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You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update - February 1, 2012


NIFA Update — February 1, 2012

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

  • AFRI Stakeholder Listening Session and Upcoming Webinars
  • NIFA Capacity Building Grants for NLGCA Institutions
  • Solicitation of Input on Extension IPM Competitive Grants Program
  • USDA Loan Repayment Awards Help Deliver Veterinarian Services to Underserved Rural Communities
  • USDA Awards Grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for E. coli Research to Help Reduce Public Health Risks
  • USDA Awards Research Grants to Ensure the Sustainability and Quality of America’s Water Supply
  • NIFA in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

USDA

  • USDA to Release New Long-Term Agricultural Projections 
  • New Forest Planning Rule Seeks to Restore the Nation's Forests through Science and Collaboration
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Updated and Improved Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims of Hispanic and Women Farmers
  • USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • USDA Seeks to Modernize Poultry Inspection in the United States
  • USDA Appoints New Members to the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee 
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Streamlines Access to Energy Investment Information at USDA

 

Partners

  • Interim NDSU CES Director Announced

 

Opportunities

  • 2012 Priester National Health Conference/Proposal Deadline Extended

 

Mailbox

  • Next Issue Scheduled February 15

AFRI Stakeholder Listening Session and Upcoming Webinars

NIFA will host a meeting to obtain stakeholder input and comments for consideration in developing FY 2013 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) solicitations on Wednesday, February 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Waterfront Centre, Room 1410, 800 9th Street, SW, Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public and persons who use or conduct research, extension, or education activities are invited to attend. Persons wishing to present oral comments at the February 22 meeting are requested to pre-register by contacting Terri Joya, telephone 202-401-1282; or, fax 202-401-1782. Participants requiring special accommodations should contact Terri Joya. Written comments will be accepted until March 22, 2012. Please note that written comments may be incorporated into a frequently asked questions document, and/or used during the meeting if agreeable by the stakeholders. All comments and the official meeting transcript will be available on the NIFA Website.

In addition, NIFA will host a series of seven webinars during March and April. These program-specific webinars will focus on the AFRI Challenge Areas, Fellows Grant, and Foundational Program. The date and time for each webinar will be posted to the AFRI Frequently Asked Questions/Webinars page on or before February 22. Visit the Federal Register Notice for the full announcement and additional details.

NIFA Capacity Building Grants for NLGCA Institutions

NIFA is implementing a newly funded competitive grants program called the Capacity Building Grants for Non Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Institutions Program. NIFA is designated to act on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture in soliciting public comments and stakeholder input from interested parties regarding the development of the Capacity Building Grants for NLGCA Institutions Program. The meeting is March 25, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Waterfront Centre, Room 1410-D, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 800 9th Street, SW., Washington, DC. All comments must be received by close of business on March 19, 2012. Contact Tamia Powell, telephone 202-720–1973 or fax 202-720–2030, for more information. The Solicitation of Input from Stakeholders Regarding the Capacity Building Grants for Non Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Institutions Program notice was published in the Federal Register on February 1.

Solicitation of Input on Extension IPM Competitive Grants Program

The Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordination and Support Program (EIPM–CS) is among the Extension programs funded under Section 7403 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110–246) (FCEA) amended section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act (7 U.S.C. 343(d)). It provides the opportunity for 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, including Tuskegee University and West Virginia State University to compete for section 3(d) funds. Section 7417 of FCEA also provided the University of the District of Columbia the opportunity to compete for section 3(d) funds. NIFA is designated to act on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture in soliciting public comment from interested persons regarding the future design and implementation of this program. The public meeting will be held in Nashville Meeting Room, Memphis Marriott Downtown Hotel, 250 North Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103, telephone 888-557–8740 (toll-free in USA); 901-527–7300 (outside USA) on Thursday, March 29, 2012, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central time. All comments not otherwise presented or submitted for the record at the meeting must be submitted by close of business Wednesday, May 2, 2012, to assure consideration in the next RFA. Contact Elizabeth Ley, telephone: 202-401–6195; fax: 202-401–1794; or email: newEIPM@nifa.usda.gov for more information. The Solicitation of Input from Stakeholders Regarding the Smith-Lever 3(d) Extension Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program notice was published in the Federal Register on February 1.

USDA Loan Repayment Awards Help Deliver Veterinarian Services to Underserved Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, February 1 – USDA announced 80 awards to American veterinarians to help repay a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving areas lacking sufficient veterinary resources. The awards, totaling more than $7.7 million, were made by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and will benefit 34 states, Puerto Rico, and other federal lands.

Veterinarians are critical to America’s food safety and food security, and to the health and well-being of both animals and humans. Major studies indicate significant and growing shortages of food supply veterinarians and veterinarians serving in certain other high-priority specialty areas. A leading cause for this shortage is the heavy cost of 4 years of professional veterinary medical training, which can average between $100,000 and $140,000. Recipients are required to commit to 3 years of veterinary service in a designated veterinary shortage area. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Awards Grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for E. coli Research to Help Reduce Public Health Risks

LINCOLN, NE, January 23 - USDA announced that it has awarded a research grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to help reduce the occurrence and public health risks from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) along the entire beef production pathway. Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, NIFA acting director, awarded the $25 million grant to the UNL-lead research team at the university in Lincoln.

Dr. James Keen at UNL, along with a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary team of researchers, educators, and extension specialists, will use the $25 million grant to improve risk management and assessment of eight strains of STEC in beef. Keen’s team includes researchers from the University of Arkansas, University of California-Davis, University of California-Tulare, University of Delaware, Kansas State University, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, and a research consortium comprised of government, academic, and industry scientists, and food safety professionals. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Awards Research Grants to Ensure the Sustainability and Quality of America’s Water Supply

WASHINGTON, January 20 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that the USDA is awarding 26 grants for research, education, and extension efforts that will help to inform science-based decisionmaking on water-related issues in communities across the United States. The grants, totaling $13.4 million, are split into two major categories: 17 grants will support integrated research, education, and extension work to improve the quality of the nation’s surface and groundwater resources in agricultural, rural and urbanizing watersheds; and nine research grants will address critical water resource issues, including drought preparedness and water reuse in agriculture. The grants are funded by NIFA. 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.

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

February 1, 2012

Shing F. Kwok

Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program

February 9, 2012

Irma Lawrence

Policy Research Centers Grant Program

February 13, 2012

Robbin Shoemaker

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

February 24, 2012

Ed Kaleikau

Regional Integrated Pest Management Program – North Central

February 29, 2012

Robert Nowierski

Regional Integrated Pest Management Program - Northeastern

February 29, 2012

Robert Nowierski

Regional Integrated Pest Management Program - Southern Region

February 29, 2012

Robert Nowierski

Regional Integrated Pest Management Program - Western

February 29, 2012

Robert Nowierski

Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Competitive Grants Program

March 1, 2012

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

Distance Education Grants for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas

March 1, 2012

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

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

March 1, 2012

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

March 9, 2012

Steven I. Smith

Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program

March 30, 2012

Gregory Smith

Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models

April 20, 2012

Nancy Cavallaro

 

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 to Release New Long-Term Agricultural Projections 

WASHINGTON, January 26 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release new 10-year agricultural projections February 13 at 12:00 noon EST. The USDA Agricultural Projections to 2021 report will be released on the Office of the Chief Economist website.

The long-term projections are developed by interagency committees in USDA, with the Economic Research Service (ERS) having the lead role in the preparation of the report. The projections do not represent a USDA forecast, but a conditional, long-run scenario based on specific assumptions about farm policy, weather, the economy and international developments. Background on USDA's long-term projections and past issues of the report are also available on the ERS website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

New Forest Planning Rule Seeks to Restore the Nation's Forests through Science and Collaboration

WASHINGTON, January 26 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack signaled the U.S. Department of Agriculture's intent to issue a new planning rule for America's 193-million acre National Forest System that seeks to deliver stronger protections for forests, water, and wildlife while supporting the economic vitality of our rural communities, by releasing online a Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule. This action honors the commitment made by Secretary Vilsack in his 2009 speech on forest management, and by the President in the America's Great Outdoors Report.

USDA and the Forest Service carefully considered nearly 300,000 comments received on the proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement issued last February, to develop the agency's preferred course of action for finalizing the planning rule. This is included in the PEIS as USDA's preferred alternative. A notice of availability for the PEIS will be published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2012, and the Secretary will issue a record of decision selecting a final planning rule no less than 30 days afterwards. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Updated and Improved Process to Resolve Discrimination Claims of Hispanic and Women Farmers

WASHINGTON, January 25 – As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations that discrimination occurred at USDA in past decades, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced improvements to a process announced last February to resolve the claims of Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans.

The updated claims process increases the maximum cash recovery to $250,000, instead of $50,000. Over the past months, USDA has worked to reach out to potential Hispanic and female claimants through a call center for farmers and ranchers, a website, public service announcements, and in-person meetings around the country. Individuals interested in participating in the claims process may register to receive a claims package, or may obtain more information, by visiting the Women and Hispanic Claims Program website. Individuals can also register to receive a claims package by calling the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 1-888-508-4429. USDA cannot provide legal advice to potential claimants. Persons seeking legal advice may contact a lawyer or other legal services provider. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map

WASHINGTON, January 25 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. The new map—jointly developed by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University's (OSU) PRISM Climate Group—is available on the ARS Website.

For the first time, the new map offers a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based interactive format and is specifically designed to be Internet-friendly. The map website also incorporates a "find your zone by ZIP code" function. Static images of national, regional, and state maps have also been included to ensure the map is readily accessible to those who lack broadband Internet access.

Although a poster-sized version of this map will not be available for purchase from USDA, as in the past, anyone may download the map free of charge from the Internet onto their personal computer and print copies of the map as needed. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Seeks to Modernize Poultry Inspection in the United States 

WASHINGTON, January 20 – In a shift that will save money for businesses and taxpayers while improving food safety, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing a modernization of young chicken and turkey slaughter inspection in the United States by focusing FSIS inspection resources on the areas of the poultry production system that pose the greatest risk to food safety.

Currently, some FSIS employees in poultry establishments perform several activities which are unrelated to food safety, such as identifying visual defects like bruising, while others conduct the critical inspection activities. Under the proposed plan, all FSIS inspection activities will focus on critical food safety tasks to ensure that agency resources are tied directly to protecting public health and reducing foodborne illnesses. Additionally, some outdated regulatory requirements are being removed and replaced with more flexible and effective testing and process control requirements. Also, all poultry establishments will now have to ensure that their procedures prevent contamination in the production process and provide supporting data to FSIS personnel. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Appoints New Members to the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee 

WASHINGTON – January 19 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed eight members to the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee, which provides advice on private forestry and USDA's programs that assist landowners in managing their forests. "The experts selected for this committee are some of the best minds in forestry today," said Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman.

The new committee members will be joined by the heads of four USDA agencies – the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Streamlines Access to Energy Investment Information at USDA

WASHINGTON, January 18 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the launch of a USDA Energy website that will provide stakeholders fast and efficient access to USDA energy efficiency and renewable energy data. The announcement builds on the Secretary's commitment to develop a modern and efficient service organization as outlined in USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service announced last week. USDA's energy website provides access to all USDA energy resources, including: agricultural, forestry, economic, and social data.

This newly designed tool is a great step in a more coordinated and efficient effort to increase public awareness of USDA's energy research, commercialization of new technologies, program delivery, outreach, and education activities. It also provides a form or technical assistance to people thinking about adopting an energy project. The new USDA Energy website replaces a previous site which was established several years ago. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

 

Interim NDSU CES Director Announced

Dr. Chris Boerboom is the interim director of the Cooperative Extension Service at North Dakota State University, effective January 1. Boerboom earned his B.S. degree in agronomy and agricultural economics and his M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy (weed science) from the University of Minnesota. He served as NDSU Extension Service assistant director for agriculture and natural resources and district director since January 11, 2010.

His contact information is: North Dakota State University, NDSU Dept. 7000, PO Box 6050, 315 Morrill Hall, Fargo, ND  58108-6050; telephone 701-231-8944; fax: 701-231-8520.

 

2012 Priester National Health Conference/Proposal Deadline Extended

The 2012 Priester National Health Conference is April 10-12 at the Renaissance Washington Downtown Hotel, in Washington, DC. This year’s conference theme is Leveraging Partnerships to Improve the Health of the Nation. It is also the 15th anniversary of the National Priester Extension Health Conference. The conference will bring together Extension health educators and public health professionals to celebrate the many successes accomplished through research and community partnerships and to explore new ways of working together to improve health outcomes of the people of our Nation. Early registration is now open until March 5.

The Priester Conference Committee has extended the deadline for conference proposals and will accept them until 5 p.m. on Monday, February 6, to accommodate system glitches.

 

The next NIFA issue is planned for February 15. Submit news items to: newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by February 8. 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: 02/02/2012