EPA Seeks Nominations for the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee

EPA is accepting nominations for membership on the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). Established in 1995, the PPDC is a diverse group of stakeholders chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide feedback to EPA on various pesticide regulatory, policy, and program implementation issues.

To maintain a broad representation of members for the PPDC, nominees will be selected from among the following:

  • Federal, state, local and tribal governments;
  • Pesticide industry and trade associations;
  • Pesticide users;
  • Grower and commodity groups;
  • Environmental and public interest groups;
  • Farm worker organizations;
  • Public health organizations;
  • Animal welfare groups; and
  • Academia.

Nominations must be emailed or postmarked no later than June 27, 2019, and can be submitted by email to the Designated Federal Official (DFO) listed below with the subject line “PPDC Membership” or by mail to:

Shannon Jewell

PPDC Designated Federal Officer

Office of Pesticide Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (7501P)

Washington, DC 20460

For additional information, read the Federal Register notice on nominations for the PPDC or contact the DFO, Shannon Jewell, at (703) 347-0109 or jewell.shannon@epa.gov.

Learn more about the PPDC at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-advisory-committees-and-regulatory-partners/pesticide-program-dialogue-committee-ppdc.

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PlayCleanGo Awareness Week Is June 1–8, 2019

Outdoor Recreation Plays Key Role In Spreading — and Stopping — Invasive Species

Milwaukee, WI – The first-ever PlayCleanGo Awareness Week will take place June 1–8, 2019, with events occurring across North America. PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is part of a national campaign focused on getting outdoor enthusiasts to take action to avoid spreading invasive plants and pests, while enjoying the activities they love .

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is sponsored by PlayCleanGo , Don’t Move Firewood , and Hungry Pests. The campaign hashtag is#PlayCleanGoWeek .

“Nearly 50% of endangered or threatened species are at risk due to invasive species, which people unintentionally spread with their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses , and more,” said PlayCleanGo Campaign Manager Belle Bergner. “ But the good news is, by taking a few easy steps while enjoying the great outdoors, you can be part of the solution, reducing the spread of invasive species.”

PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is for hikers, campers, trail runners, cyclists, mountain bikers, gardeners, pet owners, birdwatchers, backpackers, paddlers, anglers, boaters, horseback riders, ATV / OTR riders, explorers — anyone who loves spending time outdoors.

Recreationists can take easy steps to protect the places they love, including these 10 Things You Can Do To Stop Invasive Species :

1. Clean your footwear with a boot brush

2. Remove invasive plants and dispose properly

3. Pick seeds and burrs off of clothes and gear

4. Clean mud and seeds from your dog

5. Don’t move firewood: buy it where you burn it

6. Hose your bike or ATV with water or compressed air

7. Boaters: clean, drain, dry, dispose

8. Feed your horse weed-free certified hay

9. Clean your horse’s hooves, mane, and tail

10. Take the PlayCleanGo Pledge at www.playcleango.org/pledge

Organizations and individuals are encouraged to join together in projects, events and activities that promote stopping the spread of invasive species — everything from hosting an awareness-raising event event , to participating in a weed-pull project , to simply buying local firewood or using a boot brush after hiking.

Organizations across North America are participating, including PlayCleanGo Partners, the North American Invasive Species Management Association, The Nature Conservancy, USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA – Forest Service, Leave No Trace, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Canadian Council on Invasive Species, state parks, other federal land management entities, state and county land managers, outdoor retailers, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA), County Weed Management Associations (CWMA), and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs).

June 1–8 was chosen for PlayCleanGo Awareness Week in part to coincide with National Trails Day (June 1), World Environment Day (June 5), and National Get Outdoors Day (June 8).

Dozens of campaign materials for the public and the media are at www.PlayCleanCo.org/awareness-week , including animated explainer videos , a mega-infographic combining data with how-tos, a 5-page PlayCleanGo Awareness Week Toolkit , social media posts and graphics, a radio PSA , and more.

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NIFA Update for Stakeholders and Partners on Indirect Costs

At the FY 2019 National Extension and Research Administrative Officers’ Conference (NERAOC), NIFA provided information regarding the 30 percent indirect cost limit established by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (i.e., 2018 Farm Bill), (Pub. L. 115-334) for many of NIFA’s competitive programs (see NIFA’s Indirect Cost Chart for program applicability). Given the information provided, NERAOC participants requested that NIFA seek further clarification on the application of the new 30 percent indirect cost limit; NIFA committed to doing so and then providing updated and expanded guidance. NIFA received clarification and is pleased to report that for several scenarios, this clarification provides a less restrictive application of the indirect cost limit than what was originally described at NERAOC.

NIFA updated the previously published indirect cost calculation to provide further clarity and prepared Frequently Asked Questions that include scenarios in response to requests of NERAOC attendees. These resources are available on the NIFA Farm Bill webpage. Additionally, available is the 2018 Farm Bill Matching Requirements Frequently Asked Questions

NIFA values the partnership with stakeholders and partners, and the result of these interactions demonstrates the importance and benefit of that relationship.

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AFRI Foundational and Applied Sciences — Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity Webinar

NIFA will hold an informational webinar to provide information regarding the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program’s new cross-cutting priority Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity (Program Code A1181), Fiscal Year 2019 Request for Applications. No need to register, just follow the AFRI-TSAB webinar link (link is external) to join.

Call-in number: 888-844-9904 and access code: 1104416
Email Biosecurity@nifa.usda.gov (link sends e-mail) for more information.
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Time: 1-2pm ET

The Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity program area priority focuses on increasing our national capacity to prevent, rapidly detect, and respond to biological threats to the U.S. agriculture and food supply. Supported activities will be aimed at increasing agricultural biosecurity at the regional and national levels, and across the public and private sectors. A well-designed agricultural biosecurity system is supported by resource management, relevant research, balanced regulations, and effective collaboration among scientific experts, policy-makers, and consumers. Addressing the vulnerabilities of our nation’s food and agricultural system requires a concerted effort, sustained investment, and a coordinated strategy that protects the U.S. food and agriculture system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters.

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Coordinator, Sustainable Food Group and Pesticide Risk Tool

Full-time coordinator position available with a growing independent non-profit organization working to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Responsibilities include coordinating client use of on-line software tool and implementation of sustainability initiatives to ensure state-of-the-art programs to meet customer requests and improve sustainability in the supply chain.

The individual in this position will work with project teams, project partners, clients and project scientists to research, develop, implement and verify standards focused on sustainability, IPM and pesticide risk reduction. The scope of work includes database management, software tool and standards development, communications, training, program evaluation and reporting.

The ideal candidate will have excellent analytical skills, strong attention to detail, experience and knowledge in and demonstrated commitment to sustainable agriculture. Excellent organizational, verbal and written communication skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office are essential. Spanish language proficiency is a plus.

Flexible schedule, 30 – 35 hours per week, hourly compensation commensurate with skills and experience ($15 – $17 per hour). Our growth provides for excellent opportunities for long-term advancement. Benefits include health insurance, retirement plan, and paid vacation and holidays. Located on the near east side of Madison.

The IPM Institute of North America, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in 1998. Our mission is to improve sustainability in agriculture and communities by using the power of the marketplace. Our team currently works on more than a dozen projects to increase adoption of IPM and other best practices that reduce risks to health and the environment from pesticide and nutrient use in agriculture and communities, improve working conditions, soil health, water and air quality.

Send a resume, cover letter, salary history and three professional references to Ariel Larson at 211 S. Paterson Street Suite 380, Madison, WI 53703, or email alarson@ipminstitute.org

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Department of Entomology at UW-Madison Postdoc

A postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Entomology at UW-Madison to work on understanding population distributions and refining management strategies for insect pests of Wisconsin berry crops. The postdoctoral researcher will focus on three pest species of interest:
spotted-wing drosophila, red-headed flea beetle, and social wasps. We are looking for a motivated and flexible researcher who will be able to manage multiple projects and balance field work with laboratory assays. The primary focus of the researcher will be to lead a grant that assesses genetic diversity and population structure of spotted-wing drosophila in the North
Central region. Additional projects will focus on assessing landscape factors affecting movement of flea beetle in cranberry agroecosystems, and implementing a push-pull strategy for managing social wasps in vineyards. The researcher will be responsible for designing and conducting the research, analyzing the data, and reporting results in peer-reviewed publications.

The position will be at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in the Department of Entomology in the Guédot’s Fruit Crop Entomology Laboratory (http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/fruitcropentomology/). Ideal candidates should have a Ph.D. in entomology, ecology or a related field with demonstrated experience in conducting field and lab research, have a record in writing peer-reviewed publications, and be comfortable working independently, with grower-cooperators, and supervising students. Funding is available for 1.5 years with the possibility to continue based on performance and funding.

Deadline for application: For full consideration, submit applications by June 28, 2019 (applications will be accepted until position is filled).

Start Date: August 19, 2019.

To apply: Interested applicants should submit a current CV, statement of research interests and experience, contact information for three references, and copies of recent publications to Christelle Guédot at guedot@wisc.edu.
For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Christelle Guédot at guedot@wisc.edu or call 608-262- 0899.

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The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to include IPM funding opportunities

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational and Applied Science Program Request for Applications (RFA) released recently includes a new cross-cutting program that could be of interest to the IPM community. This program, “Tactical Sciences for Agricultural Biosecurity (Program code: A1181)” focuses on increasing our national capacity to prevent, rapidly detect, and respond to biological threats to the U.S. agriculture and food supply. 

Applications to this program must address one or more of the following:
• Detection and diagnostics of transboundary and emerging pests and diseases associated
with animal production systems and/or emerging, re-emerging and invasive diseases, insects and weeds associated with plant production systems. Non-traditional detection methodologies such as syndromic surveillance, predictive analysis of satellite imagery, etc. will also be considered; or

• Rapid response to, and recovery from, pests and diseases that pose large-scale biosecurity threats to plant and animal production, including existing and imminent threats to U.S. agricultural production systems.

Further details are available in the RFA https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/20190507-fy2019-afri-foundational-and-applied-science-rfa.pdf

The program requires a Letter of Intent that has to be submitted by July 9, 2019 (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time). A webinar to discuss this program will be held shortly.

Other AFRI RFAs that are currently open include: 

The AFRI-Education and Workforce Development RFA with information regarding the Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates (REEU) and the Pre and Postdoctoral Fellowship programs.
https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/fy-2019-and-fy-2020-afri-education-workforce-and-development-rfa.pdf

The AFRI-Sustainable Agricultural Systems which funds large transdisciplinary projects to solve key problems of local, regional, national, and global importance in sustaining conventional, organic, and urban agricultural systems.https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/FY19-AFRI-SAS.pdf

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Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program

In FY 2019, NIFA’s CFP intends to solicit applications and fund two types of grants. The types are entitled (1) Community Food Projects (CFP) and (2) Planning Projects (PP). The primary goals of the CFP are to: Meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, community outreach to assist in participation in Federally assisted nutrition programs, or improving access to food as part of a comprehensive service; Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities; Promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues; and Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: Equipment necessary for the efficient operation of a project; Planning for long-term solutions; or The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.

Closing date i June 3, 2019. For more information, click here.

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Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems RFA

Applications to the FY 2019 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) Request for Applications (RFA) must focus on approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agriculture system within the next 25 years. NIFA seeks creative and visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that will significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy through novel animal, crop, and forest products and supporting technologies. These approaches must demonstrate current and future social, behavioral, economic, health, and environmental impacts. Additionally, the outcomes of the work being proposed must result in societal benefits, including promotion of rural prosperity and enhancement of quality of life for those involved in food and agricultural value chains from production to utilization and consumption. See AFRI SAS RFA for details. For more information, visit: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/afri-sustainable-agricultural-systems-competitive-grants-program?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

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Plan of Work and REEport Integration Update


NIFA deployed the most recent release to the Institutional Profile on March 22, 2019. The enhancements provide the necessary functionality to support the 2020 Plan of Work (POW) reporting process.

The release provides two key features particularly relevant to our partners’ ability to complete and submit their 2020 POW reports. The first major feature enables our land-grant partners to manage roles within the Institutional Profile. Land-grant institutions may administer system access to ensure the right individuals have the appropriate access to meet the 2020 POW report deadline of June 1, 2019. The second feature relates to the alignment of NIFA’s Science Emphasis Areas (SEAs) with state-defined critical issues. This alignment will facilitate further integration activities with REEport information collection, improve data quality and integrity, and provide a more clear connection between state-defined and NIFA priorities.

A third highlight pertains to the addition of new extension sites to the REEport system. REEport site administrators from 1862 and 1890 land-grant university (LGU) sites will soon be assigned to the newly created extension sites affiliated with their institutions. The creation of these sites and administrator assignments are in anticipation of the extension program initiation reporting that will be required later this year. NIFA encourages LGU deans and directors to work together to determine who will be the most appropriate site administrator to manage future REEport roles for these extension sites. The assigned site administrator will have the ability to manage the access and roles as decisions are made.

For more information visit Plan of Work and REEport Integration: Institutional Profile and Plan of Work and REEport Integration: Frequently Asked Questions for more information on this important initiative. For questions contact pow@nifa.usda.gov.

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