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CSREES Update - November 26, 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.


  • New NPL Joins PAS
  • Local Food Systems Webinar
  • CSREES Collaborates on DTV Conversion
  • CSREES News


  • Schafer Names Members to National Dairy Board
  • USDA Provides $77 Million to Repair Farmland Damaged by Flood and Drought
  • Schafer Announces Cattlemen's Beef Board Appointments
  • Schafer to Lead U.S. Delegation to International Conference on Biofuels in Brazil


  • New Financial Focus for eXtension



New NPL Joins PAS

CSREES Plant and Animal Systems Unit (PAS) welcomes Dr. Adele Turzillo as an Animal Systems national program leader (NPL). Turzillo was raised on a small vegetable farm in upstate New York and attended Cornell University where she earned a B.A. degree in biological sciences and Ph.D. in animal physiology. Following 6 years of postdoctoral study at Colorado State University, she was assistant professor of physiology and animal sciences at the University of Arizona. Her area of research expertise is reproductive physiology in cattle and sheep with the long-term goal of understanding the biological mechanisms that limit reproductive efficiency in domestic livestock. From 2004 to 2008, Turzillo worked at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine where she gained expertise in food safety, production drugs, and international trade issues. She lives in Laytonsville, MD, with her husband and two children, ages 7 and 10.

CSREES held the second in a series of biannual webinar meetings on issues relevant to family farms. This webinar is a component of the newly formed Family Farm Forum, which also includes a newsletter. The newsletter precedes the webinar, defines the issues, and identifies the programs to be discussed. Each forum focuses on a topic of importance to family farms, as identified by stakeholders.

On November 18, more than 100 people from the Land-Grant University System, federal and state agencies, community based organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as individual farmers, policy makers, and others heard presentations on funding opportunities and successful projects on local food systems. Janise Zygmont, staff officer for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program in USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), outlined some AMS programs supporting local food markets. Kansas farmer Diana Endicott described her highly successful Value Chain Business Model, developed with funding from several USDA programs. In addition, CSREES staff gave an overview of research and outreach related to local food systems, and described several relevant agency funding opportunities. Half the webinar was devoted to Q&A sessions among attendees and presenters. Polling questions provided valuable information on publicizing funding opportunities and topics for webinars in spring 2009. A transcript is available on the CSREES Small Farm Program Web page. The next forum focus is on the role of entrepreneurship on family farms. The Iowa State University Extension Service hosted the webinar with additional support from CSREES Competitive Programs (CP) and Economic and Community Systems (ECS) units. Contact Siva Sureshwaran, national program leader for CP, or Patricia McAleer, program specialist for ECS, for more information.



Salmonella Strains in Humans Distinct from Animals

Salmonella, one of the most infectious food-borne pathogens affecting humans today, had stymied attempts to uncover many of its most potent secrets. Now, researchers are making discoveries that may hold the promise of immunity from disease and a safer food supply. With funding from CSREES National Research Initiative, scientists in California determined that human strains of Salmonella are different from those derived from animal sources. Michael Mahan and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara determined that strains of Salmonella collected from human salmonellosis patients are distinct from Salmonella strains obtained from animals. The presence of Salmonella in commercial livestock production systems presents a potential risk to the food supply, and the prospect of a bacterial strain emerging that is more suited to human infection than animal infection is a major cause of concern. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Salmonella Strains in Humans Distinct from Animals.

New Bioinformatic Tools Accelerate Genome Assembly

Scientists have developed a new tool that will help them accelerate the assembly of the genome of any organism by identifying redundant and irrelevant segments of DNA. With funding from CSREES National Research Initiative, scientists in Iowa developed a computer software tool to identify the location and history of troublesome transposable elements in an organism’s genome. The genome of an organism contains all of the hereditary information encoded in the DNA. Unfortunately, this information may contain many repetitive sequences that are historical artifacts that either no longer function or could have been modified by evolution. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read New Bioinformatic Tools Accelerate Genome Assembly.

New Monitoring Systems Enhance Quality of Nation's Trails

The United States is fortunate to contain miles of hiking, walking, and biking trails that improve the quality of life for rural and urban communities across the country. Unfortunately, managing and monitoring these trails can be time consuming and, at times, cost prohibitive. With funding from USDA Small Business Innovation Research program, scientists in Nevada have developed new technology to ensure outdoor recreation and trail routes are more efficiently maintained and accessible to all individuals. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read New Monitoring Systems Enhance Quality of Nation's Trails.

CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Liaison

December 11, 2008

 Suzanne Le Menestrel

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

December 12, 2008

 Dionne Toombs

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

December 15, 2008

 Gregory Smith

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

December 16, 2008

 Suzanne Le Menestrel

Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (formerly Extension Indian Reservation Program)

January 5, 2009

 Joan F. Gill

Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program

January 6, 2009

 Martin A. Draper

International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program

January 16, 2009

 Patricia Fulton

Higher Education Challenge Grants

January 30, 2009

 Gregory Smith

Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: A Joint Research Solicitation - USDA, DOE

February 18, 2009

 Chavonda Jacobs-Young

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.

Schafer Names Members to National Dairy Board

Washington, November 13, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the appointment of eight new members and reappointment of five incumbents to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Newly appointed were: John B. Fiscalini, Modesto, CA (Region 2, shortened term); Ronald E. Shelton, Greeley, CO (Region 3); Harold A. Wick, Austin, CO (Region 3); Byron A. Lehman, Newton, KS (Region 4); Kenton W. Holle, Mandan, ND (Region 5); Sharon K. Laubscher, Wonewoc, WI (Region 6); Larry B. Jaggers, Glendale, KY (Region 8); and Ellen H. Paradee, Grand Isle, VT (Region 13). Reappointed to serve second terms were: Ronald L. Koetsier, Visalia, CA (Region 2); William R. D. Anglin, Bentonville, AR (Region 4); Carl F. VanDen Avond, Luxemburg, WI (Region 6); Douglas D. Nuttelman, Stromsburg, NE (Region 7); and Carl A. Schmitz, Wadesville, IN (Region 9). Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Names Members to National Dairy Board.

USDA Provides $77 Million to Repair Farmland Damaged by Flood and Drought

Washington, November 13, 2008 − U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said that farmers and ranchers will receive $77 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds to repair farmland damaged by natural disasters in 2008. Producers will be able to use the money to remove farmland debris, restore fences, and repair conservation structures that were damaged by floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, wildfires, and to carry out emergency water conservation measures after severe drought.

"These funds will allow farmers and ranchers to repair the severe damage to conservation systems caused by disaster conditions from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, as well as the 2008 Midwest Floods," said Schafer. "USDA has always worked shoulder to shoulder with producers during a disaster, and we remain committed to help through the weeks and months of recovery." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Provides $77 Million to Repair Farmland Damaged by Flood and Drought.

Schafer Announces Cattlemen's Beef Board Appointments

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2008 − Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced 32 appointments to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning January 31, 2009.

Newly appointed members representing cattle producers are: Ted A. Greidanus, CA; Phyllis Snyder, CO; Kimberly B. Brackett, ID; Roland W. May, KS; Daniel C. Smith, KY; Jay O. Stovall, MT; Chris L. Schluntz, NE; Wesley L. Grau, NM; Joyce A. Bupp, PA; Michael V. Stahly, SD; G. Hughes, Abell, TX; and F. Henry Maxey, Jr., VA. Reappointed members representing cattle producers are: Thomas S. Jones, AR; Roger L. West, FL; Terrell D. Handke, KS; Daniel J. Kerschen, KS; Charles J. Bassett, MO; James J. Eschliman, NE; Lyndell W. Whipps, Sr., NE; Margie B. Hande, ND; Joe B. Drake, OK; Andrea D. Hutchison, OK; Daryl R. Berlier-Owen, TX; Robert L. Bruner, TX; Daniel B. Dierschke,TX; and Bryant W. Fisher, TX. Newly appointed members representing importers are: Dorith Marom, CT; Stephen A. Orodenker, NJ; and Kelvin W. Whall, VA. Reappointed members representing importers are: Ronald G. Allen, PA; Michelle A. Gorman, MD; and John J. O'Carroll, KS. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer Announces Cattlemen's Beef Board Appointments.

Schafer to Lead U.S. Delegation to International Conference on Biofuels in Brazil

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2008 — Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer will lead the U.S. delegation to an International Conference on Biofuels in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from November 20-21. Other members of the delegation include USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Ellen Terpstra, Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Douglas Faulkner, and U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary Reno Harnish.

The goal of the conference is to encourage international discussion about the opportunities and challenges presented by biofuels. It will provide a forum for governments, the private sector, civil society, the academic and scientific community, and private voluntary, nongovernmental, and international organizations to focus on the biofuels aspects of energy security, climate change, sustainability, innovation, and international trade. Brazil is sponsoring the conference. More than 75 countries are expected. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Schafer to Lead U.S. Delegation to International Conference on Biofuels in Brazil.

New Financial Focus for eXtension

“Money Management in Tough Times”is a new focus for eXtension. More Americans feel additional stress and anxiety about their financial future as talk of rising consumer debt, falling housing prices, rising costs of living, and declining retail sales bring up worries about the nation’s economic health.  Visit eXtension for access to 18 fact sheets covering such topics as managing stress, stretching grocery dollars, and keeping a roof overhead.

The importance of “Money Management in Tough Times” was also stressed as one of the focus areas of the 2008 AFCPE Extension Pre-conference, recently held in Garden Grove, CA. More than 80 extension educators at the AFCPE Pre-conference focused on programs and evaluation strategies related tonatural disasters, mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy, and more. Contact Jane Schuchardt, CSREES national program leader, 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 December 10, 2008. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by December 3, 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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