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CSREES Update — September 4, 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.

CSREES

  • CSREES Announces TAA for Farmers Training Coordination Program
  • CSREES Seeks Extension Specialists for Nutrition and Health Committee
  • CSREES News
  • CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

USDA

  • Harnessing USDA Rural Development Programs to Support Local/Regional Food Systems
  • USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for TAA for Farmers Program
  • Vilsack Establishes First USDA Volunteer Program for the People's Garden Initiative
  • Vilsack Establishes Dairy Advisory Committee and Requests Nominations

Partners

  • NEAFCS Celebrates 75 Years

Opportunities

  • Northeast Sustainable Communities Innovation Grants

Mailbox
 


CSREES Announces TAA for Farmers Training Coordination Program

CSREES is accepting applications for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Training Coordination Program, intended to establish a National TAA for Farmers Training Coordination Center that will aid eligible producers in adjusting to the impact of imported commodities. CSREES will administer the Training Coordination Center grant. Applicants must submit Training Coordination Center proposals via Grants.gov by September 17, 2009.

In fiscal year 2009, the TAA for Farmers Training Coordination Program received $17 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The successful applicant will enter into a 3-year cooperative agreement with CSREES to establish a National TAA for Farmers Training Coordination Center responsible for the development and delivery of training and technical assistance to TAA for Farmers-eligible producers. Only organizations and institutions that are part of the Land-Grant University System or state Cooperative Extension Service are eligible for this award. The request for applications is available on the CSREES Web site.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is administering the TAA for Farmers Program with involvement from CSREES, the Farm Service Agency, and the Agricultural Marketing Service. Visit the TAA for Farmers Program Web site for more information.

CSREES Seeks Extension Specialists for Nutrition and Health Committee

CSREES is seeking three extension specialists in the areas of nutrition, nutrition and health, and/or health to serve on the CSREES Nutrition and Health Committee for Planning and Guidance. The mission of this committee is to provide expert opinion to national program leaders regarding future national health and nutrition policies and programs to strategically position the Cooperative Extension System (CES) for the future. As a result of this committee, CSREES hopes to better serve CES and support efforts in nutrition and health educational programming and outreach.

The committee is comprised of 10-12 extension specialists with a chair, secretary, and committee members. The committee will determine its composition and the assignment of duties. The committee has monthly or bimonthly conference calls with subcommittees to address issues as needed. Those interested in serving on the committee should discuss this opportunity with his/her Family and Consumer Science program leader or director.

The committee’s roles and responsibilities are included in the application letter. Complete and send application letter to Shirley Gerrior, CSREES national program leader for health, at 202-720-4124, or Susan Welsh, CSREES national program leader for nutrition, at 202-720-5544, by October 2, 2009.



New Technology Prolongs Produce Freshness

Researchers have developed a way to help prevent one of consumers’ major pet peeves – produce that spoils soon after purchase. Nutritionists encourage eating a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and, in response, consumers flock to their grocery stores to stock up on these healthful foods. Too often, though, produce spoils soon after purchase. This is becoming more common as more produce is imported from around the world.

The cause of the untimely spoilage is ethylene, a plant hormone that fruits and vegetables produce naturally as they ripen. The situation is complicated when fruits and vegetables are packaged for long trips—as the air in the confined container circulates, the concentration of ethylene gas, even as low as .01 parts per million, accelerates the ripening of stored produce. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read New Technology Prolongs Produce Freshness.

Community Gardens Grow Strong Bodies and Minds

Community gardens are unique microcosms where people can learn about the science behind growing plants and provide an environment that cultivates social responsibility. With funding from CSREES, a nonprofit organization in Virginia is working to make its community more self-reliant at maintaining its food systems while addressing food, nutrition, and farm issues.

Lynchburg Grows is a multifaceted nonprofit program that brings the healthy benefits of organic gardens to its community. It educates the public, especially children, about local and organic food, gardening and nutrition programs for local primary schools, and vocational training for disabled and low-income people. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to read Community Gardens Grow Strong Bodies and Minds.


CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications



Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI)

See individual grant program.

See individual grant program.

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

See individual grant program.

See individual grant program.

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers Training Coordination

September 17, 2009

Patricia Hipple


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.

Harnessing USDA Rural Development Programs to Support Local/Regional Food Systems

Kathleen Merrigan, USDA Deputy Secretary, has taken on the role as “match-maker” during this administration. What is meant by this and why should you be interested? Merrigan will work to help USDA program administrators understand how Rural Development programs may better serve and build local and regional food systems, as well as highlight USDA programs that present great opportunities for the work that is being done. Three such programs within the Rural Development mission area include:

  • Community Facilities Program,
  • Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, and
  • Value-Added Producer Grant Program.

 

Click Local Food to learn more about the programs, who is eligible, how is this program related to agriculture, how to apply, and much more.

USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for TAA for Farmers Program

Washington, August 26, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is requesting comments on a proposed rule that would establish the procedures and eligibility criteria for receiving assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers Program. "Helping American producers adjust to a changing and unpredictable economic environment is critical during these challenging times," said Vilsack. "The TAA for farmers program can provide technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible producers who have been hurt by import competition."

Reauthorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the TAA for Farmers Program applies to producers of raw agricultural commodities and fishermen who must show a greater than 15 percent decrease in the national average price, the quantity of production, value of production, or cash receipts compared to the average of the 3 preceding marketing years. The assistance includes help in developing a business adjustment plan that can serve as a guide for adjusting a producer's business operation to prevailing economic conditions. The program is administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for TAA for Farmers Program

Agriculture Secretary Establishes First USDA Volunteer Program for the People's Garden Initiative 

Washington, August 26, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack established a department-wide U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) volunteer program to encourage individuals to volunteer with the People's Garden Initiative. The People's Garden, a USDA domestic and international initiative, helps illustrate the many ways that USDA works to provide a sustainable, safe, and nutritious food supply while protecting and preserving the landscape where that food is produced.
Vilsack encouraged Americans to connect with the land and their local communities by proclaiming August 23-29, National Community Gardening Week. Earlier this year, Vilsack broke ground on the 'People's Garden'—a vegetable garden on USDA property that recently was expanded to include sustainable landscaping for the entire grounds. Since May 21, USDA has harvested and donated more than 300 pounds of produce to the DC Central Kitchen. The DC Central Kitchen offers job training in culinary and food service skills to DC's homeless. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Establishes First USDA Volunteer Program for the People's Garden Initiative

Vilsack Establishes Dairy Advisory Committee and Requests Nominations 

Washington, August 25, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that, as part of USDA's continuing efforts to listen to and respond to the needs of producers in the dairy industry, he is moving forward on establishing the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee and is requesting nominations. "The Obama Administration is committed to working with all sectors of the dairy industry to develop changes to the dairy pricing system to avoid the boom and bust cycle behind the crisis facing many dairy farmers this year," said Vilsack. "The input provided by the members of this committee will play an important role in building a more stable market for dairy producers for years to come."

Earlier this month, Secretary Vilsack promised to move forward with establishment of a charter creating the committee for 2 years. Once appointed, the committee will review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability. The committee will also offer suggestions and ideas on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry's needs. USDA is establishing the committee under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972. Written nominations must be received on or before September 28. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Vilsack Establishes Dairy Advisory Committee and Requests Nominations.

NEAFCS Celebrates 75 Years

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) will celebrate its 75th anniversary during its annual session September 14-18 in Birmingham, AL. NEAFCS supports the efforts of family and consumer science educators and home economists to educate families in every state through the extension partnership. During the NEAFCS Annual Session, CSREES national program leaders and the Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Leaders Planning Committee will convene a meeting of FCS State Leaders on September 17-18. Visit the CSREES Family Science Web site for additional information.

Northeast Sustainable Communities Innovation Grants 

“Sustainable Communities Innovation Grants” for 2010. These grants intend to make a direct connection between community revitalization and farming. Key issues to address in proposals include farm finance, marketing, land or water use, enterprise development, and value-added product development, as well as others related to emerging rural development issues in the region. Applicants must be affiliated with Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, a municipality, a state department of agriculture, or other institutional entity. Proposals are due November 24, 2009, for awards to be announced March 2010. Visit the NESARE Web site for more details. Contact Stephan Goetz, NERCRD director, or Sally Maggard, CSREES national program leader for Economic and Community Systems Unit, 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 September 16, 2009. Submit news items to newsletter@csrees.usda.gov by September 9.

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.