Advanced SearchHomeAbout UsGrantsFormsNewsroomHelpContact Us
Search CSREES
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
You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update - November 23, 2011


NIFA Update — November 23, 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

  • USDA and Defense Department Partner to Support Military Families
  • NIFA Supports Agricultural Extension Development in Afghanistan
  • USDA Expands People’s Garden Initiative to Sow Seeds for Community-Based Agriculture across the Country
  • NIFA in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

USDA

  • Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Record Growth of U.S. Agricultural Exports in Fiscal Year 2011
  • USDA Streamlines Programs to Help American Agriculture Enhance Productivity
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Reduce Energy Costs for Rural Small Businesses

 

Partners

  • Tuskegee Appoints New Extension Administrator

 

Opportunities

  • Community Development Society Announces Call for Abstracts
  • Journal of Rural Social Sciences Seeks Papers on Rural Health
  • NCRCRD Hosts Webinar on Facilitating Technology Transfer

 

Awards and Recognition

  • Boteler Gives Honorary Address
  • Bolton Receives EPA Bronze Medal Award

 

Mailbox

  • Last Issue for 2011 Scheduled December 7

USDA and Defense Department Partner to Support Military Families

WASHINGTON, November 21 – NIFA awarded two grants for universities to develop programs to train U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) staff in their efforts to support military families. The University of Arizona in Tucson received a grant through the Military Family Readiness System (MFRS) program, to develop training resources. George Washington University in Washington, D.C., received a grant through the Second Language & Culture Exposure for Children and Youth Project to develop innovative language and cultural programs for military children.
                 
The awards were made as part of the Extension-Military Partnership. “Each year, our military families face unique challenges as their loved ones serve our nation,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, acting NIFA director. “These awards will increase the military’s ability to assist families during the transitions of military life.”                  

The Extension-Military Partnership was established between USDA and DOD in 2010 to support military service members and their families in their communities. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

NIFA Supports Agricultural Extension Development in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, November 15 - NIFA awarded a $14 million grant to a University of California-Davis-led consortium of universities to assist Afghanistan in strengthening its agricultural extension system. Agriculture employs more than 80 percent of Afghanistan’s labor force and generates more than 40 percent of its economic output. USDA-supported efforts in the country are intended to empower the Afghan government to strengthen Afghan-led development.

UC-Davis, along with Purdue University, and Washington State University will work with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) as they attempt to deliver more effective, demand-driven extension services to producers and other rural clientele. The consortium will link MAIL with local university faculty, vocational schools, the private sector, and other information providers to develop a viable and credible extension system in Afghanistan. The project will focus on professional development training for extension staff to increase extension’s ability to meet farmers’ needs and ultimately build public confidence in MAIL’s capacity to provide critical services.

NIFA’s Center for International Programs will collaborate with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in overseeing the implementation of the 3-year project. Funding for this project originated with the U.S. Agency for International Development, which transferred funds to capitalize on the unique resources of USDA and its land-grant institution partners to strengthen Afghanistan’s MAIL extension system. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Expands People’s Garden Initiative to Sow Seeds for Community-Based Agriculture across the Country 

WASHINGTON, November 10 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited a community garden in Baltimore to announce 10 grants to support 155 People’s Gardens in neighborhoods from Maryland to Hawaii, continuing the Department of Agriculture’s efforts to combat malnutrition while supporting local and regional food systems. These sustainable community gardens will give residents direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods. A lack of access to fresh and nutritious food fuels obesity and domestic food insecurity—a condition where households experience limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

NIFA manages the People’s Garden Grant Program (PGGP), with funding from the Agriculture Marketing Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The grants total $725,000 and are the first awards given under the PGGP. PGGP invests in urban and rural areas identified as food deserts or food insecure areas, particularly those with persistent poverty. The program also uses onsite education programs to address health issues closely related to malnutrition, including food insecurity, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

NIFA in the News

 

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

See individual grant program.

See individual grant program.

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Sustainable Community Projects

December 1, 2011

Bonita Williams

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases

December 7, 2011

Peter Johnson

Secondary Education, 2-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program

January 20, 2012

Gregory Smith

Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) (Letter of Intent due Nov. 25, 2011)

January 31, 2012

Thomas Bewick

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG)
(Letter of Intent due Dec. 1, 2011)

February 1, 2012

Shing F. Kwok

 

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.

 

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Record Growth of U.S. Agricultural Exports in Fiscal Year 2011

USDA Streamlines Programs to Help American Agriculture Enhance Productivity

KANSAS CITY, Mo., November 10 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA has streamlined a host of programs and processes in an effort to help farmers, ranchers, and businesses continue to drive America's productive agricultural economy. As USDA approaches its 150th anniversary, the changes—quicker disaster assistance, expedited reviews of pending product applications, and less reporting dates—will help USDA build a better, stronger, and more efficient Department. Improvements were announced by the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Earlier this year, Vilsack asked USDA leadership to undertake a review of the Department's operations to identify improvements and innovations to the Department's services and programs. Many of the process improvements announced are part of the USDA Customer Service Plan, which identifies key Departmental actions and initiatives aimed at improving customer service. USDA developed this plan in support of the President's April 27, Executive Order 13571, on "Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding To Reduce Energy Costs for Rural Small Businesses

AMES, IOWA, November 9 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is funding projects to harness wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power to reduce energy costs for farms and small business across rural America. Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Doug O'Brien made the announcement on the Secretary's behalf during his address at the Rural Young Entrepreneur Summit (YES). The YES event is sponsored by USDA Rural Development, the Community Vitality Center (CVC), Iowa State University's Extension, Outreach Community and Economic Development along with the U.S. Small Business Administration. USDA funding is being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and is contingent on the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant or loan agreement. REAP grants can finance up to 25 percent of a project's cost, up to $500,000 for renewable energy systems, and $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

 

Tuskegee Appoints New Extension Administrator

Dr. Walter A. Hill was appointed 1890 Extension Administrator at Tuskegee University. Hill earned a B.S. in chemistry from Lake Forest College in 1968; an M.A.T in chemistry from University of Chicago in 1970; an M.S. in soil chemistry from University of Arizona in 1973; and his Ph.D. in agronomy/environmental chemistry in 1978 from the University of Illinois. He currently serves as dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences and Evans-Allen research director. His contact information is: Tuskegee University, Room 100, Campbell Hall, Tuskegee, AL  36088; telephone 334-727-8157; and fax 334-724-8493.  

 

Community Development Society Announces Call for Abstracts

The Community Development Society (CDS) Annual Meeting, "Sustaining Community through Innovation and Entrepreneurship," will be July 21-25, 2012, in Cincinnati. The CDS conference provides opportunities for students, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to share experiences, expertise, educational programs, and research findings. Land-grant university colleagues and other key partners may get involved by submitting an abstract to showcase important community related activities. The deadline for abstract submission is extended to January 27, 2012. Abstracts involving partnerships between practitioners and academics are especially encouraged.

Journal of Rural Social Sciences Seeks Papers on Rural Health

The Journal of Rural Social Sciences (JRSS) is calling for abstracts for a special Rural Health issue in 2012. Authors should submit abstracts of original research and review papers based on quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Topical areas concerning rural heath may include health care disparities among different social groups; health disparities among different social groups; the potential impact of health care reform; gaps in the research concerning rural communities; social-ecological influences on rural health; special health issues concerning rural immigrants; special health issues concerning rural children; impact of community partnerships on rural health; community development and rural health; and other issues related to rural health. Submissions are due November 30, 2011. 

NCRCRD Hosts Webinar on Facilitating Technology Transfer

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) will host a webinar on facilitating technology transfer on November 30 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Dr. Maureen Kilkenny, visiting professor for the NCRCRD, will present a 1-hour, interactive webinar to encourage multistate collaboration to assist land-grants and rural enterprises to “act regionally, to compete globally.” Kilkenny will share a review of the north central region land-grant approaches to engaged scholarship, technology transfer, start-ups, knowledge-based firm recruiting, support to businesses, and more. Using “instant response‟ webinar technology, participants will discuss lessons learned and keys to success. Other discussions will include new opportunities for grant funding; possible models for collaborative knowledge transfer, training, support, or delivery programs; and new opportunities for university extension.

The webinar is free. After opening the webinar link, type your name and enter as a guest. You will be in the meeting room for this webinar and the facilitator will guide you with any next steps. Contact Rosa Soliz, NCRCRD communications and logistics associate, or Sally Maggard, NIFA national program leader, for more information.

 

Boteler Gives Honorary Address

Franklin E. Boteler, Assistant Director for NIFA’s Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, presented the honorary address as part of the John Gray Fund in Excellence in Forest Resources and Conservation Lecture Series. The event was held at the annual meeting of the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resource Conservation and practicing natural resource managers in Florida. Previous lecturers included Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of Interior; Rodger Sedjo, director of Resources for the Future; and Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Research, Education, and Economics mission area. Boteler spoke of his 20 years of experience in administering state park systems, science priorities at NIFA, and significant challenges and opportunities for natural resource management.

Bolton Receives EPA Bronze Medal Award

Herb Bolton, NIFA national program leader for Army environmental programs in the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability, received an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs Bronze Medal Award on November 8, as part of a 10-member Federal Bed Bug Workgroup. The team was recognized “For forming the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup and collaborating to improve the consistency, quality, and efficiency of the Federal response to the bed bug problem.” Two additional USDA employees from ARS are part of the team, along with representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Defense, EPA, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bronze medal is the third highest honor award given by EPA. 

The next NIFA issue is planned for December 7. Submit news items to: newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by November 30. If you have questions about Update, please contact the Editor: Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, NIFA Communications Staff.

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.

Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting 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.

Questions? Comments? Last Updated: 11/23/2011