CSREES Update — September 30, 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.
- From the Administrator
- Transition to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture
- Kwok Joins Competitive Programs
- CSREES News
- CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
- USDA Launches New Web Pages and On-Line Tools to Help Consumers Make Healthier Food Choices
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership between USDA, NFL, and Dairy Farmers for National Nutrition and Fitness Campaign
- Secretary Vilsack Announces Miles McEvoy Will Serve as Deputy Administrator of National Organic Program
- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Awards $4.8 Million for Community Food Projects
- USDA Launches 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' Initiative
- USDA Announces Implementation of Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs
- Statement of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Passing of Dr. Norman Borlaug
- President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Harris Sherman as USDA Under Secretary For Natural Resources and Environment
- Hoeft Appointed Interim Director at UI-Urbana-Champaign
- 2010 Priester National Extension Health Conference
Awards and Recognition
- UN-L to Honor Schuchardt
- Forest Landowners Association Recognizes Extension Forester of the Year
From the Administrator
The American flag dominates the view from my office in the Whitten Building, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Beyond the flag, across the National Mall, sits the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Both of these symbols of our Nation seem keenly relevant as we end the 15 year tenure of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and embark on the establishment of a new agency to guide agricultural science and education. Effective tomorrow, federal support for extramural research, education, extension, and related international programs to advance agriculture and related sciences will be led primarily by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Many have worked hard for this day in hopes that these areas of discovery and application will grow in support, programmatic and policy influence, and most importantly, relevance and usefulness to addressing the challenge of feeding, fueling, and clothing a growing and interconnected world faced with environmental, economic, and social obstacles.
The American History Museum documents how agriculture was fundamental to the development and prosperity of our Nation. And today, in no small part because of publicly supported research and education, it remains a central strength underlying our health, wealth, and independence. Agriculture is a science-based, global endeavor driven by the hard and smart work of well-informed farmers and ranchers, and served by the continuous flow of new discoveries from talented scientists and educators. The National Institute will assure and expand this work into the future, focusing on the enduring problems of sustaining the productivity of agriculture; maintaining and improving the natural resource base for agriculture and forestry; expanding the use of bio-based products for pharmaceuticals, raw materials, plastics and fuels; providing safe and nutritious food; and supporting strong communities. These and other emerging issues will drive the focus of programs of the Institute. How those programs are implemented, however, will bear the signature of its leadership, staff, and customers.
Over the years I have noted often that the first name of CSREES is Cooperative and the last name is Service. These words have become core attributes of the agency’s operations and philosophy, recognizing both the widely dispersed, yet interdependent nature of agriculture and the science underpinning it, and the role of federal assistance in enabling discovery and application of new knowledge. CSREES employees have listened to stakeholders, partners, and grantees to create and deliver effective programs and set high standards for management and delivery. Although the title, scope, and potential impact of the National Institute is designed to lift science and education for agriculture, I hope the principles of working collaboratively with others and doing so with a spirit of public service continue to be fundamental to the organization.
As I leave my role in CSREES and endeavor to make the National Institute a highly valued engine of innovation for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities, I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with dedicated public servants, creative scientists and educators, and thoughtful citizens to help maintain the strength of agriculture. It has been a privilege to be in public service to America, and to see our flag unfurl every day.
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
Transition to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture
On October 1, CSREES will become the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) as mandated by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, section 7511(f), or Public Law 110-246 (Farm Bill). All CSREES authorities, duties, and obligations are transferred to NIFA as stated in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, recently announced Dr. Roger Beachy, founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, as the first director of the new National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Beachy will join the agency on October 5.
Transition always has its housekeeping duties — NIFA is no exception. Effective October 1 all CSREES staff e-mails and Lyris mailing lists will have a new domain: @nifa.usda.gov or @lyris.nifa.usda.gov.
Examples: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The old domain will remain effective for 2 years. Our Web site address will change to: www.nifa.usda.gov.
Shing Kwok joins the CSREES Competitive Programs Unit as our national program leader for plant physiology. Kwok is responsible for the leadership of several Agriculture and Food Research Initiative plant biology programs including environmental response, biochemistry, and breeding. He received his BS from the University of California, Irvine, and his MS and PhD degrees from Yale University in genetics. Kwok held a research position at the California Institute of Technology before moving to industry. For the last 10 years, he worked for Ceres on a number of projects. During this time he was involved in using marker assisted breeding to improve switchgrass and sorghum as bioenergy crops; marker assisted tomato breeding; high throughput gene discovery in photosynthesis and nitrogen use efficient; and many other projects. Kwok can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-401-6060, and is located in room 2438 Waterfront Centre.
This is the last issue of CSREES Update. We expect the next Update to be released by NIFA on October 14.
Kwok Joins Competitive Programs
CSREES and NSF Announce Joint Solicitation on Disaster Resilience in Rural Communities
Washington, September 24, 2009 - CSREES and the National Science Foundation NSF announced the availability of approximately $3 million to support research needed to develop technologies, processes, and systems to enhance disaster resilience and sustainability in rural communities. Applicants can find the solicitation at the CSREES Web site.
The new knowledge from this competition should be useful to government agencies, community-based organizations, nongovernment organizations, and businesses to:
- enhance the effectiveness of disaster warnings and help residents evacuate in safe and reliable ways;
- improve service delivery after disasters;
- hasten recovery after disasters so residents may more quickly return to their homes; and
- develop policies, processes, and systems to reduce the impacts of disasters on rural communities.
Projects should seek to advance basic research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences or in engineering to foster disaster-resilient rural communities. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view CSREES and NSF Announce Joint Solicitation on Disaster Resilience in Rural Communities.
4-H National Headquarters and National 4-H Council Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Washington, DC, September 22, 2009 – 4-H National Headquarters and National 4-H Council (Council) signed a memorandum of understanding today signaling a renewed commitment between both organizations to jointly advocate for the 4-H Youth Development Program and the Cooperative Extension System. “This agreement clearly outlines the responsibilities between 4-H National Headquarters and National 4-H Council and represents continued efforts to promote positive youth development in the areas of citizenship; healthy living; and science, engineering and technology,” said Colien Hefferan, Administrator of CSREES, the home of 4-H National Headquarters.
CSREES, through 4-H National Headquarters, agrees to administer a cohesive 4-H program with the land-grant universities to advance the 4-H Youth Development Program through professional and volunteer development, research and evaluation, curricular development, policies, and procedures.
”Council’s partnership with 4-H National Headquarters and the Cooperative Extension System has never been stronger or more effective than it is today,” said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. “The memorandum clearly articulates the important role that each organization plays in advancing the 4-H movement—and that will help us keep the partnership strong and help more young people to reach their full potential.” Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view 4-H National Headquarters and National 4-H Council Sign Memorandum of Understanding.
CSREES Celebrates Farm Safety Week September 20-26
The 66th annual National Farm Safety Week was September 20-26. CSREES joined the National Safety Council and the National Educational Center for Agricultural Safety to celebrate Farm Safety Week with health and safety articles and public service announcements available on www.necasag.org. Farm Safety Week commemorates the hard work, diligence, and sacrifice the nation’s farmers and ranchers have made in providing a safe and reliable food supply.
CSREES supports farm safety initiatives through the AgrAbility Program and Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification programs. These programs provide opportunities for disabled farmers and ranchers to continue to be successful in agricultural ventures and address youth farm safety education and certification in keeping youth and youth agricultural workers safe. CSREES funds a study to enhance the effectiveness of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids Chapters to promote a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to children and youth. National Farm Safety and Health Day for Children and Youth will be celebrated on Wednesday during National Farm Safety Week. Visit the CSREES Newsroom to view CSREES Celebrates Farm Safety Week September 20-26.
CSREES Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
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 Launches New Web Pages and On-Line Tools to Help Consumers Make Healthier Food Choices
Washington, September 23, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched three new online tools:
- "Growing a Healthier You: Nutrition From the Farm to the Table," a new Web page,
- My Food-a-pedia, a tool that gives consumers quick access to nutrition information for over 1,000 foods, and
- 10 Tips Series on www.MyPyramid.gov.
These new tools will help consumers make healthier food choices and gain a better appreciation of the role of American agriculture in food production from the farm to the table. "Because more than 80 percent of our population lives in suburban and metropolitan areas, when we think of food, we more often think of the grocery store than the farm," said Vilsack. "There is a disconnect between the farmer and the food that consumers buy and we want to re-connect these long standing ties between the people who produce the food and those who purchase and prepare it. These new online tools will help do that." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Launches New Web Pages and On-Line Tools to Help Consumers Make Healthier Food Choices.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership between USDA, NFL, and Dairy Farmers for National Nutrition and Fitness Campaign
Washington, September 10, 2009 - President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Harris Sherman as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sherman will serve with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Sherman is the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and a member of Governor Ritter's Cabinet. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Harris Sherman as USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.
Washington, September 17, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will work with the National Football League (NFL) and the nation's dairy farmers to promote good nutrition and fitness in the nation's schools. The collaboration will help support President Obama's effort to promote good nutrition and physical fitness for America's children. "Childhood obesity is a very serious issue that endangers the long-term health and welfare of our nation's youngsters," said Vilsack. Vilsack met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Thomas Gallagher, chief executive of Dairy Management, Inc., (DMI), which runs the National Dairy Research and Promotion Program. The NFL and DMI are launching Fuel Up to Play 60, an innovative nutrition and fitness program based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in some 60,000 schools this fall. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Partnership between USDA, NFL, and Dairy Farmers for National Nutrition and Fitness Campaign.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Miles McEvoy Will Serve as Deputy Administrator of National Organic Program
Washington, September 17, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Miles McEvoy will serve as Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP). McEvoy assumes his position on October 1. Vilsack also announced that the NOP will become an independent program area within the Agricultural Marketing Service because of the increased visibility and emphasis on organic agriculture throughout the farming community, evolving consumer preferences, and the enhanced need for governmental oversight of this widely expanded program. Organically grown and marketed agricultural products are of key interest to the Obama Administration, and the NOP will be receiving increased funding and staffing in the new fiscal year. McEvoy has worked in the field of organic agriculture for more than two decades and has a solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the organic community. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Secretary Vilsack Announces Miles McIvor Will Serve as Deputy Administrator of National Organic Program.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Awards $4.8 Million for Community Food Projects
Washington, September 16, 2009 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that $4.8 million will be awarded to local organizations in 14 states to build community food systems and fight hunger and food insecurity. This announcement comes as part of USDA's 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food,' initiative, a department-wide collaboration that will connect people more closely with the farmers who supply their food and increase the production, marketing and consumption of fresh, nutritious food that is grown locally in a sustainable manner. "Building local sustainable food systems to be proactive in fighting hunger and obesity is a priority for the Obama Administration, and USDA's 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative will help meet that goal," Merrigan said. "These grants put funds in low-income communities that struggle with access to healthy food and they are an important step toward achieving our goal of having healthy, nutritious food available to everyone, especially children." The projects announced will fund food policy council training, urban agriculture, new farmers on preservation farmland, promotion of native food sovereignty, youth, urban and rural food production projects and community food assessments. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Awards $4.8 Million for Community Food Projects.
USDA Launches 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' Initiative
Washington, September 15, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced a new initiative - 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' - to begin a national conversation to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity. To launch the initiative, Secretary Vilsack recorded a video to invite Americans to join the discussion and share their ideas for ways to support local agriculture. The video, one of many means by which USDA will engage in this conversation, can be viewed at USDA's YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/usda. Producers and consumers can comment on the 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' YouTube playlist, as well as submit videos or provide comments on this initiative by e-mailing KnowYourFarmer@usda.gov.
The 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative, chaired by Deputy Secretary Merrigan, is the focus of a task force with representatives from agencies across USDA who will help better align the Department's efforts to build stronger local and regional food systems. USDA will announce approximately $65 million in funding for 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiatives. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Launches 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' Initiative
USDA Announces Implementation of Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs
Washington, September 14, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that producers may begin applying for benefits under the provisions of the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). These permanent disaster programs, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, replace previous ad-hoc disaster assistance programs and are funded through the Agricultural Disaster Relief Trust Fund. "President Obama and I are committed to meeting the needs of those producers who have suffered devastating losses from natural disasters," said Vilsack. "These programs ensure that producers who have suffered agriculture losses receive the critical disaster assistance needed to remain financially solvent and help them continue on in their operations." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Implementation of Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs.
Statement of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Passing of Dr. Norman Borlaug
September 13, 2009
Dr. Norman Borlaug was simply one of the world's best. A determined, dedicated, but humble man who believed we had the collective duty and knowledge to eradicate hunger worldwide. His efforts saved millions of lives and inspired thousands to dedicate their lives to doing the same. The World Food Prize, which he founded, will continue to acknowledge those who carry on the work of providing food to feed the world. Dr. Borlaug will be missed.
President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Harris Sherman as USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
Hoeft Appointed Interim Director at UI-Urbana-Champaign
Robert G. Hoeft has been appointed as interim director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign effective September 16. Hoeft received his BS in agronomy-soil conservation from the University of Nebraska, his MS in agronomy-soil fertility from the University of Nebraska; and Ph.D. in soil science-soil fertility from the University of Wisconsin. He has been head of the Crop Sciences Department at the University of Illinois since 2005. Hoeft can be reached at 217-333-5900 or email@example.com
2010 Priester National Extension Health Conference
Save the date April 20-22, 2010, for the 2010 Priester National Extension Health Conference, “Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Reducing Health Disparities,” at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, AL. The conference is co-sponsored by CSREES, Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Southern Regional Program Leaders Network and SERA-19 Rural Health. Contact Laura Booth, Administrator for Outreach Programs, CES-Family & Consumer Sciences, Auburn University, AL, for more information.
UN-L to Honor Schuchardt
Jane Schuchardt, CSREES national program leader in the Economics and Community Systems Unit, will be recognized as the 2009 College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) Distinguished Alumnus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L) on October 24. Schuchardt received her BS in human sciences journalism from UN-L. Her graduate degrees are from Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University in consumer and family economics. The award, which recognizes sustained scholarship and service to the profession, and exemplifies the CEHS mission of enhancing the lives of individuals, families, schools, and communities and to strengthening the relationships among them, is presented annually at the fall CEHS Alumni Tailgate. Schuchardt will be cited for 30 years of service to the Land-grant University System and Cooperative Extension, primarily for her national influence on personal finance research, education, and outreach.
Forest Landowners Association Recognizes Extension Forester of the Year
Craig McKinley, extension forester, Oklahoma State University was named Extension Forester of the Year for exceptional contributions to forest landowner issues and educations. He has worked intensively with landowners, natural resource professionals, youth, commodity, and trade groups. He has made significant contributions to the Oklahoma Woodland Owners Association, the state 4-H Forestry Program, Oklahoma Youth Forestry and Wildlife Camps, and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. He has been a member of the Society of American Foresters since 1975 and was named a Fellow in 2009, and the Forest Landowner Association.
For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. CSREES UPDATE is published biweekly. The next NIFA issue is planned for October 14, 2009. Submit news items to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 7.
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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.