NIFA Update - June 27, 2016

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June 27, 2016

Two Items of Interest:

Meet NIFA's New Congressional, Stakeholder Affairs Officer

Joshua Stull

Joshua Stull is our new Congressional and Stakeholder Affairs Officer.

Stull joins NIFA today from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) where he served as team lead of Congressional and Public Affairs Staff since May 2016. As the team lead, he provided guidance and direction to staff on complex media and Congressional issues. From November 2015 – April 2016, he also served as acting director of Congressional and Public Affairs at FSIS.

He began his federal executive branch career as a legislative analyst at FSIS in 2008. In 2011, he left for the private sector and served as the director of Government Affairs of the National Fisheries Institute. He returned to FSIS in 2014 as a legislative analyst. He also served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Representative Don Sherwood from 1999-2003 and then for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter from 2005-2008, handling agriculture and agriculture appropriations, among other issues, for both elected officials. 

He has a B.A. in international politics from The Pennsylvania State University and a M.A. in European studies from the University of Amsterdam.

He brings over 15 years of strong legislative experience and professional advocacy in agriculture, appropriations, food, business, food safety, and food trade issues to NIFA. We are excited for him to apply this expertise in leading NIFA’s Congressional and legislative activities. He can be reached at 202-720-8187.

NIFA to Host Webinars Regarding Upcoming Capacity Program Study

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce two webinars to discuss the upcoming evaluation of our Capacity Programs portfolio. Funding provided under NIFA’s Capacity Programs represents nearly half of NIFA’s budget. It is, therefore, imperative for us, in collaboration with our partners, to develop an evidence-based analysis of the value and return on investment of these programs.

Key to making the evaluation work well is engaging you in the process to discuss data collection, the reciprocal value of the evaluation and hear your concerns. Most importantly, this effort will enable all of us to showcase to the taxpayers and the public the amazing impacts these programs have made on the food, agriculture, natural resource, and human sciences enterprise in our nation.

The evaluation is to be undertaken by a contractor, TEConomy, in collaboration with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and they will engage with you as the study moves forward.  

The goals of the webinar to be offered by NIFA staff are: 

  • to introduce the intended goals and outcomes of the evaluation;
  • to answer questions from you and/or your constituents;
  • to determine who is best suited to complete the ultimate evaluation instruments; and 
  • to brainstorm ways to reduce burden on respondents.


Thursday, June 30, 1-2 p.m., EDT

Thursday, July 7, 1-2 p.m., EDT

Webinar Link:

Dial-in: 1-888-8449904

Access Code: 6710407#

We hope the Land-Grant community representatives will attend the webinars, as convenient.   

To register, e-mail Karl Maxwell, NIFA Project Officer, with your preferred session, e-mail, and phone number. You may also contact him if you have any additional questions. 

We look forward to having you join us for an interactive discussion.