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CSREES Update - October 16, 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

  • From the Administrator
  • CSREES Partners with CMS, AARP, and Others
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

USDA

  • SNAP − New Name for Federal Food Stamp Program
  • USDA Awards More Than $28 Million in Specialty Crop Research
  • USDA Awards $974,000 to Research the Economics of Combating Invasive Pests
  • USDA and DOE Release National Biofuels Action Plan
  • FACT SHEET: National Biofuels Action Plan
  • USDA Awards More Than $13 Million to Improve Food Safety Through Research, Education, and Extension

Opportunities

  • National Extension Conference on Volunteerism – Call for Proposals
  • Conference on Organic Agriculture in the 2008 Farm Bill

 

Mailbox

 

FY 2009 Funding Opportunities

I know many of you are wondering about the action that CSREES is taking to distribute Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 funds. We are working diligently to insure that FY 2009 requests for applications, formula payments, and grant awards are made as quickly as possible. However, FY 2009 is complicated by a number of events, including the passage of the new farm bill (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), which mandates a number of changes in the implementation of CSREES programs. We are consulting widely and developing plans to move forward to implement the provisions as written in law.

In addition, most of the federal government, including USDA, is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR), which provides funding at the FY 2008 level through March 6, 2009. The FY 2009 appropriation process is complicated because the House full committee did not mark up the Agriculture appropriation bill so it never went to the floor for debate and a vote. While the Senate committee did mark up the FY 09 Agriculture appropriation bill, it was never sent to the Senate floor for debate and a vote. In addition, the FY 09 appropriations will be further complicated by the upcoming change in administration and the possibility of a lame duck session of Congress. Given this situation, there may be changes in the current funding levels provided to CSREES. This is especially true for earmarked grants for which Congress may appropriate funds in FY 09. Based on past practices, when we are under a CR, we anticipate the FY 09 request for applications for earmarked grants will be delayed and may not occur until early in calendar year 2009.

I urge institutions to position themselves to be prepared to respond rapidly to requests for applications that may have very short deadlines. We will continue to provide guidance and updates as information becomes available both via this Update and on our Web site.

Colien Hefferan


CSREES Partners with CMS, AARP, and Others

CSREES is partnering with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and a variety of federal agencies to coordinate satellite broadcasts that focus on family caregiving resources and needs under the President's New Freedom Initiative.  As the Baby Boom generation continues to age, family caregiving responsibilities are increasing. This is placing undue stress on family caregivers and is impacting family quality of life and workforce productivity.  Caroline Crocoll, CSREES national program leader for Family Science in the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition Unit, presented information on the Prepare to Care Workplace Project, a collaborative effort between the AARP Foundation and CSREES, during a recent satellite broadcast entitled “Innovative Employer Caregiving Programs.” Prepare to Care helps employers integrate free and low-cost methods to support their employees who are or may become family caregivers. To view the broadcast, visit the CMS Web site. Additional information about Prepare to Care is on the CSREES Family Science Web site.

CSREES News

Nanotechnology Improves Food Safety by Detecting Prions

Mad cow disease is a fatal neurodegenerative condition in cattle that is related to the human form of a disease that has caused the deaths of nearly 200 people worldwide. Currently, testing for this disease in cattle is a lengthy process that only occasionally results in a correct diagnosis. With funding from CSREES National Research Initiative, scientists in New York created a new device that may provide a faster, easier, and more reliable way to test for mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This new tool targets prions, which are the cause of BSE. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Nanotechnology Improves Food Safety by Detecting Prions.

On-Campus Delivery - Not Pizza, But Produce

Two southern schools are teaching organic agriculture from the ground up--literally.

Agriculture faculty at the University of Kentucky and the University of Georgia envision tomorrow's agriculture as sustainable and organic. As beneficiaries of a USDA program, they are developing innovative programs that let students work on organic farms and market their produce to their communities. The Higher Education Challenge Grants program, which is managed by CSREES, encourages innovative teaching enhancement projects with the potential for regional or national impact to serve as models for other institutions. While research and extension activities may be included in a funded project, the primary focus must be to improve teaching within a degree-granting program. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read more on On-Campus Delivery - Not Pizza, But Produce.

Decoding the Cattle Genome

As a treasure map may lead to buried treasure, scientists are following genetic markers to predict the genetic makeup of agriculturally important animals. The next generation "map" of genotyping and genome sequencing technologies may identify the traits that underlie the expression of growth, development, reproduction, and the onset of complex disease. This knowledge will revolutionize the livestock industries. With funding from CSREES, a team of scientists in Missouri are using the bovine genome sequence to create a new series of diagnostic tools to improve animal products and production efficiency. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read more on Decoding the Cattle Genome.

CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program

December 15, 2008

 Gregory Smith

Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program

December 12, 2008

 Dionne Toombs

Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program - Western Region

November 17, 2008

 Michael Fitzner

Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program - Northeastern Region

November 17, 2008

 Michael Fitzner

Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program - Southern Region

November 17, 2008

 Michael Fitzner

Regional Integrated Pest Management - North Central

November 17, 2008

 Michael Fitzner

 
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.


SNAP - New Name for Federal Food Stamp Program

On October 1 the federal Food Stamp Program became “SNAP.” SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a modern nutrition assistance program that reflects USDA’s nutrition focus and changes that will help meet the needs of our clients.

Program changes include an increase in the minimum benefit and standard deduction, elimination of the cap on dependent care deductions, and the exclusion of education and retirement accounts from countable resources. The change to SNAP creates a new opportunity to promote the availability of nutrition assistance and communicate the message that healthy foods are within reach for all Americans. SNAP helps clients learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices through nutrition education partnerships. Research shows that every $5 of new benefits generates $9.20 in total community spending. Resources are available on the SNAP Web site to inform your staff, partners, and clients of the name change.

USDA Awards More Than $28 Million in Specialty Crop Research

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that USDA has awarded more than $28 million through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative to solve critical specialty crop agriculture issues, address priorities, and solve problems through multifunctional research and extension.

The Specialty Crop Research Initiative was established by the 2008 Farm Bill to support the specialty crop industry by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address needs of specific crops and their regions in five focus areas: 1) improve crop characteristics through plant breeding, genetics, and genomics; 2) address threats from pests and diseases; 3) improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability; 4) develop new innovations and technologies; and 5) develop methods to improve food safety. Each of the focus areas received at least 10 percent of the available funds. The majority of the funded projects address two or more focus areas. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Awards More Than $28 Million in Specialty Crop Research.

USDA Awards $974,000 to Research the Economics of Combating Invasive Pests

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2008 − Universities in six states are recipients of federal funding to conduct research on measures to combat harmful pests and diseases, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will award $974,000 this year for studies to examine the economic effects and efficiency of strategies to prevent, control, or eradicate invasive pests. The agreements will provide funding to universities in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Nevada. These research projects are competitively awarded by the Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management, administered by USDA's Economic Research Service. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Awards $974,000 to Research the Economics of Combating Invasive Pests.

USDA and DOE Release National Biofuels Action Plan

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman released the National Biofuels Action Plan, an interagency plan detailing the collaborative efforts of federal agencies to accelerate the development of a sustainable biofuels industry. "Federal leadership can provide the vision for research, industry, and citizens to understand how the nation will become less dependent on foreign oil and create strong rural economies," Secretary Schafer said. "This National Biofuels Action Plan supports the drive for biofuels growth to supply energy that is clean and affordable, and always renewable." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA and DOE Release National Biofuels Action Plan.

FACT SHEET: National Biofuels Action Plan

USDA Awards More Than $13 Million to Improve Food Safety Through Research, Education and Extension

WASHINGTON, October 1, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced $13.8 million awarded to support research, education, and outreach for food safety. USDA awarded the grants in 19 states through the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI). "Most often, the prevention of food-borne illnesses comes through education and safe handling practices in the preparation of food," said Schafer. "Sound advice about food safety is based on good research to pinpoint potential pathways of contamination as well as effective solutions and safeguards."

Each year, CSREES awards NIFSI grant funds so that sound, practical, science-based knowledge can be shared among teachers, scientists, health professionals, researchers, farmers, food processors, food service workers, and all who impact the safety of the U.S. food supply. NIFSI grant funds are frequently used to develop education and outreach programs for consumers. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Awards More Than $13 Million to Improve Food Safety Through Research, Education and Extension.


National Extension Conference on Volunteerism – Call for Proposals

The 2009 National Extension Conference on Volunteerism is April 27-30, at the General Butler State Park, KY. Proposal submissions for workshops are due October 17, 2008. Submissions are encouraged from throughout USDA and CSREES that are related to volunteer related programs, volunteer management, or volunteer related research. Visit the conference Web site for more information.

Conference on Organic Agriculture in the 2008 Farm Bill

Growing U.S. Organic Agriculture: Accessing the 2008 Farm Bill is the theme of a 1-day conference to help farmers, farmer organizations, extension service agents, state departments of agriculture, organic certifiers, and others learn how to access and use the funding allocated for organic agriculture in the 2008 Farm Bill. The event is November 12 at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, IN, and presented by Organic Trade Association and the Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute. Scholarship assistance is available for small farmers. Visit the conference Web site 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 October 29, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by October 22, 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.