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NIFA Update — May 26, 2010

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

  • 2010 NIFA Partnership Awards
  • NIFA News
  • NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

USDA

  • Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Delivers Keynote Address on Ag and Food Security
  • New SNAP Retail Locator and Signage Will Help Consumers Find Local Stores
  • USDA Helps Retiring Farmers Transition Land to Beginning Farmers in New Farm Bill Program
  • Merrigan Visits Oklahoma to Highlight Efforts to Improve School Meals and Health of Nation's Children
  • New Federal Strategy for Chesapeake Launches Major Initiatives
  • Childhood Obesity Task Force Unveils Action Plan
  • USDA Announces Two New Partners in the Apps for Healthy Kids Competition

Partners

  • NCSU Announces New Interim Director
  • Swanson New CSU Extension Director

Mailbox
 

2010 NIFA Partnership Awards

NIFA invites all land-grant universities and cooperating institutions and organizations supported by NIFA to submit nominations for the 2010 NIFA Partnership Awards Program. This program recognizes 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 program models; and
  • effective and efficient use of resources.

Nominations can be submitted for individuals or teams of up to 35 members. Each institution may submit up to two nominations (combined total across all categories), meaning the entire institution, including research, education, and extension functions.

Nominations must follow the specified partnership criteria and be submitted on the NIFA Partnership Awards Nomination Form. All signed nomination forms must be submitted by July 12, 2010, via email using scanned files that have been saved as .pdf or .jpg files, and sent to Mary Oxner, Agricultural Research Service Human Resources, according to the guideline instructions.

Winning nominations will be recognized at the NIFA Day of Appreciation, tentatively scheduled for October 6, 2010. 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. Deans, directors, and administrators should thoroughly review each submission for validity of accomplishments before signing his or her approval on the nomination form.

NIFA News

NIFA Seeking Public Comment on FY 2011 AFRI

NIFA is holding a public meeting to solicit public comments for consideration in the development of the FY2011 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) request for applications. AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grant program and was established under section 7406 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, otherwise known as the 2008 Farm Bill. The meeting will be held June 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the One Washington Circle Hotel, 1 Washington Cir., NW, Washington, DC.

Notice of the meeting was published in the Federal Register on May 7. The notice contains additional meeting and comment procedures. All comments must be received by close of business on June 7 to be considered. Contact Terri Joya for more information.

NIFA Lists Open Requests for Grant Applications

Funding Opportunity

Closing Date

Contact

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI)

See individual grant program.

See individual grant program.

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program

June 1, 2010

Shirley Gerrior

Smith-Lever Special Needs Program

June 3, 2010

Dennis Kopp

Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Grant Program

June 7, 2010

Audrey Trotman

Renewable Resources Extension Act-National Focus Fund Projects

June 8, 2010

Eric Norland

Critical Agricultural Materials

June 14, 2010

Carmela Bailey

Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program

June 15, 2010

Patricia Hipple

Critical Issues: Emerging and New Plant and Animal Pests and Diseases

June 21, 2010

H.J. Rick Meyer

Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models (EaSM)
(Note: Letter of intent due May 24)

June 25, 2010

Louie Tupas

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

July 1, 2010

Mary Monnig Peet

Rangeland Research Program

July 7, 2010

James P Dobrowolski

Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program

July 28, 2010

Audrey Trotman

Biomass Research and Development Initiative Competitive Grants Program
(Note: Pre-applications due July 13)

November 15, 2010

Carmela Bailey


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.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Delivers Keynote Address on Ag and Food Security

Washington, May 20, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered keynote remarks on USDA's role in Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative. Cheryl Mills, counselor and chief of staff at the State Department, and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah also delivered remarks at the symposium, which was hosted by the Chicago Council for Global Affairs. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read Vilsack’s prepared remarks and the full release Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Delivers Keynote Address at Chicago Council on Global Affairs Symposium on Agriculture and Food Security.  

New SNAP Retail Locator and Signage Will Help Consumers Find Local Stores

Washington, May 19, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new resources designed to increase participation and expand access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), including new promotional materials proclaiming "We Welcome SNAP Benefits." The new display will be used nationwide by retailers participating in the program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The department is also premiering the SNAP Retail Locator, an online search tool to help recipients locate a SNAP-authorized store near their home or workplace.

SNAP benefits, which are now provided to recipients electronically, help low-income families put healthy food on the table and provide an economic stimulus that strengthens communities. Research shows that every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9.20 in economic activity. While SNAP benefits are administered by states, they are 100 percent federally funded and move quickly into local economies, with 97 percent of SNAP benefits redeemed within a month. The new SNAP Retailer Locator is designed to help recipients find local stores that welcome SNAP benefits. Go to the USDA Newsroom to read the full release New SNAP Retail Locator and Signage Will Help Consumers Find Local Stores that Accept Benefits; Help Reduce Hunger and Promote Food Security Nationwide. 

USDA Helps Retiring Farmers Transition Land to Beginning Farmers in New Farm Bill Program

Washington, May 14, 2010 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the Transition Incentives Program (TIP) — a new program under the Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill — to encourage retired or retiring owners or operators to transition their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. "Ensuring that our nation's land is returned to production using sustainable methods is critical not only for our future food supply, but also for the economic future of our rural communities," said Merrigan. "Access to land is one of the greatest challenges faced by new farmers. The Transition Incentives Program is one more tool in the USDA toolkit to protect family farms and support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers."

Producers started signing up on May 17. If all program requirements are met, TIP provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to 2 additional years after the date of the expiration of the Conservation Reserve Program contract, provided the transition is not to a family member. To learn more about the program, visit local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices or the FSA website. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Helps Retiring Farmers Transition their Land to Beginning Farmers in New Farm Bill Program.

Merrigan Visits Oklahoma to Highlight Efforts to Improve School Meals and Health of Nation's Children

Shawnee, OK, May 13, 2010 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan discussed the Obama Administration's priorities for improving school meals and the health of children across the nation at Will Rogers Elementary School, here. Merrigan met with state officials and others involved in school nutrition. The group discussed successful programs in the state and Merrigan emphasized the importance of renewing the Child Nutrition Act, stating that a strong reauthorization bill will reduce hunger and improve the health and nutrition of our nation's children. "The Obama administration is committed to providing all of our children access to safe, nutritious, and well-balanced meals in schools so they have a greater opportunity to succeed and to reach their highest potential," Merrigan said.

Congress is considering legislation to bolster the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Summer Food Service programs. These programs serve nearly 32 million children each school day and work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. By passing strong reauthorization legislation, with the full $1 billion annual increase requested in President Obama's budget, the administration hopes to reduce hunger, promote access, and improve the overall health and nutrition of children throughout the country. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit http://www.LetsMove.gov. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release Merrigan Visits Oklahoma to Highlight Efforts to Improve School Meals and Health of Nation's Children.

New Federal Strategy for Chesapeake Launches Major Initiatives

Washington, May 12, 2010 - The new federal strategy for the Chesapeake region focuses on protecting and restoring the environment in communities throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed and in its thousands of streams, creeks, and rivers. The strategy includes using rigorous regulations to restore clean water, implement new conservation practices on 4 million acres of farms, conserve 2 million acres of undeveloped land, and rebuild oyster beds in 20 tributaries of the bay. To increase accountability, federal agencies will establish milestones every 2 years for actions to make progress toward measurable environmental goals. These will support and complement the surrounding states' 2-year milestones. The "Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed" was developed under the executive order issued by President Obama in May 2009, which declared the Chesapeake Bay a national treasure and ushered in a new era of shared federal leadership, action, and accountability. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release New Federal Strategy for Chesapeake Launches Major Initiatives and Holds Government Accountable for Progress.

Childhood Obesity Task Force Unveils Action Plan

Washington, May 11, 2010 - First Lady Michelle Obama joined Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and members of the Childhood Obesity Task Force to unveil the task force action plan: Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation. In conjunction with the release of the action plan, cabinet members and administration officials will hold events across the country to highlight the importance of addressing childhood obesity.

The action plan defines solving the problem of childhood obesity in a generation as returning to a childhood obesity rate of 5 percent by 2030, which was the rate before childhood obesity first began to rise in the late 1970s. In total, the report presents a series of 70 specific recommendations, many of which can be implemented right away. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the release and the report’s recommendations Childhood Obesity Task Force Unveils Action Plan: Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation.

USDA Announces Two New Partners in the Apps for Healthy Kids Competition   

Washington, May 11, 2010 - USDA announced the addition of two new partners in the Apps for Healthy Kids competition — the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and Numedeon, Inc., creators of the online virtual world Whyville.net. Both partners are offering unique opportunities for contestants to obtain support and feedback as they create games and software tools with a nutrition focus. As a result, these partnerships are important in mobilizing talent and maximizing the number of high-quality submissions throughout the remaining 60 days of this national priority. The Apps for Healthy Kids competition is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. Submissions will be accepted through June 30. Apps for Healthy Kids challenges software developers, game designers, students, and other innovators to develop fun and engaging software tools and games that will motivate children, especially teens — directly or through their parents — to eat better and be more physically active. Visit the USDA Newsroom to read the full release USDA Announces Two New Partners in the Apps for Healthy Kids Competition to Help Improve the Health of Nation's Children.

NCSU Announces New Interim Director

Joseph P. Zublena is the new interim director of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Zublena received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. from Rutgers University. He worked for Clemson University as an extension specialist in agronomy and soils, and joined North Carolina State University in 1988 as department extension leader in the Soil Science Department. He served as associate director and director of county operations for NC Cooperative Extension Service since 1996. He can be reached at: 120 Patterson Hall, Box 7602 NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695; telephone: 919–515–2813; fax: 919–515–3135.

Swanson New CSU Extension Director

Louis Swanson was appointed director of extension for Colorado State University (CSU). Swanson served as vice provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships since August 2006. He also served as professor and chairman of the Sociology Department and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts at CSU. He received a B.A. in political science from St. Andres Presbyterian University; an M.A. in international development from North Carolina State University; and a Ph.D. in rural sociology from Penn State University. Swanson can be reached at CSU Extension, 1311 S. College Ave., 4040 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 0523–4040; telephone: 970–491–6281; fax: 970–491–6208. 

Deborah Young, the previous director, will continue as a professor in the Department of Bio-Agricultural Sciences and Pest Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

For a plain text copy of this newsletter, please contact Judy Rude. NIFA UPDATE is published biweekly. The next NIFA issue is planned for June 9, 2010. Submit news items to mailto:newsletter@nifa.usda.gov by June 2, 2010.

Editor:  Judy Rude, public affairs specialist, NIFA Communications Staff. If you have questions about Update, please contact her.

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.

Roger Beachy, 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.