NIFA Update March. 21

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Editor: Kelly Sprute                                                                                       March 21, 2018

Making a Difference

Life-cycle of a bed bug

Bed Bug Website and Work Group Share Knowledge

Give them a chance, and the members of the Western Integrated Pest Management Bed Bug Work Group can teach you everything you ever wanted to know about bed bugs, and then some.

The group met in Las Vegas to plan upgrades to its informative and easy-to-navigate bed bug website, and host a day-long workshop attended by more than 200 people.

The day-long workshop covered the biology of bed bugs and management methods. It explained the development of pesticide resistance in bed bugs through amusing animation, detailed quick and thorough inspection protocols, and a deep dive into bed bug management in schools, multi-unit housing and hotels.

The workshop even taught participants how to tell the difference between bed bug poop and cockroach poop. Read the full Western IPM article.


Smith-Lever Special Needs Grant Project Directors Visit NIFA 

Smith-Lever working group

NIFA staff hosted the Smith-Lever Special Needs Grant Project Directors’ meeting to  increase their awareness of our grant programs, post award management, performance measures, evaluation, and information sharing. They reported on innovative, education-based approaches that address wildfire preparedness, youth preparedness, community decision-making and financial preparedness, and capacity building for increasing community resiliency. These initiatives support improving quality of life in communities across the United States. Christi Collins, acting deputy director and operations branch chief of FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division presented the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division National Award to Ryan Ackers, a Smith-Lever Special Needs Grants project director for MyPI National. This award was for 1st place in the Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness Award Category.

Top photo: (l-r): Beverly Samuel, William Hubbard, Timothy Prather, Zachary Kennedy, Allison Davis, Ryan Ackers, Holly Campbell, and Sylvia Montgomery. Bottom photo: (l-r) Beverly Samuel, William Hoffman, Christi Collins, Ryan Ackers, Sylvia Montgomery, and Siva Sureshwaran.

News for You

Master-gardeners teach Minnesota students

Gardening with Class

Schoolyard Gardens Plant Seeds of Better Health and Active Learning.

It’s Wednesday morning and the kids at Crossroads School and Vocational Center in St. Francis, Minnesota, are sitting attentively in class, knowing what comes next if they do the work expected of them. “The Master Gardeners come every Wednesday,” said Crossroads Principal Jay Powell. “The kids know they’re coming.”

Powell’s students have significant challenges, including some who are living at a nearby residential treatment center. Extension Master Gardeners can get their hands dirty with the kids, teaching while not having to be an authority figure. “Relationships are tough for these kids, so it’s neat to see the bond as they work side by side in the planters,” said Powell.

The schoolyard garden is a place to advance the quest to learn math, science, healthy living and more in an outdoor living laboratory. Master Gardeners helped design the site in 2015, including multiple raised beds and a deer-proof fence. Read the full University of Minnesota article

Image provided by University of Minnesota.

Alice Henneman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

A Legacy of Service: Henneman Looks Back on 37-Year Extension Career

Alice Henneman, a pioneer of food and nutrition education programming, is will retire from Nebraska Extension on March 30. "I can't believe how fast the time has gone," Henneman said. "I've been honored to be in a role where I feel like every day I can do something to help people lead a better life by sharing science-based information."

Henneman has been part of Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County since 1980. For 12 years, she administered the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, which works with limited-resource individuals and youth, before becoming a full-time educator working with the public in food, nutrition and food safety. Read the full University of Nebraska-Lincoln article.

Image: Alice Henneman is will retire from Nebraska Extension on March 30. By Vicki Jedlicka.


Canola farmstead in Washington State, photo by Ron Nichols, NRCS

Due to Inclement Weather the Supplemental and Alternative Crops Program RFA Webinar is Canceled

A Supplemental and Alternative Crops Program (SACC) webinar is canceled for March 21 at 2 p.m. EST. and is rescheduled to Monday March 26 at 2:30 EST. Staff will discuss the 2018 RFA and answer any questions. SACC supports the development of canola as a viable supplemental and alternative crop in the United States and significantly increase crop production through developing superior germplasm, improving cropping practices, and transferring knowledge to producers. Applications for 2018 awards are due April 18. 

If you have any questions contact Caroline Sherony

Canola farmstead in Washington State, photo by Ron Nichols, NRCS

RFA Grant and Award Announcements

NIFA Announces Support for Agricultural Programs at Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture

NIFA announced the availability of funding to support research, education, and outreach activities related to food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences at non-land-grant colleges and universities. Funding is made through NIFA’s Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

NLGCA strengthens the capacity of institutions to develop infrastructure to carry out and expand their activities: enhance the ability of NLGCA faculty members to engage in agricultural professional development opportunities, and increase the number, quality, and diversity of qualified graduates entering the food and agriculture workforce. Read the full request for applications announcement.


NIFA Invests in Exploratory Research

NIFA awarded grants to support the initial development of innovative ideas in agriculture and food production through the Exploratory Research Grants (ERG) program. Funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

ERG fosters the creation of transformative innovations that address plant and animal health and production, food safety and nutrition, bioenergy, natural resources and environment, agriculture systems, technology, agricultural economics and rural communities. AFRI is America’s flagship competitive grants program for foundational and translational research, education, and extension projects in the food and agricultural sciences. Read the full award announcement.


NIFA Announces Support for Capacity Building in Tribal Communities

NIFA announced support for community-driven projects and extension services for tribal communities. Funding is made through NIFA’s Tribal Colleges Extension Program (TCEP) (Capacity). 

TCEP gives reservation communities opportunities to enhance agricultural productivity, community resilience, economic growth and youth development by extending the reach of innovations in research and technology and enhancing informal, local educational programming. The capacity program supports innovations in research and technology, and the enhancement of educational programming. Previous projects have addressed tribal youth development, increased food security, financial literacy, optimization of agriculture production, and natural resource conservation. Read the full request for applications announcement.