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Submit comments on the IPM Competitive Grants Program by April 26

USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service is seeking stakeholder comments on the future design and implementation of the Smith-Lever 3(d) Extension Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program.

The text of the CSREES announcement about the proposed rule follows this memorandum.

The deadline for submitting comments is April 29, 2009. All questions about the announcement should be directed to the point of contact listed in the APHIS/USDA solicitation.

For more info:

Eddie G. Gouge
Associate Director, Federal Relations – Food and Agricultural Sciences/CARET egouge@nasulgc.org

_____________

Federal Register: March 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 54)
[Notices]
[Page 12108-12109]
———————————————————————–

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding the Smith-Lever
3(d) Extension Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program

AGENCY: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service,
USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for stakeholder input.

———————————————————————–

SUMMARY: Section 7403 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
(Pub. L. 110-246) (FCEA) amended section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act (7
U.S.C. 343(d)) to provide the opportunity for 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant
Institutions, including Tuskegee University and West Virginia State
University to compete for section 3(d) funds. Section 7417 of FCEA also
provided the University of the District of Columbia the opportunity to
compete for section 3(d) funds. The Extension Integrated Pest
Management Coordination and Support Program (EIPM-CS) is among the
Extension programs funded under this authority. By this notice, CSREES
is designated to act on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture in
soliciting public comment from interested persons regarding the future
design and implementation of this program.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 26, 2009,
from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. All comments not otherwise
presented or submitted for the record at the meeting must be submitted
by close of business Wednesday, April 29, 2009, to be considered.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the St. Helens Meeting Room,
Doubletree Hotel Portland, 1000 N.E. Multnomah, Portland, Oregon 97232, phone–800-996-0510 (toll-free in USA); 503-281-6111 (outside USA).

You may submit comments, identified by CSREES-2008-0005, by any of
the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
E-mail: newEIPM@csrees.usda.gov. Include CSREES-2008-0005 in the
subject line of the message.
Fax: (202) 401-4888.
Mail: Paper, disk or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to
newEIPM; Plant and Animal Systems Unit, Cooperative State Research,
Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; STOP
2220, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-2220.
Hand Delivery/Courier: EIPM; Plant and Animal Systems Unit,
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Room 3472, Waterfront Centre, 800 9th
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20024.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name
and the identifier CSREES-2008-0005. All comments received will be
posted to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal
information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Elizabeth Ley, (202) 401-6195 (phone), (202) 401-4888 (fax), or newEIPM@csrees.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Additional Meeting and Comment Procedures

Because of the diversity of subjects, and to aid participants in scheduling their attendance, the following schedule is anticipated for the March 26, 2009, meeting:
1:30-2:30 p.m. Introduction to the Extension Integrated Pest
Management Coordination and Support Competitive Grant Program (EIPM).
2:30-5:30 p.m. Stakeholder input on general administration of EIPM,
including: Solicitation of proposals; types of projects and awards;
length of awards; evaluation criteria; protocols to ensure the widest
program participation; allocation of funds, including protocols to
solicit and consider stakeholder input; determination of priority
areas; and determination of activities to be supported. A break is
scheduled for 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
5:30 p.m. Adjourn

Persons wishing to present oral comments at the March 26, 2009,
meeting are requested to pre-register by contacting Ms. Juli Obudzinski
at (202) 401-5136, by fax at (202) 401-4888, or by e-mail to
newEIPM@csrees.usda.gov. Participants may reserve one 5-minute comment period. More time may be available, depending on the number of people wishing to make a presentation and the time needed for questions following presentations. Reservations for oral comments will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. All other attendees may
register at the meeting. Written comments may also be submitted for the
record at the meeting. All comments not presented or submitted for the
record at the meeting must be received by close of business Wednesday,
April 29, 2009, to be considered. All comments and the official
transcript of the meeting, when they become available, may be reviewed
on the CSREES Web page for six months. Participants who require a sign
language interpreter or other special accommodations should contact Ms. Obudzinski as directed above.

Background and Purpose

On October 6, 2008, CSREES held a stakeholder listening session on
Smith-Lever 3(d) IPM restructuring due to changes found in section 7403
of the FCEA (see http://www.csrees.usda.gov/business/reporting/
stakeholder/eipm_stakeholder.html
). Changes to Smith-Lever 3(d)
funding include: (1) The requirement for a competitive program delivery
model as opposed to a long-standing formula-based delivery model; and
(2) the inclusion of 1890 Institutions and the University of the
District of Columbia as eligible entities to receive 3(d) funds. The
primary intent of the listening session was to gather stakeholder input
on program focus and design. Prior to the listening session, National
Program Leaders presented stakeholders with the following questions:
1. What should be the primary goals and objectives of the program?
2. How can CSREES funding be optimized?
3. Should there be a limit on the number of proposals that can be
submitted by each eligible institution?
4. What criteria should be used in the proposal review and
selection process?
5. Should regional, multi-institutional or multi-state proposals be
encouraged?
6. Should proposals addressing gaps in current program coverage
(organic, small farms, etc.) be given greater emphasis in the
evaluative process?
7. What limits should be set on funding and project duration?
The written comment period ran from October 6 through November 15,
2008. Over 400 written comments were received. A written summary of the comments is available at http://www.csrees.usda.gov/business/reporting/stakeholder/eipm_stakeholder.html. Contained in the comments are many areas with broad agreement among stakeholders. For instance, from both verbal and written comments, it was clear that stakeholders felt the most critical issue was making the fiscal year 2009 funds available as soon as possible, which the Agency responded to by promptly issuing the EIPM-CS RFA and proceeding with the competition on a compressed schedule.

Efforts were made to incorporate suggestions from the October 6,
2008, Listening Session into the FY 2009 EIPM-CS program as allowable
by law. It was felt, however, that additional input could help
structure the program for future years. The March 2009, Listening
Session is scheduled to assist CSREES leadership in more fully
addressing stakeholder needs.

Implementation Plans

CSREES plans to consider stakeholder input received from this
public meeting as well as other written comments in developing the FY
2010 program guidelines. CSREES anticipates releasing the FY 2010
Request for Applications (RFA) by mid July 2009.

Done at Washington, DC, this 17th day of March 2009.
Colien Hefferan, Administrator, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.

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