NIFA Update — August 31, 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 Seeks Assistant Director of the Institute of Youth, Family, and Community
- NIFA in the News
- NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications
- USDA Chief Scientist Holds White House Business Council Roundtable to Discuss Innovation and Job Creation with South Carolina Business Leaders
- USDA Announces New Agreement to Promote Additional Investment in Rural America
- USDA Announces Funding to Provide Jobs, Business Growth, and Improve Transportation Services for Tribes and Rural Communities
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding for Over 900 Projects to Boost Renewable Energy Production, Reduce Energy Costs for Producers, and Small Businesses
- President Announces New Jobs Initiatives for Rural America
- USDA Announces Historic School Nutrition Improvements as Children Return to School
- The Science of Gene Flow in Agriculture and its Role in Co-existence Workshop
- Next Issue Scheduled September 14
NIFA Seeks Assistant Director of the Institute of Youth, Family, and Community
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is seeking to fill the position of Assistant Director of the Institute of Youth, Family, and Community (NIFA:SES:11-03).This is a Senior Executive Service (SES) position. The salary ranges from $119,554 to $179,700, commensurate with experience.
The Assistant Director of the Institute of Youth, Family, and Community is responsible for providing scientific and managerial leadership and direction in formulating and implementing policies and programs that support research, education, and extension programs that ensure positive youth, family, human, educational, and community development. In addition, programs for science-based educational capacity building at all levels are a major focus. The incumbent serves as a principal scientific and management advisor to the Deputy Director for Food and Community Resources in administering, evaluating, planning, directing, and coordinating all activities related to the mission and function of NIFA, in execution of policies and practices of grant management, and in the allocation of resources to carry out these policies and practices. The incumbent is instrumental in elevating the standing of agricultural sciences within the federal science enterprise and provides scientific, technical, and administrative input to the NIFA Director and Deputy Directors. More information about NIFA can be found on the website.
A copy of the job announcement is located on the Office of Personnel Management’s USAJOBS.gov. As specified in the job announcement, applicants must meet mandatory qualifications and address specific executive core and technical qualifications.
All applications must be received by October 4, 2011. Contact Deborah Crump at 301-504-1448 for information about the application process. Contact Betty Lou Gilliland at 202-720-5506 to learn more about NIFA. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
NIFA in the News
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.
USDA Chief Scientist Holds White House Business Council Roundtable to Discuss Innovation and Job Creation with South Carolina Business Leaders
GREENVILLE, S.C., August 23 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki met with business leaders to explore ways federal, state, and local officials can work together to spur innovation and create jobs in South Carolina. The meeting was part of a series of White House Business Council Roundtable events being held across the country to give government leaders the opportunity to hear directly from businesses."The President and USDA are committed to creating good-paying jobs that will help businesses and the communities they serve," said Woteki. "Today South Carolina business leaders provided me with valuable input and innovative ideas on how to grow the economy, which I will take back to Washington."
The roundtable also served as an opportunity to educate participants about USDA programs and other resources across the federal government that can help rebuild and revitalize rural American communities. The meeting was hosted by the Clemson Regional Small Business Development Center which offers personal guidance and assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs in South Carolina. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Chief Scientist Holds White House Business Council Roundtable to Discuss Innovation, and Job Creation with South Carolina Business Leaders.
USDA Announces New Agreement to Promote Additional Investment in Rural America
DES MOINES, Iowa, August 19 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has signed an agreement with the Council on Foundations to provide new sources of capital, new job opportunities, workforce investment strategies, and identification of additional resources that can be used to spur economic growth in rural America. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding builds on meetings the Secretary had last month during the Council on Foundations Rural Philanthropy Conference in Kansas City, MO, where he called on representatives the philanthropic community to "Step up, take risks, and work creatively create jobs, improve the quality of life and make an impact on rural America." The Secretary made the announcement while hosting a White House Rural Forum at the Iowa State Fair. "This partnership sets a path to greater economic opportunities for rural communities by ensuring a better use of resources," Vilsack said. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces New Agreement to Promote Additional Investment in Rural America.
USDA Announces Funding To Provide Jobs, Business Growth and Improve Transportation Services for Tribes and Rural Communities
WASHINGTON, August 18 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of projects in 15 states to support small business and job creation opportunities, and train workers in Native American communities. In addition, Vilsack also announced grants to help bring transportation improvements to Native American communities. Janie Hipp, Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs, made the announcement on behalf of Secretary Vilsack while attending an award ceremony with Tribal leaders in Miami, OK. "USDA is working to ensure that members of Tribes have the tools they need to expand economic opportunities and improve their quality of life," Vilsack said. "These grants represent USDA's ongoing commitment to strengthen Tribes and support sustainable rural business opportunities that will create jobs."
The announcement was made as part of the Obama Administration's week-long focus on the rural economy and the White House Rural Council, which is addressing key areas of need in rural America including helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services, and increasing rural access to health care workers and technology. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Funding To Provide Jobs, Business Growth and Improve Transportation Services for Tribes and Rural Communities.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding for Over 900 Projects to Boost Renewable Energy Production, Reduce Energy Costs for Producers and Small Businesses
ATKINSON, Ill., August 17 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grants for more than 900 agricultural producers and rural small businesses across the country to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations. Secretary Vilsack made the announcement as part of President Obama's rural economic bus tour in the Midwest where he highlighted efforts underway to reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil, which will increase the economic competitiveness of rural America and promote job creation.
The grants are being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a 2008 Farm Bill initiative. REAP offers funds for farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements. These federal funds leverage other funding sources for small businesses. In all, USDA announced more than $11.6 million in energy grants. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding for Over 900 Projects to Boost Renewable Energy Production, Reduce Energy Costs for Producers and Small Businesses.
President Announces New Jobs Initiatives for Rural America
On August 16, at the White House Rural Economic Forum, President Obama announced new jobs initiatives recommended by the White House Rural Council for growing the economy and creating jobs in rural America. The Council's recommendations focus on key areas of need in rural communities, including helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services, and increasing rural access to health care workers and technology. "Creating jobs and economic opportunity in rural America is a priority for the Obama Administration, and the White House Rural Council has used an 'all hands on deck' approach to leverage resources across the federal government to achieve that goal," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "By bringing new capital, job training, and additional investments to our rural communities, we are working to ensure the people who live in these towns have a better, brighter future."
The Council's recommendations, which leverage existing programs and funding, include committing $350 million in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next 5 years, launching a series of conferences to connect private equity and venture capital investors with rural start ups, creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural investments, making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide, making Health and Human Services loans available to help more than 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals recruit additional staff, and helping rural hospitals purchase software and hardware to implement health IT. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release President Announces New Jobs Initiatives for Rural America.
USDA Announces Historic School Nutrition Improvements as Children Return to School
WASHINGTON, August 15 - USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon hosted a conference call to highlight the historic school nutrition reforms and improvements that students and families will see in the new school year. The reforms, delivered through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), are improving the nutritional quality of school meals and bolstering the entire school environment. Concannon also announced that schools nationwide reached First Lady Michelle Obama's goal of 1,250 schools receiving HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) honors for expanding nutrition and physical activity opportunities.
USDA also took the opportunity to launch the Healthy Access Locator, a web-based resource that geographically pinpoints HUSSC award-winning schools and features built-in data on diet-related diseases. The web-based map allows users to search HealthierUS School Challenge awards by geography (national, regional, local), school type (elementary, middle, high), award type (bronze, silver, gold, gold award of distinction) and date of award. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Historic School Nutrition Improvements as Children Return to School.
The Science of Gene Flow in Agriculture and its Role in Co-existence Workshop
NIFA and USDA’s Office of the Secretary are co-sponsoring this free workshop September 7-8 in the USDA South Building’s Jefferson Auditorium. The goal of the workshop is to continue the coexistence dialog with the stakeholder community through science-based presentations and panel discussions that focus on gene flow biology and the latest strategies for genetic containment. Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, will present opening remarks.
Twenty experts will discuss gene flow related issues, including: the economic impact of gene flow, pollen flow to wild and cultivated plant species, current management strategies to maintain seed purity, and current and future strategies to prevent pollen flow and seed contamination. Presenters include representatives from academia, industry, a national trade association, and the U.S. government. Allen Van Deynze from the University of California is organizing the workshop. The workshop is open to the public, but registration is required. Visit the UC Davis website to register and review the agenda.
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Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting Director
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