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You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update–August 29, 2013

NIFA Update — August 29, 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.



  • IBCE Assistant Director Position Available
  • NIFA Accepting 2013 Partnership Award Nominations
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications



  • USDA Climate Report Published, Public Invited to Comment 
  • USDA Announces Completion of 500th Recovery Act Water Project



  • 2013 Borlaug Dialogue 


  • Crocoll Identified as Shining Supervisor


  • Next issue of NIFA Update is September 13, 2013

IBCE Assistant Director Position Available

NIFA is seeking to fill the position of Assistant Director of the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment (IBCE). This is a Senior Executive Service (SES) position.

As the Assistant Director of IBCE, the incumbent is responsible for providing scientific and managerial leadership and direction in formulating and implementing policies and programs that support research, education, and Extension programs. These programs will ensure energy independence by identifying and developing sustainable biobased energy systems; ensure sustainable supply of agriculture products by identifying and developing adaptive agro-ecosystems in response to climate change; and identify sustainable ecosystem services from the nation’s limited natural resources base. The incumbent serves as a principal scientific and management advisor to the Deputy Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources by administering, evaluating, planning, directing, and coordinating activities that relate to the mission and function of NIFA; by executing the policies and practices of grants management; and by allocating resources to carry out these policies and practices. The incumbent is instrumental in elevating the standing of agricultural sciences within the federal science enterprise and provides scientific, technical, and administrative input to NIFA’s Director and Deputy Directors. More information about NIFA is available on the NIFA website. A copy of the job announcement (AG-22-2013-0004) is available on USAJOBS. All applications must be received by September 6, 2013, (Note: this is a change from the previously announced closing date).

NIFA Accepting 2013 Partnership Award Nominations

Our partners in the land-grant universities and other cooperating institutions and organizations have made many outstanding contributions. To recognize these achievements, we established in 2007 the NIFA Partnership Awards Program.

We invite all NIFA-supported land-grant universities and cooperating institutions and organizations to submit nominations for the 2013 NIFA Partnership Awards Program. These awards recognize outstanding contributions aligned with NIFA strategic goals in support of the USDA mission. Awards for this year will recognize excellence in:

  • Mission Integration of Research, Education, and Extension;
  • Multistate Efforts;
  • Innovative Programs and Projects;
  • Effective and Efficient Use of Resources; and
  • Program Improvement through Global Engagement.


We accept nominations for individuals or teams of up to 20 members. Each institution may submit up to two nominations (combined total across all five categories), meaning the entire institution including research, education, and Extension functions. Nominations must follow the specified partnership criteria and be submitted on the 2013 NIFA Partnership Awards Nomination Form. All signed nomination forms must be submitted by September 4, 2013, via email using scanned files saved as .PDF or .JPG and emailed to, as instructed in the guidelines.

Winning nominations will be recognized at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities annual meeting November 10-12, 2013, in Washington, DC. NIFA will pay travel expenses for one person from each winning nomination, whether it is an individual or team award. Nominations should include only individuals or teams who have performed truly distinguished service.

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date


Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP)

August 30, 2013

Ray A. Ali

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

August 30, 2013

Ray A. Ali

Multi-partner Call on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research

September 3, 2013

Nancy Cavallaro

Water Sustainability and Climate

September 10, 2013

Mary Ann Rozum

Small Business Innovation Research: Biofuels and Biobased Products

September 26, 2013

William Goldner

Small Business Innovation Research: Food Science and Nutrition

September 26, 2013

Jodi Williams

Small Business Innovation Research: Forests and Related Resources

September 26, 2013

Charles F. Cleland

Small Business Innovation Research: Plant Production and Protection - Biology

September 26, 2013

Shing F Kwok

Small Business Innovation Research: Plant Production and Protection - Engineering

September 26, 2013

William Goldner

Small Business Innovation Research: Rural Development

September 26, 2013

Charles F. Cleland

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

September 26, 2013

Charles F. Cleland

Small Business Innovation Research Program: Phase I

September 26, 2013

Charles F. Cleland

Small Business Innovation Research: Small and Mid-Size Farms

September 26, 2013

Charles F. Cleland

Small Business Innovation Research: Air, Water, and Soils

September 26, 2013

Mary Ann Rozum

Small Business Innovation Research: Animal Production and Protection

September 26, 2013

Robert Smith

Small Business Innovation Research: Aquaculture

September 26, 2013

Gary Jensen

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases

November 20, 2013

Peter Johnson


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 Climate Report Published, Public Invited to Comment 

WASHINGTON, August 27 – The Climate Change Program Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of the Chief Economist released and requested public comments on the report Science-Based Methods for Entity-Scale Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks from Agriculture and Forestry Practices. The report is the work of 38 scientists from across academia, USDA, and the federal government who are experts in greenhouse gas (GHG) estimation in the cropland, grazing land, livestock, and forest management sectors. The report has undergone technical review by an additional 29 scientists.

The report outlines a set of consensus methods for quantifying GHG emissions and carbon storage at the local farm, ranch, or forest scale. The report can be downloaded. A Federal Register notice is included on the website and provides detailed instructions for comment submission. Comments must be received within 45 days of the August 28, 2013, publication of the Federal Register notice. Visit the USDA’s Climate Change activities page on their website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Announces Completion of 500th Recovery Act Water Project

Lead Hill, Ark., August 27 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the completion of the 500th water and wastewater project funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

ARRA has brought improved water and wastewater services to nearly 1.7 million rural residents. These projects have created jobs, stimulated local economies, and helped ensure that rural residents have the modern, up-to-date infrastructure that rural communities need so they can continue to be great places in which to live and work.

In addition to the USDA funding, the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission provided nearly $10 million for the project. It serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.


2013 Borlaug Dialogue

The 2013 Borlaug Dialogue will host discussions on the most pressing issues in global hunger and food security, as outlined in this year’s title: "The Next Borlaug Century: Biotechnology, Sustainability and Climate Volatility."

This 3-day international symposium, which will take place October 17-19 in Des Moines, IA, will also honor the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug, as the World Food Prize kicks off the year-long centennial observance of his birth. Distinguished speakers this year will include Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland; and Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, at the Holy See in the Vatican. Visit the World Food Prize website for more information and online registration.


Crocoll Identified as Shining Supervisor

Dr. Caroline Crocoll, Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Division of Family & Consumer Sciences, has a proven track record in promoting a healthy workforce. Crocoll was one of several supervisors identified in the recent issue of MyUSDA employee newsletter. This issue focused on USDA’s Progress Report for Employees on Cultural Transformation.

Crocoll makes work/life balance a key point in each discussion during monthly one-on-one meetings with staff. Her entire staff has telework agreements in place and is encouraged to use flexible work schedules to meet both individual needs as well as organizational and mission goals. She publicly cites her belief that a positive work environment results in a healthy personal situation, and that clear boundaries between the two reaps benefits in terms of employee productivity and personal happiness. She has also dedicated a full-time position to serve as the national program leader for Health and Wellness. This position was instrumental in developing USDA’s first lactation room for working nursing mothers.

The next NIFA issue is planned for September 13, 2013. Submit news items to: by September 4. 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: 8/29/2013