NIFA Update--Happy Birthday, 1890 Land-Grant Universities...Making a Difference

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The NIFA Update is a weekly compendium of news and information that may be of interest to Land-Grant and non-Land-Grant Universities, NIFA stakeholders, and other subscribers

August 30, 2017

Happy Birthday, 1890 Land-Grant Universities


A Tip of the Hat to Our 1890 LGUs Celebrating 127 Years of Cutting Edge Science, Education, Community Service

by Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA Director 

The author of the Act that created land-grant colleges, Congressman Justin Smith Morrill of Strafford, Vermont, had been disappointed that such educational institutions were out of reach for African-Americans. Almost 30 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act of 1862, the Second Morrill Act, creating our nation’s historically black land-grant colleges, was successfully shepherded through Congress by then Senator Morrill and signed into law Aug. 30, 1890. 

After 127 years of experience and diversity in agricultural research, education, and extension, our 1890 LGUs are poised to develop leadership and human capital for our nation’s preeminence in the 21st century. That is not a bad legacy for the seminal ideas Justin Smith Morrill articulated in the 19th century. 

Read the full article.

Making a Difference


UGA Study Focuses on the Long-term Economic Sustainability of the Upper Floridan Aquifer

As concerns grow over the ability of the Upper Floridan Aquifer to keep up with demands for water from residents, farms and forests, four universities are teaming up to develop new best management practices and explore ways to increase adoption of developed and existing best management practices among farmers, leading to reduced water use and improved water quality in the aquifer. Researchers from the University of Georgia (UGA) are collaborating with scientists from three other universities on a five-year, $5 million project. Led by the University of Florida Water Institute, UGA will also partner with faculty from Auburn University and Albany State University on the study, which is funded by NIFA. 

Researchers across all four universities will conduct experiments to develop farming practices that reduce water use and fertilizer loss while still resulting in a profitable crop yield. Researchers from University of Florida and Auburn University will then create computer models that can predict the impacts of various land and water uses. Read the full story. Photo Credit: UGA

News for You

New Deans and Directors' Meeting

The Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) is planning to host a New Deans and Directors' Workshop for members who have entered an administrative position since 2013 and any others who would like to learn more about the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), BAA, NIFA, and the Land-Grant University System. If you are interested in attending this event, please take the brief survey to help better prepare for this meeting.

  • Learn how the APLU, Board on Agriculture Assembly, USDA-Research, Education, and Economics, and NIFA work together to advance research, education, and extension.
  • Learn how to become involved at the national level to influence federal legislation and decisions made by NIFA and other agencies.
  • Understand the diverse roles of various institutional types within the Land-Grant University System and the Board of Agricultural Assembly.
  • Establish strategic networks with colleagues. 

Developmental Process and Early Phases of Implementation for the U.S. Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2016-2021

The Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR) is charged with improving the planning, coordination, and communication among federal agencies engaged in nutrition research and with the development and updating of federal research programs to meet current and future needs for nutrition. The ICHNR is co-chaired by the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health, and is made up of 10 departments and agencies. 

The ICHNR was reassembled after a hiatus and the need for a written roadmap to identify critical human nutrition research gaps and opportunities. An overview of the process undertaken by the ICHNR was developed, National Nutrition Research Roadmap, and was publicly released in March 2016 and recently published in The Journal of Nutrition. It was first published, ahead of print, August 16, 2017. 

The Roadmap is framed around three questions: How can we better understand and define eating patterns to improve and sustain health? What can be done to help people choose healthy eating patterns? How can we develop and engage innovative methods and systems to accelerate discoveries in human nutrition? Read the full article.


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Free Virtual Conference: 'Learning Through Change'

Is your state experiencing change?Change is hard! Do you feel change accelerating in your professional or personal life? Do you thrive on workplace change? 

Join the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Virtual Conference to learn strategies for managing change, grow your understanding of your capacity for change and begin to thrive as you connect with colleagues facing similar challenges. Cooperative Extension professionals will find lots of great information to help navigate change at work and with their clientele.

Save September 26-29 to join the MFLN for a free Virtual Conference on “Learning Through Change.”

Registration is free. Save the Date video.

Federal Register Notice

Notice of Intent to Revise a Currently Approved Information Collection

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announced NIFA's request to extend the currently approved information collection in support of authorizations to use the 4-H Club Name and/or Emblem.

Written comments on this notice must be received by Oct. 24, 2017, to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. For detailed information on where and how to submit your comments, read the full Federal Register document, Vol. 82, No.164, Aug. 25, 2017.