HomeAbout UsGrantsFormsNewsroomHelpContact Us
Search CSREES
Advanced Search
Browse by Subject
Agricultural Systems
Animals & Animal Products
Biotechnology & Genomics
Economics & Commerce
Education
Families, Youth, & Communities
Food, Nutrition, & Health
International
Natural Resources & Environment
Pest Management
Plant & Plant Products
Technology & Engineering

NIFA Update — December 9 , 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

  • NIFA Announces Principal Scientist Positions
  • Hefferan Named Director of U.S. National Arboretum
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

USDA

  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Statement on Passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act 
  • Vilsack Statement on the Announcement of Ann Tutwiler as the Deputy Director General for Knowledge
  • USDA Seeks Applications for Grants - Priority Given to Projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin 
  • USDA Publishes Grassland Reserve Program Final Rule
  • USDA Announces Support for Restoration of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land Damaged by Natural Disasters

Partners

  • HCC Dedicates New Aquaculture Facility
  • National e-Commerce Initiative Funds First Bilingual Workshop
  • Loveridge New NCRCRD Director

Mailbox
 

NIFA Announces Principal Scientist Positions

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) was recently reorganized to a structure with four Institutes. Each of the Institutes is co-led by an Assistant Director and a Principal Scientist. The Assistant Director provides leadership for the administration of programs that comprise the Institute. The Principal Scientist provides the scientific leadership to programs assigned to the Institute. More information about NIFA can be found on the web site. NIFA is seeking to fill the following four Principal Scientist positions, as either permanent (PERM), term (TERM), or under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment:

  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment (PERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-06)
  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment (TERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-07)

  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (PERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-08)
  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (TERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-09)

  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (PERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-10)
  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (TERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-11)

  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Youth, Family, and Community (PERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-12)
  • Principal Scientist of the Institute of Youth, Family, and Community (TERM) (NIFA-SL: 10-13)

Principal Scientist positions are Senior Level (SL) positions. The federal salary ranges from $119,554 to $179,700. A copy of each job announcement is located on the Office of Personnel Management web page. As specified in each job announcement, applicants must meet mandatory qualifications and address specific technical qualifications. Veterans’ preference applies, and U.S. citizenship is required. The job announcements listed above identify these four positions as a permanent or a term position (which is a competitive appointment for a period of more than 1 year but not more than 4 years). Candidates applying for permanent and term appointments should clearly identify in your application the type(s) of appointment desired, indicate the corresponding vacancy announcement number(s), and submit the documents required in the job announcements through USAJOBS.
 
In addition, NIFA will consider filling these positions under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointment. The IPA allows for a temporary assignment (detail) of skilled employees from local, state and Indian tribal government, institutions of higher education and other eligible organizations to federal government agencies. IPAs remain employees of their permanent organizations; appointments can be made for up to 2 years and may be extended an additional 2 years under specific conditions. Cost of the assignment (including salary, benefits, relocation cost, travel, and per diem expenses) are negotiated between participating organizations. Applicants applying only for an IPA appointment should submit a resume and address the specific technical qualifications identified for the position(s).To obtain the technical qualifications and/or receive additional information relating to IPA appointments contact Rhonda Pratt (301-504-1475).
   
All applications must be received by January 31, 2011. Contact Deborah Crump (301-504-1448) for more information about the application process. Contact Betty Lou Gilliland (202-720-5506) to learn more about NIFA.

Hefferan Named Director of U.S. National Arboretum

USDA announced the appointment of Colien Hefferan as the director of the U.S. National Arboretum. Hefferan currently serves as senior advisor to NIFA Director Roger Beachy.

"Dr. Hefferan has outstanding leadership skills and extensive outreach experience that will prove invaluable to the Arboretum," said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which operates the Arboretum. "

Prior to that, she was administrator of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). She also served as associate administrator and acting administrator of CSREES in 2000.
Hefferan began working for USDA in 1979 as an economist with the ARS Family Economics Research Group. She transferred to the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS) in 1988, where she served as deputy administrator for Natural Resources, Food, and Social Sciences. In 1994 with the merger of CSRS, Extension Service, and Education, Hefferan became the deputy administrator for Competitive Research, Grants, and Awards Management Unit.

She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Illinois and a B.S. from the University of Arizona. Before joining USDA, Hefferan was a research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland and an assistant professor of behavioral economics at Pennsylvania State University.

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Robotics Technology Development and Deployment [RTD2] (R43)


December 20, 2010

Daniel Schmoldt

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

December 22, 2011

Siva Sureshwaran

Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program

January 18, 2011

Gregory Smith

International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program

January 19, 2011

Patricia Fulton

Interregional Research Project #4 Minor Crop Pest Management Program (IR-4)

January 19, 2011

Monte Johnson

Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI)

January 31, 2011

 

Thomas Bewick

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program

February 2, 2011

Shing F Kwok

Higher Education Challenge Grants

February 4, 2011

Gregory Smith

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

February 10, 2011

Mary Monnig Peet

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

February 25, 2011

Ed Kaleikau

New Era Rural Technology Competitive Grants Program (RTP)

April 15, 2011

Gregory Smith


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.

 

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Statement on Passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act 

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement regarding House passage of S. 3307—The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

"This is an historic victory for our nation's youngsters. This legislation will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children.” Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full statement Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Statement on Passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
 
Vilsack Statement on the Announcement of Ann Tutwiler as the Deputy Director General for Knowledge

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement regarding the announcement that Ann Tutwiler, USDA's coordinator for the Global Food Security Initiative, will join the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) early next year as Deputy Director General for Knowledge, the first woman to hold a Deputy Director General position in FAO's history. "As USDA's Coordinator for the Global Food Security Initiative, Ann played a key role in designing and implementing the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, and realigned USDA resources to increase access to food by accelerating sustainable agriculture sector growth. Ann was also instrumental in creating and launching the Norman Borlaug Research Initiative to align U.S. government research on global food security and improve research collaboration to help combat global hunger.” Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full statement Vilsack Statement on the Announcement of Ann Tutwiler as the Deputy Director General for Knowledge.

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants - Priority Given to Projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin
 
WASHINGTON, November 30, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking proposals for grants to improve water quality, air quality, and promote energy conservation. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $25 million through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to address natural resource concerns nationwide with a special emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin. Now in its 8th year, the CIG program offers funding dedicated to the adoption of technologies to address a broad range of agricultural issues.

Successful applicants will demonstrate that their projects use innovative, on-the-ground conservation approaches and technologies. Funds will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process with applications being accepted from all 50 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Applications will be accepted from all eligible individuals, nonfederal governments, and nongovernmental organizations, including federally recognized tribes and private businesses.

Pre-proposal applications must be received at the NRCS National Headquarters by December 28. To view the complete Announcement for Program Funding, visit NRCS website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Seeks Applications for Grants - Priority Given to Projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mississippi River Basin

USDA Publishes Grassland Reserve Program Final Rule

WASHINGTON, November 29, 2010 - USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) issued the final rule for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), which defines requirements for participants and incorporates changes to program implementation requested by the public. The final rule can be viewed on the Regulations.gov website.

The final rule addresses public comments on various program definitions, wind power, native species, landowner contributions, long-term management funding, ranking priorities, state-level priorities, and the terms and conditions of GRP deeds. GRP is a voluntary program that helps landowners restore and protect grassland, rangeland, pastureland, scrubland, and other lands, and provides assistance for rehabilitating grasslands. GRP is available in all 50 states and territories. NRCS and USDA's Farm Service Agency administer the program. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Publishes Grassland Reserve Program Final Rule.

USDA Announces Support for Restoration of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land Damaged by Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON, November  22, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that $18 million will be made available to assist nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners restore lands damaged by natural disasters. The funds are provided through USDA's Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP).

EFRP participants will use the money to implement emergency forest restoration practices, including emergency measures necessary to address damage caused by a natural disaster to natural resources on NIPF land and restore forest health and forest related resources on the land. The damage from the natural disaster must have occurred on or after January 1, 2010.

The program is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). For further information on how to apply and eligibility requirements for EFRP, NIPF landowners may visit the FSA county office where their farm records are maintained or FSA website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Support for Restoration of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land Damaged by Natural Disasters.

 

HCC Dedicates New Aquaculture Facility

Honolulu Community College (HCC), University of Hawaii, recently dedicated its new Agri-Farm and Shade House. Students and faculty of the apprentice program helped install the demonstration facility to train students and the local community in aquatic food production methods in hydroponics and aquaponics. The project is supported by the NIFA Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program.

Kakkala Gopalakrish­nan, professor of oceanog­raphy at HCC, oversees the agri-farm facility on campus. Learning and promoting interest in sustainable gardening at home is the ultimate program goal. The agri-farm facility demonstrates various urban gardening set-ups such as hanging gardens, global buckets, and earth boxes. Students have learned to grow vegetables and taro in different ways. They are interested in learning more about sustainable living to one-day be self-sufficient. The facility will also serve as an outdoor laboratory for students in botany and other life science classes. Contact Kakkala Gopalakrish­nan, for more information.

eXtension Funds New Rural Community Development Team


The eXtension program announced funding for “Enhancing Rural Capacity,” a new Community of Practice (COP) of scholars and educators who will mobilize resources to help rural communities seeking to improve their quality of life and expand future prospects. Co-directed by Mary Peabody, University of Vermont, and Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, Cornell University, the COP includes a national team of extension professionals and researchers who will plan, develop, and deliver top-quality education in leadership and capacity-building for rural communities throughout the country. The goal is a comprehensive and interactive learning environment in the field of community development. The team is uniquely qualified to evaluate extension educational products now in existence and ready for transfer into an online environment. New materials will also be developed and delivered.

Peabody and Mouillesseaux-Kunzman are both associate directors of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, which supports this new national effort. For more information visit the eXtension website. Contact Sally Maggard, NIFA national program leader, for more information about NIFA’s Community and Economic Development programs.

National e-Commerce Initiative Funds First Bilingual Workshop

The National e-Commerce Initiative awarded a mini-grant for the first bilingual e-commerce workshop on website basics for Hispanic small businesses to Abelardo Rodriguez, a community and economic specialist with the University of Idaho. His focus is on a four county area of Idaho with a rapidly growing Hispanic population. He will partner with The Latino Economic and Development Center, Inc. The center was awarded federal funds to operate public computer centers in the region. This partnership will bring bilingual learning in e-commerce opportunities to help Hispanic small businesses succeed and expand their markets. The National e-Commerce Initiative is coordinated by the Southern Rural Development Center (SRRC) in partnership with the other NIFA Regional Rural Development Centers. For more information on the e-Commerce mini-grant program and initiative visit the SRRC website. Contact NIFA National Program Leader Sally Maggard for more program information.

Loveridge New NCRCRD Director


The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) announced that Scott Loveridge is their new director. Loveridge has more than 20 years of rural development research, education, and extension experience. He is recognized as a national authority on state, local, and regional economic development, and he brings substantial administrative skills to the position.

Loveridge has served as associate chair, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, at Michigan State University since 2006. He will maintain tenure in his home department and will phase into full-time director status by March 1, 2011.
 
The NCRCRD works with extension professionals, researchers, educators, and their partners to enhance rural development outcomes in the 12-state north central region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas). For more information about the NCRCRD visit their website.

 

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. NIFA UPDATE is published biweekly. The next NIFA issue is planned for December 22. Submit news items to mailto:newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by December 15.

Editor:  Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, NIFA Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact her.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an e-mail message to Judy Rude. In the body of the message, type: subscribe nifa-update OR unsubscribe nifa-update.  Back issues of NIFA UPDATE are available on the NIFA website.

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 SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.