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Integrated Programs

Number: 10.303
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
10.303 Integrated Programs
Federal Agency (030):
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
Authorization (040):
Section 2(c)(1)(B) of Public Law 89–106, as amended.

, Public Law 89-106, 7 U.S.C 7626; Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) (7 U.S.C. 7626), as reauthorized by Section 7306 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) (Public Law 110-246), authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a competitive grants program that provides funding for integrated, multifunctional agricultural research, extension, and education activities. Subject to the availability of appropriations to carry out this program, the Secretary may award grants to colleges and universities [as defined by section 1404 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (NARETPA) (7 U.S.C. 3103)], as amended, on a competitive basis for projects that address priorities in United States agriculture and involve integrated research, education, and extension activities, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (NAREEEAB). Section 7129 of the FCEA amended section 406(b) of AREERA (7 U.S.C. 7626(b)), adding Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and universities (HSACUs) as eligible entities for competitive funds awarded under this authority (see Part III.B. of RFA for more information).
, 7 U.S.C 7626; Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act, Public Law 89-106, 7 U.S.C 450i; Title V of the Rural Development Act of 1972, Public Law 92-419, 7 U.S.C 2204a.
Objectives (050):
GENERAL:

NIFA Integrated Programs provide support for integrated research, education, and extension activities. Integrated, multi-functional projects are particularly effective in addressing important agricultural issues through the conduct of problem-focused research that is combined with education and extension of knowledge to those in need of solutions. These activities address critical national, regional, and multi-state agricultural issues, priorities, or problems. Integrated Programs hold the greatest potential to produce and disseminate knowledge and technology directly to end users while providing for educational opportunities to assure agricultural expertise in future generations. See individual program Requests for Applications for additional information about the topics.

SEVERAL PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED UNDER CFDA 10.303. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

(1) Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Water Quality Program
The goal of the National Integrated Water Quality Program is to improve the quality of our Nation's surface water and groundwater resources through research, education, and extension activities. Projects funded through this program will facilitate achieving this goal by advancing and disseminating the knowledge base available to agricultural and rural communities. Funded projects should lead to science-based decision-making and management practices that improve the quality of the Nation's surface water and groundwater resources in agricultural and rural watersheds. See RFA for priority areas.

(2) Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: National Integrated Food Safety Initiative
The purpose of the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative is to support food safety projects that demonstrate an integrated approach to solving problems in applied food safety research, education, or extension. Various models for integration of applied research, education, and extension will be considered for funding. Applications describing multi-state, multi-institutional, multidisciplinary, and multifunctional activities (and combinations thereof) are encouraged. Applicants are strongly encouraged to address at least two of the three functional areas of research, education, and extension (i.e., research and extension, research and education, or extension and education).

(3) Integrated Research, Education, And Extension Competitive Grants Program: Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers
The goal of the Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers (IPM Centers) is to promote the development and implementation of IPM by facilitating collaboration across states, disciplines, and purposes. IPM Centers will establish and maintain information networks, build partnerships to address pest management challenges and opportunities, evaluate the impact of IPM implementation, communicate positive outcomes to key stakeholders, and manage funding resources effectively. Successful applicants to this program will demonstrate the capacity and commitment necessary to advance the goals of the National Roadmap for Integrated Pest Management (www.ipmcenters.org/IPMRoadMap.pdf), and evaluate the progress of this advancement. The IPM Roadmap addresses pest management needs for production agriculture, natural resources and recreational environments, and residential and public areas.

(4) Integrated Pest Management: Crops at Risk Program
The goal of the CAR program is to enhance the development and implementation of innovative, ecologically based sustainable IPM system(s). Preferably, this should involve a diversity of tactics and approaches for a single or specific food or fiber commodity in commercial production for pre- and/or post-harvest system(s). The program addresses either a major acreage or high value crop commodity such as key fruits and vegetables. The primary emphasis is on crop productivity and profitability, while addressing critical environmental quality and human health issues. The CAR program will fund integrated multifunctional/multidisciplinary research, education, and extension projects for crops with high priority IPM needs as identified by stakeholders.

(5) Integrated Pest Management: Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program
The goal of the Risk Avoidance and Mitigation (RAMP) program is to enhance the development and implementation of innovative, ecologically based sustainable IPM strategies and system(s) for (a) multi-crop food and fiber production systems; (b) an area-wide or a landscape scale agroecosystem; or (c) a documented pesticide impact on water, human or environmental health. RAMP applications may address major acreage agricultural production systems, high value crops such as key fruit and vegetable systems, or other agroecosystems. The primary emphasis of the application should be on productivity and profitability while addressing critical environmental quality and human health issues. The intent of RAMP is to fund medium-term projects that emphasize systems approaches.

(6) Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program: Integrated Pest Management: Methyl Bromide Transitions Program
The goal of the Methyl Bromide Transitions (MBT) program is to support the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives to methyl bromide uses or minimize methyl bromide emissions for which the United States is requesting critical use exemptions. The program is focused on integrated commercial or field scale research that targets short- to medium-term solutions.

(7) Integrated Organic Program
The purpose of the Integrated Organic Program is to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. The Organic Transitions Program (ORG) funds the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic producers and producers who are adopting organic practices. Funding opportunities for the ORG Program is included in the same Request for Applications (RFA) as the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).

PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT FUND START UP BUSINESSES.


(8) Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs):
The RRDCs play a unique role in USDA's service to rural America. They link the research and educational outreach capacity of the nation's public universities with communities, local decision makers, entrepreneurs, families, and farmers and ranchers to help address a wide range of development issues. They collaborate on national issues that span regions-like e-commerce, the changing interface between rural, suburban, and urban places, and workforce quality and jobs creation. Each tailors programs to address particular needs in its region.
Types of Assistance (060):
Project Grants
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
This research, education, and extension competitive grants program provides funding for integrated, multi-functional agricultural research, extension, and education activities which addresses priorities in United States agriculture. Grant funds must be used for allowable costs necessary to conduct approved integrated research, extension and education objectives to address food and agricultural sciences, in the broadest sense. NIFA has determined that grant funds awarded under this authority may not be used for the renovation or refurbishment of research, education, or extension space; the purchase or installation of fixed equipment in such space; or the planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of buildings or facilities. Funds may not be used for any purposes other than those approved in the grant award documents. Tuition remission is not allowable.

The following programs are authorized under (Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) (7 U.S.C. 7626):
(1) Water Quality
(2) Food Safety
(3) Regional Pest Management Centers
(4) Crops at Risk
(5) Risk Mitigation Program
(6) Methyl Bromide Transition Program and
(7) Organic Transition - Risk Assessment

Other Integrated Program(s):
(8) Regional Rural Development Centers (7 U.S.C. 450i and 7 U.S.C. 2204a)

Section 1473 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3319) prohibits indirect costs. Hence, indirect costs are unallowable for this program. Fully discretionary.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
State agricultural experiment stations, State cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research and extension institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, private organizations or corporations, and individuals to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the food and agricultural sciences of importance to the United States.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
State agricultural experiment stations, State cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research and extension institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, private organizations or corporations, and individuals to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the food and agricultural sciences of importance to the United States.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
No Credentials or documentation are required. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
All RFAs are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.
Award Procedure (093):
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 1613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA.

Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors:
(a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities;
(b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields;
(c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs;
(d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;
(e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and
(f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness toproducers and the general public of each application.

Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
Section :094 - Deadlines:
Dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA each fiscal year.
Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. Respective links are provided below:
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
http://www.grants.gov

Section :095 - Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
From 30 to 180 days.
Appeals (096):
Not Applicable.
Renewals (097):
Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. GENERAL RULES:
(a) Funds are awarded competitively.
(b) No formula grants are awarded under Subtitle K of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 [7 U.S.C. 3319e].

SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Regarding Critical Issues and Regional Rural Development Centers (Section 2(c)(1)(B) of Public Law 89-106, as amended):

NIFA does not require matching or cost sharing support for the above-referenced programs. However, the provisions indicated below are applicable to the following programs which are authorized under Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) (7 U.S.C. 7626):

(1) Water Quality
(2) Food Safety
(3) Regional Pest Management Centers
(4) Crops at Risk
(5) Risk Mitigation
(6) Methyl Bromide Transition and
(7) Organic Transition - Risk Assessment

Funds are awarded competitively.
No formula grants are awarded under Subtitle K of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 [7 U.S.C. 3319e].
If a grant provides a particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, and not of national scope, the grant recipient is required to match the USDA funds awarded on a dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources with cash and/or in-kind contributions. (See Part IV, B., 6. of the RFA for details.)

NIFA may waive the matching funds requirement for a grant if NIFA determines that:
(1) the results of the project, while of particular benefit to a specific agricultural commodity, are likely to be applicable to agricultural commodities generally; or
(2) the project involves a minor commodity, the project deals with scientifically important research, and the grant recipient is unable to satisfy the matching funds requirement.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
Regarding the Critical Issues and Regional Rural Development Centers (Section 2(c)(1)(B) of Public Law 89–106, as amended) , normally, competitive research projects will be supported for periods of up to three (3) years.
However, for the other programs (under Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (AREERA) (7 U.S.C. 7626):
The term of competitive project grants and/or cooperative agreements under this program may not exceed five (5) years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash. Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. A final “Financial Status Report” (SF-269) or “Federal Financial Report” (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).

Awards Management Division (AMD)
Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
Department of Agriculture(USDA)
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986. Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records (113):
In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Project Grants) FY 13 $13,561,678; FY 14 est $10,869,563; and FY 15 est $4,725,378 - In FY 2014 and FY 2015 CFDA #10.303 funding for pest management activities including Regional Pest Management Centers are consolidated under CFDA # 10.329 Crop Protection and Pest Management Competitive Grants Program (CPPM). CFDA # 10.303, Water Quality, Methyl Bromide Transition, and Organic Transition Programs are supported in FY 2014 within Integrated Activities Account under Section 406 Authority. Similarly, CFDA # 10.303, Regional Rural Development Centers is supported in FY 2014 and FY 2015 under Integrated Activities. CFDA # 10.304, Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative (Homeland Security) is also funded under Integrated Activities Account.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive project grant or cooperative agreement are established, these will be announced in the annual program announcement or Request for Application (RFA).
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: (A) Integrated Water Quality (aka Conservation Effects Assessment Projects – CEAP):

A total of 36 applications were received in three program areas. Continued the focus on consumer-based water resource management programs; projects develop tools that assist citizens to make improved water management decisions as consumers. Funded four projects for the National Water Resource Projects (Program Area Code 110.A) priority where proposals were solicited for projects that create or develop capacity within the research, education, and extension system and transfer this capacity to stakeholders and decision-makers at the local, regional, or national level. Continued the focus on developing the next generation of extension professionals, preparing students to work in extension or use-inspired research while providing immediate outreach functions to landowners, ranchers and farmers (110.A). Applicants were asked to design and implement an experiential learning program for students (undergraduate through post-doctoral), and were strongly encouraged to coordinate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) teams. Working directly with an advisor/mentor either in a NOAA RISA or in a USDA research laboratory or Cooperative Extension office, students should gain hands-on experience on farms and ranches while providing services related to drought, flooding or other water issues. Funded four projects for the Watershed Scale Projects (Program Area Code 110.C) priority where proposals were solicited that promote locally focused solutions to watershed scale water resource issues in agricultural, rural, and urbanizing watersheds. NIFA funded projects in 110.C that emphasized water availability (includes quantity and quality) impacted by increasing climate variability and that addressed drought, impaired water quality and/or prolonged periods of rain and flooding.

(B) National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (aka NIFSI):

No proposals received in FY 2013.

( C) (Regional) Integrated Pest Management Centers (aka IPM Centers):

For the FY 2013 award cycle, $3,510,953 was available for project grant awards after subtracting administrative costs.
NIFA received a total of 4 continuation applications requesting a total of $3,509,873 for FY 2013. Funds were available to support a total of 4 awards.

The funding ratio for this program originally awarded in FY 2012 was 100%.

Funded projects established a Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center in each of USDA’s four geographic regions: North Central, Northeastern, Southern, and Western. The overarching goals of the Regional IPM Centers program are to improve the cost benefit analysis of adapting IPM practices and to reduce the environmental and human health risks associated managing pests.

(D) Crops at Risk (aka CAR):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(E) Risk (Avoidance and) Mitigation Program (aka RAMP):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(F) Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program:

For the FY 2013 award cycle, $ 1,734,875 was available for project grant awards after subtracting administrative costs.

A total of 7 applications requesting a total of $2,988,100 were received in this year’s competition and it is anticipated that four will be awarded. In June 2012, a 3-member peer review panel with two ad hoc reviews evaluated these applications. The peer panel includes faculty and administrators from land grant universities and USDA research agencies.

The funding ratio for this program in FY13 was 57%.

(G) Organic Transition – Risk Assessment (aka ORG) Program:
Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(H) Regional Rural Development Centers:

The four Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) leverage land-grant resources in pursuit of USDA’s rural development mission. Each RRDC is hosted by a land-grant institution, and each host institution contributes support to the RRDCs, such that USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) dollars are leveraged at least 3:1 annually. In addition, USDA agencies such as Rural Development (RD), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Economic Research Service (ERS) offer periodic funding or in-kind support. Other federal agencies, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), also partner with the RRDCs. The RRDCs also collaborate effectively with significant non-profits in the rural development space such as Kettering, the Farm Foundation, and the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association.

A fundamental purpose of the RRDCs is to build capacity across the land grant system to address changing rural development priorities, primarily through research and Extension programming. In FY13, the RRDCs demonstrated effective national teamwork in program delivery.

Examples include:
• The National eCommerce Extension Initiative, which remains closely tied to eXtension’s Entrepreneurs and their Communities Community of Practice, allows Extension professionals to develop and share tools to train entrepreneurs on using the Internet to strengthen businesses, guide farmers in adopting cost and time saving Internet operations, and build capacity of local rural governments. In a related but separate initiative, the RRDCs assembled a national team to work on issues related to broadband availability and adoption. Fourteen complete sets of curricula were developed that empower Extension educators to work with small businesses, farmers, artisans, food specialty businesses, and Spanish speaking audiences. http://srdc.msstate.edu/ecommerce/rebuild/index.html

• The National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy (NARDeP) Center flexibly partners with leading researchers from around the nation to deliver timely policy-relevant works on key rural development issues such as natural gas extraction, broadband availability and expanded economic opportunities. http://www.nardep.info/

• The Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Education (CAPE) project, resulting from an interagency agreement with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), created partnerships with eighteen land grants nationally to develop and deliver information and implement plans to address community health issues. http://www.healthbench.info/

• The ReadyCommunity curriculum builds on a partnership with FEMA to strengthen community-level disaster preparedness nationally, with a focus on rural areas. In one pilot site, the ReadyCommunity process helped identify two key unmet needs: adequate shelter facilities and working generators. As one county commissioner stated, “… ReadyCommunity has brought our community closer together by creating a workable plan.” http://srdc.msstate.edu/readycommunity/

• The Stronger Economies Together (SET) program, with support from USDA RD, engages groups of communities to develop multi-county economic development plans. The program is now offered in fifty-five regions across twenty-eight states. To date, over $6.7 million has been leveraged in those regions that have completed the SET planning process. http://srdc.msstate.edu/set/

The RRDCs also build on existing strengths and opportunities within their own regions. For example:
• The North Central Center helped create and maintains an Extension community development metrics system that is allowing the twelve states in the region to consistently document creation or saving of thousands of jobs annually via Extension program efforts. A similar impact reporting system is now being adopted by the south. http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/state_extension_leader_section1

• The Northeast Center assembled a ten-university research and outreach team across land grant, minority-serving and leading private universities, as well as USDA’s ARS and ERS, to explore emerging regional food system development opportunities in its region. http://aese.psu.edu/nercrd/food-systems

• The Southern Center created the highly acclaimed Turning the Tide on Poverty program, a citizen-led process designed to promote civic engagement dialogue and action around persistent poverty concerns. Turning the Tide is active in eight Southern states. http://srdc.msstate.edu/tide/

• The Western Center publishes a highly regarded “Rural Connections” periodical drawing on expertise from around the region to inform policy makers about important community and natural resource issues such as drought, energy, and immigration. https://wrdc.usu.edu/htm/rural-connections. Fiscal Year 2014: (A) Integrated Water Quality (aka Conservation Effects Assessment Projects – CEAP):

Closing date for proposals was July 3, 2014. A total of 20 applications were received in two program areas. A new program code (110.J) focused on farm and watershed scale projects that identified the science behind drought triggers or to aid decision making about the optimal use of water. The second program area soliciting applications for a single synthesis project that will increase the scientific understanding of accomplishments made through NIFA’s portfolio of funded water projects. The synthesis project should develop critical science questions that address how NIFA-funded research, education, extension, and integrated projects have increased knowledge of agricultural water issues and how these projects helped move communities closer to solutions for local water problems. Peer-review Panel will be held August 19. No further data is available.

(B) National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (aka NIFSI):

No proposals received in FY 2014.

( C) (Regional) Integrated Pest Management Centers (aka IPM Centers):

Congress has not funded this program since 2013.

(D) Crops at Risk (aka CAR):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(E) Risk (Avoidance and) Mitigation Program (aka RAMP):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(F) Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program:

For the FY 2014 award cycle, approximately $ 1,850,000 is available for project grant awards after subtracting administrative costs.

A total of 7 applications requesting a total of $2,976,930 were received in this year’s competition and it is anticipated that five will be awarded. In June 2014, a four-member peer review panel evaluated these applications. The peer panel includes faculty from land grant universities.

The funding ratio for this program in FY14 is anticipated to be 72%.

(G) Organic Transition – Risk Assessment (aka ORG) Program:

For the FY 2014 award cycle, $3,777,840 was available for project grant awards after subtracting administrative costs.

A total of 36 applications, requesting a total of $17,476,442, were received in this year’s competition. In June 2014, an 8-member peer review virtual panel evaluated these applications. The peer panel included faculty from land grant universities, researchers from USDA Agricultural Research Service and a non-profit stakeholder group.

Funds were available to support a total of 7 new awards.

The funding ratio for this program in FY11 was 19.4%.

Funded projects seek to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices by studying and documenting environmental services provided by organic farming systems in the area of soil conservation and climate change mitigation, including greenhouse gases (GHG). Projects were also funded to develop cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. All projects integrate research, education and extension activities.

(H) Regional Rural Development Centers:

The RRDCs are increasingly seen as key leaders in the field, and are sought after as partners on grant proposals or to convene stakeholders on key issues. In light of their successes in program delivery and in leveraging the land grant system, additional investments are warranted. Through their collective efforts, the RRDC network will demonstrate in FY14:
1. Increases in job and income growth in rural areas that are well-documented impacts of USDA Land Grant programs. Substantial work in the areas of job growth, economic leveraging, and income growth are being realized throughout the nation through Extension program efforts such as SET and eCommerce noted above. Capturing and compiling these important accomplishments is vital to ensuring accountability and aligning appropriate resources. Currently, the North Central region is taking the lead on collecting meaningful metrics about impacts of the community development work on an annual basis in an easily digestible format. The Southern region is mirroring this work in 2014.

2. More rapid dissemination of cutting edge research and emerging best practices and programs for rural development. Innovation and experimentation in rural development research and Extension are inherent in the land-grant mission. However, connections across state lines to share and collaborate are often limited. In response, the North Central Center and the Southern Center are experimenting with mechanisms to enhance cross-state transfer of effective rural development programs. For example, the North Central Center is already featuring commercialization-ready Land Grant technologies through its “Innovations in Agriculture and Rural Development” series. The series links North Central bench scientists with companies interested in investing in new technologies.

3. Enhanced targeting of economic growth and development programs to persistent poverty areas. The RRDCs can reach across the entire country to roll out new centrally coordinated rural development program initiatives, while at the same time lending enhanced support for areas lacking capacity such as those designated as StrikeForce states and/or Promise Zones. For example, the SET program has taken hold in over 50 multi-county regions, many of which include persistent poverty areas. By working with local Extension professionals, the RRDCs have aided in building capacity through training, telephone support, on-site coaching visits and specialized data analysis.

4. Faster response to emerging opportunities and issues. The RRDC leadership confers monthly by conference call and exchanges emails daily. Additionally, they have established communication links to state Extension program leaders in community and economic development, agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, and 4-H youth development, as well as key research decision-makers such as Experiment Station Directors throughout the nation.

They are therefore well-positioned to respond quickly as a team to emerging issues, and to draw together appropriate resources from the entire land-grant system. Other federal agencies and prospective private partners should find a strengthened system attractive for their own investments. Thus the system will be even better-positioned to call on and deploy national resources to help move rural America forward as new opportunities arise. Fiscal Year 2015: (A) Integrated Water Quality (aka Conservation Effects Assessment Projects – CEAP):

There are no projections for this Program. FY 2015 budget is zero.


(B) National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (aka NIFSI):

We do not anticipate a program for FY 2015.

( C) (Regional) Integrated Pest Management Centers (aka IPM Centers):

Congress has not funded this program since 2013.

(D) Crops at Risk (aka CAR):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(E) Risk (Avoidance and) Mitigation Program (aka RAMP):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(F) Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program:

It is unclear at this time whether funding will be available for this program in FY 2015, as it was not included in the President’s budget. It is in the current House and Senate draft appropriation bills at an anticipated at approximately $1.9 million.

(G) Organic Transition – Risk Assessment (aka ORG) Program:

Pertinent data to be provided by Program at a future date.

(H) Regional Rural Development Centers:

NIFA does not anticipate a higher level of funding or programming in FY 2015.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
7 CFR Part 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Grant Programs – General Grant Administrative Provisions and Program-Specific Administrative Provisions; 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) ; 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; 7 CFR Part 3019, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-profit Organizations; and 7 CFR Part 3021— USDA implementation of Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-free Workplace (Financial Assistance).
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
None.
Headquarters Office (152):
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment – Division of Environmental Systems, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2210, Washington, District of Columbia, 20250-2210, Telephone: (202) 720-5229, Fax: (202) 720-3945.


ADDITIONAL CONTACTS:

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader; Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, Division of Food Safety 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2225, Washington, DC 20250-2220; Telephone: (202) 401-1954; Fax: (202) 401-14888;

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Production and Sustainablity, Division of Animal Systems, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240, Washington, DC 20250-2220; Telephone: (202) 401-6134; fax: 202-401-1602;

AND

USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, Division of Family and Consumer Sciences 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2250, Washington, DC 20250-2250; Telephone: (202) 720-4795; fax: 202-720-93662;
, Washington , District of Columbia 20250-2210 Phone: (202) 720-5229 Fax: (202) 720-3945
Website Address (153):
http://www.nifa.usda.gov/
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: (A) Integrated Water Quality (aka Conservation Effects Assessment Projects – CEAP):

National Projects:

“Expanding Consumer and Community Water Protection Efforts Through Innovative and Integrated Mobile Technologies.” This project will encourage the use of low impact development (LID) techniques by consumers and communities through the development of mobile smartphone and tablet applications (apps). The UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research has developed two tools to address the impacts of storm water runoff on our communities and waterways. The CT Rain Garden app is the first smartphone app focused on how to properly site, size, design, install and maintain a rain garden. The National LID Atlas is an interactive, online map that displays examples of LID throughout the country. Both of these tools will be made into national mobile apps for smartphones and tablets that can be used to support national efforts to reduce storm water pollution. The Rain Garden app will be redesigned with locally specific content that will adjust based on a user’s location. A National Advisory Team will be convened to help add locally relevant information from various regions of the country. A mobile app version of the LID Atlas will also be developed to allow users to see examples of LID installations near them, as well as add entries to the Atlas. The two apps will be linked such that you can add your rain garden to the Atlas from within the Rain Garden app and identify examples of rain gardens near you. Information about new LID installations will be collected through the apps, so that runoff and pollutant reductions can be quantified.

“Smart Phone Apps: Scientific Validation Quantification of Water Conservation.” The present and future water supply concerns in the SE US and the regional based research showing irrigation as a potential conservation pathway supports the long-term goal of the NIWQP.
Specifically, this proposal supports the Research, Education, and Economics Action Plan goal 3 by providing growers in SE US with decision-support tools to maintain water availability and safety in a changing global environment (Subgoal 3A) and supports the Communities and Networks priority of training extension agents. This proposal considers a regional approach (Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) with the intent that future proposals will expand these efforts throughout the SE region and for other crops. The primary activities will be to validate the simple water balance models for citrus, cotton, and urban lawn originally developed as part of a 2011 NIWQP grant for Florida and Georgia in two year replicated research plots. Project Directors plan to develop an app for peanut irrigation and harvest predictions. A fine resolution grid rainfall map developed as part of a Conservation Innovation Grant will be validated using selected weather station data in three states. The combined water balance and rainfall projection tool will be integrated to generate improved irrigation schedules to balance crop requirements with current weather conditions. The validated apps will be evaluated by stakeholders in three states and in-service training events for county agents and specialists will be conducted leading to stakeholder training events by agents to assist growers in using the apps. Smartphone science-based apps will be further dissemination to professional audiences through publications, conference presentations and teaching modules designed and incorporated into course programs.

Watershed-Scale Projects:

“Farms, floods and fluvial geomorphology: making the most of our natural resources.” Agricultural and undeveloped rural forested lands play a crucial role in diminishing the destructive power of floodwaters by receiving, spreading, and slowing the flood wave as it moves through a watershed. Climate scientists predict (and have already observed) that in the Northeastern U.S., individual storms may be more intense, and that there will be more precipitation on an annual basis. This project will use LiDAR and fluvial geomorphological assessments to delineate the river corridor for the Deerfield River in Massachusetts and Vermont, where considerable activity and excitement surrounding responsible whole-watershed management is underway, and existing funded projects can be leveraged for maximum benefit. GIS, SWAT, and flood prediction analysis will be paired with the corridor maps to produce educational materials highlighting the role farms play in floodplains. Project directors are integrating their knowledge with the basin’s agricultural stakeholders in an effort to provide them with needed tools and support, including factsheets and kits for flood preparedness, strategies for riparian land management to maximize overall watershed/river health and minimize damages, sources for relief and post-disaster assistance, and pro-active measures for riverfront property management (and potential for profit). Project directors are developing a Flood-or-Not mobile tool for growers to assess current soil moisture conditions and flood potential on their property, and expand the presence and impact of EDEN in Massachusetts and Vermont. While applied to a single bi-state basin as a test bed, these techniques will be readily transferrable throughout New England, and disaster preparedness kits and strategies will be broadly available.

“An Integrative Decision Support System for Managing Water Resources under Increased Climate Variability.” Balancing water management to provide supplemental irrigation to assure and enhance crop production during dry conditions while also managing drainage of excess water, is very challenging. Water management strategies at the farm, watershed, and community levels must consider long-term sustainability of the water supply and protection of the ecological functions water supports. Decision Support Systems (DSS) for holistic sustainable water management at appropriate scales are critically needed and must incorporate the impacts of a changing global environment. This project provides an Integrative Decision Support System that processes and incorporates existing water strategies, futuristic planning, agricultural water uses, and support for water managers. A diverse set of modeling and analysis tools are incorporated. Continuing input and dissemination using Extension expertise and enhanced education are integral to this approach. The project has four key components that blend and complement each other. First is the involvement of numerous key individuals broadly representing water users and policy makers. Second is the development of several sets of future climatic data scenarios. Third is use of the scenarios to assess implications to Michigan's legislated Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool (WWAT) process. Fourth is the use of a 3-D hydrologic systems model to aid with developing and assessing more sustainable water management strategies under the possible new climatic regime and to better address present problematic situations. The project will be linked to several broader sustained water management activities.


(B) National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (aka NIFSI):

There were no funded projects in FY 2013.

Several on-going FY 2011 Project titles are listed below.
• The role of biofilms as a reservoir for foodborne pathogens in irrigation systems
• An Integrated Approach to Enhance the Microbial Safety of Fresh-Cut Fruits and Vegetables during Processing, Packaging, and Distribution
• Advancement of a whole-chain, stakeholder driven traceability system for agricultural commodities: beef cattle pilot demonstration
• Building Better Food Safety Education Programs: How Optimizing Fidelity of Implementation Can Maximize Desired Outcomes
• Bridging the Gap: Integrated Research and Extension in Support of Small Food Processors of Acidified Canned Foods

( C) (Regional) Integrated Pest Management Centers (aka IPM Centers):

Example 1.

Objectives: 1) Establish new and maintain existing information networks; 2) continue to build partnerships to address IPM challenges and opportunities; 3) develop signature global food security programs and foster their sustainability; 4) review and evaluate impacts of IPM implementation and communicate successes; and 5) manage funding resources effectively.

The IPM Center will serve as a catalyst for promoting and reporting IPM accomplishments achieved by our broad-based clientele to increase accountability. Our Center will actively respond to the goals of the National Roadmap for IPM the Global Food Security priority to ensure coordination of efforts and resources to enhance IPM development and adoption for production agriculture, natural resources and recreational environments, and residential and public areas in cooperation with the Federal IPM Coordinating Committee comprised of agency representatives from the Department of Agriculture (ARS, NIFA, NRCS, NASS, ERS, APHIS and the U.S. Forest Service), Department of Interior (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service), Department of State (Agency for International Development), Department of Health and Human Services (CDC), Department of Housing and Urban Development (Office of Health Homes), Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency and the General Services Administration.

Signature programs include Tribal IPM programs, IPM education and outreach, IPM impact assessment, IPM issue-focused working groups and pest management strategic plans. These programs will engage broad representation of our region’s stakeholders including our 1994 and 1890 sister institutions, as well as other underserved audiences.

Example 2.

To foster IPM development and adoption, the IPM Center will build on successes and launch new projects. With broad-based stakeholder participation, we will prioritize issues, create a strategic plan, facilitate collaboration across states, disciplines, and regions, and continue our information networks (including a state-of-the-art website, robust listservs, and a grants database). We will build capacity with eXtension and share Pest Alerts and success stories. Our IPM Partnership Grants Program will focus on working groups and critical pests, encouraging project directors to address underserved audiences, food availability, and food accessibility. We will foster sustainability of regional food supplies by strengthening support for small farms and by joining with federal and private partners to sponsor a conference on "IPM, Organic, and Sustainable Ag to Bolster Food Security." We will lead outreach to the region on the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, working with scientists to share new knowledge via the StopBMSB website, curricula, and displays. We will strengthen underserved communities by leading and participating in IPM trainings and workshops for public housing authorities and tribal housing, enhancing the StopPests website, and offering our new "Guide to IPM in Public Housing" in print and online. We will network internationally by attending the OECD workshop and the International IPM Symposium. Overall, our Center will increase coordination of IPM research, education, and extension, and will enhance responsiveness to global food security challenges.

Example 3.

Our mission is to foster development and adoption of IPM, a science-based approach to managing pests in ways that generate economic, environmental and human health benefits. The Advisory Council (AC) comprising diverse stakeholders from across the region will provide guidance and the Steering Committee (SC) will set policy. We will utilize the strategic plan developed in the previous funding cycle. We will maintain a revised version of the Regulatory Information Network to proactively address regulatory issues, respond to queries from EPA and other regulatory agencies, and update at least 12 high-priority Crop Profiles. Stakeholders and partner institutions will be engaged to identify needs and establish priorities through the AC and SC structure, collaboration with regional technical committees, the Small Farms IPM Working Group to engage previously underserved groups, and support of existing working groups including the School IPM Working Group. Global Food Security Programs include the Regulatory Information Network, the Critical and Emerging Issues Grant Program; the Small Farms Working Group; continued financial management and support of ipmPIPE projects; collaboration with eXtension; and our IPM Impacts evaluation Initiative. The Impacts Evaluation Initiative will evaluate IPM projects from across the region to develop and distribute success stories that resonate with the general public. Our communications and outreach will continue the successful methods we have used to date including social networking techniques. We will also continue the Friends of IPM Program to highlight successful IPM professionals and promote IPM.

Example 4.

The Center will advance the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Global Food Security priority area. Center activities and programs will advance Global Food Security by leading and supporting programs that implement IPM solutions to enhance sustainable food systems and boost U.S. agricultural production. Roadmap goals will be advanced by Center activities that lead to improved economic benefits of IPM adoption and reduced potential risks to human health and the environment caused by pests and the use of pest management practices. The Center’s work will address five objectives:
1) to develop signature Global Food Security programs and foster their sustainability,
2) to establish and maintain multistate information networks,
3) to build partnerships and address challenges and opportunities,
4) to review and evaluate outcomes and impacts of IPM implementation and communicate the successes and the value added by IPM programs, and 5) to manage funding resources effectively.

All of these objectives will be carried out in the context of two overarching goals:
1) to improve the cost benefit analyses of adopting IPM practices and
2) to reduce the environmental and human health risks associated with managing pests. In carrying out these objectives and advancing these goals, the Center will provide regional leadership and coordination to facilitate integration of sustainable IPM activities across states, purposes, programs, and pest disciplines and among individuals, institutions, and regions. By offering competitive grants, supporting communication networks, obtaining ongoing stakeholder input about IPM needs, and fostering collaborations and partnerships, the Center will provide a centralized regional platform for addressing critical IPM needs and integrating IPM research, extension, and education in the West. This approach also ensures the Center will be responding to food security challenges on a global scale. The leadership and funding opportunities provided by the Center will bring together the institutional and individual expertise needed to successfully address high-priority pest management issues confronting farmers, pest managers, the non-agricultural public, and others in the West.

(D) Crops at Risk (aka CAR):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(E) Risk (Avoidance and) Mitigation Program (aka RAMP):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.


(F) Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program:

A $436,530 project was funded to study the use of fungal biological control agents combined with trap crops to assistant in the eradication effort of Pale Cyst Nematode (manage Globodera pallida), which is an USDA APHIS quarantine pest of potato in Idaho.

A $449,946 multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary project was funded to conduct research into integrated pest management (IPM) for southern dry cured hams. New fumigants combined with food-safe ham coatings will be studied if to determine if they can control mites.

A $331,775 project was funded to determine the scalability and feasibility to using steam to manage strawberry pests and weeds and allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), a promising new fumigant

(G) Organic Transition – Risk Assessment (aka ORG) Program:

Biodiversity and Natural Pest Suppression. This project is exploring the emergence of natural pest control following the conversion to organic farming by comparing recent adopters to farms that have been organic for decades. Mixed-vegetable farmers have reported that since adopting organic methods, they see fewer aphids and caterpillars on their farm each year. Growers generally attributed this to the gradual buildup of insect-killing predators, parasitoids and pathogens. Improving soil quality, and thus healthier and more insect-resistant plants, could also explain this pattern. Understanding what makes a farm pest-suppressive could ease future farmers’ organic transition.

Organic management of fire blight in a post-antibiotic era: developing, evaluating, and delivering options for apples grown in humid climate. This project directly addresses the development of alternatives to antibiotics for fire blight control in organic crops. In order to prepare for the removal of antibiotics from the NOSB Approved Materials List, all available NOSB-approved materials to reduce flower infection and improve efficacy are being evaluated.

Principles for Transitioning to Organic Farming: e-Learning Materials and Decision Case Studies for Educators. A project team is creating a series of online, interactive educational modules with a focus on the fundamentals of organic agriculture and how to transition to organic farming. Modules will cover important crop production topics including rotation, soil fertility, crops to grow during transition, weed and pest management, and many other subjects for both agronomic and horticultural producers.

(H) Regional Rural Development Centers:

The NCRCRD announced winners of its annual small grants competition. Each proposal goes through an independent review process involving blind reviewers with expertise in the proposal’s domain. Referee comments are reviewed by the NCRCRD board, which makes final recommendations for what is to be included in the Center’s annual proposal to the USDA. The following were recommended:
• Elevating and Expanding the Traditional Business Retention & Expansion Program
• Evaluating Impacts of Natural Resource Development
• Building community capacity through strategic planning
• Preparing Communities for Shale Development through Sustainable Planning
• Tribal Community Development Projects in the Great Lakes Regions

The RRDCs remain engaged in significant work to develop impact indicators and have been conducting workshops to assist their peers to measure, document, and report the impact of community development work the results from the investment in the RRDC and Extension to Communities. The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development alone documented over $360M of impacts and 25,470 jobs created or saved as a result of 2013 investments. In addition, the following indicators were measured:

North Central States 2013 Impact Indicators Total States Reporting
Number of participants reporting new leadership roles & opportunities undertaken 7,594 11
Number of community or organizational plans developed 1,887 11
Number of community & organizational, policies, plans adopted or implemented 1,678 11
Number of businesses created 1,059 8
Number of jobs created 8,116 10
Number of jobs retained 17,354 9
Dollar value of grants and resources leveraged/generated by communities $58,073,930 10. Fiscal Year 2014: (A) Integrated Water Quality (aka Conservation Effects Assessment Projects – CEAP):

The closing date for proposals was July 3, 2014. A total of 20 applications were received in two program areas. A new program code (110.J) focused on farm and watershed scale projects that identified the science behind drought triggers or to aid decision making about the optimal use of water. The second program area soliciting applications for a single synthesis project that will increase the scientific understanding of accomplishments made through NIFA’s portfolio of funded water projects. The synthesis project should develop critical science questions that address how NIFA-funded research, education, extension, and integrated projects have increased knowledge of agricultural water issues and how these projects helped move communities closer to solutions for local water problems. Peer-review Panel will be held in the near future. No other data is available.


(B) National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (aka NIFSI):

No funded projects in FY 2014.

( C) (Regional) Integrated Pest Management Centers (aka IPM Centers):

The funded projects listed as examples above in Actual FY 2013 will continue working on the project priorities in FY 2014.

(D) Crops at Risk (aka CAR):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(E) Risk (Avoidance and) Mitigation Program (aka RAMP):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.


(F) Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program:

A $443,727 project will be funded to study non-chemical methods for sustainable management of strawberry diseases. This project is using a systems approach to combine the natural crop protection allyl isothiocyanate, crop rotation with broccoli cover crops, and chitin soil amendments. If successful, this approach could be used by both organic and conventional farmers to manage diseases of this important specialty crop.

A $475,638 project will be funded to study integrated pest management option to manage red flour beetle in rice mills. These insects cause direct losses through damage and consumption of rice and significant losses when contaminating food which leads to rejected shipments and lost sales. This impacts groups in the Rice Millers Association, National American Millers Association, and pet food manufacturers.

A $498,956 project will be funded to study the use of radio-frequency as a methyl bromide alternative for treatment of wood packaging materials.
This work would aid in preventing the entrance of invasive insects on wood packing materials, such as Asian Longhorn Beetle was introduced.

(G) Organic Transition – Risk Assessment (aka ORG) Program:

Agroecological strategies for balancing tradeoffs in organic corn and soybean production. This project is intended to improve organic crop production by developing practical cover cropping and crop rotation strategies that overcome tradeoffs between short-term profitability and long-term sustainability. Project will establish a new transition-to-organic field experiment at research stations in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland to test advanced cover crop-based management systems. The project will compare cover crop interseeding and rotational no-till strategies to standard organic crop production practices to quantify differences in profitability and ecosystem services including crop performance, soil health, greenhouse gas emissions, weed seed predation, and nectar provisioning for pollinator conservation. While it has broader implications for addressing problems with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water quality, this project is organic farmer-focused and builds on stakeholder interest in diverse cover crop mixtures and interseeding cover crops using aerial applicators and spinner spreaders at layby cultivation.

Promoting Native Bee Health and Pollination Services on Diversified Organic Produce Farms

This proposal will evaluate the effects of transitioning to organic farming on native bee community health and pollination services. The First Component will evaluate farm characteristics that promote healthy native bee communities on long-term organic and transitioning produce farms. The Second Component will determine if habitat augmentation expedites the development of healthy native bee communities on long-term organic and transitioning farms. The Third Component will develop an extension program to provide farmers with the tools to maintain native bee communities in their farming systems and ensure the project’s influence endures.

Implementation of non-antibiotic programs for fire blight control in organic apple and pear in the western United States. Recently, the National Organic Program established a sunset date of October 2014 for antibiotics for fire blight suppression in organic pome fruit, requiring a transition to non-antibiotic methods in 2015. This project will help move non-antibiotic fire blight control from ‘development’ to ‘implementation'. It will: a) refine non-antibiotic control programs to maximize fruit finish quality; b) continue evaluation of other non-antibiotic materials with potential for adoption in organic pome fruit; c) adapt non-antibiotic control recommendations to disease risk models; d) monitor commercial organic orchards for establishment of a biocontrol agent, for presence of the pathogen, and for disease severity; and e) teach and extend information on non-antibiotic control to the organic tree fruit community.

A Natural Approach to Human-Pathogen Suppression: Can Biodiversity Fill the GAPs? The goal of this project is to provide organic growers with practical ways to reduce the risk of harboring human pathogens (e.g., E. coli O157:H7)on their farms, by conserving and augmenting beneficial coprophagous insects and microbes. Working on mixed-vegetable farms varying in their levels of livestock integration, the project will: (1) Quantify biodiversity of feces-feeding arthropods (e.g., dung beetles, flies) through intensive field sampling; (2) Assess functional-genetic diversity of soil microbes, focusing on genes likely to be active in feces digestion; and (3) Relate biodiversity among coprophagous arthropods and microbes to rates of feces removal and E. coli suppression.

(H) Regional Rural Development Centers:

Information on limited mini-grants is not available at this time, nor are the reports of impact for 2014 yet available. Fiscal Year 2015: (A) Integrated Water Quality (aka Conservation Effects Assessment Projects – CEAP):

No projections: Zeroed out in 2015 budget

(B) National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (aka NIFSI):

We do not anticipate funding any projects for FY 2015

( C) (Regional) Integrated Pest Management Centers (aka IPM Centers):

The funded projects listed as examples above in Actual FY 2013 will complete work on the project priorities at the end of FY 2015

(D) Crops at Risk (aka CAR):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(E) Risk (Avoidance and) Mitigation Program (aka RAMP):

There has been no recent funding for this Program.

(F) Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Program:

We do not yet know whether we will have a program in FY 2015.

(G) Organic Transition – Risk Assessment (aka ORG) Program:

Pertinent data will be provided by Program at a future date.

(H) Regional Rural Development Centers:

No projections are currently available.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Within guidelines established for the program as described in the Request for Application (RFA).