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CSREES Update - May 14, 2009

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.


  • 2009 CSREES Partnership Awards Program
  • Nominations for the 2009 Seaman A. Knapp Lecture
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications


  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Julie Paradis to Serve as FNS Administrator
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Rayne Pegg as AMS Administrator
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Additional Staff at USDA
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names J. Dudley Butler to Serve as GIPSA Administrator
  • President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Homer Lee Wilkes as USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment
  • Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces Funding for New Organics Initiative
  • President Obama Issues Presidential Directive to Expand Biofuels
  • Secretary Vilsack Announces NAIS Listening Session Locations


  • Launch of NFSEE 
  • WRDC Announces New Board Members


  • Excellence in Extension Award
  • National Extension Diversity Award

Awards and Recognition

  • Extension Educators Earn Awards



CSREES recognizes there are many outstanding contributions that our partners in the land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions and organizations have achieved. To recognize these achievements, CSREES established the CSREES Partnership Awards Program in 2007. CSREES invites all land-grant universities and cooperating institutions and organizations supported by CSREES to submit nominations for the 2009 CSREES Partnership Awards Program. This program recognizes outstanding contributions, aligned with CSREES strategic goals, in support of the USDA mission. Awards for this year will recognize excellence in:

  • mission integration, for example, programs that link research, education, and extension;
  • multistate efforts
  • innovation program models; and
  • effective and efficient use of resources.

Specific instructions are identified in the criteria document. Nominations must be submitted on the CSREES Partnership Awards Nomination Form. All signed nomination forms must be submitted by June 30. All forms should be saved as .pdf or .jpg files and electronically submitted to Mary Oxner, mary.oxner@ars.usda.gov

Awardees are recognized at the annual CSREES Day of Appreciation, tentatively scheduled for October 6. CSREES will pay travel expenses for one person from each winning nomination, whether it is an individual or team award. Nominations should include only individuals or teams who have performed truly distinguished service. We ask that deans, directors, and administrators thoroughly review each submission for validity of accomplishments before signing his or her approval on the nomination form.

CSREES is requesting nominations for the prestigious 2009 Seaman A. Knapp Lecture. This lecture will be presented at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) annual meeting November 15-17, in Washington, DC. The lecture honors Seaman A. Knapp, the father of the Cooperative Extension concept. In 1906 he initiated the county-agent plan and, in order to promote the plan, organized boys' cotton and corn growing clubs and, in 1910, a girls' corn and poultry club. These organizations were the forerunners of the modern 4-H clubs.

We seek your assistance in identifying potential topics and presenters for this year's lecture. We are looking for a dynamic speaker who can provoke discussion among meeting participants and prepare a formal lecture. While we seek recommendations from those within the land-grant university system, we also encourage you to share this information with colleagues outside of the research, education, and extension system, including stakeholders, foundations, public interest groups, or international organizations. Recommendations should include nominee name, title, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, and topic that could be discussed. Please submit information electronically, on or before June 30, to Jim Spurling, CSREES assistant administrator for public liaison. An ad hoc committee will review submissions and narrow the scope to make a final decision.

NEW YORK, May 6, 2009 – CSREES Administrator Colien Hefferan delivered the keynote address at the United Nations' (UN) launch of the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management, which aims to increase food security while protecting natural resources. The meeting was held during the UN Commission on Sustainable Development's annual meeting in New York City. "Demand for food is expected to double over the next 25 to 50 years, and a lot of future food production will depend on the use of fertilizers and other nutrients that, when incorrectly applied, can harm the environment," Hefferan said. "This global partnership has the opportunity to develop and encourage sustainable food production practices to help meet rising food demand." The goals of the partnership are to raise awareness and disseminate information, facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practices and encourage action by all stakeholders. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Hefferan Delivers Keynote Address at the United Nations.

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI)

See individual grant program.

See individual grant program.

Rural Youth Development Grants Program

May 20, 2009

Nancy Valentine

Smith-Lever Special Needs Program

May 26, 2009

Dennis Kopp

1890 Facilities Grants Program

June 5, 2009

P.S. Benepal

Expert Integrated Pest Management Decision Support System

June 5, 2009

H.J. Rick Meyer

Youth Farm Safety and Education Certification Program

June 11, 2009

Brad Rein

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program

July 1, 2009

Shirley A. Gerrior

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Conservation Effects Assessment Project

July 1, 2009

James P. Dobrowolski

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.


WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Julie Paradis will serve as Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. The Food and Nutrition Service administers the food and nutrition assistance programs in USDA. The agency provides children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its programs and nutrition education efforts. "For more than three decades, Paradis has worked to improve national food and nutrition programs and she will now be able to hit the ground running to enhance how these programs are delivered to the American people," said Vilsack. "It is a great honor to welcome Julie back to USDA to work with the President and me to improve the health and nutrition of people across this great country." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Julie Paradis to Serve as FNS Administrator.

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of Rayne Pegg as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The agency is part of USDA's Marketing and Regulatory Programs mission area which works to ensure a productive and competitive global and domestic marketplace for U.S. agricultural products. Pegg will begin serving in this role in early July."Rayne Pegg brings years of experience to USDA from her work on agricultural issues both as a distinguished public servant and in the nonprofit community," said Vilsack. "Rayne's background makes her the ideal person to further the development of programs to ensure efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products as we work to meet the needs of consumers and industries and provide a safe, sustainable food supply for all Americans." Pegg most recently served as the deputy secretary of Legislation and Policy for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Rayne Pegg as AMS Administrator.

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the names of additional people who will hold top staff positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC.

  • Justin DeJong – Deputy Press Secretary. A native of Iowa, DeJong has served in numerous communications roles in both the public and private sectors.
  • Carol Clifford – Senior Advisor for Labor Affairs. Clifford has spent her career as a specialist in labor and employment law and policy. 
  • Erin Hannigan – Staff Assistant. Hannigan most recently served as an associate for the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and as a volunteer coordinator for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Additional Staff at USDA.

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that J. Dudley Butler will serve as Administrator of USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA.) "Dudley Butler has a solid understanding of issues impacting the agriculture industry and brings a lifetime of experience to the USDA that will help keep our food supply safe," said Vilsack. "He's also demonstrated a commitment to helping rural America prosper, which is consistent with the vision that the President and I share." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names J. Dudley Butler to Serve as GIPSA Administrator.

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2009 - President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate Homer Lee Wilkes as Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wilkes will serve with Secretary Tom Vilsack. "For nearly 30 years, Homer has worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service where he has been dedicated to conserving and improving the environment in multiple states," said Vilsack. "It would be a privilege to have a public servant like Homer join the USDA leadership team to help carry out President Obama's vision of protecting our natural assets."  Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Homer Lee Wilkes as USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2009 - Speaking to the USDA National Organic Standards Board, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 million for a new initiative to meet the Obama Administration's promise to encourage more organic agriculture production. Funding for the initiative is being made available as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The 2009 Organic Initiative is a nationwide special initiative to provide financial assistance to National Organic Program-certified organic producers, as well as producers in the process of transitioning to organic production. Organic producers may also apply for assistance under general EQIP. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces Funding for New Organics Initiative.

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2009 - President Obama issued a presidential directive to Secretary Vilsack to aggressively accelerate the investment in and production of biofuels. On a conference call with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Vilsack also announced that he will help lead an unprecedented interagency effort to increase America's energy independence and spur rural economic development. Increasing renewable fuels will reduce dependence on foreign oil by more than 297 million barrels a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 160 million tons a year when fully phased in by 2022. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release President Obama Issues Presidential Directive to Expand Biofuels.

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will hold a series of listening sessions on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The meetings will take place next month in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state. "USDA needs to hear directly from our stakeholders as we work together to create an animal disease traceability program we can all support," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "I encourage individuals and organizations to voice their concerns, ideas, and potential solutions about animal identification, by either attending these listening sessions or submitting comments online." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Secretary Vilsack Announces NAIS Listening Session Locations


The National Future Scientists and Educators of Extension (NFSEE) was launched during the 2009 Extension Human Sciences Network conference. NSFEE is a national organization that increases student awareness of potential opportunities within the Cooperative Extension System. Membership in NFSEE provides undergraduate and graduate level students at land-grant universities with professional development opportunities in research, education, and extension. The goals of the student-led NFSEE are to:

  • engage and inform students about career choices and research opportunities in the Cooperative Extension System, especially related to the human sciences;
  • provide professional development opportunities;
  • foster innovation through peer support and partnerships; and
  • promote student-led outreach services, research projects, and visiting scholar opportunities.

Contact Brent Elrod, F4HN national program specialist, for more program information, or visit the NSFEE Web site to learn more about the group.

The Western Rural Development Center (WRDC) Board of Directors met April 29-May 1 in Salt Lake City, UT. WRDC welcomed new members, including Sheldon Jones, vice president, Farm Foundation; Kent Briggs, executive director, Council of State Governments–West; Michael Burke, emeritus associate dean/associate director, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University; Elisabeth Cohen, energy and climate policy coordinator for Governor Huntsman's Energy Advisor; Dan Dooley, vice president, Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources and vice president of External Relations, University of California; Michael Harrington, executive director, Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors; and Linda Cox, associate vice president and dean, Washington State University Extension. Noelle Cockett, vice president, University Extension and Agriculture, Utah State University, serves as board chair. WRDC is developing a strategic plan and the Farm Foundation is funding roundtables in all the Western states. Jones is participating in all but two state visits with Director Don Albrecht. The WRDC host institution is Utah State University. Contact Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for the Economic and Community Systems Unit, or Don Albrecht, WRDC Director, for more information.


The Award for Excellence in Extension recognizes a select group of Cooperative Extension System educators who promote and support the lifelong education and development of residents in communities around the nation. The award is presented annually to individuals from each of the five regions, as well as one national recipient, who have strived throughout their careers to achieve the benchmarks reflective of excellence in extension educational programming. Nominations are due June 1 to Linda Kay Benning, Association of Public Land-grants Universities (APLU). Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Check the award nomination instructions for more details.

The National Extension Diversity Award is awarded jointly by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy and CSREES. The award acknowledges accomplishments in achieving organizational changes that support diversity, pluralism, and innovation in programs that impact our extension audiences. The Award for Diversity is presented at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) annual meeting. Nominations are due June 1 and only electronic submissions will be accepted. Send nominations to Willene Buffett, University of Illinois Extension. View the linked brochure for more information.


Six individuals were recognized for their contributions to human sciences during the 2009 Extension Human Sciences Network conference in New Orleans, LA, April 21-24. The conference, hosted by Louisiana State University AgCenter, highlighted some of the best research and programming in the field. Awards were presented in four categories—career achievement, innovation, team, and promising student.

  • H. Marissa Stone, University of Georgia, received the Student of Excellence in Family Science Award.
  • Mary Brintnall-Peterson, University of Wisconsin, accepted a career achievement award for her contributions to improve health and well-being across the lifespan.
  • Pamela Powell and Marilyn Smith, University of Nevada-Reno, and Lynette Black, Oregon State University, received the Extension Family Science Team Award for their collaborative efforts to develop and implement the Alert, Evacuate, Shelter (AES) program. 
  • Suzanna Smith, University of Florida, received the Kobbe Innovation Award for developing Family Album Radio, an educational program delivered through a variety of formats that addresses pressing family life issues.

Visit the Family Science Web site for more information about the award winners.


For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next regular issue is planned for May 27, 2009. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by May 20.

Editor: Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, 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.