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CSREES Update - September 17, 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.


  • Reminder on New Requirements for Smith-Lever 3(d) Programs
  • Applebee Serves as Principal Advisor for CSREES 4-H Youth Development
  • OEP Hosts Formula Grants Teleconference
  • CSREES Joins Treasury on Personal Finance Research Symposium
  • Reminder - CSREES Implements New Programs and Solicits Stakeholder Input
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • USDA Hurricane Relief Information Web site


  • RRDCs Discuss Future Directions



Section 7403 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (i.e., 2008 Farm Bill) amended section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act to require funds to be awarded competitively.  In addition, this amendment made the 1890 land-grant institutions eligible to participate in Smith-Lever section 3(d) programs at any appropriated level.  Section 7417 of FCEA amended section 208 of the District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act (P.L. No. 93-471; 88 Stat. 1428) to provide eligibility to the University of the District of Columbia for programs authorized and appropriated under Smith-Lever section 3(d).  These new provisions will be implemented in FY 2009.  Please note that the competition requirement does not apply to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) as these funds are awarded according to a statutory formula provided in section 1425 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA).

The affected Smith-Lever 3(d) programs are:

  • Pest Management
  • Farm Safety
  • New Technologies for Agricultural Extension
  • Children, Youth, and Families at Risk
  • Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification
  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
  • Federally-recognized Tribes Extension Programs

CSREES is currently evaluating the impact of these FCEA amendments on the administration of the above programs.  Given the diversity of these programs, there will be variation in the requirements for competition and/or recompetition for each Smith-Lever 3(d) program funded by CSREES.  Notwithstanding individual differences, however, the requirement for competition is mandated by law, and will be applied across all affected Smith-Lever 3(d) programs.

Additional information will be posted on the CSREES web site.  In addition, CSREES national program leaders (NPLs) will be notifying specific program contacts that may be affected.  If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the NPL assigned to the 3(d) program of interest.

CSREES Families, 4–H, and Nutrition unit welcomes Glenn Applebee. Applebee joins CSREES in a shared faculty position during September. In October, he will begin a year-long IPA assignment with the agency. Applebee will assist with formulating policy and serve as principal advisor for 4–H Youth Development for CSREES to the Land-Grant System; assess 4–H national events, formulate and recommend policy; provide leadership and direction to National 4–H Headquarters; and interact and confer with the National 4–H Council on behalf of CSREES on matters of mutual interest.

He brings to CSREES experience in building and maintaining strong relationships with local county governments, colleges at Cornell University, and with state and federal entities. He is the executive associate director for finance and human resources for the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) statewide system. In this position, Applebee interfaces with finance and human resource officers in the College of Human Ecology, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University Central Administration, and county-based CCE Associations.

Applebee has extensive administrative experience. He was appointed interim Cornell Cooperative Extension director in 2002, and in 2004 was appointed executive director in New York City. In 2005, Applebee served as Cornell Migrant Program interim director. You can reach Applebee at 202-720-5883; he is located in room 4475 of Waterfront Centre.

CSREES Office of Extramural Programs will conduct the last in the series of nationwide formula grants teleconferences conducted in FY 2008. The teleconference, conducted by Ellen Danus, chief of the Policy and Oversight Branch, and Tonya Johnson, chief of the Financial Operations Branch, is September 24, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. EST. Topics for discussion include business operations; FY 2008 formula grant opportunities and status of applications; FY 2009 application process; impact of 2008 Farm Bill; administrative guidance; and proposed formula grant policies and procedures. An agenda, PowerPoint presentation, and teleconference instructions will be available September 22 on theCSREES Web site. Questions and additional topics may be submitted to formulagrantquestions@csrees.usda.gov.

Nearly 30 academics from the Land-Grant University System and other private and public institutions will frame a research agenda for financial literacy and education during a 2-day, invitation-only work session in Washington, DC, October 6–7. Convened by the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Agriculture, through CSREES and the National Research Symposium on Financial Literacy and Education, the symposium is part of a call to action in the National Strategy for Financial Literacy, developed by the 20 federal government members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Experts in behavioral and consumer economics, financial risk assessment, and financial literacy program evaluation will share research findings, identify gaps in the literature, and prioritize relevant research needed to inform policy, education, and practice leading to more financially secure Americans. Contact Jane Schuchardt, CSREES national program leader for the Economics and Community Systems unit, or Edwin Bodensiek, director of outreach at the U.S. Treasury, for more information.

CSREES continues to establish its 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).

CSREES seeks stakeholder input through public meetings and written comments as it establishes the 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 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) notices were published in the Federal Register on August 29, and meetings held September 10 and 15 respectively. CSREES expects the Hispanic Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) and Beginner Farmer and Rancher

Development Program (BFRDP) notices to be published shortly. The next public meetings schedule:

Program/Initiative                      Date                                         Location
HSACU                                     October 12, 2008                       Colorado Convention Center                                       
                                                3 to 6:30 p.m.                           (Tentative)
                                                                                                Denver, CO

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

  • Dairy cow milk production peaks 6 to 8 weeks after calving and then declines throughout the remaining 12- to 14-month milking period. Understanding the intricate timing in the reproductive system of dairy cattle is important not only to induce lactation, but also to maximize the percentage of cows at the peak of milk production and thereby increase profits by as much as 10 percent.

    With funding from CSREES, a project team with members in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Virginia developed new strategies to improve reproductive performance of dairy cows, including a free online teaching tool and a series of workshops to help dairy management efficiency. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Enhancing the Efficiency of Small and Mid-Sized Dairy Farms.
  • Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been linked to the 40-60 percent decline in America's honeybee populations whose pollination is valued at $15 billion annually to U.S. agriculture. Researchers at SAFE R&D, LLC, are trying a new approach to this problem - a bee smoothie - to improve honeybee health by improving their diet.

    With funding from CSREES, Dr. Gordon Wardell, president of SAFE R&D, LLC., and his research partner Fabiana Ahumada-Segura developed MegaBeeTM as a nutritional supplement for honeybees that contains protein, lipids, balanced amino acids, and other nutrients that support healthy hive development. The pair believed that a severely restricted diet, brought on by the policy of commercial beekeepers to limit a hive's range to one type of crop, might have led to nutritional deficiencies within honeybee populations. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read An Energy Shake for Honeybees.
  • WASHINGTON, September 8, 2008 − Agriculture Under Secretary Gale Buchanan announced that USDA has awarded more than $2.2 million in grants to 23 institutions in 18 states to enhance their capabilities to conduct international collaborative research, extension, and teaching.

    CSREES administers the funds through the competitively awarded International Science and Education Grants program. The projects will enhance the international content of curricula, provide faculty with the opportunity to work outside the United States to bring lessons learned back to the classroom, promote international research partnerships, enhance the use and application of foreign technologies in the United States, and strengthen the role that colleges and universities play in maintaining U.S. competitiveness. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Awards More Than $2 Million to Enhance International Science and Education.

  • The 2008 Water Reuse in Agriculture Conference, Water Reuse in Agriculture: Ensuring Food Safety will be held October 26-28, in Monterey, CA. Cosponsored by CSREES and the WateReuse Association, the conference will explore the benefits of using recycled water to meet agricultural needs. The use of recycled or reclaimed water in agriculture is a growing practice that may help ensure safe and sustainable food crops. Recycled or reclaimed water is used in several states to irrigate both edible and nonedible crops. The overarching goals of water reuse in agriculture are to provide an adequate supply of high quality water for growers and to ensure food safety.

    This conference will highlight success stories and focus on the many challenges the agricultural community must overcome to ensure food safety. Topics to be discussed at the conference include regulations, the health aspects of recycled water use on edible and nonedible crops, economics, technology, public perception and the federal government's role in water management. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read 2008 Water Reuse in Agriculture Conference to Be Held October 26-28.

  • Millions of low-income children in the United States are overweight or at risk of being overweight. While the causes of this issue are numerous, one potential cause is the stress experienced by children−which is especially common for low-income children.
    A CSREES-funded study at the University of Illinois (UI) provides further evidence about the connection between stress and childhood obesity. Craig Gundersen from UI and colleagues at Iowa State University and Michigan State University examined the impact of stress on childhood obesity. Types of stress researched include maternal mental stress, maternal physical stress, household financial stress and family structure stress. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Study Finds Maternal Stress is a Cause of Overweight Young Children.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


 No open requests at this time.



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.

USDA Hurricane Relief Information Web siteinformation for Farmer and Rancher Assistance, People and Supplies, Food Assistance, Food Safety, Rural Assistance, Housing, Community, Business, and Clean-up Efforts.

Key executive committee members and partners of the Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDC) convened in Washington, DC, recently for a meeting on the history, key accomplishments, and future directions of RRDC programs. The four RRDC directors − Lionel “Bo” Beaulieu, Stephan Goetz, Cornelia Flora, and Dan Albrecht − presented highlights of the centers’ work along five major themes: diversifying the economies of rural America; strengthening the food/community connection; building community capacity; enhancing land-use/natural resources management; and expanding the Land-Grant University System's capacity in community and rural development.

This level of participation indicates strong support across the system for the RRDCs’ programs. Discussion focused on solidifying relationships between the centers and land-grant institutions in each state in their regions to build support for the centers so that the necessary resources can provide leadership for new directions in agricultural sciences, education, and extension for the 21st century. Specific next steps identified include expanding work within REE mission area agencies and programs and work with new partners. The centers will focus time and resources on building partnerships with diverse federal agencies whose priorities align with rural development needs in the country. Work is under way with:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency on strategies for long-term community and economic rebuilding following disasters;
  • Economic Research Service to incorporate community dimensions into food security research;
  • Department of Energy to identify sustainable options for meeting the energy needs of rural America; and
  • city, county, state legislators, and policymakers to expand relationships.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for October 1, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by September 24, 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.