NIFA Update for Partners and Stakeholders

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June 9, 2016

NIFA Highlights:

 -- Animal Health Stakeholder Webinar Series

 -- Prokopy Selected for Purdue's Spirit of Land-Grant Mission Award

 -- NIFA Director Presents "Perfect Storm to Nutritional Security:...

 -- 2016 International Society for Ecological Economics Conference

 -- ECOP National System Study Webinar

Animal Health Stakeholder Webinar Series

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Office of the Chief Scientist will begin holding a series of stakeholder webinars related to animal health, beginning with a webinar on antimicrobial resistance on July 19, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The purpose of the webinar is to discuss, prioritize, and develop strategies to address the most pressing animal health research, education and extension needs related to antimicrobial resistance.

Following this webinar will be a series of webinars on various topics. Approximately 4-6 weeks prior to each webinar, the agencies will solicit feedback on the top five animal health priorities related to each webinar topic.This pre-webinar input will be used to make efficient use of the webinar time to thoroughly assess research, education, or extension gaps. Additional details and registration instructions will be provided several weeks prior to the webinar series. 


Prokopy Selected for Purdue's Spirit of Land-Grant Mission Award

Purdue University forestry and natural resources professor Linda Prokopy will receive the 2016 Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award for her work in soil and water resources management. The award is presented yearly to a Purdue faculty member in the colleges of Agriculture, Health and Human Sciences or Veterinary Medicine whose work exemplifies the university's land-grant mission of discovery, engagement and learning.

Prokopy was awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture to lead the national, multi-institution Useful to Usable initiative that offers a suite of online tools to help farmers and agricultural advisers manage increasingly variable weather and climate conditions across the Corn Belt. The tools provide historical climate data that help inform purchasing, marketing and activity planning throughout the growing cycle.

U2U last year received a Partnership Award for Mission Integration of Research, Education and Extension from NIFA. That year it also received the College of Agriculture’s TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Award, given annually to a Purdue team of professionals for their interdisciplinary achievements.

NIFA Director Presents "Perfect Storm to Nutritional Security: It's the Message, Stupid"

Last month, NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy presented a lecture, "Perfect Storm to Nutritional Security: It's the Message, Stupid." Much of the focus was on the transformative approaches needed, particularly approaches relying on genetic engineering and other biotechnology methods, nanotechnology, pesticides, and food processing, to name a few. It is critically important, however, to ensure that the public, which is mostly uncomfortable and untrusting of foods derived from such approaches—unfortunately termed “frankenfoods” by Paul Lewis and touted by Prince Charles and others—has a much better understanding of these approaches and why we use the same.This requires the development and promotion of synergy of science and communications to sustainably solve the nine billion problem.

2016 International Society for Ecological Economics Conference

The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will host the 2016 Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), June 26-29.The conference, Transforming the Economy: Sustaining Food, Water, Energy and Justice, will bring together more than 500 policymakers, researchers, and citizens committed to advancing tangible solutions for a sustainable and resilient economy. As the science of sustainability, ecological economics must advance the transformation of the economy to support rather than debilitate the processes that sustain our living planet. Such a transformed economy supports the resilience of our planet and its life support systems rather than undermining it.This has implications for both local and global decision making, and for urban and rural communities. ISEE 2016 will be held on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia at 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. For registration details and further information please visit  

ECOP National System Study Webinar

In the ECOP Minute:  The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) member and chair of the ECOP National System Task Force, Chuck Hibberd, Nebraska Extension, will hold a webinar-based conversation about Cooperative Extension as a national system on June 28 at 11 a.m. ET.

To connect, visit, or iPhone one-tap: 1-(408) 638-0968, Access Code 445634779# or 1-(646) 558-8656, Access Code: 445634779#, or Telephone: Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll), Webinar ID: 445 634 779.

Hibberd will review the results of two national surveys related to themes describing Cooperative Extension, understanding of national presence and operations, and thoughts about branding.There will be opportunity for continued interaction by way of online “voting.” The webinar is designed for Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators or their designees. This continued discussion is critical to positioning Cooperative Extension to respond to opportunities of multistate and national scope. Your participation is encouraged. When using Zoom for the first time, take time before the webinar begins to download the Zoom launch application at: