NIFA Update — September 29, 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 Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
- Secretary Vilsack Announces Awards to Support Regional Economic Development Strategies
- USDA Announces Technology Grants for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
- USDA Awards Grants to Support the Nation's Emergency Feeding Network
- USDA Opens New Agricultural Trade Office in China
- USDA Announces Funds to Enhance the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops
- Statement of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on the Confirmations of Elisabeth Hagen and Catherine Woteki
- USDA Awards Grants to Help Low-Income Households Access Healthy, Nutritious Food
- Secretary Vilsack Announces Investments in Tribal Land-Grant Institutions
- 4-H Partners Collaborate in USA Science and Engineering Festival
- 2010 EDEN Annual Meeting
- EDEN Seeking Papers
NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
NIFA advertises all of its funding opportunities through “Find Grant Opportunities” on the Grants.gov website. 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.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Awards to Support Regional Economic Development Strategies
WASHINGTON, September 23, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a series of awards that reflect the Obama administration's support for rural communities coming together to develop economic development strategies that will create jobs and build robust regional economies. Projects funded as part of USDA's regional initiative will focus on strategic planning activities to improve economic conditions in rural areas, particularly in underserved communities. The initiative will help communities to connect and cluster their economies geographically based on their self-identified strengths, so they are able to increase productivity and build more robust, sustainable economies. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read Secretary Vilsack Announces Awards to Support Regional Economic Development Strategies.
USDA Announces Technology Grants for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
WASHINGTON, September 21, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced technology grants totaling nearly $14 million to 13 states to improve technology and enhance benefit delivery systems for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC). Funded by the FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, states will use these grants to conduct electronic benefits transfer (EBT) planning and implementation activities to expand the use of EBT in WIC, as well as promote technical standardization in various areas of the program.
"With the WIC program now reaching half of all babies born in the United States, we must take every opportunity to enhance program access and participation by using the latest technology available," said Vilsack. WIC safeguards the health of more than 9 million low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing supplemental food benefits, nutrition education, counseling, and breastfeeding support. The grants will build on the successes of the $100 million investment made in WIC EBT and existing technology projects by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Announces Technology Grants for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
USDA Awards Grants to Support the Nation's Emergency Feeding Network
WASHINGTON, September 20, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grant awards supporting food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens to improve and expand their capacity and infrastructure. Awards totaling approximately $6 million and funded through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Infrastructure Grant program, will help the nation's emergency feeding network meet the needs of the increasing numbers of people turning to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed their families. "Organizations like food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens are critical to ensuring that the most vulnerable Americans have access to quality, nutritious foods, especially during difficult economic times," said Vilsack. "With the help of these grants, many of the recipient organizations will be able help more individuals and families to access healthy food."
Nearly $3.3 million will be awarded to 19 organizations that serve rural areas in 17 states. The remaining funds will be awarded to another 20 organizations that serve a mix of rural, suburban, and urban communities in 15 states. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Awards Grants to Support the Nation's Emergency Feeding Network.
USDA Opens New Agricultural Trade Office in China
WASHINGTON, September 17, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the opening of a new Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Shenyang, the capital of northwest China's international trade hub in the Liaoning province. Agricultural Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller officially opened the office on behalf of USDA. "Increased agricultural exports create important income opportunities for producers as well as the off-farm jobs that are so critical for strengthening economies in rural America," said Vilsack. "China is a vital market for U.S. agricultural products, and this new office will help exporters take advantage of rising per capita incomes and steady economic growth in the region by raising the profile of American agricultural and food products."
The opening of this ATO on mainland China marks USDA's expansion into the dynamic hub of northeast China and reflects the administration's National Export Initiative, which aims to double American exports in the next 5 years. It also represents a significant hallmark as the United States progresses from the major market centers of Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, to up-and-coming emerging city markets like Shenyang and Chengdu. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read USDA Opens New Agricultural Trade Office in China.
USDA Announces Funds to Enhance the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops
DOVER, Delaware, September 17, 2010 – Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the award of block grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture. Merrigan announced these awards at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture annual meeting. The 54 grants announced today total approximately $55 million and will fund 827 projects, a 10 percent increase over last year. This supports the competitiveness of specialty crops and America's specialty crop farmers. The funds will be used by the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Summaries of all awards can be viewed on USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the release USDA Announces Funds to Enhance the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops.
Statement of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on the Confirmations of Elisabeth Hagen and Catherine Woteki
WASHINGTON, September 16, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statements after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Elisabeth Hagen as Under Secretary for Food Safety, and Catherine Woteki as Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.
"There is no higher priority at USDA than ensuring that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply, and Hagen's background as the chief medical officer and senior executive within USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service will enable her to successfully lead the effort to develop and execute the agency's scientific and public health agenda and continue to build the coordination with public health partners at federal, state, and local level needed to achieve the objectives of President Obama's Food Safety Working Group.
"USDA science is working to improve human health, protect our environment, and bring about our generation's new era of agricultural science. As a tireless champion of science's power, not just to create knowledge but to improve the lives and health of all Americans, Catherine Woteki brings an incredible depth of experience that will help USDA accelerate scientific discovery and application of new knowledge to address challenges facing U.S. and global food and agriculture. I am delighted to welcome such an outstanding advocate for science back to USDA." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the complete Statement of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on the Confirmations of Drs. Elisabeth Hagen and Catherine Woteki.
USDA Awards Grants to Help Low-Income Households Access Healthy, Nutritious Food
WASHINGTON, September 14, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nearly $5 million in grants for 8 state agencies to simplify Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application and eligibility systems and improve access to program benefits for America's low-income households. SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, helps ensure that people have access to healthy and nutritious food by providing low-income households with electronic benefits they can use to purchase food at authorized grocery stores. "Collaborative partnerships are critical to combating food insecurity and hunger in our communities," said Vilsack. "These grants will help reach our goal of increasing program access and participation among America's most vulnerable citizens and to deliver healthy and nutritious food assistance to those in need."
A priority for this year's grants is to fund a partnership between a state agency and one or more private nonprofit organizations. Such collaborations enable the funding of projects that streamline a state's eligibility, certification, and recertification processes and make them more efficient and effective. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the release USDA Awards Grants to Help Low-Income Households Access Healthy, Nutritious Food.
Secretary Vilsack Announces Investments in Tribal Land-Grant Institutions
WASHINGTON, September 10, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 22 tribal colleges in 9 states were awarded grants through the USDA Rural Development Tribal College Initiative Grant program. "Investing in education and in educational facilities is key to increasing economic development in tribal communities," Vilsack said. The Tribal College Grants program provides land-grant institutions with funds for outreach and education services to help meet the needs of Native American communities. USDA is announcing $4.1 million in grants to help tribal colleges finance infrastructure improvements, purchase equipment, and develop essential community facilities. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the release Secretary Vilsack Announces Investments in Tribal Land-Grant Institutions.
4-H Partners Collaborate in USA Science and Engineering Festival
4-H will be among the 500 organizations participating in the upcoming USA Science and Engineering Festival. The inaugural festival will take place October 23–24 on the Mall in Washington, DC. 4-H National Headquarters, National 4-H Council, and Maryland 4-H are collaborating on a display that will showcase the 4-H robotics program and the 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment on water quality and the effects of global climate change.
A special feature of the USA Science and Engineering Festival is the Kavli Science Video Contest. Winning youth videos on the contest topic “Why Science is Cool” and selected videos by 4-H urban youth participating in the 4-H Science Digital Storytelling project will be presented on October 24 in the Baird Auditorium, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
2010 EDEN Annual Meeting
The EDEN Annual Meeting Committee has planned a very interesting and educational meeting for 2010. The meeting is November 2-5 in Lexington, KY, and hosted by the Kentucky EDEN delegates. Two preconference workshops will be held on November 2 — a full day on agrosecurity or a half day focusing on professional development. The post conference off-site workshop is November 5 and will spotlight two Kentucky signature industries — the horse and the bourbon whiskey industries and how they have survived recent disasters with the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome and whiskey spills in local rivers and streams. Registration and more information are now available on the EDEN website. Contact Connee Wheeler, annual meeting co chair, for conference details.
EDEN Seeking Papers
The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is calling for scholarly papers on cooperative extension's role in emerging, critical, or dynamic national extension agrosecurity priorities. Up to three authors will receive a $1,000 travel stipend (or actual travel cost, if less) to present their “extension agrosecurity priority papers” at the 2011 EDEN Annual Conference in Portland, OR. These and other peer reviewed articles will be published on the EDEN website. Land and sea grant university extension faculty and staff are encouraged to submit letters of intent before November 15. Others who wish to serve as lead authors, including graduate students, must identify a land or sea grant extension faculty or staff member as a willing co-author. The complete call for papers can be viewed on the website.
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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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