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You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update - June 20, 2012

NIFA Update — June 20, 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 in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications



  • USDA Continues Efforts to Spur Job Creation and Business Growth for Tribes and Rural Communities 
  • A Child Born in 2011 Will Cost $234,900 to Raise, According to USDA Report
  • Obama Administration Releases Report on America's Agricultural Economy and Announces Commitment to Invest over $2 Billion in Rural Small Businesses
  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding to Improve Health and Safety, and Increase Educational Opportunities in Rural Communities


  • Shockey Receives Outstanding Alumni Honors
  • SET Wins NACDEP Award

  • Next issue of NIFA Update is July 11

NIFA in the News


NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI)

See solicitation deadlines.

Carmela Bailey

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

June 26, 2012

Martin A. Draper

Common Bean Productivity Research for Global Food Security Competitive Grants Program

June 27, 2012

Kitty Cardwell

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program - National Integrated Water Quality Program (NIWQP)

June 28, 2012

Michael O’Neill

Integrated Forest Products Research (FPR) Grant

July 6, 2012

Catalino Blanche

Capacity Building Grants for Non Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Program (NLGCA)

July 6, 2012

Gregory Smith

Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program

August 15, 2012

Ray A. Ali

Small Business Innovation Research Program: Phase I

September 6, 2012

Charles F. Cleland

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 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 Continues Efforts to Spur Job Creation and Business Growth for Tribes and Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, June 18 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of 27 projects in 14 states to support small business and job creation opportunities and train workers in Native American communities.

The announcement follows last week's announcement by the Secretary to implement measures that will make it easier for individuals living in Substantially Underserved Trust Areas (SUTA) to obtain USDA funding to improve basic services, including water and sewer systems, broadband, and electric infrastructure. These measures are a crucial step for American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders to build modern utility infrastructure, create jobs, and improve quality of life. The enhancements are being implemented through a final regulation published in the Federal Register. The more than $3.2 million in grants are administered through USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Enterprise Grant program.

A Child Born in 2011 Will Cost $234,900 to Raise, According to USDA Report

WASHINGTON, June 14 – USDA released the annual report Expenditures on Children by Families, finding that a middle-income family with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 ($295,560 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years. This represents a 3.5 percent increase from 2010. Expenses for transportation, child care, education, and food saw the largest percentage increases related to child rearing from 2010. There were smaller increases in housing, clothing, health care, and miscellaneous expenses on a child during the same period.

The report is based on data from the federal government's Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For 2011, annual child-rearing expenses per child for a middle-income, two-parent family ranged from $12,290 to $14,320, depending on the age of the child. The report was developed by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families (2011), is available on the web.

Obama Administration Releases Report on America's Agricultural Economy and Announces Commitment to Invest over $2 Billion in Rural Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, June 11 – President Obama announced investments to help rural small businesses expand and hire. Home to some of the most diligent and self-reliant Americans, rural communities and our nation's agriculture industry are vital contributors to employment and exports from the United States. Strong and secure rural communities are essential to creating an economy built to last that rewards hard work and responsibility—not outsourcing, loopholes, and risky financial deals. While the security of the middle class has been threatened by the irresponsible financial collapse and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, rural Americans continue to come together to buckle down and make ends meet. The values that have helped hard-working, responsible families weather the storm continue to move our economy forward. As a result, while there is still work to do, a new report released details the progress that has been made in the agricultural economy.

President Obama announced a new commitment to invest in rural businesses through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, at no cost to tax payers. More than $400 million has already been invested this fiscal year in these businesses through the Small Business Administration's SBIC program, and that nearly $2 billion in additional funding will be invested by the end of fiscal year 2016.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding To Improve Health and Safety, and Increase Educational Opportunities in Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, June 6 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for 52 distance learning and telemedicine projects that will increase access to health care and enhance educational opportunities in 29 states.

The projects total $14 million and include 19 distance learning projects, 32 telemedicine projects, and 1 combined project. All will benefit rural counties. Nearly half of the total funding – 45 percent – will go to counties where the minority population is greater than 30 percent. Another 18 percent of this funding will benefit areas where the Native American population exceeds 30 percent.


Shockey Receives Outstanding Alumni Honors 

The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology Alumni Society Board of Governors, friends, and colleagues recently honored Susan S. Shockey, national program leader for NIFA’s Division of Family and Consumer Sciences, at the annual recognition banquet. Shockey received the 2012 Award of Distinction. The award is presented to alumni who have achieved distinction in their field of endeavor and for making a difference in the lives of others through outstanding professional, personal, or community contributions.

Shockey is committed to serving diverse audiences, in the tradition of land-grant universities. Her creation of strong collaborations between higher education institutions and federal agencies enables American youth and families to achieve financial stability.


NIFA’s Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) received regional and national recognition for the outstanding work with the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. The RRDCs were honored at the 2012 National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals conference recently held in Park City, UT. SET won the Southern region team award and the national award for excellence in producing an educational package designed to advance and strengthen community and economic development work.

The SET curriculum consists of nine educational modules designed to enable communities and counties in rural America to work together as a regional team in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint that builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region. Launched in 2010 by USDA Rural Development and the nation's four Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-grant university partners, SET is now in place in nearly 40 regions in 19 states. Regional teams in six additional states will join the SET effort this summer.


The next NIFA issue is planned for July 11. Submit news items to: by July 6. 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: 06/20/2012