Science Policy Report


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20 September 2017

In This Issue:

Policy News

~ Promoting neglected and underutilized crop species
~ Stakeholder listening opportunity for priorities in research, education and extension
~ The world could run out of food two decades earlier than thought
~ Agriculture could be key to easing U.S.-North Korea tensions
~ Barren fields grow terrorists
~ Collaboration opportunities for advancing sustainable agriculture
~ National Science Board’s 2018 Honorary Award Nominations

Science News

~ The great nutrient collapse
~ 2017 ASA, CSSA, SSSA Annual Meeting
~ ***Science Policy Office events at the Annual Meeting***
~ Why John Deere just spent $305 million on a lettuce-farming robot
~ Organic farming traps carbon in soil to combat climate change
~ With designer bacteria, crops could one day fertilize themselves
~ Seeding the future? ‘Ark’ preserves rare, threatened plants
~ Coffee, bees and climate change are linked in ways you may not have expected
~ Sharing soil knowledge in the 21st Century

International Corner

~ Administrator Green announces next phase of Feed the Future on first international trip
~ New Report: Climate Change Affects Every Step of the Food Value Chain
~ Creation of agribusinesses and 'agripreneurs' key topics at the 7th African Green Revolution Forum

Research, Education, Extension Funding Opportunities

~ Midwest Entrepreneurship Program to Drive Technology Innovation
~ Innovation Crossroads Entrepreneurship Program
~ California Pest Management Research Grant
~ EQIP Mississippi
~ Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification Program
~ Small Business Innovation Research Program – Phase I
~ EQIP Idaho
~ Environmental Efforts in the Pacific Northwest
~ Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
~ EQIP in South Dakota
~ Grants Promote the Protection of Wild Places
~ Advancing Informal STEM Learning
~ Southern SARE Producer Grants
~ EQIP in Missouri
~ Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program
~ Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate

Policy News


(TOP) ~ Promoting neglected and underutilized crop species

Crops that have been forgotten over the last century are being rediscovered. Scientists and policymakers are now beginning to recognize the value of so-called ‘orphan' crops, affirming what local communities have known for generations. The African Yam Bean, the Desert Date and Ber (a stocky tree with a vitamin-rich berry) exemplify the paradigm. Though not traded internationally, they are uniquely adapted to their local environments and play a vital role in supporting diverse diets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Stakeholder listening opportunity for priorities in research, education and extension

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announces its stakeholder listening initiative “NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives.” This stakeholder listening opportunity informs the research, extension and education priorities of NIFA, which has the mission of investing in and advancing agricultural research, education and extension to solve societal challenges. These investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global pre-eminence of U.S. agriculture. This listening opportunity allows stakeholders to provide feedback on the following questions: “What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension or education that NIFA should address?” and “What are the most promising science opportunities for advancement of food and agricultural sciences?” Written comments are due December 1. Read the full solicitation.


(TOP) ~ The world could run out of food two decades earlier than thought

By 2027 the world could be facing a 214 trillion calorie deficit, says Sara Menker, founder and chief executive of Gro Intelligence, an agricultural data technology company. In other words, in just a decade, we won’t have enough food to feed the planet. We’ve long known that we might reach a point where we have more people than the food to sustain them. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.1 billion, and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that at that point, the world would need to produce 70% more food than today to feed all those people. That 2050 deadline is the one usually cited by scientists and organizations like FAO and Oxfam as the year the world will run out of food. But the problem with this, and most, assessments of food insecurity, Menker says, is that it uses mass and weight, and not nutritional value. “Why do we talk of food in terms of weight?” Menker asked recently at the second TEDGlobal event in Arusha, Tanzania. “Because it’s easy. But what we care about in food is nutritional value. Not all foods are created equal even if they weigh the same.” Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Agriculture could be key to easing U.S.-North Korea tensions

In 1959, at what was the most dangerous moment of human history as Soviet and U.S. nuclear weapons were poised to be fired at each other, an event on a farm in Iowa contributed indirectly, but crucially, in keeping those missiles from ever being launched. With new North Korean missile tests and the rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington escalating, Iowa's agricultural legacy, and specifically that of Dr. Norman Borlaug and the World Food Prize, may once again offer a means to deescalate tensions and prevent war. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Barren fields grow terrorists

The fall armyworm is the name of a two-inch-long brown caterpillar with a yellow stripe. It has a military name because common infestations are both large and destructive. The insect recently arrived in Africa and its impact on the Lake Chad region — already plagued by violence from terrorist group Boko Haram — has security experts concerned. The pest has destroyed 37,000 hectares of maize (corn) fields in Northern Cameroon, worsening a food crisis where 1.5 million people in the region lack sufficient food. In East Africa, 16 million more need assistance in getting enough food to eat. Like Lake Chad, this is a region whose unrest has crossed national borders and created international incidents. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Collaboration opportunities for advancing sustainable agriculture

An emerging demand from consumers and corporations to understand and improve on the environmental impacts of agricultural production is opening new opportunities for collaboration with the scientific community. Achieving long term sustainability is vital to continued agricultural production under a future with a more uncertain climate and greater demands on agriculture.  To educate, incentivize, and measure progress along key indicators will require robust data, models, and conservation practice recommendations as well as cooperation between farmers, the supply chain, and researchers. A recent paper in Agricultural and Environmental Letters discusses an analysis of national level sustainability indicators and highlights the opportunities for improvement across a range of environmental outcomes. The analysis illustrates improvements in the efficiency of land, water, and energy use, as well as reductions in soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions, for commodity crop production in the United States since 1980. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ National Science Board’s 2018 Honorary Award Nominations

Each year, the National Science Board (NSB) pays tribute to remarkable contributions and public service in science and engineering through its Vannevar Bush and Public Service awards. The National Science Board has extended the deadline for nominations for its honorary awards until October 10, 2017. Read the full announcement. 

Science News


(TOP) ~ The great nutrient collapse

The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ 2017 ASA, CSSA, SSSA Annual Meeting

Registration prices increase Sept. 28 for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 22-25. Register now to save 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) ~ ***Science Policy Office events at the Annual Meeting***

The Science Policy Office is hosting several events for Annual Meeting attendees.  Learn more about the Science Policy Graduate Student Luncheon, the Science Policy Workshop, and more, here: www.acsmeetings.org/program/science-policy


(TOP) ~ Why John Deere just spent $305 million on a lettuce-farming robot

Look out weeds. Tractor giant John Deere just spent $305 million to acquire a startup that makes robots capable of identifying unwanted plants, and shooting them with deadly, high-precision squirts of herbicide. John Deere, established in 1837 to manufacture hand tools, announced it had acquired Blue River Technology, founded in 2011, late Wednesday. Deere already sells technology that uses GPS to automate the movements of farm vehicles across a field to sub-inch accuracy. John Stone, an executive in the company's intelligent-solutions group, says Blue River’s computer-vision technology will help Deere's equipment view and understand the crops it is working with. “Taking care of each individual plant unlocks a lot of economic value for farmers,” Stone says. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Organic farming traps carbon in soil to combat climate change

Organic farms were found to have 26 percent more long-term carbon storage potential than conventional farms. When it comes to mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, keeping excess carbon out of the atmosphere is the prime target for improving the health of our planet. One of the best ways to do that is thought to be locking more of that carbon into the soil that grows our food. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ With designer bacteria, crops could one day fertilize themselves

For the last 100 years, ever since German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch figured out how to pluck fertilizer out of thin air with brute-force chemistry, farmers have relied on an imperfect product to make their plants grow: fertilizer. Production of the stuff burns through 3 percent of the world’s natural gas annually, releases tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and runs off into rivers and streams and aquifers. Relying on fossil fuels to grow food was never exactly sustainable. But as the world thinks about what it will take to feed 9 billion people in a rapidly changing climate, it’s become unconscionable. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Seeding the future? ‘Ark’ preserves rare, threatened plants

An ordinary-looking freezer in a sturdy cinderblock shed at a suburban Boston botanical garden holds what might be New England's most important seed catalog. Inside the freezer in Framingham are tightly sealed packages containing an estimated 6 million seeds from hundreds of plant species, bearing obscure or hard-to-pronounce names like potentilla robbinsiana. They are rare varieties of plant life native to the region - in some cases found nowhere else in the world - and are in grave danger of vanishing from the landscape. The "seed ark," as it's playfully dubbed by the New England Wild Flower Society, is not unlike Noah's biblical vessel in its quest to preserve from calamity a rich diversity of life. In this case it's not animals marching two by two but vegetation threatened by any number of things, including natural disasters, climate change, unchecked development or simply being trampled afoot by unsuspecting hikers. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Coffee, bees and climate change are linked in ways you may not have expected

Pollinators such as bees play a key part of producing the beans that go into your morning cup of coffee. In fact, they are responsible for about 20 to 25 percent of coffee production by increasing the plants' yield, Taylor Ricketts, the director of the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Environment, tells The Two-Way. Bees actually increase the quality of the beans by making their size more uniform. But climate change is threatening both pollinators and the areas where coffee can grow. A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says it is the first to model the impact of climate change on both coffee and pollinators. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Sharing soil knowledge in the 21st Century

By better sharing of soil knowledge between people over a sustained period, we can improve soil condition and function, and improve soil management. Soil scientists and practitioners often work independently of each other, with limited opportunity to learn from each other and share their soil knowledge. At the same time, there is a loss of people with a depth of experience, expertise and local knowledge of soil. Yet we have thought little about how we will capture their knowledge and experience and use it to inform and support the next generation. In a paper recently published in Soil Science Society of America Journal, soil educators and extension agents concluded we must value, capture and share the experience and expertise of scientists and practitioners equally, including: farmers, scientists, educators, extension staff, commercial sector and the public. Read the full article.

International Corner


(TOP) ~ Administrator Green announces next phase of Feed the Future on first international trip

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced the selection of 12 target countries for the next phase in America's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. With the selection of these 12 countries, the second phase of Feed the Future will be focusing its efforts on promoting long-term, sustainable development that brings partners together to help people harness the power of smart agriculture to jumpstart their local economies and lift themselves out of poverty. By equipping people with the tools to feed themselves over the long term, Feed the Future is addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty. This long-term investment builds communities that are more resilient to drought, famine and other natural disasters, and less dependent on emergency food assistance. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ New Report: Climate Change Affects Every Step of the Food Value Chain

Researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) have published an extensive report highlighting the effects of climate change on agriculture and global nutrition. The report, Climate Change and Variability: What are the Risks for Nutrition, Diets, and Food Systems?, compiles evidence-based research to provide a detailed look at food security, agriculture, and food systems in relation to climate change. The authors also examine future projections in these areas, seeking to acknowledge the complexity and importance of those relationships as both global population and global temperatures rise. Read the full article.


(TOP) ~ Creation of agribusinesses and 'agripreneurs' key topics at the 7th African Green Revolution Forum

Experts and advocates pushed for the promotion of agriculture careers in Africa and more government-initiated investments at the 7th African Green Revolution Forum, urging governments and private investors to advance engagements beyond discussions through to implementation. If left to eat local, the nutrition of the African continent would lie in the hands of roughly 53 million smallholder farmers who suffer from limited financing, inadequate access to markets, poor local infrastructure and strenuous labor that has thrusted many young people to major cities in search of a livelihood. Talk around African agriculture often focuses on the viewpoint of these smallholder farmers, and with good reason: experts say these farmers must urgently build resilience against climate change and adopt modernized techniques to improve yields as Africa’s population continues to boom. Read the full article.

Research, Education, Extension Funding Opportunities


(TOP) ~ Midwest Entrepreneurship Program to Drive Technology Innovation

The Energy Department announced the opening of the application period for innovators to join the second cohort of Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). CRI, one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs, embeds top technical talent with ANL to perform early-stage research and development (R&D) that may lead to the launch of energy or manufacturing businesses in the future. DOE’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs address critical gaps in human capital development by providing stipends and institutional homes where talented postdoctoral scientific innovators can become first-time entrepreneurs. Chain Reaction Innovations is a two-year postdoctoral research program for innovators focusing on energy and manufacturing technologies. At ANL, the innovators receive unprecedented access to world-leading R&D tools and facilities, as well as scientific and engineering expertise, business mentorship, and entrepreneurial training. The innovators also have access to the greater-Chicago business and research ecosystem, as well as that of surrounding states, which include numerous manufacturing hubs, Fortune 500 companies, incubators and accelerators, premier research universities, and investors. Chain Reaction Innovations is a two-year postdoctoral research program for innovators focusing on energy and manufacturing technologies. At ANL, the innovators receive unprecedented access to world-leading R&D tools and facilities, as well as scientific and engineering expertise, business mentorship, and entrepreneurial training. The innovators also have access to the greater-Chicago business and research ecosystem, as well as that of surrounding states, which include numerous manufacturing hubs, Fortune 500 companies, incubators and accelerators, premier research universities, and investors. DOE plans to select up to six postdoctoral innovators to join Chain Reaction Innovations. Applicants may apply to this merit-based opportunity either indirectly or as a team of individuals. However, successful applicants are selected based on their individual merits. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Innovation Crossroads Entrepreneurship Program

The Energy Department announced the opening of the application period for innovators to join the second cohort of Innovation Crossroads (IC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). IC, one of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs, embeds the next generation of top technical postdoctoral talent within ORNL as entrepreneurial researchers to address fundamental energy and manufacturing challenges identified by industry. The translation of early-stage research and development (R&D) into innovations that drive private sector growth is stifled by lengthy development cycles and insufficient access to capital investment, scientific tools, and technical facilities. The Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs provide resources for researchers to ready their energy and manufacturing technologies for subsequent development in the private sector. Innovation Crossroads, a two-year post-doctoral research program, provides a home for innovators focusing on energy and manufacturing technologies. At ORNL, the innovators will have access to some of the best scientific resources in the country, as well as scientific and engineering expertise, business mentorship, entrepreneurial training, and introductions to potential partners. Each innovator will also be paired with a doctoral student from the University of Tennessee's Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education for assistance with market research and customer discovery. The DOE Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs strengthen America's regional innovation ecosystems and are ensuring that taxpayer investments in our national labs support American manufacturing and contribute to the development of regional economies. Innovators inject fresh ideas and innovative approaches into our national laboratories. Funded with up to $2.5 million, which is subject to appropriations, DOE plans to select up to five post-doctoral innovators to work at Oak Ridge National Lab. Applicants may apply to this merit based opportunity either individually or as a team. However, successful applicants will be selected based on their individual merits. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ California Pest Management Research Grant

Research grants develop practices that contribute to an integrated pest management (IPM) system to reduce use of high-risk pesticides and their unanticipated impacts on public health and the environment. Projects must address issues pertinent to high-risk pesticide use in California and all field work must be conducted in California, or under California-like conditions. This year, the Pest Management Research Grant Program will allocate $1,100,000 to fund projects that develop IPM to reduce risks associated with high-risk pesticides. DPR will consider proposals requesting $50,000 to $500,000. Deadline September 29. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ EQIP Mississippi

The United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help Mississippi producers, farmers, and ranchers implement conservation practices. EQIP provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation programs, which include irrigation water management, tree/shrub planting, field buffers, rotational grazing systems, and erosion-control practices. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; the signup deadline for the first ranking period is October 1, 2017. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification Program

The Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification Program provides funds in the form of 0% interest loans or grants for the purpose of expanding the state's value-added processing sector and to encourage farm diversification. Funds must be used to produce alternative ag products or process and/or market Oklahoma ag products. Farm Diversification Grant projects should deal with the diversification of a family farm, ranch, or agritourism venue to non-traditional crops or livestock, on-farm processing of agricultural commodities, or development of an agritourism venue that will promote access to a new market. Applications are evaluated quarterly. The next application deadline is October 2, 2017. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Small Business Innovation Research Program – Phase I

Funds may be awarded up to $100,000 for a Phase I project. Proposed Phase I projects should prove the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept. Projects dealing with agriculturally related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged across all SBIR topic areas. USDA SBIR's flexible research areas ensure innovative projects consistent with USDA's vision of a healthy and productive nation in harmony with the land, air, and water. USDA SBIR Program has awarded over 2000 research and development projects since 1983, allowing hundreds of small businesses to explore their technological potential, and providing an incentive to profit from the commercialization of innovative ideas. The USDA SBIR program is carried out in three separate phases. Phase I is to determine the scientific or technical feasibility of ideas submitted by applicants on research topic areas described in section 8.0 of this solicitation. This program solicitation is only for the preparation and submission of Phase I applications. Phase I awards may not exceed $100,000 for a period normally not to exceed eight (8) months. However, longer grant periods, of up to 20 months, may be considered if the proposed research project will require more than 8 months to complete. The Phase I application should concentrate on research that will significantly contribute to proving the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept and will be a prerequisite to further USDA support in Phase II. Estimated total program funding is $8,000,000. Deadline October 5. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ EQIP Idaho

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Idaho has announced the application cutoff for its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed in subsequent or special funding cycles. EQIP helps agricultural producers complete resource conservation projects and make conservation-related management changes on their farms or ranches. Applications received by October 13, 2017, will be considered for funding this fiscal year. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Environmental Efforts in the Pacific Northwest

The Lazar Foundation is dedicated to supporting innovative and strategic projects that protect the environment in the Pacific Northwest, including Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Foundation's specific grantmaking areas of interest include the conservation of large, biologically significant terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; the preservation of biological diversity; initiatives that broaden the environmental movement; and projects that strengthen the capacity of the environmental movement's ability to develop, shape, and communicate its message. Letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time; invited proposals are due April 15 and October 15, annually. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking to fund environmental research and development proposals. SERDP is DoD’s environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, with participation by numerous other Federal and non-Federal organizations. The Program invests across the broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development. Proposals responding to focused Statements of Need (SONs) in the following areas are requested: Environmental Restoration — Research and technologies for the characterization, risk assessment, remediation, and management of contaminants in soil, sediments, and water; Resource Conservation and Resiliency — Research that advances DoD’s management of its installation infrastructure in a sustainable way; and Weapons Systems and Platforms — Research and technologies to reduce, control, and understand the sources of waste and emissions in the manufacturing, maintenance, and use of weapons systems and platforms. Proposals responding to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 SONs will be selected through a competitive process. Separate solicitations are available to Federal and non-Federal proposers. Deadline October 19. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ EQIP in South Dakota

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the date by which an operator or landowner must sign an application at their local NRCS office for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding consideration under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers voluntary implement conservation practices to improve natural resources on working agricultural lands. Payment is provided for a variety of practices to address resource concerns such as water quality, grazing land health and productivity, soil erosion and soil quality, and wildlife habitat development. Deadline, October 20. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Grants Promote the Protection of Wild Places

The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots citizen-action groups and their efforts to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. Funded projects should seek to secure lasting and quantifiable protection of a specific wild land or waterway. Priority is given to landscape-scale projects that have a clear benefit for habitat. Grants of up to $50,000 are provided. Before applying for funding, an organization must be nominated by one of the Alliance's member companies. The upcoming nomination deadline is November 1, 2017. The Alliance will send each nominated organization a request for proposal, including instructions on submitting a full proposal, which is due December 1, 2017. Funding criteria and application guidelines are available on the Conservation Alliance website. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Advancing Informal STEM Learning

The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments. The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses, and (6) Conferences. Deadline, November 6. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Southern SARE Producer Grants

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting proposals for Producer Grants from farmers and ranchers in the Southern region. Producer Grants are used to conduct sustainable agriculture research projects that solve agricultural production challenges farmers face and to develop information on what works and what doesn't so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same challenges can benefit from the results of the funded project. Projects may be funded for up to two years for a project maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization. Deadline, November 17. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ EQIP in Missouri

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced the cut-off date to apply for fiscal year 2018 funds through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Missouri. EQIP allows farmers, ranchers, forestland managers, and landowners to conserve natural resources by making available financial assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals, and related resources. Applications for several initiatives are included in this cut-off date: On-Farm Energy, Seasonal High Tunnel, Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project, Organic, Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds, and National Water Quality. In addition, assistance through nine Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects will also be available. Deadline, November 17. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program

In FY 2018, NIFA's CFP intends to solicit applications and fund two types of grants. The types are entitled (1) Community Food Projects (CFP) and (2) Planning Projects (PP). The primary goals of the CFP are to: Meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, community outreach to assist in participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service; Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities; Promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues; and Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: Equipment necessary for the efficient operation of a project; Planning for long-term solutions; or The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers. Deadline, December 4. Read the full announcement.


(TOP) ~ Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate

The Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program seeks to advance knowledge about models to improve pathways to the professoriate and success for historically underrepresented minority doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, particularly African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders, in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields. New and innovative models are encouraged, as are models that reproduce and/or replicate existing evidence-based alliances in significantly different disciplines, institutions, and participant cohorts. The AGEP program goal is to increase the number of historically underrepresented minority faculty, in specific STEM disciplines and STEM education research fields, by advancing knowledge about pathways to career success. The program objectives include: To support the development, implementation and study of innovative models of doctoral education, postdoctoral training, and faculty advancement for historically underrepresented minorities in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields; and to advance knowledge about the underlying issues, policies and practices that have an impact on the participation, transitions and advancement of historically underrepresented minorities in the STEM academy. Deadline, December 8. Read the full announcement.

Sources: NSF; USAID; WIRED; Food Tank; FAO News; Quartz; The Des Moines Register; Politico; The Hill; FFAR; Civil Eats; Devex; Wired; SERDP; EQIP Mississippi; EQIP Idaho; Oklahoma Department of Agriculture; USDA NIFA; The Conservation Alliance; The Lazar Foundation; Department of Energy; California Department of Pesticide Regulation; Southern SARE; EQIP in South Dakota; EQIP in Missouri; Digital Library; National Science Board

Vision: The Societies Washington, DC Science Policy Office (SPO) will advocate the importance and value of the agronomic, crop and soil sciences in developing national science policy and ensuring the necessary public-sector investment in the continued health of the environment for the well being of humanity. The SPO will assimilate, interpret, and disseminate in a timely manner to Society members information about relevant agricultural, natural resources and environmental legislation, rules and regulations under consideration by Congress and the Administration.

This page of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA web site will highlight current news items relevant to Science Policy. It is not an endorsement of any position.