Back to Top

October 2016

C-FARE Events in Washington, DC

Bioeconomy: Technological and Policy Path Forward

Friday, September 30 to Saturday, October 1 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

The workshop provided an opportunity for engagement in the development of the bio-economy. The workshop encouraged and advanced the efficient use of renewable aquatic and terrestrial biomass resources and stimulate the production and manufacture of renewable bioenergy and plant-based products. Read more here.

C-FARE Seeks Input for Catalogue on Agricultural and Applied Economics Departments and Continuing Education

C-FARE is assembling a catalogue of continuing education opportunities for potential agricultural and applied economics students and professionals. The audience for the catalogue may already be in the field or be mid-career, newly entering the agricultural or food sectors. We seek to highlight the degree programs and issues that departments offer, as well as tours or shorter programs that are offered on an annual, biennial or semi-annual basis. Please send the following information to us at, so that it can be included in the catalogue:

  • Name of Program
  • Key Student Qualification Characteristics
  • Application Website
  • Short Description of Program
  • Certification
  • Cost.

Save-the-Date! NIFA Summit on Data in Agricultural Science
October 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM ET

Email if you wish to be sent the log-on link. Thank you!

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is convening a summit to identify the frontiers and future of data in agriculture and build on existing U.S. government-wide efforts and investments in Big Data. This is an opportunity to help shape the agenda driving innovation in our agricultural enterprise as leaders in agriculture and data science fields converge to synthesize the future of data-driven agriculture.

The event will include an address from NIFA Director Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, a set of visionary talks from leaders in the fields of data science and agriculture, and discussion. The event will be streamed live in tandem with the Oct.10-12, National Science Foundation's Midwest Big Data Hub All-Hands Meeting.

Big Data in Applied Economics Workshop

Upcoming Events in Washington, DC or Surrounding Areas

Board for International Food and Agricultural Development; Notice of Meeting
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The central theme of this public meeting will be 'Metrics for Accountability: Tracking Progress and Identifying Gaps in Development Investments' - At this meeting, the Board will "... address old and new business and hear updates from USAID and the university community. The purpose of the session is to examine results frameworks, assumptions, evidence, and M&E systems as a basis for tracking progress and learning, and adjusting investments towards achieving the 2030 development goals ..." - The meeting will be webcast for those who are unable to attend in person - BIFAD advises USAID on "... agriculture and higher education issues pertinent to food insecurity in developing countries ..."

Total Economic Valuation of the National Park Service Lands and Programs: Results of a Survey of the American Public
Thursday, October 20, 2016

In this National Ecosystem Services Partnership webinar, Michelle Haefele and John Loomis of Colorado State University will present the results of a survey that led to the first comprehensive estimate of the total economic value of the National Park Service and its programs. They will discuss what the $92 billion dollar valuation means for the National Park Service. Register here.

First Public Hearing of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Making (CEP)
Friday, October 21, 2016

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) will hold a public hearing on October 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.  The public hearing will provide an opportunity for any interested stakeholder to present their views on issues relevant to the Commission’s charge established in Public Law 114-140.  This will be one of three such hearings, with others planned for the Midwest and West Coast regions in early 2017.

Understanding Communities: Online course offers tools for community development
October 6 - November 17, 2016

We invite you to register for Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics, a unique online course presented jointly by the four Regional Rural Development Centers and a team of nationally recognized Community Development professionals. The seven-week series begins October 6, 2016 and concludes November 17, 2016. Each week features a 90-minute webinar focusing on topics including demographics, economic development, strategic planning and power structures. Register here.

Co-designing Our Regenerative Future: Unconference on Agriculture & Beyond
Saturday, October 29, 2016

The DC region has all the ingredients needed to take a regenerative future from demonstration to scale. The powerful mix of technical know-how, policy expertise, entrepreneurial creativity, and political and financial levers are all here. This one-day, open-space conference is a chance set a path to make it so. But “We” need You.  On this day we come together to answer: “How can we best combine our knowledge, skills, and activities across sectors to kick start a Regenerative Future?”

News & Press Releases

  • September 28, 2016 - House Easily Passes 10-Week Stopgap Spending Bill
    The House on a 342-85 vote easily passed a 10-week stopgap spending bill late Wednesday, clearing the measure for President Barack Obama’s signature with two days to spare before a government shutdown.  The Obama administration voiced support for passage of the continuing resolution in a statement of administration policy. The House was expected to adjourn later Wednesday and not return until after the November elections.  The House vote, as well as an earlier Senate vote of 72-26, were in contrast to weeks of battles over whether money to fight the Zika virus should be made available to Planned Parenthood locations in Puerto Rico and over emergency aid for stricken Flint, Michigan. Read more here.
  • September 21, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Current State of the Farm Economy
    U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today held a hearing on the work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the economic concerns voiced by farm country. The hearing featured testimony from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.  In his prepared testimony, Sec. Vilsack stated, “Even as commodity prices have weakened and farm incomes have decreased, the rural economy remains strong. Our work to increase trade, grow the bioeconomy, strengthen local and regional food systems, and expand conservation have resulted in a more resilient rural economy. Rural and urban areas continue to recover from the Great Recession. Median income for farm households remains near the historic high of 2014 — 35 percent higher than median US household income in 2015.” Watch here.
  • September 21, 2016 - House Ag holds Cuba hearing
    The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing last week on U.S. agricultural trade. The hearing was focused on the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 3687), introduced by Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark. The bill would amend the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 to exempt from prohibitions against U.S. assistance to Cuba any exports under the market access program, the export credit guarantee program, and the foreign market development cooperator program – including any federal commodity promotion program obligations or expenditures of funds. Read more here.
  • September 21, 2016 – Monsanto, Bayer officials defend proposed $66 billion merger  
    Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the deal would lead to greater investments in technology that could help American farmers, writes Mary Clare Jalonick of the Associated Press. Read more here
  • September 13, 2016 – Senate Committee Splits Over Wildfire Funding
    On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee divided along party lines over a forest management bill that would expedite environmental reviews of logging and underbrush removal projects and provide a way for federal agencies to tap federal disaster funds to cover wildfire costs. Several committee members, including some who voted for the bill (HR 2647), raised concerns about the disaster-funding language and whether a bad fire season could siphon off a significant portion of the disaster fund maintained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. (source: CQ)
  • September 13, 2016 – Chairman Conaway Applauds Initiation of Enforcement Action Against China's Agricultural Subsidies
    Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) joined U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in announcing new U.S. trade enforcement action against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to China’s excessive government support for corn, rice, and wheat production. Read more from the House Committee on Agriculture here and more from the USDA here.
  • September 12, 2016 – Food Waste Catches Congress's Attention
    The director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, Emily Broad Leib, is calling attention to “an alarming amount of unnecessary food waste” caused by confusing and vague expiration labels. There are no national guidelines on expiration dates, which leads to drastic variances across states. (source: CQ)
  • September 6, 2016 – NSF Seeks Input into Next Strategic Plan
    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is beginning to update its strategic plan, which it does every four years. Its current strategic plan, Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future, was released in 2014 and runs through 2018. As an initial step, NSF is soliciting comment on the "Vision, Core Values, Strategic Goals, and Strategic Objectives" included in the current plan (2014–2018). Public input can be provided on the NSF website until September 27.
  • September 6, 2016 – 2017 National Academies Workshop on Current and Future Training Needs in Social and Behavioral Sciences.
    National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Director William Riley announced the convening of a 2017 National Academies workshop sponsored by OBSSR and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The workshop will address training needs in the behavioral and social sciences and respond to recent reports that "indicate that a majority of behavioral and social sciences doctors are entering research careers in areas outside of the traditional academic research track; and even those going into academia face challenges initiating and maintaining a grant-supported research program." Along with the "emerging technologies and big data efforts that are transforming the approaches and methods in the field, rethinking the graduate education of behavioral and social scientists is clearly needed," Riley noted. The OBSSR director shared that the project "has broad government support from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Subcommittee of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)" and has been identified as a "pressing need." Read more here.
  • September 6, 2016 – Academies National Security Study Committee Seeks Nominations.
    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is conducting a decadal survey to identify opportunities from the social and behavioral sciences that can assist the intelligence community in its analytic responsibilities and contribute to national security. The project, sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will be launched at a summit in early October. The Academies is seeking nominations for members to serve on the study committee for the survey, particularly those with expertise in the social and behavioral sciences, national security, intelligence analysis, related professional disciplines, and interdisciplinary approaches to science. Nominations are due by September 30, 2016. More information here.
  • September 6, 2016 – Academies Releases Report on Science Literacy.
    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released findings and conclusions from the Board on Science Education's review of science literacy in the U.S. The Board analyzed science literacy at the societal, community, and individual level. They found that adults in the U.S. have levels of science literacy comparable to adults in other economically developed countries and that there is a small, positive relationship between science literacy and support for science. Additionally, the Board found that an individual's support of science in general does not predict his or her support or attitude for a specific scientific issue. The full report can be read here.

Request for Applications

Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program

Synopsis: NIFA requests applications for the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program for fiscal year (FY) 2016 to provide traineeship programs to eligible institutions for meeting the national need to develop scientific and professional expertise in the Food, Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences, through graduate level training programs. 

Funding: $3,100,000
Deadline: October 11, 2016

Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects

Synopsis: The Office of Community Services (OCS) will award approximately $9.5 million in CED discretionary grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), OCS seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low-income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low-incomes.

Funding: $800,000
Deadline: April 28, 2017

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area

Synopsis: This AFRI Challenge Area focuses on the priority to mitigate and adapt to climate variability and change. It supports activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration in agricultural and forest production systems, and prepare the nation’s agriculture and forests to adapt to variable climates. The long-term outcome for this program is to reduce the use of energy, nitrogen fertilizer, and water by ten percent and increase carbon sequestration by fifteen percent through resilient agriculture and forest production systems. To achieve this outcome, this program will support multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants.

Funding: $8,400,000
Deadline: November 17, 2016