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NIFA Update —February 3, 2010

NIFA Update, from the Office of the Director, is a biweekly newsletter for research, education, and extension partners at land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions.

NIFA

  • Berg Joins SERD Unit
  • New Youth Development Specialist Joins F4HN
  • NIFA News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

USDA

  • Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Proposed FY2011 Budget.
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Food Purchases for Domestic Nutrition Programs
  • USDA Names 22 Winners of 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program
  • President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety
  • USDA Provides Funding to Cooperators for Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention
  • Commerce Department's NTIA and USDA's RUS Announce Availability of $4.8 Billion in Recovery Act Funding to Bring Broadband to More Americans
  • USDA Announces Resignation of Deputy Under Secretary Philbrook


Opportunities

  • 2010 Priester National Extension Health Conference

Partners

  • Conservation Agriculture – Minimal or No-Tillage

Mailbox
 

Berg Joins SERD Unit

Erin Berg recently joined NIFA’s Science and Education Resources Development Unit as an education program specialist. She will work on various higher education programs. Her background includes several years of academic program coordination and student advising at Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI, and Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. She has also served as program staff for other educational organizations, including America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST) with the Fulbright Foreign Scholars Program, and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Her program administration experience includes the areas of university teaching and research, college student leadership development, experiential learning, multicultural and intercultural education, and international educational and cultural exchange. Her educational background includes a B.A. in history, B.S. in psychology, and a M.Ed. in adult and higher education, all from Grand Valley State University; she is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in international relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. She can be reached at 202–720–2471 or eberg@nifa.usda.gov. She is located in Room 3255 at the Waterfront Centre.

New Youth Development Specialist Joins F4HN

Amy McCune has joined the 4–H National Headquarters staff as a youth development program specialist. McCune has a strong foundation in 4–H, having been involved in the program for over 30 years as a youth member, adult volunteer, county agent, and state staff. She has worked on the 4–H staff in both Massachusetts (county 4–H educator, 1995–2005) and South Carolina (state 4–H events coordinator, 2005–2009), and has served on numerous regional and national committees and task forces. She has program leadership and curriculum development experience in the areas of leadership; communications; healthy living; horse; and science, engineering, and technology. McCune received her B.A. in English literature from Worcester State College, her M.A. in organizational communications from Suffolk University, and is pursuing her doctorate in community recreation, sport, and camp management from Clemson University. She can be reached at 202–720–2920 or amccune@nifa.usda.gov.  She is located in Room 4314 Waterfront Centre.

NIFA News

NIFA Awards Funding for Animal Health and Production Research

Washington, February 2, 2010 - NIFA announced $24 million in grants to study animal heath, reproduction, breeding, genetics, and nutrition. The agriculture animal industry plays a crucial role in the success and growth of the nation’s economy, accounting for 42 percent of forecast U.S. agricultural receipts in 2009. “The agriculture animal industry faces increasing challenges from animal diseases, reduced fertility, low nutrition and growth and non-tariff trade barriers,” said Roger Beachy, NIFA director. “These grants will help the United States maintain a strong, internationally-competitive animal agriculture industry and lead to safer and more affordable animal products.”

NIFA awarded these grants through four program areas of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI): Animal Reproduction Program; Animal Genome, Genetics, and Breeding Program; Animal Growth and Nutrient Utilization Program; and Integrated Solutions for Animal Agriculture Program. AFRI funds research, education, and extension grants and integrated research, extension, and education grants that address key problems of national, regional and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of agriculture. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read NIFA Awards Funding for Animal Health and Production Research.

Roger Beachy to Deliver Dinner Speech at USDA's 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum

January 29, 2009 – USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist announced that Dr. Roger Beachy, Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and USDA Chief Scientist, will be the dinner speaker at the 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 18, at 6:30 p.m., in Arlington, VA. Beachy’s speech, “The New Consensus:  Science, Sustainability, and Society,” will address how research and advanced technologies look to solve issues of sustainable agriculture in relation to environmental, economic, and trade competitiveness. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release Roger Beachy to Deliver Dinner Speech at USDA's 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum.

USDA Grant to Create Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center in Arkansas

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that NIFA is awarding $900,000 to the Wallace Center at Winrock International, Little Rock, AK, to run the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development (HUFED) Center. This center will work to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, including locally produced agricultural products to underserved communities. “This ambitious effort will create a national center to help establish local and regional food systems and get healthy food into low-income communities, which are important components of USDA’s ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative,” Vilsack said.

Congress created the HUFED Center in the 2008 Farm Bill. The center is designed to respond to the need to redevelop a food enterprise structure in the United States to make healthier, affordable food available in low-income areas; to improve access for small and mid-sized agricultural producers; and to promote positive economic activities generated from attracting healthy food enterprises into underserved communities. The HUFED Center will provide training and technical assistance for food enterprises and award sub-grants to eligible entities for healthy food enterprise development. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Grant to Create Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center in Arkansas.

USDA Awards More Than $4 Million in Weedy and Invasive Species Research Grants

DAVIS, CA, January 21, 2010 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that NIFA is awarding $4.6 million to 13 universities for research to develop ecologically and economically rational strategies for management, control, or elimination of weedy or invasive species. Of the amount, Merrigan said that nearly $500,000 is for a University of California–Davis laboratory. "Invasive plants and animals are a major threat to food and fiber production, costing U.S. producers between $7 billion and $27 billion per year, but by doing research on controlling and managing weedy and invasive species we help protect the productivity of America's farmers and ranchers," said Merrigan. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Awards More Than $4 Million in Weedy and Invasive Species Research Grants.

Michigan 4-H Program of Distinction Celebrates National Mentoring Month at the White House

USDA’s 4–H National Headquarters celebrated National Mentoring Month at the White House along with the Michigan Youth 4–H Mentoring Program, which was designated as a 4–H Program of Distinction.  Created by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR, National Mentoring Month is marking its 9th year in 2010. By focusing national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities, and nonprofits can work together to increase the number of mentors, we assure brighter futures for our young people. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read Michigan 4-H Program of Distinction Celebrates National Mentoring Month at the White House.

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

PLEASE NOTE:  Grants.gov Web site not available February 6–9

Grants.gov Web site will shut down February 6–9, 2010, to upgrade and enhance the system. This means applicants will not be able to submit grant applications to NIFA through Grants.gov during this time.   
We have taken this into account and adjusted two NIFA program deadlines – the 1890 Institute Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program and the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Both programs are extended to February 16, 2010.

  • For more information about the 1890 Institute Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program, please refer to the program Request for Applications (RFA).
  • For more information about the OREI, refer to the program RFA

Check the Grants.gov Blog site for more information regarding the closure.


Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Higher Education Challenge Grants

February 5, 2010

Gregory Smith

1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program

February 16, 2010

Ali I. Mohamed

Higher Education Program: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program

February 16, 2010

Irma Lawrence

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

February 16, 2010

Mary Monnig Peat

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

February 18, 2010

Ed Kaleikau

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program

February 26, 2010

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

Special Research Grants Program: Pest Management Alternatives Program

March 3, 2010

Monte Johnson

Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program

March 5, 2010

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

Tribal Colleges Extension Services Program

March 10, 2010

Joan Gill

Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants Program

March 22, 2010

Tim Grosser

Integrated Pest Management: Crops at Risk Program

March 22, 2010

H.J. Rick Meyer

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Integrated Pest Management: Methyl Bromide Transitions Program

March 22, 2010

William Hoffman

Integrated Pest Management: Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program

March 22, 2010

Robert Nowierski

Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas and Distance Education Grants for Insular Areas

April 5, 2010

Gregory Smith

 New Era Rural Technology Competitive Grants Program (RTP)

April 14, 2010

Gregory Smith


NIFA 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 email notification service based on these parameters.

Visit USDA Newsroom to read Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Proposed FY2011 Budget.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Food Purchases for Domestic Nutrition Programs 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2010 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA's intention to purchase $29.1 million worth of blueberry, pear, potato, peach, and mixed fruit products for federal food nutrition assistance programs. "These purchases will help stabilize prices and markets, stimulate the economy, and provide high quality, nutritious food to schools and food banks while assisting blueberry, pear, potato, peach, and mixed fruit producers," said Vilsack. USDA intends to purchase up to $9 million of fresh potatoes, $8.2 million of peach and mixed fruit products, $7 million of frozen blueberries, and $4.9 million of fresh pears and canned pears packed in light or extra light syrup. The department will seek the lowest overall costs by surveying potential suppliers and publicly inviting bids to assure contracts are awarded to responsible bidders. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Food Purchases for Domestic Nutrition Programs

USDA Names 22 Winners of 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program 

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of 22 university students who will attend USDA's 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum. The finalists include students from land-grant and Hispanic-serving institutions, and American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources institutions who are the recipients of corporate and USDA sponsorships aimed at promoting the education of the next generation of agriculturalists. This year, sponsoring corporations and USDA agencies include: CHS, Inc.; the Farm Credit Association; and USDA's Economic Research Service. USDA's Office of the Chief Economist and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture launched the program in 2007 to help provide students with a unique insight into their agricultural studies. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Names 22 Winners of 2010 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program.  

President Obama, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety

WASHINGTON, January 25, 2010 - President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Under Secretary for Food Safety. Hagen will serve with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "There is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers from harm, which is why food safety is one of USDA's top priorities," said Vilsack. "We can and must do a better job of ensuring the safety of meat and poultry products regulated by USDA, and Dr. Hagen brings the background, skills, and vision to lead USDA's efforts to make sure that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply." Hagen is currently USDA's Chief Medical Officer, serving as an advisor to USDA mission areas on a wide range of human health issues. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release President Obama, Secretary Vilsack Announce Intent to Nominate Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety.

USDA Provides Funding to Cooperators for Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has allocated $45 million, provided by Section 10201 of the 2008 Farm Bill, for projects to build and preserve critical plant health safeguarding initiatives across America. Funding will be provided to more than 50 cooperators, including state departments of agriculture, universities, nonprofit organizations, and USDA agencies in support of over 200 projects. These state, regional, and national projects will support the Farm Bill’s goals of building strong systems to safeguard the health of our agricultural industries using early plant pest detection and surveillance, threat identification, and mitigation. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Provides Funding to Cooperators for Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention.
Commerce Department's NTIA and USDA's RUS Announce Availability of $4.8 Billion in Recovery Act Funding to Bring Broadband to More Americans

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2010 - The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced availability of $4.8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants and loans to expand broadband access and adoption in America. This is the second round of funding for the agencies' broadband programs. The investment will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, and create jobs. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Commerce Department's NTIA and USDA's RUS Announce Availability of $4.8 Billion in Recovery Act Funding to Bring Broadband to More Americans.

USDA Announces Resignation of Deputy Under Secretary Philbrook

USDA announced that Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Burnham "Bud" Philbrook resigned January 22 to care for his son. Philbrook informed Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in late December of his situation and intent. USDA is moving swiftly to name a replacement. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Resignation of Deputy Under Secretary Philbrook.

2010 Priester National Extension Health Conference

The 2010 Priester National Extension Health Conference is April 20–22, in Mobile, AL. The Priester Award, which is presented at the conference, recognizes quality and innovative health education programs on the county/multi-county, and state/multi-state level. This year’s conference theme, Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Reducing Health Disparities celebrates Cooperative Extension’s long history of involvement in promoting health and preventing disease across the life span. Named in honor of retired NIFA National Program Leader Jeanne Priester, this conference offers extension professionals and their community partners an opportunity to share health-related educational programs and resources, applied research, and collaborative strategies to meet the diverse needs of people in communities across the nation. Information on the award and the nomination process are available on the conference Web siteNomination packets are due by February 12, and should be emailed to both Shirley Gerrior, NIFA national program leader for Health, and to Karen Zotz, assistant director for Cooperative Extension at Purdue University.


Conservation Agriculture – Minimal or No-Tillage

NIFA and the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) co-sponsored a panel discussion on conservation agriculture. More than 80 colleagues met on January 15 to hear a panel of experts from FAO, USDA, the Conservation Technology Information Center, and Rodale Institute discuss conservation agriculture. Audience members from universities, non-governmental organizations, Congress, and other government agencies discussed the approach - focusing on minimal or no-tillage - as it is used in the United States and overseas. Contact Hiram Larew, director of International Programs, or Richard Hegg, national program leader for animal manure/nutrient management, for more information. 

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. NIFA UPDATE is published biweekly. The next NIFA issue is planned for February 17, 2010. Submit news items to mailto:newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by February 10, 2010.

Editor:  Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, NIFA Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact her at jrude@nifa.usda.gov.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an e-mail message to jrude@nifa.usda.gov. In the body of the message, type: subscribe nifa-update OR unsubscribe nifa-update.  Back issues of NIFA UPDATE are available on the NIFA Web site.

Roger Beachy, Director

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.