Science Policy Report
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06 September 2017
In This Issue:
Policy News~ Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate – and departs from his own budget request
~ The National Academies holds a Breakthroughs 2030 “Town Hall”
~ Can anyone, even Walmart, stem the heat-trapping flood of nitrogen on farms?
~ Does ‘sustainability’ help the environment or just agriculture’s public image?
~ Americans OK with GMs for health care, but still wary about food
~ Crop Science Society of America sends GMO labeling feedback to USDA
~ Work in agriculture policy in Washington, DC
Science News~ Early bird registration still open for 2017 ASA, CSSA, SSSA Annual Meeting
~ Nominate Experts in Climate Communications and Reproducibility
~ 6th Annual Golden Goose Award
~ A new way to test soil health
~ This is why when you talk about climate change, you can’t ignore agriculture
~ Are fertilizers punishing our soils?
~ First-ever global erosivity map shows areas most vulnerable to erosion
~ Terrestrial carbon sequestration webinar and workshop
~ Four members receive Soil Health Institute grants
~ Webinar briefing held by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
~ New York to see release of GMO murder-moths
International Corner~ Is that food to go? It may not be in plastic much longer
~ Tech-savvy farmers a new hope for Japan’s shrinking agriculture sector
Research, Education, Extension Funding Opportunities~ Healthy Soils Program
~ California Alternative Manure Management Program
~ Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program
~ Northeast SARE Partnership Grants
~ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant Program
~ Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change
~ Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications
~ NSF/NSFC Joint Research on Environmental Sustainability Challenges
~ Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program
~ Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships
~ Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Project Grants
~ Agricultural Awareness Grant Program
~ Northeast SARE Farmer Grants
~ Farmer and Rancher Grant Program
~ Minnesota Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program
~ North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA)
~ North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative
~ EQIP Wisconsin
~ NCR-SARE Partnership Grant Program
~ Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program
~ Value-Added Producer Grant Program
(TOP) ~ Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate – and departs from his own budget request
On August 17th, the White House issued a four-page memo telling federal agencies that their research dollars should be focused on delivering short-term dividends in strengthening national defense and border security, the economy, and “energy dominance,” as well as improving public health. It says achieving those goals should not require additional spending, and that agencies should focus primarily on basic science, and then step aside as quickly as possible to let industry pursue any results that show commercial promise. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ The National Academies holds a Breakthroughs 2030 “Town Hall”
On August 8th, the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a Town Hall event for its study, Science Breakthroughs 2030: A Strategy for Food and Agricultural Research. The study is being conducted by a selected committee of experts, including ASA, CSSA, and SSSA member Raj Khosla, but this Town Hall meeting was open to the public and questions and comments from audience members were encouraged.
Panels on production, sustainability, and human health presented the science, engineering, and technology advancements that could drive innovation in food and agriculture research, such as engineering more efficient photosynthesis in crops and using sensor technology and big data to advance precision agriculture and agroecology. During discussions, however, audience members and panelists returned to a number of common themes spanning these topics, including the potential of the microbiome. Plant and soil probiotics were discussed as ways to increase yield, sustainability, and human health, for example. Another common topic was the overarching impact of human behavior and how production intersects with economics and food choice. As agricultural economist Jayson Lusk pointedly asked, “What is the value of a technology that farmers won’t buy or can’t sell?”
(TOP) ~ Can anyone, even Walmart, stem the heat-trapping flood of nitrogen on farms?
The Environmental Defense Fund opened an office near Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., 10 years ago. It was part of a carefully plotted strategy to persuade the giant retailer that going green could be good for business. If it worked, it certainly could be good for the planet — Walmart's revenues are bigger than the entire economy of most countries. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Does ‘sustainability’ help the environment or just agriculture’s public image?
Nitrogen fertilizer creates a lot of greenhouse gas, both when fossil fuels are burned to create it, and when rain washes it out of fields and into the environment. Essentially, the only way to cut emissions from nitrogen fertilizer is to use less of it. Most farmers haven't been willing to do this, because it could cut into their profits. Enter the SUSTAIN program, which some food companies tout as a step toward the breaking this stalemate, allowing farmers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions without reducing their profits. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Americans OK with GMs for health care, but still wary about food
More than three-quarters of Americans would accept release of genetically modified mosquitoes to decrease risk of the Zika virus, but fewer than half accept genetic modification (GM) of animals, grain crops and produce, according to a Purdue University study. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Crop Science Society of America sends GMO labeling feedback to USDA
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has less than one year left to create a national standard for GMO labeling under the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard law that Congress passed in July 2016. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Work in agriculture policy in Washington, DC
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is hiring its inaugural Consortium Director for the new Crops of the Future Collaborative (COTF). COTF was launched in June of 2017, with seven diverse international partners, in addition to FFAR. This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal leadership role in directing an internationally-significant agricultural research platform, with great potential for long-term high impact. See the full profile here.
(TOP) ~ Early bird registration still open for 2017 ASA, CSSA, SSSA Annual Meeting
Early Bird Registration ends TOMORROW for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 22-25. Register today and join more than 4,000 scientists, professionals, educators, and students at the 2017 International Annual Meeting, "Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future". Learn more and register here.
(TOP) ~ Nominate Experts in Climate Communications and Reproducibility
The National Academies is currently seeking nominations of experts to serve on the following two projects, the Climate Communications Initiative (CCI) and a new study on reproducibility and replicability in science. Learn more and submit a nomination here.
(TOP) ~ 6th Annual Golden Goose Award
The 2017 Golden Goose Award recognizes three teams of researchers whose silly, odd, or obscure sounding U.S. federally-funded research have returned major benefits to society. The sixth annual Award Ceremony will take place on September 27, 2017 in Washington, DC and will be live-streamed here.
(TOP) ~ A new way to test soil health
Experiment in soil biology has farmers burying jockey shorts in April and unearthing them in July. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ This is why when you talk about climate change, you can’t ignore agriculture
A new study, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that agriculture has historically released almost as much carbon into the atmosphere as deforestation. The study says that land use changes associated with agriculture have caused the loss of 133 billion tons of carbon from soil worldwide over the last 12,000 years; at least half of those losses have occurred in the last few centuries. Read the full article here or the summary in the Washington Post.
(TOP) ~ Are fertilizers punishing our soils?
USDA ARS researcher Rick Haney gives an interview with Yale Environment 360 on the benefits of healthy soils and the folly of pursuing ever-greater crop yields using fertilizers and other chemicals. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ First-ever global erosivity map shows areas most vulnerable to erosion
Understanding erosion is important in quantifying the loss of topsoil for agriculture, as well as the contamination of food and water by sediments. However, erosion is a very complex process. It depends on many factors, including climate, soil type, and vegetation cover. A new map, published in an open-access paper, tries to quantify how much energy is available to erode the land surface on a given spot globally. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Terrestrial carbon sequestration webinar and workshop
As part of the Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration Workshop Series, the National Academies Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate is hosting a webinar on September 14th and a workshop on September 19th on the development of a research agenda for terrestrial carbon dioxide removal and reliable sequestration. Terrestrial carbon sequestration is a process that involves the capture of carbon dioxide from the air by plants, through photosynthesis, and the storage of that carbon in woody biomass and in plant-derived soil organic carbon. While terrestrial carbon sequestration regularly occurs in nature, there are human actions that can help maintain and enhance the carbon sequestration capacity of land—and help mitigate the effects of climate change. Examples of ways to promote terrestrial carbon sequestration include improved land management practices, such as using cover crops and reduced tillage on croplands, improved grazing management on grasslands, reforestation (planting trees to replace those harvested for timber), and afforestation (planting trees on land that have been used for other purposes). The committee will conduct a webinar-based panel in advance of their workshop to learn more about this topic and the costs, challenges, and benefits of introducing management practices and land use changes that increase carbon sequestration. Find the full description and registration information here.
(TOP) ~ Four members receive Soil Health Institute grants
Dr. Kate A. Congreves, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Marshall Douglas McDaniel, Dept. of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ms. Yushu Xia, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, and Ms. Sutie Xu, Dept. of Animal Science, Michigan State University were four of the five recipients of Soil Health Literature and Information Review Grants from an anonymous donor to the Soil Health Institute. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Webinar briefing held by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
On August 24, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) held a webinar introducing its mission and staff, outlining some of its funding history, and presenting future funding opportunities. The webinar’s recording, slides, and a transcript of the post-presentation Q&A are available online.
(TOP) ~ New York to see release of GMO murder-moths
You may not have heard of the diamondback moth, but it's one of the biggest pests in North American agriculture. And there's a plan to stop it. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Is that food to go? It may not be in plastic much longer
The global war on plastic may have a new leader: the Tasmanian city of Hobart. The City Council agreed on Monday to draft legislation that would phase out single-use plastic containers and cutlery by 2020. Instead of using the ubiquitous plastic containers for home delivery and takeout, restaurants in the city of 220,000 would have to use ones made from cardboard, cornstarch or bamboo that could be composted. Read the full article.
(TOP) ~ Tech-savvy farmers a new hope for Japan’s shrinking agriculture sector
A new breed of younger, business- and tech-savvy farmers are transforming Japan's shrinking agriculture sector with cutting edge techniques and marketing strategies, giving new hope to an industry in slow decline. Hiroki Iwasa, a 40-year-old IT entrepreneur with an MBA, grows strawberries in seven high-tech greenhouses where computers set the temperature and humidity to optimum growing conditions and ensure the rows of bushes are sprayed with water at precise times. Read the full article.
Research, Education, Extension Funding Opportunities
(TOP) ~ Healthy Soils Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The HSP has two components: (i) the HSP Incentives Program, and (ii) the HSP Demonstration Projects. Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically by September 19, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PT; a webinar to review the application process will take place today, August 15, at 9am PT (Incentives Program) and at 10:30am PT (Demonstration Projects). CDFA appropriated $7.5 million in FY 2016-17 to develop and administer a new incentive and demonstration program on the CAHealthy Soils Initiative from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The objective of this new Healthy Soils Program is to build soil carbon and reduce agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Deadline, September 19. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ California Alternative Manure Management Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications from non-profit organizations, California academic institutions and California Resource Conservation Districts that provide technical assistance to grant applicants in the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP); applicants may apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. The AMMP is designed by CDFA to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. CDFA was appropriated $50 million in FY 2016-17 to provide financial assistance to reduce early and extra methane emissions from dairy and livestock operations. CDFA has allocated approximately $9-16 million of these funds to develop and administer a new program on Alternative Manure Management with the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from non-digester manure management practices. The program will provide grants to California dairy and livestock operators to implement non-digester manure management practices that reduce their methane emissions. The CA Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) is now accepting applications through October 2, 2017 5:00 p.m. PDT to provide financial assistance for methane emission reductions from dairy and livestock operations. Deadline, October 2. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program
Grants are provided in the following two categories: Community Grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 support projects that connect communities to forests and educate the next generation of future forest leaders. Conservation Grants ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 support projects that establish methodologies to demonstrate the conservation-related values of SFI-certified forestlands. For Conservation Grant applications in this grant cycle, SFI Inc. is placing a priority on projects which measure, demonstrate, or establish methodologies to demonstrate, the conservation-related values of SFI-certified forestlands, or such values which result from application of the SFI Fiber Sourcing standard. Ideally such projects will be scalable to a regional, or bio-regional scale (e.g., Ponderosa Pine forests, Boreal Plains, Longleaf Pine ecosystem, the central hardwood forest, etc.). Particular attention will be paid to applications focused on conservation values in the areas of water, climate change (including both carbon attributes and forest resiliency), and biodiversity. The purpose of SFI’s Community Partnerships Grant Program is to elevate and enrich the link between people and forests. SFI awards grants to collaborative community-based projects, activities or events which support SFI’s core mission to connect communities to forests. Applications which feature creative partnerships, and/or high degrees of leverage (e. g. matching funds, scale of impact, etc.) are preferred. Deadline, October 10. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Northeast SARE Partnership Grants
Northeast SARE Partnership Grants are reserved for agricultural service providers--extension staff, nonprofits, consultants, state departments of agriculture, and others working in the agricultural community--who want to conduct on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects with farmers as active cooperators. The overriding goal of the Partnership program is to uncover knowledge that farmers can use, to encourage the understanding and widespread use of sustainable techniques, and to strengthen partnerships between farmers and service providers. Partnership Grants are capped at $15,000. Deadline, October 17. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant Program
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Research and Education Grant Program is a competitive grant program for researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. Research and Education projects include a strong outreach component and significant farmer/rancher or other end user involvement from inception of the idea through implementation of the project. Generally, Research and Education grant awards range from $10,000 to $200,000. Projects may last up to 36 months. NCR-SARE’s Research and Education (R&E) program supports sustainable agriculture innovators with competitive research and education grants. Individual grants range from $50,000 to $200,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund about nine to ten projects in the twelve-state North Central Region. NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Research and Education Grant Program using its online submission system. More information about the online submission system can be found in the call for preproposals. The deadline for Research and Education Program preproposals is October 19, 2017 at 4pm CDT. All preproposal authors will be notified in early February 2018. Selected project coordinators will be mailed a call for proposals and invited to develop full proposals due in early April 2018. NCR-SARE administers each of its grant programs with specific goals, audiences, and timelines. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, its relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, farmer-rancher engagement in the project, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE's goals. Deadline for pre-proposals, October 19. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change
The goal of research funded under the interdisciplinary P2C2 solicitation is to utilize key geological, chemical, atmospheric (gas in ice cores), and biological records of climate system variability to provide insights into the mechanisms and rate of change that characterized Earth's past climate variability, the sensitivity of Earth's climate system to changes in forcing, and the response of key components of the Earth system to these changes. Important scientific objectives of P2C2 are to: 1) provide comprehensive paleoclimate data sets that can serve as model test data sets analogous to instrumental observations; and 2) enable transformative syntheses of paleoclimate data and modeling outcomes to understand the response of the longer-term and higher magnitude variability of the climate system that is observed in the geological and cryospheric records. Deadline, October 20. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs: Establishing Spokes to Advance Big Data Applications
NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) initiated the National Network of Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs (BD Hubs) program in FY 2015. Four BD Hubs – Midwest, Northeast, South, and West – were established to foster multi-sector collaborations among academia, industry, and government, both nationally and internationally. These BD Hubs are serving a convening and coordinating role by bringing together a wide range of Big Data stakeholders in order to connect solution seekers with solution providers. This solicitation calls for new BD Spoke proposals to be awarded in FY 2018. Collaborating with BD Hubs, each BD Spoke will focus on a particular topic that requires Big Data approaches and solutions. The set of activities managed by a BD Spoke will promote progress towards solutions in the chosen topic area. The regional BD Hub Steering Committee will provide general guidance to each BD Spoke and will assist the BD Spoke in coordinating with the national BD Hub network, with other BD Spokes, and with the broader innovation ecosystem. In particular, this solicitation is not meant to fund proposals in which fundamental research is the primary activity. Deadline, October 20. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ NSF/NSFC Joint Research on Environmental Sustainability Challenges
The NSF Engineering and Geosciences Directorates (ENG and GEO) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Department of Engineering and Material Sciences (DEMS) and Department of Geosciences are partnering to encourage joint research by U.S. - China teams collaborating on fundamental research that addresses critical environmental sustainability challenges. Both the U.S. and China nations face significant environmental sustainability challenges, for example in the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus, urban sustainability, global change, and manufacturing. Fundamental research is needed to provide the foundational knowledge for addressing these challenges. This call is for research proposals from joint U.S. - China teams in the environmental sustainability themes of: 1) Quantitative and computational modeling of a FEW system; and 2) Innovative human and technological solutions to critical FEW systems problems. Every proposal must include the participation of researchers from at least one U.S. institution and at least one institution in China. Deadline, October 20. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program
The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. The program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. IGE focuses on projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. The program supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches. Deadline, October 25. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships
The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) awards Postdoctoral Fellowships to recent recipients of doctoral degrees to carry out an integrated program of independent research and professional development. Fellowship proposals must address scientific questions within the scope of EAR disciplines and must align with the overall theme for the postdoctoral program. The program supports researchers for a period of up to two years with fellowships that can be taken to the institution of their choice (including institutions abroad). The program is intended to recognize beginning investigators of significant potential, and provide them with research experience, mentorship, and training that will establish them in leadership positions in the Earth Sciences community. Because the fellowships are offered only to postdoctoral scientists early in their career, doctoral advisors are encouraged to discuss the availability of EAR postdoctoral fellowships with their graduate students early in their doctoral programs. Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows. Deadline, October 25. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Project Grants
The National Science Foundation’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) supports quantitative, mechanistic, predictive, and theory-driven fundamental research designed to promote understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular levels. While recognizing the need for thorough and accurate descriptions of biological complexes and pathways, the priority of the Division is to support work that advances the field by capturing the predictive power of mechanistic, quantitative, and evolutionary approaches. MCB is soliciting proposals in four core clusters: Cellular Dynamics and Function, Genetic Mechanisms, Molecular Biophysics, and Systems and Synthetic Biology. Deadline, November 20. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Agricultural Awareness Grant Program
Farm Credit East is part of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide agricultural network providing credit and affiliated services to those in agriculture and related industries across the United States. To that end, FCE is accepting applications for its AgEnhancement Grant program. Through the program, grants of up to $8,000 will be awarded to help organizations promote awareness of and strengthen agriculture, commercial fishing, and forest products in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont. Since its inception in 1996, the Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program has awarded more than $1 million in grants to organizations in the Northeast. Eligible projects include those that promote the development of young and beginning farmers; encourage leadership in farming and agriculture; develop a greater understanding of agriculture; recognize the accomplishments of ag leaders; study the economic viability of agriculture; and/or promote interest in the industry. Deadline, December 1. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Northeast SARE Farmer Grants
Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. A technical advisor--often an extension agent, crop consultant, or other service professional--must also be involved. Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices. To apply, you must be a commercial farmer in the Northeast SARE region: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Deadline, December 5. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Farmer and Rancher Grant Program
NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Farmers and ranchers in the North Central region are invited to submit grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch. Proposals should show how farmers and ranchers plan to use their own innovative ideas to explore sustainable agriculture options and how they will share project results. Sustainable agriculture is good for the environment, profitable, and socially responsible. Projects should emphasize research or education/demonstration. Deadline, December 7. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Minnesota Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program
The Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) Grant Program funds conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. The MN DNR manages this reimbursable program to provide competitive matching grants from $5,000 to $400,000 to local, regional, state, and national nonprofit organizations, including government entities. A 10% match of non-state funds is required for all grants. Restoration and enhancement projects will only be funded on lands that are permanently protected by a conservation easement, in public ownership, or in public waters. Deadline, September 12. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA)
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) facilitates collaboration and public participation to foster conservation, protection, and enhancement of the North American environment. The North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA), an initiative of CEC, provides funding to nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations, environmental groups, community-based associations, academic institutions, Tribal nations, and indigenous peoples and communities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Grants of up to $53,000 support community initiatives focusing on Innovation and Partnerships for Green Growth in order to advance environmentally-responsible economic development while decreasing pressure on natural resources and promoting more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Strategic priority areas include climate change mitigation and adaptation, green growth, and sustainable communities and ecosystems. Proposals must be submitted by September 22, 2017. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative
The North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative is seeking grant proposals focused on research and development of agricultural and forestry-based feedstocks for bioenergy production. These grants are designed to focus on projects that boost energy production from North Carolina agricultural and forestry products, offer new opportunities for agribusiness development, and support cooperative research for bioenergy production. Projects can focus on production and harvesting methods and plant variety work. Individual applications should not exceed $150,000 in direct funding from the grant program. Deadline, September 29. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ EQIP Wisconsin
USDA-NRCS in Wisconsin is accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for 2018. EQIP is the primary program available to farmers for farm and woodland conservation work, offering payments for more than 110 basic conservation practices. Special sign-up opportunities are also open for On-Farm Energy, Organic, Specialty Crops, and Seasonal High Tunnel conservation practices, as well as a number of landscape-based initiatives. The cutoff date for consideration for 2018 funding is October 20, 2017. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ NCR-SARE Partnership Grant Program
North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is accepting proposals for the Partnership Grant Program. NCR-SARE’s Partnership Grant program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. Individual grants are limited to $30,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 10 projects in the twelve-state North Central Region. Deadline, October 26. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program
This grant program supports: (1) training students for Master's and doctoral degrees in food, agricultural and natural resource sciences, and; (2) Special International Study or Thesis/Dissertation Research Travel Allowances (IRTA) for eligible USDA NNF beneficiaries. Awards are specifically intended to support traineeship programs that engage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees in USDA mission areas. Applicants provide clarity about the philosophy of their graduate training, and relevance to USDA mission sciences, NIFA priorities and national science education policies and statistics. Applications are being solicited from institutions that confer a graduate degree in at least one of the following Targeted Expertise Shortage Areas: 1) animal and plant production; 2) forest resources; 3) agricultural educators and communicators; 4) agricultural management and economics; 5) food science and human nutrition; 6) sciences for agricultural biosecurity; and 7) training in integrative biosciences for sustainable food and agricultural systems. Deadline, October 31. Read the full announcement.
(TOP) ~ Value-Added Producer Grant Program
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service is accepting applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Approximately $18 million is currently available. The objective of this grant program is to assist viable Independent Producers, Agricultural Producer Groups, Farmer and Rancher Cooperatives, and Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Businesses in starting or expanding value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of Value-Added Agricultural Products. Grants will be awarded competitively for either planning or working capital projects directly related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of the program. All proposals must demonstrate economic viability and sustainability in order to compete for funding. Deadline, January, 24, 2018. Read the full announcement.
Sources: National Academies News; Science Magazine; NPR; Purdue University Agriculture News; FFAR; Golden Goose Award News; Kansas Farmer; PNAS; Washington Post; Yale e360; Forbes; Soil Health Institute; New York Times; Reuters; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; California Department of Food and Agriculture; Commission for Environmental Cooperation; North Carolina Bioenergy Research Initiative; Sustainable Forestry Initiative; Northeast SARE; North Central Region SARE; National Science Foundation; EQIP Wisconsin; USDA NIFA; Farm Credit East; Rural Business Cooperative Service
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