Soybean Board Appointments


  • 2008 Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging

Awards and Recognition

  • Bahn Receives AAEA Award
  • CSREES SBIR Project Director Receives Rain Bird Engineering Concept of the Year Award



The 2009 National Extension and Research Administrative Officers’ Conference (NERAOC) is April 26-30, 2009, in Baltimore, MD, and hosted by the University of Maryland and Maryland Eastern Shore. This conference was formerly called the CSREES Administrative Officers’ Conference.
The conference provides state participants an opportunity to share information with their peers in budget, finance, grants management, and human resources management. The program planning committee is developing a conference agenda and coordinating speakers for the general session and 66 breakout sessions. Once the host institutions’ Web site is developed, hotel accommodations and conference registration information will be provided. It is anticipated that the registration fee for the 2009 NERAOC will be approximately $550. Contact Brenda Barnett, CSREES senior budget and fiscal specialist in the Office of Extramural Programs unit, for conference information or questions.

Scientists are unlocking the process of how bacteria transfer genetic material into the plant genome. This information may lead to crop plants with improved resistance to pests and disease. With funding from CSREES, a project team in New York systematically investigates and uncovers fundamental biological principles behind the action of Agrobacterium, which is known for its ability to transfer DNA between itself and plants, making it an important tool for genetic engineering.

Agrobacterium serves as both a genetic engineering tool for crop production and an experimental system to study basic cellular reactions in genetic transformation. It represents the only known natural example of how genetic information can be transferred between different kingdoms of life, in this case from bacterium to plants. In nature, Agrobacterium promotes uncontrolled growth of cells in the infected plants. In the hands of scientists, it serves as a living nanomachine for genetic transformation of plants in biotechnology industry and research laboratories. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Plant Genetic Transformation Mechanisms Emerge.


Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) –- various topic areas. See individual grant program See individual grant program

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, August 1, 2008 − On July 25, Wildlife Services (WS), a program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to strengthen its cooperation and coordination on wildlife damage involving nuisance birds.
The agreement culminates more than a year of discussions between WS and NPMA and establishes regular meetings and communication between the two organizations while recognizing WS responsibility for the control of invasive species. Under this agreement, entities and individuals seeking assistance with nuisance bird problems will continue to have the choice of using pest management companies or seeking WS help to respond to damage concerns. WS will not actively seek to become involved in the control of nuisance birds in areas where pest management companies have the established capacity to meet consumers' needs. The MOU complies with the 2008 Farm Bill Manager's Statement encouraging APHIS to enter into such agreements with private industries. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the National Pest Management Association.

Washington, August 1, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that producers in counties approved for emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land because of drought will have rental payments cut by 10 percent instead of the standard 25 percent. To date, that includes counties in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas.

CRP is a voluntary program that offers annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term resource-conserving cover on eligible land. To be approved for emergency haying or grazing, a county must be listed as a level "D3 Drought -Extreme" or greater, or have suffered at least a 40 percent loss of normal moisture and forage for the preceding 4-month qualifying period. State Farm Service Agency committees are reminded they may authorize emergency haying or grazing of CRP in counties currently listed as level D3 drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Announces Help for Drought-Stricken Counties.

Washington, August 6, 2008 − Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced 19 appointments and 2 alternate appointments to the United Soybean Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning December 2008.

The 68-member board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act. The Secretary selected the appointees from soybean producers nominated by Qualified State Soybean Boards. The mandatory program is funded at the rate of one-half of one percent of the net market price of the soybeans purchased. The board's goal is to strengthen the position of soybeans in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for soybeans and soybean products. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Announces Soybean Board Appointments.


The workforce of the United States is changing!  Older workers will play a key role in meeting the needs of employers. The 2008 Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging is October 23 at The Ranch, in Loveland, CO. This year’s theme The Changing Workforce: Challenges and Strategies for Success, will allow participants to: 

  • explore challenges that organizations address as they retain, recruit, and integrate older workers;

  • discover strategies for a productive intergenerational workforce; and

  • learn best practices to prepare for changing workplace demographics.

The conference is presented by Colorado State University Extension, Colorado State University College of Applied Human Sciences Center on Aging, and University of Northern Colorado College of Natural and Health Sciences Gerontology Program. For more information, visit the conference Web site.

Henry M. Bahn, CSREES national program leader in the Economic and Community Systems unit, was honored with a plaque for his leadership and service to the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) Extension Section Executive Committee, 2005–2008, at the 2008 AAEA annual meeting in Orlando, FL.

James Dooley, co-founder and chief technology officer of Forest Concepts LLC, Auburn, WA, was awarded the Rain Bird Engineering Concept of the Year Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for research and development of the product WoodStraw. WoodStraw is a wood-strand erosion-control material and boasts a long functional life, resistance to winds, and interlocking strands to cling to steep slopes, and it is naturally weed free. Dooley received Phase I and II grants from the CSREES Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the research and design of WoodStraw. The award honors an engineer or engineering team for a unique contribution to developing or advancing a new engineering concept. The award was presented at the 2008 ASABE Annual International Meeting in Providence, RI.


For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for September 3, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by August 27, 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

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