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You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update - February 15, 2012


NIFA Update — February 15, 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

  • Message from Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young
  • NIFA Welcomes New Evaluation Program Analyst
  • USDA Grants Support Local Efforts to Fight Hunger and Food Insecurity
  • NIFA in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

USDA

  • Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Proposed FY 2013 Budget
  • USDA to Host First U.S./China Agricultural Symposium
  • USDA and Partners to Provide New Genetic Resources to Support Global Agricultural Development
  • U.S. Forest Service Highlights Expansion of Restoration of National Forests and Funding For Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Projects
  • USDA Announces CRP General Sign-up

 

Opportunities

  • 2012 National Medals Call for Nominations
  • Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application

 

Awards and Recognition

  • Lumpkin Receives USDA Award

 

Mailbox

  • Next Issue Scheduled February 29

Message from Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young

President Obama on February 13 forwarded the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Budget to Congress. The FY 2013 Budget Request includes approximately $1.24 billion in discretionary funding for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This represents an increase of $36.78 million, or approximately 3.05 percent above the FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriation discretionary funding amount of $1.21 billion. The budget increases funding of competitive grants, continues funding for capacity building through formula programs, and consolidates funding for pest management and insular area programs. In this time of limited resources, the budget also proposes to redirect funding from lower-priority areas to support higher-priority activities within NIFA. This proposal improves efficiencies in management of NIFA programs resulting in research, education, and extension investments with greater focus and enhanced impact.

The FY 2013 Budget also proposes to expand support for minority-serving institutions through establishment of a new Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities Endowment Fund and sustained support for the Native American Endowment Fund. The FY 2013 Budget Request proposes approximately $21.9 million for both endowment funds, an increase of $10 million over the FY 2012 level.  

The FY 2013 Budget for NIFA also includes mandatory funding totaling $10 million for the Agriculture Risk Management Education Program and Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program. This is a $130 million decrease below the FY 2012 level due to mandatory Farm Bill programs expiring in 2012. In the current Farm Bill, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program, Biomass Research and Development, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and Biodiesel Fuel Education mandatory programs are scheduled to expire in 2012.

NIFA will focus resources on supporting programs that provide foundational knowledge, as well as on programs that will address critical issues that impact the long-term viability of agriculture.

 

Chavonda Jacobs-Young
Acting NIFA Director

NIFA Welcomes New Evaluation Program Analyst

Karl Maxwell has joined NIFA’s Planning, Accountability, and Reporting Staff as an evaluation program analyst. Maxwell is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) where he served in the same capacity, overseeing a variety of performance measurement and evaluation contracts for community-based programs funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He has prior experience as a program analyst within the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Science Policy and Planning, where he contributed to the development of the agency’s strategic plan and performance reports. Maxwell was also the project director of a DHHS-funded contract responsible for training federal grantees on performance measurement in compliance with the Government Performance and Results Act. He earned a doctorate in public policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is a native of Chicago and has lived in the Washington, DC, area for nearly 20 years.

USDA Grants Support Local Efforts to Fight Hunger and Food Insecurity

WASHINGTON, February 15 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced 27 grants to local organizations to build community food systems and fight hunger and food insecurity. The awards were made by NIFA through its Community Food Projects program. The new projects, totaling $4.8 million in funding, include a teen-run community kitchen incubator, faith-based community food assessments, a program to help indigenous people return to healthful eating, and a youth-led food security movement. Community Food Projects have been funded in nearly 350 communities in 48 states in the program’s 15-year history.

The primary goals of the Community Food Projects program are to (1) meet the food needs of low-income individuals; (2) increase the food self-reliance of low-income communities; (3) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm and nutrition issues; and (4) meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs, including needs relating to infrastructure improvement and development, planning for long-term solutions and the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full report.

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.

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

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP)

March 14, 2012

Tim Grosser

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

March 20, 2012

Monte Johnson

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

March 27, 2012

Edwin Lewis

Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program

March 30, 2012

Gregory Smith

Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models

May 11, 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 Host First U.S./China Agricultural Symposium

WASHINGTON, February 9 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that government and industry leaders from the United States and China will gather in Des Moines, IA, on Thursday, February 16, for the first U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium. Vilsack traveled to China for the second time as Agriculture Secretary in November to continue to strengthen bilateral trade relations and support the American brand of agriculture throughout the Asia Pacific region. During the visit, Vilsack and Chinese officials developed the U.S.-China Agriculture Symposium as a key forum to expand their discussions into 2012 and beyond.

Chinese officials will also visit Washington, DC, and California as part of their trip. The symposium will focus on current and future cooperation between the two nations in areas including food safety, food security, and sustainable agriculture. The event will take place at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA and Partners to Provide New Genetic Resources to Support Global Agricultural Development

WASHINGTON, February 8 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), partnering with Bioversity International and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, has launched the Germplasm Resources Information Network-Global (GRIN-Global), a powerful but easy-to-use, Internet-based information management system for the world's plant genebanks. Genebanks support agricultural productivity and global food security goals by ensuring access to plant genetic resources in the face of daunting challenges such as crop diseases and pests, an expanding human population, environmental deterioration, and changing climates. Genebanks also safeguard genetic resources and biodiversity that help provide farmers with access to new, more productive varieties of crops and animals.

USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Dr. Catherine Woteki announced the launch of GRIN-Global at a White House event on Innovation for Global Development. "Innovation in agriculture is central to global development and this administration has recognized and remains committed to the important role of science and technological innovation in confronting the challenges of the 21st century," Woteki said. "For agricultural genebanks, researchers and producers worldwide, GRIN-Global provides a powerful information tool to safeguard and utilize invaluable crop diversity. It also expands and streamlines access to USDA's Germplasm Resources Information Network, a database of more than 540,000 different samples of plants available from the National Plant Germplasm System." Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

U.S. Forest Service Highlights Expansion of Restoration of National Forests and Funding For Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Projects

WASHINGTON, February 2 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new report, Increasing the Pace of Restoration and Job Creation on our National Forests, which outlines a strategy and series of actions for management on 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. As part of the accelerated restoration strategy, $40 million for 20 forest and watershed restoration projects have been announced for the upcoming year. The funding includes 10 new projects under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program, continued funding for the original 10 projects selected under the CFLR program in 2010, and an additional $4.6 million to support other high-priority restoration projects. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Announces CRP General Sign-up

WASHINGTON, February 1 — Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse announced that the USDA will conduct a 4-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup, beginning on March 12 and ending on April 6. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Producers with expiring contracts and producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP. Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP's other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, signup basis. Currently, about 30 million acres are enrolled in CRP and contracts on an estimated 6.5 million acres will expire on September 30. CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation's natural resources while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

 

2012 National Medals Call for Nominations

The National Medals are the highest honors the President bestows in science, technology, and innovation. Please share this call for nominations with your colleagues inside and outside of government to ensure a strong nomination process. Nominations for both awards are due March 31, 2012.

The National Medal of Science, established in 1959, is the nation’s highest honor for American scientists and engineers. The medal is awarded to individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the chemical, physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or behavioral or social sciences, in combination with exemplary service to the nation. A nomination form and three letters of support must be received via the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) FastLane system. Contact the program manager via email, call 703-292-8040 with any questions, or visit the NSF website for more information.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation, first awarded in 1985, is the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement and innovation. The medal is awarded to individuals, teams, companies, or divisions for their outstanding contributions to the nation’s economic, environmental, and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technology products, processes, and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the nation’s technological workforce. A nomination form and six letters of support should be submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) via email. Contact the program manager via email, call 571-272-8333 with any questions, or visit the USPTO website for more information.

Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application

A new award has been established by The World Food Prize: The Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. The award will recognize the very best in researchers under the age of 40 who have clearly emulated the traits exhibited by Dr. Norman Borlaug as a young scientist in the fight to eliminate global hunger. The criteria and nomination procedure for this prestigious new award are available on the World Food Prize website.

Nominations for the first annual Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application will be accepted online through June 30; the chosen recipient will be honored during a ceremony as part of the World Food Prize international symposium, the “Borlaug Dialogue,” and related events taking place October 17-19, in Des Moines, IA. The official press release with more details about the award is available online.

 

Lumpkin Receives USDA Award

Sharon Lumpkin, program analyst for the Planning, Accountability, and Reporting Staff, will receive an award on February 16 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the People’s Garden Initiative. The People’s Garden Awards Ceremony recognizes individuals who volunteered their time and energy, and to realize the Initiative’s impact on neighborhoods and communities across the country. With the help of Lumpkin and others, an idea that started with one garden to commemorate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, has grown into an international movement. Lumpkin worked with the People’s Garden Initiative during her Executive Leadership Program assignment during 2011.

 

The next NIFA issue is planned for February 29. Submit news items to: newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by February 22. 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: 02/15/2012