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NIFA Update — January 12, 2011

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’s Waterfront Centre Staff Begins the ‘Big Move’
  • NIFA Announces Assistant Director Position
  • NIFA Announces Principal Scientist Positions
  • NIFA Releases First of Seven RFAs for AFRI Funding
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

USDA

  • USDA's Risk Management Agency Unveils Proposed Rule to Reward Farmers Participating in Federal Crop Insurance Program
  • Open Letter to Stakeholders from Secretary Vilsack to Urge GE and non-GE Coexistence
  • Nutrition Facts Panels to Appear on Labels of Popular Cuts of Meat and Poultry Products
  • Conservation Reserve Program Celebrates 25 Years
  • Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Passage of the Food Safety Bill
  • USDA Offers Conservation Funding to Organic Producers

 

Partners

  • Kopp Named ESA Fellow
  • NCCES Announces New Assistant Vice Chancellor for Extension

Mailbox
 

NIFA’s Waterfront Centre Staff Begins the ‘Big Move’

From January 14 through January 18, many NIFA employees are scheduled to move within the Waterfront Centre. Throughout this time period, phones and computers will be disconnected so you may not be able to contact NIFA employees at Waterfront. Lyris and the electronic mailing lists will not be available. This includes the regional mailing lists: cesdirs, aesdirs, apdirs, ahs, and others.

If you have a critical issue during this period, please call the NIFA Director’s office at 202-720-4423. NIFA expects to be fully operational on Wednesday, January 19.

NIFA Announces Assistant Director Position

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 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 NIFA information can be found on the NIFA website

NIFA is seeking to fill the position of Assistant Director of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (NIFA: SES:10-14).This is a Senior Executive Service (SES) position. The salary ranges from $119,554 to $179,700, commensurate with experience. 

A copy of the job announcement is located on the Office of Personnel Management website. As specified in the job announcement, applicants must meet mandatory qualifications and address specific executive core and technical qualifications. Veterans’ preference applies. 

All applications must be received by February 14, 2011. Contact Deborah Crump (301-504-1448) for information about the application process.  Contact Betty Lou Gilliland (202-720-5506) to learn more about NIFA. 

NIFA Announces Principal Scientist Positions

NIFA recently reorganized to a structure with four institutes. Each institute 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 website. 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 website. 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 permanent or term positions, which are competitive appointments 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 their applications 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.

NIFA Releases First of Seven RFAs for AFRI Funding

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2011 – NIFA released the first request for applications (RFA) to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) funding opportunity to support research, education, and extension in fundamental and applied food and agricultural sciences.

During the next several months, NIFA will release six more RFAs through the AFRI program. Five RFAs will continue to support societal challenge areas where research, education, and extension can achieve significant and measurable outcomes. These challenge areas include: childhood obesity prevention, agricultural adaptation to climate variables, sustainable bioenergy, food safety and global food security. In addition, a seventh RFA will fund opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral fellowship grants.

All AFRI program information, including the anticipated release date of the challenge area RFAs and the NIFA Fellowships Grant Program RFA, is available on the NIFA website. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release NIFA Releases First of Seven Requests for Applications to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

 

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity Closing Date Contact

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Program

See individual grant program.

See individual grant program.

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

January 19, 2011

Monte Johnson

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

January 21, 2011

Gregory Smith

International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program

January 26, 2011

Patricia Fulton

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

Disaster Resilience for Rural Communities

March 4, 2011

Siva Sureshwaran

Higher Education Program: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program

See Grant Program

Irma Lawrence

Distance Education Grants for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas (DEG)

April 8, 2011

Gregory Smith

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

April 8, 2011

Gregory Smith

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.

 

USDA's Risk Management Agency Unveils Proposed Rule to Reward Farmers Participating in Federal Crop Insurance Program 

WASHINGTON, January 6, 2010 – The USDA Risk Management Agency announced that it has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would reward farmers participating in the federal crop insurance program for good performance.

The proposed rule in the Federal Register has a 15-day comment period that ends January 21, 2011. This notification is intended to give the public an opportunity to review the proposed rule and prepare comments to be submitted during the comment period. The proposed program is intended to be available before the spring planting season. Click on Federal Register to access the proposed rule. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA's Risk Management Agency Unveils Proposed Rule to Reward Farmers Participating in Federal Crop Insurance Program.


Nutrition Facts Panels to Appear on Labels of Popular Cuts of Meat and Poultry Products

WASHINGTON, December 29, 2010 – USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that it will make important nutritional information readily available to consumers on 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry products. Under a new rule, packages of ground or chopped meat and poultry will feature nutrition facts panels on their labels. Additionally, whole, raw cuts of meat, and poultry will also have nutrition facts panels either on their package labels or available for consumers at the point-of-purchase.

The nutrition facts panels will include the number of calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat a product contains. Additionally, any product that lists a lean percentage statement, such as "76% lean," on its label also will list its fat percentage, making it easier for consumers to understand the amounts of lean protein and fat in their purchase. The rule is effective on January 1, 2012. The notice announcing this rule can be found on the Federal Register website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Nutrition Facts Panels to Appear on Labels of Popular Cuts of Meat and Poultry Products.

Conservation Reserve Program Celebrates 25 Years

WASHINGTON, December 23, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the 25th anniversary of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which has protected our nation's natural resources since the signing of the historic Food Security Act of 1985. The act provided for the establishment of CRP and for the protection of highly erodible land. "CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation's natural resources through voluntary participation," said Vilsack. "Although it was designed to address soil erosion, CRP has become one of the standouts in the USDA arsenal of conservation programs by continuing to provide significant economic and environmental benefits beyond its original intent." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Conservation Reserve Program Celebrates 25 Years.


USDA Offers Conservation Funding to Organic Producers

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced USDA will provide funding to help organic producers and those transitioning to organic production implement resource conservation practices on their agricultural operations. Eligible producers include those certified through USDA's National Organic Program, those transitioning to certified organic production, and those who meet organic standards but are exempt from certification because their gross annual organic sales are less than $5,000. Producers interested in applying for Organic Initiative funding must submit applications through their local NRCS Service Center, which can be located through the website. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, with the cutoff date set for March 4, 2011. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Offers Conservation Funding to Organic Producers.

 

 

Kopp Named ESA Fellow

Dennis D. Kopp, NIFA program and analysis officer, was named a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. He received his BS in biology from Loras College, and attended graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, completing his MS and Ph.D. He accepted a position as extension entomologist at North Dakota State University and became professor in 1987. In 1990, he became a national program leader for entomology and became plant section leader with USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), in Washington, DC. He received a 7-month Brookings Institute Legis Congressional Fellowship in 2003, which allowed him to work as a legislative assistant. He returned to USDA and in 2005 became the CSREES assistant administrator for program and analysis. His professional entomological interests have included insect identification and classification, insect ecology, insect biology, pest management, and the promotion of entomology as a career of choice for young people. He has been an active ESA member since 1968.

NCCES Announces New Assistant Vice Chancellor for Extension

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (NCCES) appointed Joe Zublena as assistant vice chancellor for Extension, Engagement, and Economic Development, associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Zublena previously served as associate director and director of county operations. Prior to joining North Carolina State University in 1988 as department extension leader in the soil science department, he worked for Clemson University as an extension specialist in agronomy and soils. Zublena received his Ph.D., MS, and BS from Rutgers University.  He can be reached at 120 Patterson Hall, Box 7602, NCSU Campus, Raleigh, NC 27695; telephone 919-515-2811; fax 919-515-3135; email joe_zublena@ncsu.edu.

 

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. NIFA UPDATE is published biweekly. The next NIFA issue is planned for January 26. Submit news items to mailto:newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by January 19.

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.