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CSREES Update - November 12, 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

  • CSREES Details Auburn, Baer, and Gray to REEO; New SARE Leadership
  • CSREES and CES Join Efforts for Rural Women
  • CSREES Collaborates on DTV Conversion
  • CSREES News

USDA

  • USDA Announces 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum Distinguished Plenary Speakers
  • James E. Link Named Administrator of Agricultural Marketing Service
  • Terry Van Doren Named Administrator of Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
  • Schafer Announces Resignation of Agriculture Under Secretary Thomas Dorr
  • Schafer Appoints New Members to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board
  • USDA Announces Amended Farm Bill Provisions and New Sign Up Deadline

Partners

  • New Population Briefs Paint Picture of a Changing West
  • Western Region Explores Possibilities for Renewable Energy

Awards and Recognition

  • Braun Named Endowed Chair of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
  • Sellers Awarded Big 12 Faculty Fellowship

Mailbox

 

CSREES Details Auburn, Baer, and Gray to REEO; New SARE Leadership

Three CSREES scientists - Jill Shore Auburn, Charlotte Kirk Baer, and Mary McPhail Gray - are detailed to Chief Scientist and REE Under Secretary Gale Buchanan's office to serve as Division Chiefs for the new Research, Education, and Extension Office (REEO) mandated in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) to "coordinate the research activities and programs of the Department." Gray will be responsible for food safety, nutrition, and health; Baer for animal health, production, and products; and Auburn for agricultural systems and technology. They will be joined by Mark Walbridge from the Agricultural Research Service (renewable energy, natural resources, and environment); Catherine Parks from the Forest Service (plant health, production and products); and Robbin Shoemaker from the Economic Research Service (agricultural economics and rural communities).

In Auburn's absence, Western SARE Coordinator Phil Rasmussen of Utah State University will give 25 percent of his time as shared faculty at CSREES and acting SARE national director for the next 6 months. Kim Kroll, SARE associate director, and Andy Clark, SARE outreach coordinator, both of whom currently work for SARE through an agreement with the University of Maryland, will assist Rasmussen.

A new paper, “Challenges and Opportunities Impacting the Mental Health of Rural Women,” examines the physical, mental, and financial health challenges faced by rural women as well as housing considerations and caregiving responsibilities. It addresses successful ways to meet these challenges through positive mental health promotion programs and affordable supports available through the Cooperative Extension System. Shirley Gerrior, Caroline Crocoll, and Joseph Wysocki, CSREES national program leaders, and Celia Hayhoe, cooperative extension specialist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, collaborated on this paper, recently published in the Journal of Rural Community Psychology (2008, Volume E11 (1). This is excellent cross-programming dealing with mutual issues.

CSREES Collaborates on DTV Conversion

CSREES continues its work with the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (DOC/NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to educate Americans through the Land-Grant University System about the digital TV conversion. Earlier in the year, National 4-H Headquarters developed a Digital Television Transition service project for 4-H members. The project included a workshop, held at the 2008 National 4-H Conference, and free FCC kits to be used at local county and state fairs. The DTV converter campaign was selected as the 2008 National Service Project for Collegiate 4-H.

This coming week, information will be sent to the National Resource Management Officers for distribution to the county Extension offices as a reminder for citizens to contact the FCC for converter coupons and to test the equipment before the February 17, 2009, deadline. The material is available in many different languages. Visit the NTIA Web site to order and learn more about the TV converter boxes. The FCC Web site contains details about what you need to know about digital TV. Contact Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, CSREES Communications Staff, for more project information.

CSREES News

USDA Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Grants to Study Conservation Practices on Grazing Land Watersheds

WASHINGTON, October 30, 2008 - Agriculture Under Secretaries Gale Buchanan and Mark Rey announced that USDA has awarded more than $1.8 million through the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) partnership between CSREES and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. CEAP is a multi-agency effort to scientifically quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices used by private landowners participating in USDA and other conservation programs.

"This year the CEAP research and extension grants address conservation practices on grazing lands, the single largest land type in the United States," said Gale Buchanan, USDA chief scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. "Grazing land watersheds are critical to the sustainability of the livestock industry, wildlife habitat and clean, available water." Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read USDA Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Grants to Study Conservation Practices on Grazing Land Watersheds

Science Explains Why the Tomato Grew Big

With high hopes and shopping basket in hand, many consumers search for that classic icon of summer − the perfect, round, ripe tomato. Many are unaware, however, that this fruit was not always so robust. With funding from CSREES’ National Research Initiative, scientists in New York have done their part to ensure consumers get their fill by unlocking the genetic secrets that control inherited traits important to growing the classic tomato.

Using selective breeding, early agricultural workers domesticated wild tomatoes by growing plants that enhanced specific traits, specifically fruit size. Wild-type tomatoes are often small, round berries, but today’s domesticated plants produce the large, round tomatoes commonly found on the store shelf. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Science Explains Why the Tomato Grew Big.

CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Higher Education Challenge Grants

January 30, 2009

 Gregory Smith

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

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Liaison

December 12, 2008

 Suzanne Le Menestrel

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Program: Children, Youth, and Families Education and Research Network (CYFERnet)

December 16, 2008

 Suzanne Le Menestrel

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Sustainable Community Projects

December 16, 2008

 Suzanne Le Menestrel

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.


USDA Announces 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum Distinguished Plenary Speakers

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2008 − The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the distinguished plenary panelists for its 85th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, "Global Agriculture & Rural America in Transition," February 26-27, 2009, to be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, VA.  Sara Wyant, president, Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc., will moderate the panel titled "Food & Energy: Expectations & Realities." Speakers will include: Michael Mack, CEO, Syngenta International AG; Chris Policinski, president and CEO, Land O'Lakes, Inc.; Daniel Yergin, chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Inc.; and Catherine Ann Bertini, professor at Syracuse University and Senior Fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"USDA's 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum will explore the future of United States and global agriculture from market, scientific, and policy perspectives," said Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer. "I'm pleased that our distinguished speakers have agreed to share their visions based on diverse experiences and backgrounds with the agricultural community at large." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum Distinguished Plenary Speakers.

James E. Link Named Administrator of Agricultural Marketing Service

WASHINGTON, October 31, 2008 −  Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight announced the appointment of James E. Link as administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Jim Link's experience as a rancher, businessman and educator will be an asset in his new role at AMS, where he will help to market U.S. agricultural products in domestic and international markets," said Knight. "His background and service make Jim well suited to continue to enhance the economic opportunities available to U.S. agricultural producers." Link will direct several marketing programs that facilitate the efficient marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber and specialty crops. He also will be responsible for procuring commodities, including fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and egg products, for the national school lunch and other federal food and nutrition programs. AMS is part of USDA's Marketing and Regulatory Programs, which works to ensure a productive and competitive global marketplace for U.S. agricultural products. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release James E. Link Named Administrator of Agricultural Marketing Service.

Terry Van Doren Named Administrator of Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration

WASHINGTON, October 31, 2008 - Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight announced the appointment of Terry Van Doren as administrator of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). "Terry brings a wealth of experience in farm policy and administration to the agency," said Knight. "Having served in several key roles at USDA since 2005, in addition to his experience on Capitol Hill, I am pleased that he will quickly assume his new responsibilities at GIPSA." GIPSA facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds and related agricultural products as well as promotes fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture. The agency is part of USDA's Marketing and Regulatory Programs, which works to ensure a productive and competitive global marketplace for U.S. agricultural products. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Terry Van Doren Named Administrator of Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

Schafer Announces Resignation of Agriculture Under Secretary Thomas Dorr

WASHINGTON, November 5, 2008 — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the resignation, effective December 1, 2008, of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas C. Dorr. "Tom Dorr has been a transformational leader for USDA Rural Development," Schafer said. "As the transition to a new Administration continues in the months ahead, senior leaders will be moving on, but Under Secretary Dorr's contributions to USDA and rural America will be felt for many years to come." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Announces Resignation of Agriculture Under Secretary Thomas Dorr.

Schafer Appoints New Members to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board

WASHINGTON, November 6, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the appointment of six individuals to serve on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board. This Board advises the Secretary of Agriculture and informs Land-Grant colleges and universities on top national priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension and economics.  In addition to providing policy guidance to USDA on its Research, Education and Economics mission area, the Board holds stakeholder listening sessions and reviews all agricultural research, extension, or education activities conducted or funded by the Department for relevance to national priorities and adequacy of funding. The NAREEE Advisory Board will hold a public meeting on November 12-14, 2008, at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Washington, DC. The meetings are open to the public. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Appoints New Members to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

USDA Announces Amended Farm Bill Provisions and New Sign Up Deadline

WASHINGTON, November 7, 2008 − Owners and operators of farms with 10 or fewer base acres now have the opportunity to receive payments for the 2008 Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program. On October 13, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a bill that made amendments to the 2008 Farm Bill. These amendments apply to farms with crop acreage bases of 10 acres or less. These changes and clarifications allow some producers more flexibility in farming practices and create new sign-up opportunities with new deadlines for some farms. The amendments also apply to the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) Program. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Amended Farm Bill Provisions and New Sign Up Deadline.


New Population Briefs Paint Picture of a Changing West

Did you know that 8 of the 11 states with the fastest growing populations between 1980 and 2006 are in the West? The Western Rural Development Center (WRDC) has published a new series of population briefs on trends on the Western United States. There is much to learn in the new series. Prepared by Director Don Albrecht, the population briefs provide regional overviews of education, health and longevity, land use and resources, and general trends. WRDC is committed to providing science-based information and resources that can inform effective regional rural development. The new Population Briefs reflect that commitment. Contact Don Albrecht, or CSREES National Program Leader, Sally Maggard, for more information.

Western Region Explores Possibilities for Renewable Energy

Could the western states lead the nation in exploring possibilities for renewal energy? That is the theme of 10 essays and research reports published in the November 2008 issue of “Rural Connections,” a publication of the Western Rural Development Center (WRDC). The Regional Rural Development Centers are providing leadership for the Land-Grant System and its federal partners in understanding the rapid push for renewable energy and its impacts. Their focus is the broad landscape of rural places, people, and communities in which these developments occur.


Braun Named Endowed Chair of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy

The School of Public Health's Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy announced Associate Professor Bonnie Braun as the Herschel S. Horowitz Endowed Chair in Health Literacy. Braun is the first Endowed Chair for the Horowitz Center, which was announced in September 2007 at the launch of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. She is also the first Endowed Chair in the new School of Public Health. As the Endowed Chair, Braun will lay the foundation for the Horowitz Center in collaboration with the Center's Advisory Board, overseeing the creation of a strategic plan and the implementation of priority research, service, and education activities in this burgeoning field of study. She will lead the effort in educating faculty, students, and the greater community about health literacy, establishing partnerships with aligned programs within the university and beyond. Braun is an associate professor in the School of Public Health's Department of Family Science. She also has an appointment as a state family policy specialist with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension, under the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Sellers Awarded Big 12 Faculty Fellowship

Debra M. Sellers, assistant professor and extension specialist in Adult Development and Aging, Kansas State University, was awarded a Big 12 Faculty Fellowship from Kansas State for 2008-09.  Sellers will work with faculty from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service to create national, Web-based interactive materials for family caregivers of older adults. The resources will become part of the eXtension initiative, a partnership between CSREES and the Land-Grant University. The Big 12 fellowship program offers tenure-track or tenured faculty the opportunity to travel to member institutions to participate in cross-mentoring among universities, develop working relationships, and exchange ideas.


For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for November 26, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by November 19, 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.