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December 2016

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C-FARE Events

Advancing U.S. Agricultural Competitiveness with Big Data and Agricultural Economic Market Information, Analysis, and Research
C-FARE recently released a report on 'Big Ag. Data' that examines Big Ag. Data's potential,challenges and opportunities, as well as future research questions and approaches for extension and outreach. See the executive summary of the paper here. View the full report here. Keith Coble (Mississippi State University, Department of Agricultural Economics) and Terry Griffin (Kansas State University, Department of Agricultural Economics) and co-authors Jonathan McFadden (USDA-Economic Research Service) discussed varying aspects of Big Ag Data highlighted in the report during the webinar. Webinar available on C-FARE'sYouTube page.

Forum of Scientific Society Leaders on Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Representatives of more than 12 scientific societies will meet to explore the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the report, Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, which was released earlier this year. Former AAEA President Jill McCluskey and AAEA member Carl Pray will also be in attendance and presenting. The report has quickly become one of the most popular reports from the National Academies, having been downloaded more than 25,000 times since May. In addition to commenting on the reports’ conclusions and recommendations, panelists explored how the report might be used in the societies’ academic education and public communication activities. The forum agenda is organized around several panels focused on different sections of the report presented by members of the study committee. 

Rural America at a Glance
United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service
In this webinar, ERS Economist Lorin Kusmin discussed the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including trends in employment, earnings, population, poverty and income, as well as patterns of employment and earnings by industry.  The Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, releases the Rural America at a Glance report annually, which summarizes the status of conditions and trends in rural areas

Request for Applications

Addressing Challenges in Food and Agriculture
Synopsis: To kick off FFAR’s new direction of embarking on Challenge areas, Seeding Solutions, there is a call to the community to come forward with bold, innovative, and potentially transformative research proposals in our recently launched Challenge Areas.
Deadline: January 16, 2016
Funding: $1,000,000
• Food Waste and Loss; Innovations Pathway to Sustainability: Lucyna Kurtyka (
• Health Soils, Thriving Farms: LaKisha Odom (
• Protein Challenge: Tim Kurt (
• Making "My Plate" Your Plate; Urban Food Systems: John Reich (
• Water Scarcity: Tawny Mata (

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
Synopsis: The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities.
Deadline: January 19, 2017
Funding: $50,000 - $2,000,000
Contact: Mathieu Ngouajio (

Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers
Synopsis: ADVANCE program contributes to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce because of the focus on equity for STEM academic faculty who are educating, training, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
Deadline: January 11, 2017
Funding: N/A
Contact: Sharon Bird (

Synopsis: The Economics program supports research designed to improve the understanding of the processes and institutions of the U.S. economy and of the world system of which it is a part.
Deadline: January 18, 2017
Funding: Varies
Contact: Nancy A. Lutz (

Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP)
Synopsis: The program funds research to develop models, analytical tools, data and metrics that can be applied in the science policy decision making process and concern the use and allocation of scarce scientific resources.
Deadline: February 9, 2017
Funding: Varies
Contact: Maryann P. Feldman (

Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences (RIDIR)
Synopsis: As part of NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) activity, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) seeks to develop user-friendly large-scale next-generation data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in SBE areas of study.
Deadline: February 27, 2017
Funding: Varies
Contact: John E. Yellen (SBE/BCS) (

Science of Organizations (SoO)
Synopsis: Science of Organizations (SoO) program funds basic research that yields a scientific evidence base for improving the design and emergence, development and deployment, and management and ultimate effectiveness of organizations of all kinds.
Deadline: February 2, 2017
Funding: Varies
Contact: Chu-hsiang Chang (

Using a Total Environment Framework (Built, Natural, Social Environments) to Assess Life-long Health Effects of Chemical Exposures
Synopsis: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, seeks applications for research on how pollution affects human health in the context of the total environment – built, natural, and social environments interacting together with inherent characteristics and interactions.
Deadline: March 2, 2017
Funding: $800,000
Contact: Debra M. Jones (202-564-7839)

Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems
Synopsis:  The overarching goal of INFEWS is to catalyze well-integrated interdisciplinary and convergent research to transform scientific understanding of the FEW nexus (integrating all three components rather than addressing them separately), in order to improve system function and management, address system stress, increase resilience, and ensure sustainability.
Deadline: March 6, 2017
Funding: Varies
Contact: Thomas  Torgersen (

Upcoming Events in Washington, DC or Surrounding Areas

United States Department of Agriculture
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
The Changing Organization and Well-Being of Midsize U.S. Farms, 1992-2014
In this webinar, ERS economist Chris Burns will discuss the findings of the recently released ERS report, The Changing Organization and Well-Bring of Midsize U.S. Farms, 1992-2014.  Topics include changes in midsize farm numbers, midsize farm household well-being, production on midsize farms, midsize farm entry and exits, and factors that affect the survival of midsize farms. Join webinar here.

News & Press Releases

  • December 12, 2016 - Nutrition program improves food stamp family's food security
    Food stamp participants who participated in a supplemental nutrition education program were able to improve their food security by 25 percent, according to a study by Purdue University. "Food assistance is very important and this shows that nutrition education is an effective part of improving food security as the lessons focused on practical ways to stretch food dollars while eating nutritiously," said Heather Eicher-Miller, an assistant professor of nutrition science. Read more here.
  • December 12, 2016 - Corn Farmers Lead in Adoption Of Precision Agriculture
    The largest U.S. corn farms (over 2,900 acres) lead in the adoption of precision agriculture, a partial reflection on the technology’s high price tag, says USDA. Up to 80% of those farms use auto steer and GPS mapping of yields, and 30% to 40% use variable-rate planting and spraying equipment. Read more here.
  • December 8, 2016 - CAST News Release is "CAST Research Paper Examines Trade and Biotech Issues
    This CAST literature review and report looks at problems caused by the current system of asynchronous approvals for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, which show that asynchrony in the global approval of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions of dollars at risk.Read more here.
  • December 8, 2016 - USDA Announces $3.8 Million for Research to Help Farmers and Ranchers Meet Growing Demand for Organic Products
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of up to $3.8 million in funding to support research, education and extension to support organic farmers and ranchers as well as those adopting organic practices for the first time. The grants are funded through the Organic Transitions Program (ORG), administered by NIFA and authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Read more here.
  • December 7, 2016 - House Bill Would Increase Ag Scholarships
    A plan to increase scholarship opportunities to a broader array of agricultural students received bipartisan commendations at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday. The bill - Funding for Student Scholarships for the 1890s Land-Grant African American Colleges and Universities Act (H.R. 6020) - would create five years' worth of scholarship funding at $1 million per year for students pursuing food and ag careers at 19 universities across the country. The House Agriculture Committee had been convened to discuss recruitment challenges and scholarship opportunities for 1890 land grant institutions, but much of the conversation centered on the bill. Read more here.
  • December 7, 2016 - Agriculture Panel Lays Foundation to Tweak Food Stamp Program
    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is generally effective at providing food aid to poor people, but could be improved through innovation, technology and a focus on helping able-bodied, low-income people move into work, according to a just-released House Agriculture Committee report.The 66-page report does not call for sweeping changes to SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program. It provides key take-away points the House Agriculture Committee is likely to consider for inclusion in the 2018 farm bill. (source: CQ)
  • December 2, 2016 - Economic Mobility: Research & Ideas on Strengthening Families, Communities & the Economy
    Economic Mobility: Research & Ideas on Strengthening Families, Communities & the Economy is a new publication released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Read more here.
  • December 1, 2016 - Soil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant to Evaluate Economic Impact Of Soil Health Practices
    The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research have received a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify the economic risks and rewards of soil health management systems used in farming. Management practices that improve soil health can increase resilience to drought, improve water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance sustainability. However, quantifying the economic impact of such practices is key for increasing farmer adoption, and such impacts are largely not yet quantified. Read more here.
  • November 30, 2016 - November 30, 2016 - The Next Farm Bill: What are the Agendas?
    National Council of Farmer Co-operatives President and CEO Chuck Conner said today he expects the farm bill debate to begin in 2017 in the midst of congressional confirmation of President-elect Donald Trump's appointees at the Agriculture Department, but declined to say whether he has been interviewed to be Agriculture secretary. Scott Faber, Vice-President of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group, predicted that consumers will drive the next Farm Bill. Daren Bakst, Agriculture Research Policy Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, discussed the likelihood of the Farm Bill passing through Congress without splitting the nutrition and farm programs and the need for less regulation in regards to the Waters of the US Rule. Listen to webinar here. (Source: Farm Foundation)

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The Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening the national presence of the agricultural economics profession. C-FARE's governing board includes prominent agricultural economists representing a wide range of public and private sector interests. Your donations are tax deductible and will help C-FARE meet our four goals:

  1. To identify key economic issues, establish priorities, and seek support for research, extension, and academic instruction;
  2. To help agricultural economists contribute more effectively to public and private sector decisions;
  3. To work with other professional organizations to foster support for agricultural research; and
  4. To publicize agricultural economics contributions to solving important societal issues.

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