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 — January 26, 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 Announces Principal Scientist Positions
  • NIFA Announces Assistant Director Position
  • NIFA Announces New Staff Appointments
  • USDA Announces Grants to Boost Sustainable Bioenergy Education
  • USDA Announces Grant to Develop Obesity Prevention Program at OSU
  • USDA Announces Grants to Study Climate Change Mitigation and Bioenergy Development
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

USDA

  • USDA Announces New Updates to the U.S. Food Environment Atlas
  • Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Debbie Stabenow to Speak at USDA's 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum
  • USDA Launches New Bio-based Product Label to Boost Demand for Products Made from Renewable Commodities and Support Green Jobs
  • USDA Unveils Critical Upgrades to Nutritional Standards for School Meals 
  • Statement from Secretary Vilsack on EPA Biomass Announcement
  • Sign Up Period for Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments for 2009 Losses Opens

 

Mailbox
 

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 NIFA’s 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 governments, 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 Announces Assistant Director Position

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 New Staff Appointments

NIFA is pleased to announce new staff appointments for our new Institutes and Offices.  These are all new positions associated with NIFA’s restructuring.

Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition

Director, Division of Nutrition:  Action Pending

Director, Division of Food Safety:   Jan Singleton was NIFA national program leader for food science/food safety.

Administrative Officer:   Sarah Burke was NIFA secretary for Plant and Animal Systems.

Supervisory Program Assistant:   Valerie Martin was NIFA program assistant  for Plant and Animal Systems.

Institute of Youth, Family, and Community

Director, Division of Family and Consumer Sciences:  Caroline Crocoll was NIFA national program leader for Family and Consumer Sciences.

Administrative Officer:  Margaret Grandison was NIFA program assistant  for Natural Resources and Environment.

Institute of Food Production and Sustainability

Director, Division of Plant Systems – Production:  Mary Monning Peet was NIFA national program leader for horticulture.

Supervisory Program Assistant(s):  Action Pending

Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment

Director, Division of Environmental Systems:  Ali Mohamed was NIFA national program leader for the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions Capacity Building Grants program.

Director, Division of Global Climate Change:   Luis Tupas was NIFA national program leader  for global change and climate.

Administrative Officer:   Michan Faxio was NIFA program assistant for the Competitive Programs

Office of Information Technology

Administrative Officer:  Trenice Hall was secretary for Information Systems and Technology Management.

Office of The Director

Secretary to the Deputy Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources:  Action Pending

USDA Announces Grants to Boost Sustainable Bioenergy Education

WASHINGTON, January 18, 2011 – NIFA announced two grants that will create educational opportunities in math and science for students interested in bioenergy and bio-based products. “Bioenergy and bio-based products hold vast potential as the foundation for new technologies and opportunities that could have a large impact on rural economies, but these innovations require a trained and skilled workforce to meet the needs of new ‘bio-economies,’” said Roger Beachy, director of NIFA. “These two significant investments will help jumpstart the U.S. education system towards ensuring that we have enough workers with the multidisciplinary and problem solving skill sets to help America address its energy challenges.”

NIFA awarded Corinne Rutzke at Cornell University $4,999,940 to provide teachers from grades 8 through the undergraduate level with a strong footing in multidisciplinary content and research-based training materials and activities linked to the Northeast's projected feedstock systems. Rutzke will partner with researchers at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, Delaware State University, Pace Law School and Ohio State University.

Richard Amasino from the University of Wisconsin received $4,671,847 from NIFA to strengthen the regional K-16 education system, especially at underserved schools, by supporting teacher learning in matter, energy and ecosystem concepts. Partner schools include College of the Menominee Nation and Michigan State University. Both projects are funded for 5 years through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read USDA Announces Grants to Boost Sustainable Bioenergy Education.

USDA Announces Grant to Develop Obesity Prevention Program at OSU

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 – Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), awarded funding to Oregon State University (OSU) researchers to develop an obesity prevention program for children in rural Oregon.

“Childhood obesity is a problem faced by many families across the nation. In addition, many children in rural areas face obstacles, such as access to fresh healthy foods and physical activity and recreational programs, that help to fight obesity,” Beachy said.

NIFA awarded OSU assistant professor Deborah John $4,878,865 to start “Generating Rural Options for Weight-Healthy Kids and Communities.” John will work with Cooperative Extension in six Western states to assess features in rural communities that either prevent or promote obesity and community resources and readiness that could help with prevention efforts. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read USDA Announces Grant to Develop Obesity Prevention Program at OSU.

USDA Announces Grants to Study Climate Change Mitigation and Bioenergy Development

DAVIS, Calif., January 12, 2011 – Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced two Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) awards to the University of California-Davis that have implications for both climate variability and the development of a promising new sustainable bioenergy source. “I am pleased to formally announce two significant investments in science by USDA that will impact agriculture. In one of these exciting projects, a team of researchers will tease out the impacts of changes in climate on crop yields and identify genetic loci that can be incorporated in breeding of barley and wheat to tolerate changes that accompany change in climate. The second research team will generate and use genomics information to provide an understanding of genes and genetics in conifers to help in developing new bioenergy sources,” Beachy said. “Each project features transdisciplinary, regional, integrated teams, including scientists from institutions that represent underserved populations—an approach that represents a new paradigm in how USDA science can best solve critical issues facing agriculture today.” Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read USDA Announces Grants to Study Climate Change Mitigation and Bioenergy Development.

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 26, 2011

Monte Johnson

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

Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants Program

February 23, 2011

Tim Grosser

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program

February 23, 2011

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

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

February 25, 2011

Ed Kaleikau

Special Research Grants Program: Potato Breeding Research

March 1, 2011

James Parochetti

Special Research Grants Program: Pest Management Alternatives Program

March 3, 2011

Monte Johnson

Disaster Resilience for Rural Communities

March 4, 2011

Siva Sureshwaran

Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities: State and Regional AgrAbility Projects

March 10, 2011

Bradley Rein

1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program

March 15, 2011

Ali I Mohamed

Higher Education Program: Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program

See Grant Program

Irma Lawrence

Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (formerly Extension Indian Reservation Program)

March 31, 2011

Tim Grosser

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 Announces New Updates to the U.S. Food Environment Atlas

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted updates to an online mapping tool that compares U.S. counties in terms of their “food environment”—the set of factors that help determine and reflect a community’s access to affordable, healthy food. The U.S. Food Environment Atlas, developed by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), was introduced last year as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let's Move!” initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. Vilsack discussed the tool as he spoke to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and laid out steps that they could take to improve health and nutrition in their communities.

“This food atlas is an important tool to help guide policymakers and researchers in addressing the links between diet, food access, and public health, and the new upgrades shed additional light on food environments across the United States and provides an even broader overview of a community’s ability to access healthy foods,” said Vilsack. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces New Updates to the “U.S. Food Environment Atlas.”

Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Debbie Stabenow to Speak at USDA’s 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow will be the distinguished speakers at the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum Plenary Session on February 24 in Arlington, Va. President Clinton served two terms as President from 1993 to 2001. Senator Stabenow is the new Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Secretary Vilsack will deliver the Forum’s keynote address.

Following the plenary, experts in 25 breakout sessions will discuss a broad range of topical issues related to risk management, renewable energy, rural communities, foreign trade and domestic markets, conservation and the environment, nutrition and USDA Dietary Guidelines, land tenure issues, broadband, and sustainability. The forum also will feature the traditional USDA commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Debbie Stabenow to Speak at USDA’s 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum.

USDA Launches New Bio-based Product Label to Boost Demand for Products Made from Renewable Commodities and Support Green Jobs

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2011 – USDA’s BioPreferred program announced that a final rule to initiate a voluntary product certification and labeling program for qualifying biobased products was published in the Federal Register. This new label will clearly identify bio-based products made from renewable resources and will promote the increased sale and use of these products in the commercial market and for consumers. “Today’s consumers are increasingly interested in making educated purchasing choices for their families,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “This label will make those decisions easier by identifying products as bio-based. These products have enormous potential to create green jobs in rural communities, add value to agricultural commodities, decrease environmental impacts, and reduce our dependence on imported oil.” Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Launches New Bio-based Product Label to Boost Demand for Products Made from Renewable Commodities and Support Green Jobs

USDA Unveils Critical Upgrades to Nutritional Standards for School Meals 

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2010 – USDA published a proposed rule to update the nutrition standards for meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 13, 2010. The new proposed meal requirements will raise standards for the first time in 15 years and will make critical changes to school meals and help improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids who participate in school meal programs every school day. The update is an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let’s Move!” initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Unveils Critical Upgrades to Nutritional Standards for School Meals


Sign Up Period for Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments for 2009 Losses Opens

WASHINGTON, January 11, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminds eligible producers that the sign-up period for the 2009 crop year Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program has opened. SURE is one of five disaster programs included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) that provides assistance to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters. Farmers and ranchers interested in signing up must do so before July 29, 2011. For more information on the 2009 SURE program, visit any FSA county office or the FSA SURE website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Farmers/Ranchers are Reminded that the Sign Up Period for Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments for 2009 Losses Has Opened.

 

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 9. Submit news items to:  newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by February 2.

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.