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CSREES Update - September 3, 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 Implements New Programs and Solicits Stakeholder Input
  • CSREES Makes Web Site Changes
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Awards $4.5 Million for 23 Rural Cooperative Development Centers
  • Schafer Announces $547 Million for 232 Rural Water Projects
  • $87.5 Million Aids Producers Protecting Conservation Uses after Floods and Drought
  • USDA Announces Proposed Rule for Requirements of the Disposition of Downer Cattle


  • Cross Appointed University of Tennessee Cooperative Extension Director/Administrator



CSREES is establishing four new programs and initiatives in FY 2009 as a part of implementing the 2008 Farm Bill (The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008):

  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI),

  • Hispanic Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU), a new group of cooperating educational institutions,

  • Beginner Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), and

  • Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP).

CSREES seeks stakeholder input through public meetings and written comments as it establishes these new programs and initiatives. Notices announcing the public meetings and the solicitation of stakeholder input will be published in the Federal Register with directions on how to provide oral and written comments. Information also will be provided on the CSREES Web page. The AFRI and VMLRP notices were published in the Federal Register on August 29, and CSREES expects the HSACU and BFRDP notices to be published shortly. The public meeting schedule:

Program/Initiative                      Date                                         Location

AFRI                                         September 10, 2008                   Waterfront Centre
                                                9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.                    Washington, DC

VMLRP                                      September 15, 2008                   Waterfront Centre
                                                9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.                    Washington, DC

HSACU                                     October 12, 2008                       Colorado Convention Center
                                                3 to 6:30 p.m.                            Denver, CO

BFRDP                                      October 27, 2009                       Waterfront Centre
                                                9 a.m. to 1 p.m.                         Washington, DC            

A major change to the CSREES Web site will occur within the next week—in the upper navigation bar on every Web site page, we will remove “Funding Opportunities” and “Business with CSREES” and reorganize the information under them within a new upper navigation bar section called “Grants.”

The new Grants section will feature three sub-sections:

  • Looking for Funding

  • Applying for a Grant

  • Managing a Grant

Each section will have its own subpage, with associated subpages. The content on these pages will not be new; instead, it will be the old content (from Funding Opportunities and Business with CSREES) reorganized into new pages and sections, which we hope will help users find information more easily and intuitively.

Contact us through webcomments@csrees.usda.gov if you have any questions or concerns.

Native grasses are reaching new heights of importance through potential use in the biofuels industry and in restoration of reclaimed or disturbed lands. Producers in the native seed industry have responded to increased commercial demand, but current harvesting techniques for many grass species have not been up to the task. With funding from the USDA Small Business Innovation Research program, a project team in Montana has developed new equipment to efficiently harvest more types of seed. Visit the CSREEES Newsroom to read New Technology Improves Native Grass Seed Harvest.

Biofuels offer a tremendous opportunity to enhance national security, balance trade, increase rural employment opportunities, and improve environmental performance by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide gas from internal combustion engine exhaust. With funding from the CSREES National Research Initiative, a team of scientists in Georgia developed a new chemical reaction that will make biorefineries more efficient and effective. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read The Green Industrial Revolution - Making Biorefineries More Efficient.

Studies show that one quarter of foreign-born Latino and Southeast Asian immigrants live at or below the poverty level. AnewAmerica Community Corporation's Green Market project works with immigrant food microentrepeneurs to create new markets for products and provides educational opportunities to increase the use of sustainable and green technologies and break the cycle of poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area community. With funding from CSREES, AnewAmerica, in conjunction with Agricultural Land-Based Association, developed the Green Market project. The project provides a holistic curriculum that links food microbusiness training and technical assistance with sustainable development and organic agriculture. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Growing a New America.

Sacrificing their own safety for the safety and protection of others has long been a duty of a firefighter. Now, new technologies make it possible to reduce that risk for firefighters while battling wildfires in the United States. TNC Industries Inc., using Phase II funding from a CSREES Small Business Innovation Research program, modified and improved a wireless remote control tractor for use in forest fire operations. The Small Crawler Tractor 2 (SCT2), designed, fabricated, and assembled by TNC-2 Industries in Weippe, ID, provides maximum safety to firefighters by building a fire line in front of wildfires. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read A Safer Solution to Fighting Wildfires.

The United States is the world leader in the poultry industry, with annual profits of $50 billion; however, food pathogens threaten the industry. Scientists are especially concerned about Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC), which caused an estimated $80 million in losses in 2002. APEC has the potential to be as harmful as E. coli O157:H7, the strain responsible for human illness and death after consumption of contaminated meat. The genetic similarity between APEC and human E. coli has led scientists to suspect poultry as a source of Extra-intestinal Pathogenic E. coli, which is associated with urethral infections, sepsis, and meningitis. With funding from CSREES National Research Initiative, scientists in Arizona are developing a new vaccine for this poultry disease, which, in turn, may improve animal and human health. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Vaccines May also Improve Human Health.

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.

EPES, AL, August 15, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that more than $4.5 million in grants will go to 23 Rural Cooperative Development Centers to improve rural economic conditions throughout 22 states. Schafer announced the multi-million dollar funding investment during remarks at the 41st annual meeting of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. "Rural Cooperative Development Centers work closely to mentor entrepreneurs and grow local business with technical advice and research," said Schafer. "This hometown support, close at hand, strengthens jobs and opportunities throughout rural communities." The 23 nonprofit groups and institutions of higher education selected may receive grants to finance up to 75 percent of the cost to establish and operate centers for cooperative development. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Awards $4.5 Million for 23 Rural Cooperative Development Centers.

TUSCALOOSA, AL, August 15, 2008 — Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the award of $547 million in loans and grants to provide safe drinking water and improved wastewater treatment systems for rural towns and communities. "A majority of these half-billion dollars for investment in rural water systems is the result of USDA moving the 2008 farm bill funding out to communities in a timely manner," Schafer said during a visit to the USDA Service Center. "Maintaining quality of rural life with safe and reliable water systems is vital to the health of the surrounding agricultural community." Loans and grants are being awarded to rural communities in 46 states and Puerto Rico through USDA Rural Development's Water and Environmental Program. The 2008 farm bill, also known as the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, provides $356 million to local communities for water and wastewater projects. The Administration recommended this funding to reduce the backlog of these types of proposed projects in its farm bill proposals. Another $191 million is being distributed as part of the normal 2008 state allocation funding process. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Announces $547 Million for 232 Rural Water Projects.

MITCHELL, SD, August 21, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that farmers and ranchers will receive USDA funding to repair land damage created by natural disasters in 34 states since September 2007. Producers will use the $87.5 million in Emergency Conservation Program funding for removal of farmland debris, restoring fences, and repairing conservation structures which were caused or damaged by floods, and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in response to severe drought. "This funding will allow farmers and ranchers to repair the unusually harsh damage to conservation efforts caused by the disaster conditions, notably flooding and drought," said Schafer. "USDA has worked shoulder to shoulder with producers when weather turns against them, and we remain involved to help in the weeks and months of recovery afterward." Visit the Farm Service Agency Newsroom to read the full release $87.5 Million Aids Producers Protecting Conservation Uses after Floods and Drought.

WASHINGTON, DC, August 27, 2008 − The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a proposed rule to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to initiate a complete ban on the slaughter of cattle that become non-ambulatory after initial inspection by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspection program personnel. This proposed rule follows the May 20 announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer to remove the provision that states that FSIS inspection program will determine the disposition of cattle that become non-ambulatory disabled after they have passed ante-mortem, before slaughter, inspection on a case-by-case basis. Under the proposed rule, all cattle that are non-ambulatory disabled at any time prior to slaughter, including those that become non-ambulatory disabled after passing ante-mortem inspection, will be condemned and properly disposed of. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Proposed Rule for Requirements of the Disposition of Downer Cattle.

Dr. Tim L. Cross was appointed the Director/Administrator of Cooperative Extension for the University of Tennessee effective August 1. He brings a wealth of academic, outreach, administrative, and leadership talents and experience to the position from his faculty and administrative appoints. He severed as assistant and associate dean for extension at The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. He earned a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from Oregon State University. Cross can be reached at: University of Tennessee Extension, 2621 Morgan Circle, 121 Morgan Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-4530; Telephone 865-974-7114, FAX: 865-974-1068, E-mail: tlcross@tennessee.edu.

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 17, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by September 10, 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.