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 - May 9, 2012

NIFA Update — May 9, 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 NIFA Director
  • “Newsroom America” Highlights NIFA Research
  • NIFA in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

USDA

  • USDA's Colorado Roadless Rule Receives Widespread Support
  • New Proposed BioPreferred Regulation to Expand Biobased Products for Federal Purchase
  • USDA Provides Update Regarding a Detection of BSE in the United States
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Support for Small, Socially Disadvantaged Agricultural Producers, and Cooperatives
  • Statement by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Regarding a Detection of BSE in the United States
  • Statement by USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford Regarding a Detection of BSE in the United States 

 

  • Membership Solicitation for the NAREEE Advisory Board

 

  • SARE Wins Awards for New Website

 

Mailbox

  • Next issue of NIFA Update is May 23

Message from NIFA Director

Greetings from 1400 Independence Avenue SW and 800 9th Street SW in Washington, DC, home of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), respectively.

After a three-decade stint at several land-grant universities in various parts of our nation, I was sworn in by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as director of NIFA, and had the privilege of meeting many of the NIFA staff. I look forward to working with our partners across the nation as well as the amazing and dedicated NIFA staff.

Having lived all of my professional life in the cloisters of academia, the learning curve is pretty steep, from the perspective of getting up to speed on NIFA’s efforts to enable our nation’s food and agricultural research and education enterprise to learning the culture and values of working for a federal agency. Luckily, I have a great group of colleagues within NIFA and around the country, ready and willing to help.

Over the coming weeks and months, I hope to talk with the NIFA staff and our partners across the country to get a better sense of how NIFA can enable the best science to address the global challenges humanity faces to meet its food, fuel, fiber, and shelter needs—particularly in light of the projected population growth to over 9 billion in just a few decades—while protecting the health of families and communities. This will require us to facilitate the best research, extension, and education possible so that new knowledge can translate into innovations that address global challenges.

I look forward to hearing from you and working with you.

 

Sonny Ramaswamy
NIFA Director

 

“Newsroom America” Highlights NIFA Research

Soybeans account for two-thirds of the world’s animal feed and more than half the edible oil consumed in the United States. Soybean cyst nematode is a devastating pest of the soybean worldwide. Newsroom America recently published an article, “Lower Food and Fuel Costs Could Result from MU Researcher’s Battle Against Soy Pest,” that highlights research funded by a NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program grant. Researchers are collaborating to better understand how the nematode produces “effector proteins” that mimic plant proteins. These effector proteins cause the plant to produce structures that make it easier for the nematodes to infect the plant and suppress its natural defenses. Clarification of the interactions between nematode and plant genes expressing these proteins could lead to the production of nematode–free soybean plants.

NIFA in the News

 

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI)

See solicitation deadlines.

Carmela Bailey

Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models

May 11, 2012

Nancy Cavallaro

Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers

May 14, 2012

Herbert Bolton

Special Research Grants Program - Pest Management Alternatives (PMAP)

May 14, 2012

Monte Johnson

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program

May 15, 2012

Aida Balsano

Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities: National AgrAbility Project (NAP)

May 17, 2012

Bradley Rein

Rural Youth Development (RYD) Grants Program

May 21, 2012

Nancy Valentine

Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program (EIPM-CS)

May 29, 2012

Martin A. Draper

Smith-Lever Special Needs Program (SLSNCGP)

June 1, 2012

William Hoffman

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Childhood Obesity Prevention

June 5, 2012

Jane M. Clary

Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program

June 15, 2012

Susan S. Shockey

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Phase I Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP)

June 15, 2012

Charles F. Cleland

Common Bean Productivity Research for Global Food Security Competitive Grants Program

June 27, 2012

Kitty Cardwell

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Dual Purpose with Dual Benefit: Research in Biomedicine and Agriculture Using Agriculturally Important Domestic Species

September 20, 2012

Mark A. Mirando

 

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's Colorado Roadless Rule Receives Widespread Support

WASHINGTON, May 4 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the final Colorado Roadless Rule, which provides conservation for 4.2 million acres of national forest roadless area within Colorado. The preferred alternative identified in the impact statement reflects the views and concerns of thousands of people through five public comment periods resulting in more than 310,000 comments. The final Colorado Roadless Rule will be finalized a minimum of 30 days after the final EIS is published in the Federal Register.

The final rule and the public collaboration have received praise from conservation groups and others. The announcement is the culmination of a 7-year collaborative process between the Forest Service and State of Colorado. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

New Proposed BioPreferred Regulation to Expand Biobased Products for Federal Purchase

WASHINGTON, May 1 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the publication in the Federal Register of new proposed guidelines for the USDA BioPreferred program that could expand the ability of USDA to designate biobased products for federal purchase. USDA is proposing to allow for the designation of intermediate ingredients such as fibers, resins, and chemicals so that the products made from them could more easily be designated for preferred federal procurement.

The new regulation also allows for the designation of complex assemblies that contain one or more components made from biobased ingredients. These provisions are necessary because such finished products cannot be tested for biobased content using the procedures spelled out in the existing guidelines. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Provides Update Regarding a Detection of BSE in the United States

WASHINGTON, April 26 – USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released the following update on the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) detection announced earlier this week:

On April 24, USDA confirmed the nation's 4th case of BSE in an animal that was sampled for the disease at a rendering facility in central California. This animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States.

The animal in question was 10 years and 7 months old and came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, CA. The animal was humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent. The animal's carcass will be destroyed. It is important to reiterate that this animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, did not enter food supply channels, and at no time presented any risk to human health. USDA is continuing its investigation and will provide additional information as it is available. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Support for Small, Socially Disadvantaged Agricultural Producers, and Cooperatives

WASHINGTON, April 26 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is accepting grant applications to assist small, socially disadvantaged agricultural producers,  and cooperatives in rural areas to spur job creation.

For fiscal year 2012, approximately $3 million in grants are available through USDA Rural Development's Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program, which was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. It is part of the department's ongoing effort to expand outreach to rural residents to ensure that all communities have equal access to USDA programs and services. Funding is available to cooperatives or associations of cooperatives where at least 75 percent of the governing board or membership are small, socially disadvantaged producers. Grants can be used for product improvements, business plan development, or economic development activities.

The maximum grant award per applicant is $175,000. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Statement by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Regarding a Detection of BSE in the United States

Statement by USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford Regarding a Detection of BSE in the United States 

 

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting nominations to fill the nine vacancies on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board. The announcement appeared in the Federal Register (77 FR 27013, May 8, 2012).
       
The nine slots to be filled are:

  • Category A.  National Farm Organization
  • Category C.  Food Animal Commodity Producer
  • Category I.   National Human Health Association
  • Category N.  Non-Land-Grant College or University with Historic Commitment to Research in Food and Agricultural Sciences
  • Category O.  Hispanic-Serving Institution
  • Category Q.  Transportation of Food and Agricultural Products to Domestic and Foreign Markets
  • Category R.  Food Retailing and Marketing Interests
  • Category S.  Food and Fiber Processors
  • Category X.  Private Sector Organization Involved in International Development, Individuals, and Organizations

 

The deadline for submitting nominations is June 29, 2012. All questions about the nominating process should be directed to the point of contact listed in the USDA announcement.

 

SARE Wins Awards for New Website

NIFA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) received two top awards for its new innovative “webplex” from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences (ACE). This year, SARE won ACE’s Gold Award in the website sub-category and also received the Outstanding Professional Skill award for the entire information technology category. SARE will accept the awards in June at ACE’s annual meeting in Annapolis, MD. The SARE program works to increase knowledge about agricultural practices that are profitable, environmentally sound, and good for communities. Visit the SARE webplex to learn more about SARE programs.

 

The next NIFA issue is planned for May 23. Submit news items to: newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by May 16. 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.

Sonny Ramaswamy, 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: 05/09/2012