NIFA Update, Making a Difference, Sept. 13, 2017

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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.

                                                                                                                  September 13, 2017

Making a Difference

NIFA's Collaboration with CGIAR System to Help Advance U.S. Agriculture, Achieve Global Impacts of Mutual Interest


In a recent exchange of letters, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and CGIAR stated their intentions to foster international collaboration, information sharing and coordination of selected efforts between NIFA-funded and CGIAR-funded researchers.

“The desired outcome of this enhanced collaboration between NIFA and CGIAR would be the joint application of scientific expertise that aligns talents and resources to achieve greater impacts globally in addressing issues of interest to our institutions,” wrote Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director, in his letter to CGIAR.

CGIAR Executive Director Elwyn Grainger-Jones described the potential benefits resulting from partnering with NIFA. “Through its association of 15 global research centers, CGIAR brings together a broad range of partners who play a critical role in the adoption of sustainable innovations including government, national research programs, civil society, and the private sector.”

Collaborative activities include opportunities for: 

  • NIFA-funded researchers to spend time undertaking research at CGIAR centers; and
  • CGIAR-funded researchers and NIFA-funded researchers to share information, discuss technical innovations in agriculture, and to propose and participate in collaborative research that can improve food and nutritional security, and resources and ecosystem services.

“Many agricultural pests and diseases that threaten our crops and livestock emerge or reemerge first outside the U.S. Wild crop genes we may need for improved breeding of various crops might only be found outside the U.S. Moreover, in 2030, 96 percent of the world's population, and thus, most of the markets, will be outside the U.S.,” said Dr. Otto Gonzalez, director, NIFA’s Center for International Programs.

“International collaboration, therefore, is essential for a thriving and heathy U.S. agricultural sector” Gonzalez added.

CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR centers and 12 research programs in collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector. 

See NIFA and CGIAR’s exchange of letters.


Bobby Moore

NIFA Welcomes New EOS Director

We are excited to welcome Barbara (Bobbie) Moore as the Director of the Equal Opportunity Staff (EOS) at NIFA. 

Moore has extensive experience in Civil Rights, Equal Opportunity, Program Compliance, and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Since 2015 she has served as the chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Compliance Division at USDA. She was responsible for executing compliance aspects and governance on a National level for USDA regarding the Secretary’s scorecard, Public Civil Rights Compliance, Internal Civil Rights Compliance, and the Model EEO Program.

She also served as the training and civil rights director at USDA where she was responsible for providing guidance and direction to headquarters staff offices and the Graduate School on leadership, direction, and oversight of civil rights, equal employment opportunity, outreach, alternative dispute resolution, diversity councils, and USDA 1890 Initiatives. 

Moore has an impressive career in federal service career. Prior to joining USDA, she was employed with the Federal Aviation Administration, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation as the Director of EEO and Diversity Management, and with the Bureau of Land Management, and with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

She received her B.S. Degree from Park University in management and her M.S. from Webster University in computer information systems. She has completed the “Leadership for a Democratic Society” program at the Federal Executive Institute as well as completed 32 hours of course work at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education in managing and resolving workplace conflicts and leadership coaching strategies. 

News for You

More Fuel for the Food/Feed Debate

A new study indicates livestock production is a much smaller challenge to global/food security than often reported.

In a recent issue of ELSEVIER, humans face mounting challenges when it comes to finding ways to sustainably feed an exploding population. As people become wealthier and more urbanized, the demand for animal products continues to climb. Although supply chain efficiencies improve, livestock are considered a resource drain, requiring a large amount of feed, which could also be used by humans, to produce a relatively small amount of meat. 

A new study in Global Food Security found that livestock place less burden on the human food supply than previously reported. Even stronger, certain production systems contribute directly to global food security because they produce more highly valuable nutrients for humans, such as proteins, than they consume.

The Northeastern IPM Center Announces Request for Applications for IPM Partnership Grants

The Northeastern Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center announces the availability of funding through its IPM Partnership Grants Program, supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Up to $250,000 in total will be available for 2018, with a maximum of $50,000 per award, to fund projects that foster the development and adoption of integrated pest management methods. The program offers a Request for Applications (RFA) for each project type: IPM Issues, IPM Working Groups, and IPM Communications. 

For 2017, the Center is particularly interested in projects that address regional priorities within the Center’s five Signature Programs (not in order of priority) 1) IPM and Organic Systems, 2) Rural and Urban IPM, 3) Climate Change and Pests, 4) Next Generation Education, and 5) Advanced Production Systems. Applications must be submitted online and are due by Wed., Nov. 15, 2017. 

An informational webinar about the RFA will be held on Sept. 25, 2017, from 2 to 3 p.m. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the Center’s website for those unable to attend. Please register for the webinar. For more information on the application process and guidelines, and to download the application, visit the Northeastern IPM Center website. The IPM Centers are supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, under award number 2014-70006-22484.



Farm Bill Friday Kickoff: Rep. Don Bacon

The House Agriculture Committee is launching a new video series entitled "Farm Bill Friday." Every Friday, they will release a new video from members of House Conference highlighting the importance of a strong Farm Bill for all Americans. 

Watch House Agriculture Committee member Rep. Don Bacon (NE-2) kick off the #FarmBillFriday series. 

Rep. Bacon said [in part]:

Agriculture produces one out of every four jobs in Nebraska. It has a huge impact on the second district and around Omaha too. What we transport, food commodities, food packaging, and what we finance. So we have a huge impact in our district with agriculture. We’ve got to get it right this year with the Farm Bill.

Farm prices are down 50% right now and we see the impact in the livelihood of many Nebraskans and also in our education and state budget. So, we’ve got to support our farmers. Our farmers take care of the land which is a natural resource and agriculture is a treasure for us.

Grants & RFA Announcements

USDA NIFA Announces Funding to Recruit and Educate a Diverse Agricultural Workforce

NIFA announced $945,400 in available funding to help foster the next generation of multicultural scholars in agricultural sciences. Funding is made through NIFA’s Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP). The Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) helps colleges and universities recruit and retain multicultural scholars who may pursue degrees in food and agricultural sciences disciplines or the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Projects may involve scholarships to support recruiting, engaging, retaining, mentoring, and training of committed, eligible multicultural scholars. The deadline for applications is Oct. 31, 2017. See the request for applications for details. 

Federal Register Notice

Solicitation of Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) 

NIFA is soliciting nominations of veterinary service shortage situations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for fiscal year 2018, as authorized under the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA). This notice initiates the nomination period and prescribes the procedures and criteria to be used by eligible nominating officials (State, Insular Area, DC and Federal Lands) to nominate veterinary shortage situations.

Each year all eligible nominating officials may submit nominations, up to the maximum indicated for each entity in this notice. NIFA is conducting this solicitation of veterinary shortage situation nominations under an approved information collection (OMB Control Number 0524-0050). 

DATES: Shortage situation nominations must be submitted on or before October 20, 2017. 

Contact Mark Robinson, National Program Leader, NIFA, USDA, Stop 2240, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-2220 Telephone: 202-4011990; Fax: 202-401-6156, Email: