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You are here:Home / Newsroom / Newsletters / NIFA Updates / NIFA Update–March 20, 2014

NIFA Update —March 20, 2014

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

  • NIFA Announces IBCE Deputy Director
  • NIFA Associate Director for Operations Position Available
  • NIFA Realignment
  • NIFA FY 2015 President’s Budget Proposal
  • USDA Awards Grants to Develop Obesity Prevention Programs
  • USDA Announces New Grants to Help Communities Meet Water Challenges in Coming Years
  • USDA Awards Grants to Support Programs at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities
  • NIFA in the News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

 

Smith-Lever — Centennial Celebration

  • House Committee Approves Smith-Lever Resolution
  • 2014 Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation
  • JOE Extension Centennial Series
  • Videos Celebrate 100 Years

 

USDA

  • USDA Announces Efforts to Expand Support for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers and Ranchers
  • USDA Finalizes Changes to the WIC Program
  • Agriculture Secretary Announces $3 Million for a New Program to Improve Pollinator Health
  • USDA Partners With U.S. Special Operations Command to Support Military Families
  • Call for Knapp Lecture Nominations
  • Call For Nominations: ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Awards

 

  • New Interim CES Director for Clemson University
  • Future Director of the Northeastern IPM Center
  • New Western Region SARE Director

 

  • Next issue of NIFA Update is April 2, 2014

 

NIFA Announces IBCE Deputy Director

Dr. Luis M. Tupas was selected as the Deputy Director for the NIFA’s Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment (IBCE). Tupas served as program director at the National Science Foundations’ Office of Polar Programs prior to joining USDA, directing a research portfolio for Artic System Science and Artic Natural Sciences. He was a faculty member at the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Department of Oceanography conducting open ocean and coastal marine research, and teaching graduate and undergraduate classes. Tupas was chief scientist on several oceanographic expeditions to Antarctica and is a recipient of the Antarctica Service Medal of the United States. He also held adjunct faculty positions at the University’s Center for Philippine Studies and the Outreach College.

He joined the former Cooperative State, Research, Education, and Extension Service in 2004 as a national program leader for global climate change. Prior to his present position, Tupas served as the director of the Division of Global Climate Change and the acting director for the Division of Bioenergy in IBCE. He is currently the U.S. scientific representative to the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, where he serves as the chair of the Scientific Planning Group and the Capacity Development Committee and a member of the Steering Committee and the Strategic Planning Team. He has a B.S. in marine biology from the University of the Philippines, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in oceanography from the University of Tokyo. While in Japan he was a lecturer at the Japan Meteorological College. He was a post-doctoral fellow in marine geochemistry at the University of Hawaii-Manoa prior to his joining the faculty there. He is located in the Waterfront Centre, Room 2123 and can be reached at 202-401-4926.

NIFA Associate Director for Operations Position Available

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in the Department of Agriculture is seeking to fill the position of Associate Director for Operations. This is a Senior Executive Service position. 

As the Associate Director of Operations, the incumbent shares fully with the Associate Director for Programs and the Director of NIFA in the responsibility for providing national leadership and direction for NIFA’s science and federal assistance programs. The incumbent participates fully in the leadership and direction in the formulation of broad, national policies to advance the mission of research, education, and extension programs in the food and agricultural sciences. The incumbent has line responsibilities for providing leadership for effective and efficient management of the NIFA operations for its federal assistance programs, information technology systems, budget development and execution, and communication activities. More information can be found on the NIFA website

A copy of the job announcement (AG-22-2014-0027) is available at USAJOBS.gov. All applications must be received by April 10, 2014

NIFA Realignment

We indicated in our previous issue of NIFA Update that new organizational charts would be available soon. The NIFA Organizational Chart Overview and NIFA Organizational Chart are now available in pdf on our website.

NIFA FY 2015 President’s Budget Proposal

The FY 2015 President’s Budget Proposal was released on March 4, 2014, and includes funding increases for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to support targeted efforts for solutions to critical issues. In line with a December 2012 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Budget includes a new $75 million investment to create public-private partnerships through Innovation Institutes focused on emerging challenges to agriculture. The 2015 Budget also proposes new programs to engage Veterans in the agricultural sector and to support training and outreach activities in food safety to assist small producers, processors, and vendors; and continued support for capacity funding, minority-serving, and other programs. In addition to the NIFA-specific President’s budget proposals, a separate Opportunity, Growth and Security (OGS) Initiative that is offset with spending reductions and tax reforms provides additional investments in competitive research. The OGS Initiative includes an additional $60 million for AFRI for a total of $385 million, and an additional $20 million for competitive grants under Hatch Act ($15 million) and Evans-Allen ($5 million) to complement the capacity grant programs in addressing today’s challenges facing agriculture.  To learn more, visit the NIFA website to read the entire FY 2015 proposal and other budget materials.

USDA Awards Grants to Develop Obesity Prevention Programs

ARLINGTON, VA, March 12 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that NIFA will make three grants totaling $5 million to universities to develop childhood obesity prevention programs. Vilsack made the announcement during the keynote address before the 2014 National PTA Legislative Conference in Arlington, VA.

The awardees:

  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, $4,887,083 – "Get Fruved:" A peer-led, train-the-trainer social marketing intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake and prevent childhood obesity
  • Tufts University, Boston, MA, $149,988 – A using "kids-only" retail coupon study to promote healthy snack options among adolescents in convenience stores: The CHOMPS Pilot Project
  • Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, $150,000 – Childhood Health & Obesity Initiative: Communities Engaged for Success, which seeks to help 10-to-12-year-old children from low income families.

 

NIFA made the awards through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Childhood Obesity Prevention program. NIFA also released an RFA for FY 2014 AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention program and will make $9 million available for research, education, and extension activities that aim to develop obesity prevention strategies. Details are available on the NIFA website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Announces New Grants to Help Communities Meet Water Challenges in Coming Years

WASHINGTON, February 24 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that NIFA will make $6 million in grants available this year, and up to $30 million over the next 5 years as part of a new initiative to provide solutions to agricultural water challenges. The grants will be used to develop management practices, technologies, and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and citizens to improve water resource quantity and quality. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Awards Grants to Support Programs at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities

WASHINGTON, February 26 − Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced 76 grants totaling more than $35 million through NIFA to support research, teaching, and extension activities at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. The announcement builds on USDA’s ongoing efforts to foster strong partnerships with the 1890 community, ensure equal access to USDA programs and services, and support educational opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

The 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program supports agricultural science programs while also strengthening the linkages among the 1890 universities, other colleges and universities, USDA, and private industry. The program focuses on advancing cultural diversity in the scientific and professional workforce by attracting and educating more students from underrepresented groups. The CBG program awards grants in the categories of research, teaching, and extension with a focus on NIFA’s priority areas of sustainable bioenergy, food security, childhood obesity prevention, climate change, and food safety. Visit the NIFA Newsroom to read the full release.

NIFA in the News

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP)

March 31, 2014

Jane M. Clary

Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program (SPECA)

April 3, 2014

Irma Lawrence

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

April 4, 2014

Mathieu Ngouajio

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Agriculture Systems and Technology

April 9, 2014

Daniel Schmoldt

Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program

April 10, 2014

Edwin Lewis

Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Sustainable Community Projects

April 11, 2014

Bonita Williams

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

April 14, 2014

Rob Hedberg

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products

April 17, 2014

Ann Lichens-Park

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities

April 28, 2014

Robbin Schoemaker

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

April 28, 2014

Saleia Afele-Faamuli

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Animal Health and Production and Animal Products

May 1, 2014

Mark A. Mirando

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program - Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health

May 6, 2014

Jeanette Thurston

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)

May 8, 2014

Mathieu Ngouajio

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Food Safety

May 8, 2014

Jeanette Thurston

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment

June 4, 2014

Raymond Knighton

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Food Security

June 12, 2014

Robert Nowierski

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Childhood Obesity Prevention

June 19, 2014

Deirdra Chester

Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI)

June 20, 2014

Thomas “Tom” Bewick

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE)

August 7, 2014

Martin A. Draper

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Water for Agriculture

August 13, 2014

James P. Dobrowolski

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

September 24, 2014

Mark A. Mirando

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program

September 30, 2014

Effie Baldwin

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program: Exploratory

September 30, 2014

Michael A. Bowers

 

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.

 

House Committee Approves Smith-Lever Resolution

On March 4, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture held a public hearing to review the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 in advance of the 100th anniversary of its enactment on May 8. The Act created the Cooperative Extension Service, which is the educational partnership between the USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the nation's land-grant universities. Testimony was provided by, Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA Director, Ms. Tess Hammock, National 4-H Council Board of Trustees, University of Georgia, Dr. A. Scott Reed, Vice Provost, University Outreach and Engagement and Director, Oregon State University, and Dr. L. Washington Lyons, Executive Administrator for the Association of Extension Administrators, replaces Mr. Delbert T. Foster, Acting Vice President, Land-Grant Services, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, S.C. who was unable to attend because of travel issues.

The House Committee approved H. Con. Res. 86, on March 13, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act.

2014 Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation

Registration, agenda, and lodging information for the May 7-8, National Cooperative Extension Centennial Convocation is now open. An early-bird registration fee will be available until April 18. Hotel reservations need to be made by April 15. Transportation to and from the Ronald Reagan Building and the Marriott Wardman Park will be provided for registrants.

JOE Extension Centennial Series

The article Cooperative Extension: A Century of Innovation appears in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Extension (JOE.) This is the first in a series of six articles that will look at the rich history of Cooperative Extension and the future of this unique American educational endeavor. The article was authored by ECOP Centennial Task Force co-chairs Frankie Gould, professor and director of Communications LSU AgCenter, and Doug Steele, director Texas A & M AgriLife Extension and centennial consultant, Bill Woodrum. Future topics include: ag and natural resources, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, community and rural development, and the next 100 years and beyond.

Videos Celebrate 100 Years

The Cooperative Extension Centennial team has established a YouTube Channel to display and publicly archive videos related to the Centennial. Videos from institutions across the country can be shared here in one place. The newest post is the video that was used at Ag Outlook in February. It is a montage of celebration videos across the country including a special happy birthday wish from Reba McEntire. If you have videos that you would like posted, please contact the Centennial team at extensioncentennial@gmail.com

 

USDA Announces Efforts to Expand Support for Small and Mid-Sized Farmers and Ranchers

SANTE FE, NM, March 10 – In remarks at the National Farmers Union National Convention, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded efforts to connect small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations.

"The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape," said Vilsack. "USDA is taking a hard look at our existing resources to ensure that they work for producers of all sizes. We've adjusted policies, strengthened programs, and intensified outreach to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers. These producers are critical to our country's agricultural and economic future."
Efforts include improved access to USDA resources: revised risk management tools that better fit the needs of smaller producers, additional support for hoop houses, and expanded collection of valuable market news information. USDA is also introducing a series of education tools that focus on opportunities for farmers engaged in local and regional food systems. In addition, USDA field staff will be boosting their outreach efforts to small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Finalizes Changes to the WIC Program

WASHINGTON, DC, February 28 − The U. S. Department of Agriculture finalized changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to further improve the nutrition and health of the nation's low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children. The changes—which increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy—are based on the latest nutrition science. The announcement marks the completion of the first comprehensive revisions to the WIC food packages since 1980. More information about the changes and the WIC program are available at www.fns.usda.gov/wic. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

Agriculture Secretary Announces $3 Million for a New Program to Improve Pollinator Health

WASHINGTON, February 25 − The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance for farmers and ranchers to help improve the health of bees, which play an important role in crop production. The funding is a focused investment to improve pollinator health and will be targeted in five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Funding will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to promote conservation practices that will provide honey bees with nutritious pollen and nectar while providing benefits to the environment. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

USDA Partners With U.S. Special Operations Command to Support Military Families

WASHINGTON, February 21 − Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and Admiral William H. McRaven signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to increase support services for military families. The MOU allows the USDA-supported Cooperative Extension System (CES) and land-grant universities (LGU) to work directly with USSOCOM to conduct research and develop programs for military families of special operations units on issues such as personal financial management, health and nutrition, child care, and youth empowerment.

This MOU builds on a current MOU between USDA and the Department of Defense to strengthen child, youth, and family programs for military personnel and their families. That agreement was signed in 2010 by Dr. Roger N. Beachy, former director of NIFA, and Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, for Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). Under that agreement, CES, LGUs, and DOD are engaged in a-10 year effort to leverage each other's resources and expertise in support of military families. Successful efforts have included the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State University. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release.

 

Call for Knapp Lecture Nominations

Each year NIFA joins with APLU (Association of Public and Land-grant Universities) to sponsor a lectureship presented at the APLU annual meeting. The lectureship honors one of the three most important historical figures of the Land-Grant University System, William Henry Hatch for research, Seaman A. Knapp for extension, and Justin Smith Morrill for the Morrill Act—which created the Land-Grant University System. In 2014, the rotation would honor Justin Smith Morrill; however, because 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, both NIFA and APLU agreed to move the Knapp Lecture to coincide with the 100th Centennial Celebration of the Smith-Lever Act.

NIFA and APLU are seeking nominations to honor Seaman A. Knapp, the father of the Cooperative Extension. As USDA and the Land-Grant University System mark this 100th anniversary, the presentation should address the historic and future role of Cooperative Extension in helping producers, consumers, families, and communities find science-based solutions to the challenges they face. We seek a dynamic speaker to prepare and present an insightful topic that will provoke discussion among participants at the meeting in Orlando, FL, November 2-4. 

While we seek recommendations from those within the Land-Grant University System, we also encourage you to share this nomination call with colleagues outside of the research, education, and extension system, including stakeholders, foundations, public interest groups, or international organizations. Recommendations should include the name of the nominee, title, address, telephone number, and email address and topic that could be discussed. Please submit your presenter and potential topic on or before May 2. Recommendations should be forwarded electronically to Kimberly Whittet, NIFA management and policy specialist. A committee will review submissions and narrow the recommendations to make a final decision.

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 2014 Awards, which honors researchers, educators, extension professionals, and students. Nominations for the awards are due March 27 to initiate online nominations and April 3 for reference letters and final nomination submissions. Visit each organization’s website for nomination information and award requirements.

 

New Interim CES Director for Clemson University

Clemson University President, Dr. James P. Clements announced the appointment of Dr. George R. Askew, as the interim director of the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, effective March 17. Askew is vice-president for Clemson’s division of public service and agriculture. He received his Ph.D. in agronomy from Clemson. His contact information is: 104 Barre Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0151; Telephone: 864-656-3141, Fax: 864-656-5819. Clemson University is currently conducting a national search for a permanent director of Extension.

Future Director of the Northeastern IPM Center

The Northeastern IPM Center announced Steve Young as its new director starting in May 2014. Prior to coming to the center, Young conducted research and extension programming on the ecology and management of weedy and invasive plant species at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln West Central Research and Extension Center. He brings extensive knowledge in weed ecology, along with an understanding of the biological relationships between plants, animals, and insects in developing long-term management strategies. Young also has insight and experience in assembling large-scale projects, which he believes is an area of opportunity for the Northeastern IPM Center. Young earned his Ph.D. in soil science from the University of California–Davis, and a B.S. degree in horticulture from Washington State University. His service will overlap with outgoing director Carrie Koplinka-Loehr until July 15.

New Western Region SARE Director

Dr. Teryl Roper was selected as the Western Regional director for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. He will begin his duties on July 1. The current director, Dr. V. Philip Rasmussen, will retire on June 30 after 20 years with Western SARE. Drs. Roper and Rasmussen will work closely together during the transition.

Roper is currently professor and head of the Department of Plant, Soils, and Climate at Utah State University. A former extension specialist, he received his Ph.D. in horticulture from Washington State University. He plans to transition his experience and love of agriculture into his new position as Western SARE director. Utah State University will remain host institute for Western SARE. Western SARE serves 13 states and four Pacific territories. It engages farmers and ranchers in the research process, a unique and critical component to the program’s success.


The next NIFA Update issue is planned for April 2, 2014. Submit news items to: newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by March 26, 2014. 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: 03/20/2014