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You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update – March 27, 2013

NIFA Update — March 27, 2013

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 Releases Updated Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research
  • NIFA Seeks Candidates for OGFM Assistant Director
  • NIFA Releases FY 2013 RFA for AgrAbility and Youth Farm Safety
  • NIFA in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications



  • Deadline Extends to May 1 for Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims 
  • USDA Announces New Partnership with States to Strengthen Integrity of Nation's Most Vital Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Secretary Vilsack Outlines USDA Efforts to Raise a Healthier Generation of Americans


  • UC ANR to Webcast Global Food Systems Forum
  • WSU Names New ARC Director/Associate Dean for Research


  • Call for Nominations: ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Awards


  • NIFA Receives CFC Merit Award


  • Next issue of NIFA Update is April 11, 2013

NIFA Releases Updated Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research

NIFA released updated agency-specific Terms and Conditions, February 2013, which accompanies the Research Terms and Conditions. The February 2013 agency-specific terms include a new section under Article 7 that addresses Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research. The new section states that in accepting a NIFA award, the awardee agrees to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research and to maintain documentation of the training. The awardee has complete latitude and discretion in developing the training. The award term language supersedes language included in requests for applications on this subject matter and provides our grantees with additional flexibility. NIFA also released the Small Business Innovation Research award terms, March 2013, which incorporate the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research language as a new Article 23 and will incorporate the same language into other award terms as appropriate. All NIFA award terms can be accessed via the NIFA website.

NIFA Seeks Candidates for OGFM Assistant Director

NIFA is seeking to fill the position of Assistant Director of the Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM). This is a Senior Executive Service position.

As the Assistant Director of OGFM, the incumbent is responsible for providing national leadership and working with other federal departments and agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, in the formulation and implementation of federal financial assistance policy for extramural research, education, and Extension programs. The incumbent must have knowledge of federal financial assistance programs, financial management systems, laws and regulations governing both formula and competitive grant-making, and the ability to effectively implement the results of interagency initiatives to reduce administrative burdens on recipients. Visit the NIFA website for more information about the agency. A copy of the job announcement (AG-22-2013-0003) is available on the USAJOBS website. All applications must be received by March 28, 2013.

NIFA Releases FY 2013 RFA for AgrAbility and Youth Farm Safety

NIFA recently released the FY 2013 RFA for AgrAbility and Youth Farm Safety. AgrAbility and Youth Farm Safety supports research, Extension, and higher education programs that focus on increasing the likelihood that farmers, ranchers, farm workers, or farm family members with disabilities succeed in their profession, and that those working with or teaching youth have access to comprehensive educational resources in the area of youth farm safety and certification. Visit the NIFA Funding Opportunity Page for links to the RFA, the NIFA Application Guide, and application package.

NIFA in the News


NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Special Research Grants Program - Pest Management Alternatives (PMAP)

April 1, 2013

Monte Johnson

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Bioenergy

April 3, 2013

Franklin E. Boteler

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program - Organic Transitions (ORG)

April 5, 2013

Steven I. Smith

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Childhood Obesity Prevention

April 11, 2013

Deirdra Chester

AFRI-Climate Variability and Change

April 15, 2013

Michael A. Bowers

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

April 16, 2013

Martin A. Draper

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

April 16, 2013

Monte Johnson

Children, Youth and Families at Risk Professional Development and Technical Assistance Program

April 29, 2013

Bonita Williams

Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS)

April 29, 2013

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

AFRI - Foundational Program: Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities

May 22, 2013

Robbin Shoemaker

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Food Security

July 17, 2013

Robbin Shoemaker

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Carbon Cycle Science

July 31, 2013

Nancy Cavallaro

Water Sustainability and Climate

September 10, 2013

Mary Ann Rozum


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.

Deadline Extends to May 1 for Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims  

WASHINGTON, March 25 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the extension of the voluntary claims process for Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by USDA in past decades. All claims must now be filed by May 1, 2013. The process offers a voluntary alternative to litigation for each Hispanic or female farmer and rancher who can prove that USDA denied his or her application for loan or loan servicing assistance for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000. As announced in February 2011, the voluntary claims process will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. There are no filing fees to participate in the program.

Call center representatives are available at 1-888-508-4429. Claimants may register for a claims package (by calling the number or visiting the website) or may download the forms from the website. All those interested in learning more or receiving information about the claims process and claims packages may visit the website at any time or contact the call center Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Announces New Partnership with States to Strengthen Integrity of Nation's Most Vital Nutrition Assistance Program

WASHINGTON, March 20 – Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon announced a new federal-state partnership targeting recipient fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USDA will share its extensive experience in monitoring retailer fraud to help states develop a more robust set of tools to identify suspicious activity and improve tactics to catch recipients who attempt to commit SNAP fraud. By law, USDA is responsible for overseeing the more than 250,000 retailers that redeem SNAP benefits nationwide, while states are responsible for identifying and pursuing fraudulent activity by recipients.

The announcement involves the signing of data-sharing memorandums of understanding (MOU) between USDA and the states of Maryland and Virginia. USDA will use data collected under these unprecedented MOUs and other information-sharing agreements to develop an enhanced monitoring tool for states similar to USDA's state-of-the-art Anti-fraud Locator using EBT Retailer Transactions (ALERT) system. USDA uses its ALERT system to closely monitor the 2.5 million electronic retailer transactions that happen daily. ALERT helps USDA identify suspicious stores for analysis and investigation, better target high-risk areas, and quickly implement fraud detection scans as new schemes are identified. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Secretary Vilsack Outlines USDA Efforts to Raise a Healthier Generation of Americans

PORTLAND, ME, March 14 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the need for a generational commitment to improve childhood nutrition, which will lead to a healthier generation of Americans. While health and nutrition are complex topics, Vilsack noted USDA has made significant focus on improving consumers' access to information and helping consumers have better access to food, which together will ensure progress as the nation battles both childhood obesity and malnutrition.

Over the course of the past 30 years, the prevalence of childhood obesity has nearly tripled. Nearly one-in-three American children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Some of those children come from low-income families, where access to healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity may be limited. Nearly a third of our nation's young people are at risk for preventable diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Preventable diseases have serious consequences – which is why health experts tell us that our current generation of children may well have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.


UC ANR to Webcast Global Food Systems Forum

The University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) will host some of the world’s leading experts April 9 to address how to sustainably feed 8 billion people by 2025. The UC Global Food Systems Forum will bring to Ontario, CA, people from a dynamic range of disciplines, including farmers, researchers, policymakers, economists, environmentalists, and geopolitical experts. The event will feature two moderated panels and keynote addresses by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, and Wes Jackson, founder and president of The Land Institute.

The forum will be webcast on April 9 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Time. To learn more about the UC Global Food Systems Forum and to sign up to view the webcast, visit the Forum’s website.

WSU Names New ARC Director/Associate Dean for Research

James Moyer was named director of Washington State University's (WSU) Agricultural Research Center. He will also serve as associate dean for research for the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

A native of Dayton, WA, and an alumnus of WSU's agronomy program—now called crop and soil sciences—he is tentatively slated to move into his roles on May 1. He brings more than 30 years of professional experience as a plant science researcher to the position, and served as department head of one of the largest plant pathology programs in the United States. A renowned plant pathologist, Moyer has focused his research on virology—in particular, the population structure and dynamics of tospoviruses. He has made contributions to sweet potato pathology and cultivar development, was awarded a patent for fingerprinting ornamental plant cultivars, and is involved in numerous national and international activities. He has served as president of the American Phytopathological Society and is a Fellow of that group. He received the Morrison Medal from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the Alex Laurie Award from the national floral crop industry for his research contributions.


Call for Nominations: ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Awards

The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America are accepting nominations for their 2013 Awards, which honors researchers, educators, professionals, and students. Nominate a colleague for one of the dozens of awards. Deadlines: April 9 to initiate online nominations and April 16 for reference letters and final nomination submissions. The individual URLs are as follows: American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.


NIFA Receives CFC Merit Award

Lisa DePaolo and Stephen Hobday, co-chairs for the NIFA 2012 Combine Federal Campaign (CFC), recently accepted the CFC-National Capital Area Merit Award on behalf of NIFA. The award was presented by Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment and also vice chair of USDA’s 2012 CFC Campaign. The award is presented to agencies with $125 per capita gift and/or 50 percent participation. NIFA received $54,636.67, reaching 97 percent participation.


The next NIFA issue is planned for April 11, 2013. Submit news items to: by April 3. 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: 3/27/2013