NIFA Update — March 24, 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.
- ISTM Welcomes Information Technology Trainer
- NIFA Hosts 2010 EFNEP Conference
- NIFA News
- NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
- Task Force on Childhood Obesity Asks the Public for Ideas to Solve Obesity Challenge
- Cold Storage Facilities Now Eligible for USDA Facility Loan Program
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Transportation, Generate Economic Opportunity in Rural and Native American Communities
- USDA and DOJ Hold First-Ever Workshop on Competition Issues In Agriculture
- Vilsack Announces National Dairy Board Appointments
- Vilsack Names Members and Alternates to American Egg Board
- Missouri Dean’s Certificate Program for Trainers
Awards and Recognition
- Joslin and NIFA Program Recognized by ADA Disparities Forum
ISTM Welcomes Information Technology Trainer
Jacqueline Wilson joined the Information Systems and Technology Management (ISTM) unit as an information technology trainer. She is working under Janine Gills as an IT workforce trainer. Wilson received her B.S. in engineering mathematics/applied mathematics from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (NCA&T). Soon after graduating from NCA&T, she became a patent examiner for 8 years, focusing on digital camera technologies. She switched career paths after her successful training of newly hired examiners. She has trained many participants in training settings, and provided train–the-trainer sessions to coworkers on various automated systems. Wilson developed and implemented numerous training programs during her career. She is enrolled in online graduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a concentration in instructional systems development. Wilson is located in the Waterfront Centre Room 4136. She can be reached at 202-720-2597.
NIFA Hosts 2010 EFNEP Conference
NIFA hosted the 2010 National Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Conference in Washington, DC, March 1–3. EFNEP is a national program that provides community-based nutrition education in all states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. The program, delivered by paraprofessionals under county and university faculty leadership, helps low-income individuals and families acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior changes necessary for low-cost, healthy, nutritional diets, and physical activity. This conference brought together more than 120 EFNEP coordinators and educators for training opportunities, information sharing, and networking. Helen Chipman, NIFA national program leader for Food and Nutrition Education in the F4HN unit, presented a program vision and shared future program expectations. Other sessions included developing and sharing EFNEP’s public value; recruiting and interviewing techniques for paraprofessionals; recruiting, retaining, and graduating program participants; and teaching behavior changes.
- Funds for Five Key Issues Available Through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
Washington, March 23, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of approximately $262 million in funds through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to address five key societal challenges. Roger Beachy, USDA’s chief scientist and director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) made the announcement on behalf of Secretary Vilsack during a webcast on AFRI.
“By focusing our resources on achievable and measurable outcomes, USDA’s investment in science will help address some of America's – and the world's – most intractable problems,” said Beachy. “Today’s announcement demonstrates USDA’s commitment to supporting research, education, and extension to bring about true change in areas like climate change, obesity, and bioenergy.”
AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under section 7406 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, otherwise known as the 2008 Farm Bill. AFRI supports work in six priority areas: 1) plant health and production and plant products; 2) animal health and production and animal products; 3. food safety, nutrition, and health; 4) renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; 5) agriculture systems and technology; and 6) agriculture economics and rural communities. The webcast can be viewed online. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release Funds for Five Key Issues Available Through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.
- NIFA, DOE, and NSF Agree to Joint Climate Change Prediction Research Program
Washington, March 22, 2010 - The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) created a joint research program that designates nearly $50 million to develop climate system models that provide insights on climate variability and impacts on ecosystems. "Climate change and its impacts on the land, crops, and animals raise some of the most serious issues faced by producers and by society at large," said Roger Beachy, NIFA director. "It is important to understand its potential effect on our world and how we can proactively mitigate its consequences. Accurate and reliable scientific information is critical to sustain economically viable agricultural operations." NIFA, DOE, and NSF will release a request for proposals for the program in Fiscal Year 2010. The webcast can be viewed online. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release USDA, DOE, and NSF Agree to Joint Climate Change Prediction Research Program.
- NIFA Air Quality Projects to Help Prevent and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Washington, March 19, 2010 - NIFA announced more than $5 million in grants to address air quality issues, including reducing agricultural atmospheric emissions and developing new mitigation practices. “Agricultural producers need the most effective practices and technologies to prevent or mitigate greenhouse gases or other contributors to climate change,” said Roger Beachy, USDA Chief Scientist and NIFA Director. “This research will build effective mitigation strategies and help farmers and foresters learn and adopt best management practices that reduce agricultural emissions.”
The grants are funded through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Air Quality program, which supports research, education, and extension projects to enhance the effectiveness and productivity of U.S air quality research. These projects reflect the growing need to develop research-based information on air quality issues for developing effective mitigation strategies and best management practices to protect our natural resources and environment. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read NIFA Air Quality Projects to Help Prevent and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
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.
Task Force on Childhood Obesity Asks the Public for Ideas to Solve Obesity Challenge
Washington, March 17, 2010 - The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services are asking the public for ideas to help the Task Force on Childhood Obesity come up with recommendations for public and private sector actions to solve the problem of childhood obesity. The work of the task force will complement the efforts of First Lady Michelle Obama as she leads a national public awareness effort to tackle this critical public health issue.
President Obama created the first-ever federal task force to enhance coordination between private sector companies, not-for-profits, agencies within the government, and other organizations to address the problem of childhood obesity. The task force was also directed to review the following objectives: ensuring access to healthy, affordable food; increasing physical activity in schools and communities; providing healthier food in schools; and empowering parents with information and tools to make good choices for themselves and their families. The Request for Information published in the March 16 Federal Register asks a series of detailed questions that will help the task force draft its report. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Task Force on Childhood Obesity Asks the Public for Ideas to Solve Obesity Challenge.
Cold Storage Facilities Now Eligible for USDA Facility Loan Program
Washington, March 17, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the Farm Storage Facility Loan program has been amended to allow producers to build cold storage facilities to store their fresh fruits and vegetables. This program is part of USDA's “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative and uses discretionary authority provided by the 2008 Farm Bill authorizing the eligibility of cold storage facilities for fruits and vegetables. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Cold Storage Facilities Now Eligible for USDA Facility Loan Program.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Transportation, Generate Economic Opportunity in Rural and Native American Communities
Washington, March 15, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has selected the Community Transportation Association of America to receive $750,000 in grants to provide technical assistance to organizations in their efforts to enhance passenger transportation service in rural areas and rural Native American communities and improve modes of transportation in those areas. "We know that areas with strong transportation systems attract and retain businesses and improve the quality of life in rural towns," Vilsack said. "These grants from USDA will help Native American communities in three states improve existing local passenger transportation systems. One of the best ways to rebuild rural communities is to improve the transportation infrastructure because doing so often has a catalytic effect in creating economic growth." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Transportation, Generate Economic Opportunity in Rural and Native American Communities.
USDA and DOJ Hold First-Ever Workshop on Competition Issues In Agriculture
Ankeny, IA, March 12, 2010 - USDA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) held the first-ever joint public workshop on competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The workshop, led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Eric Holder, featured panel discussions on a variety of topics important to America's farmers and ranchers, including competitive dynamics in the seed industry, trends in contracting, transparency, and buyer power, and concluded with public testimony. This meeting was the first in a series of workshops that will be held over the next several months, the first joint Department of Justice/USDA workshops ever to be held to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. The goals of the workshops are to promote dialogue and foster learning, as well as to listen to and learn from people involved in agriculture. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA and DOJ Hold First-Ever Workshop on Competition Issues In Agriculture.
Vilsack Announces National Dairy Board Appointments
Washington, March 12, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of 12 members to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning immediately. "These appointees represent a cross section of the dairy industry and I am confident that dairy producers will be well served by them," said Vilsack. Dairy production is vital to the United States agriculture industry. In 2008, according to USDA statistics, 190 billion pounds of milk were produced in the United States. The 36-member board is authorized by the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983. The Secretary selected the appointees from nominations submitted by eligible producer organizations, general farm organizations, and qualified state or regional dairy products promotion, research, or nutrition education programs. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Vilsack Announces National Dairy Board Appointments.
Vilsack Names Members and Alternates to American Egg Board
Washington, March 10, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nine members and nine alternates to the American Egg Board for the 2010-2011 term. All members and alternates will serve 2-year terms. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) monitors operations of the board. Authorized by the Egg Research and Consumer Information Act of 1974, the board is responsible for developing a program of research, producer and consumer education, and promotion designed to improve, maintain, and develop markets for eggs and egg products. The program is funded entirely by a 10-cent per 30-dozen case assessment on eggs marketed by producers with flocks of over 75,000 hens. AMS monitors operations of the board. The board is composed of 18 members and 18 alternates representing 6 regions. The Secretary of Agriculture selects appointees from egg producers nominated by organizations representing the egg industry. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Vilsack Names Members and Alternates to American Egg Board.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Cattlemen's Beef Board Appointments
Washington, March 10, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced 36 appointments to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board. All appointees will serve 3-year terms beginning immediately. "These appointees represent a cross section of the beef industry and I am confident that beef producers and importers of cattle, beef, and beef products will be well served by them," said Vilsack. In 2009, according to USDA statistics, there were an estimated 950,000 farms with cattle representing approximately 93.7 million head of cattle at the beginning of 2010. Top producing states included Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, California, and Oklahoma. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Secretary Vilsack Announces Cattlemen's Beef Board Appointments.
Missouri Dean's Certificate Program for Trainers
Educators and trainers in schools, organizations, or the workplace – especially those working with at-risk adults or teens – can learn a fun, fresh approach to teaching critical life skills and soft skills through a 12-hour Dean's Certificate program, offered June 8-9 by University of Missouri Extension and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Participants will earn 1.2 CEUs in this program, which meets requirements for training funded by the Workforce Investment Act. The program uses the revised version of a proven life skills curriculum called Tackling the Tough Skills: A Curriculum Building Skills for Work and Life. Since 2000, this curriculum has impacted adults and teens in all 50 states and 17 countries and territories. Content covers attitude, responsibility, communication, problem solving, workforce prep, anger management, conflict resolution, critical thinking, self-esteem, teamwork, and stress management. June 1 is the registration deadline. Online registration is available. Contact Rosilee Trotta, University of Missouri Extension, at 314-567-5391 for more information.
Joslin and NIFA Program Recognized by ADA Disparities Forum
The Joslin Diabetes Center’s "On the Road" outreach program, developed in collaboration with NIFA and five land-grant universities, received the “Promising Practice” award at the American Diabetes Association’s 3rd Annual Disparities Partnership Forum for its ability to reach and effectively impact low-income and underserved populations with an easy-to-deliver program. The Joslin Diabetes Center is an affiliate of the Harvard Medical School.
This unique partnership includes Washington State University, University of Hawaii, New Mexico State University, West Virginia University, Pennsylvania State University (PSU), and the Joslin Diabetes Center. The project targets underserved populations in each state and aims to increase the participation of the State Cooperative Extension System by providing these populations with diabetes awareness, preventive education, and screening. The center is responsible for the development and implementation of the “On the Road” program, which consists of three educational modules – On the Road to Living Well with Diabetes; On the Road: Eating Well with Diabetes; and On the Road: Keep Moving with Diabetes. Temple University became a nonland-grant partner in 2009 and is working in conjunction with PSU Cooperative Extension to implement a diabetes support and education program in African-American churches in urban low-income communities in North Philadelphia. Contact Shirley Gerrior, NIFA national program leader for nutrition, physical activity, and health in the F4HN unit for more program information.
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Editor: Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, NIFA Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact her.
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Roger Beachy, Director
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