The Ag e-Dispatch The newsletter of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences en Copyright 2013 Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:40:57 -0500 Holidays ahoy info iconThe winter holiday break at A&T will officially begin at the end of the business day on Thursday, Dec. 23. The University will be closed from Dec. 24- 31. SAES personnel eligible for paid holidays will have December 24, 27, and 28 covered by the three days allotted for Christmas. Monthly leave reports for December should indicate vacation or bonus leave for Wednesday, Dec. 29, and Thursday, Dec. 30. The New Year's Day holiday will be Friday, Dec. 31. The University will reopen for normal business hours on Monday, Jan. 3.

The SAES online newsletter, ag E-dispatch, will not be published the first week of January, but will begin its regular bi-weekly schedule for 2011 on Jan. 13. Copies of the SAES newsletter on the move will be appearing in the mailboxes of stakeholders on the mailing list in mid-December. Faculty and staff can get a sneak preview on the SAES website. The issue’s front-page story covers new funding for research into peanut allergens.

The SAES has turned to Ag. Communications & Technology's web developer, Stephen Charles, for its holiday greeting card this year. SAES faculty and staff who would like to forward the electronic holiday greeting along to their professional contacts will find a link available at the SAES Web page.

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Three important research deadlines come quickly in January calendar iconI. The Agricultural Research Program’s principal investigators have a Jan. 14 deadline for expenditure report notices (Form AD 419) and progress/termination report notices (Form AD 421). Principal investigators with grants from USDA/NIFA funding sources other than the Evans-Allen program must have expenditure report notices completed by Jan. 14. The due date for annual progress/termination report notices for principal investigators and project directors with funding from Evans-Allen and some other USDA-funded grants is also Jan. 14.
II. A&T’s Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED) has asked each of the University’s schools and colleges to select both a senior researcher (from among tenured faculty with A&T for at least three academic years) and an outstanding junior researcher (from tenure-tack faculty who have completed their terminal degrees within the past five years). The SAES winner of the senior research award will receive $500; the outstanding junior researcher will get a $300 award; and both winners will receive plaques. The names of these two winners, along with the SAES nominee for a University-wide "Rookie of the Year" award, will be placed in competition with nominees from other schools and colleges for the University-wide awards. The Senior Researcher Award for the University comes with a $4,000 prize; the Outstanding University Junior Research Award has a $2,000 prize; and the Rookie of the Year Award has a $1,000 prize. Award winners will be recognized at Honors Day Convocation in March of 2011. In April, the three winners will be invited to give presentations on Faculty Research Day, and they will be honored at the Research Awards dinner. The SAES's four department chairs will be selecting nominees for both the senior researcher and outstanding junior researcher awards, and forwarding them along to the associate dean for the SAES's Agricultural Research Program, Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Members of the ARP faculty with recommendations for their department chairs are asked to pass them along well in advance of that deadline. Complete details on the selection process and additional information on eligibility criteria are available at the DORED website.
III. The 2011 annual Ronald E. McNair Commemorative Celebration at A&T the last week of January will feature a research symposium that gives faculty and students an opportunity to present their research work to campus colleagues and members of the scientific community from other agencies and institutions who will be coming to A&T for the McNair Celebration. Oral presentations (no longer than 15 minutes) will be Jan. 27, and poster presentations will be that same Thursday. Faculty mentors are required for all student presentations. The deadline for submitting 200-word proposals for both oral presentations and poster sessions is Jan. 18. Registration fees ($250 from until Jan. 16; and $275 thereafter) are waived for students and faculty making oral or poster presentations at the conference. The guidelines for abstracts and presentations have specific formatting and technical guidelines. A careful review before submitting abstracts is strongly suggested.

]]> Academic Departments Agricultural Research SAES Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:39:24 -0500
Agroforestry research branches out The most recent issue of the SANREM CRSP (Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management Collaborate Research Support Program) newsletter is reporting that "A SANREM-sponsored book, 'Vegetable Agroforestry and Cashew-Cacao Systems in Vietnam,' will be launched during the SWAT-Southeast Asia Conference in January 2011." The newsletter goes on to say that "The book ... is part of a four book set from NCA&T’s SANREM Phase III led research program. The other books, detailing research in Indonesia and the Philippines, will be released in early 2011."

Dr. Manuel ReyesDr. Manuel R. Reyes, a biological engineer on the SAES faculty, is the author of one of these books and a co-author of other three. Reyes was also the principal investigator for the A&T SANREM Phase III led research program "Agroforestry and Sustainable Vegetable Production in Southeast Asia" that set the groundwork for the forthcoming set of books. He led a team of researchers, with more than 30 international partners and funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in an effort to identify and demonstrate ways that vegetable farming can coexist with forestry. He will be presenting an overview of the project at the Agricultural Research Directors 2011 Biennial Research Symposium in Atlanta next April.

Reyes says of the four books that are soon to be released: "The audiences are scientists and extension agents world-wide …. it is essentially the studies conducted for each country [Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines] for the last five years."

]]> Academic Departments Natural Resources and Environmental Design Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:38:35 -0500
Fellowships for scientists with specialties apropos foreign policy issues The National Academy of Sciences has set a Jan 15 application deadline for its 2011 Jefferson Science Fellowships, which are open to tenured scientists at U.S. institutions of higher education whose areas of specialization are currently relevant to the Department of State as it formulates foreign policy on matters related to science, technology and engineering.  Most fellows receive $50,000 stipends to cover living expenses for a year, and an additional $10,000 is available for or travel in some instances. It's likely that a minimum of 10 Fellows will be  selected for the 2011 program. Finalists will be interviewed in late February, and applicants will be notified of selection decisions by early March. The 2011 Jefferson Science Fellows will report to the Department of State or Agency for International Development in mid-August.

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More growth on SAES's embassy row The Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED) recently announced that it has assigned members of its staff to serve as ambassadors to schools and colleges at A&T. The three DORED ambassadors to the SAES are Peggy Bolick, Chris Couch and Liwen Han. During their assignments as official envoys (FY 2011), Bolick, Couch and Han will provide support services for the SAES's research and sponsored programs, and they will be representing DORED at a number of Agricultural Research Program (ARP) activities.

The three DORED ambassadors join Netta Cox of the Bluford Library staff as 2010's major additions to the SAES's portfolio of diplomatic couriers. Cox is the SAES’s contact person when faculty and staff have books, DVDs and other acquisitions to recommend, or additional periodical subscriptions to suggest. Cox is also interested in working with SAES faculty and staff to expand and augment Bluford’s databases from areas of specialization within the agricultural, food, family and consumer sciences. (There may be grant money available to digitize important SAES materials, and inquires are welcome from faculty and staff concerned that they are in possession of some one-and-only copies or documents of historic significance.)]]> SAES University Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:36:46 -0500 EPA application deadline for student sustainable development projects is imminent lightbulb iconThe closing date for applications for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planets" is Dec. 22. The EPA will award grants of up to $15,000 to approximately 64 teams of college students for research project proposals built around sustainable development in one of five areas: energy, built environments, materials and chemicals, water quality and conservation, or agriculture. The competition’s judges will be looking for proposals that are at the same time innovative and tied concretely to time-honored principles of scientific investigation. Judges will also be looking for projects that test out hypotheses with potential to redirect engineering and scientific research in more sustainable directions.]]> Communications Corner Natural Resources and Environmental Design SAES Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:36:04 -0500 Added capital for value-adding equipment tractor iconNorth Carolina farmers who are adding value to a farm commodity before passing it along to wholesalers or customers may be eligible for a cost-sharing program for processing equipment that covers as much as 50 percent of equipment acquisitions up to $50,000. A key eligibility requirement for the North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share Program (NCVACS) is that producers grow or raise more than half of their value-added product’s raw material. Applicants must also pass muster with USDA Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program, which has an online form for self-appraisals: the VAPG Applicant Eligibility Assessment. The deadline for applications for cost sharing assistance for purchasing equipment that will help added value to farm products is Dec. 31. ]]> Cooperative Extension Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:35:27 -0500 Good buy on research rhetoric Duke University’s Office of Research Support has opened up a four-installment series of workshops covering grant-writing skills to faculty at neighboring colleges and universities, including A&T. The four three-hour programs (2 - 5 p.m.) will meet on Thursdays this coming February. The workshop will be led by a member of Duke's Department of English, who has also been a professional writing consultant for more than 30 years. His client list includes a number of federal agencies, including FDA, NIH, CDC, EPA and USDA. The registration fee is $20 and SAES faculty and staff interested in registering should contact Saundra Evans, A&T's Director of Research Services.

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Strategic Planning Council adds representation from Ahoskie extension iconThe Strategic Planning Council that advises The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T welcomed a new member to the 24-member group at an early November meeting at Coltrane Hall: Ronald Gatling of Ahoskie. Gatling is a community relations officer for the Hertford County public school system, and was recently elected to the Hertford County Board of Commissioners after serving as an appointed member of the board. He has also served as mayor pro tem of the town of Ahoskie, and is vice chairman of the Roanoke Chowan Community College Board of Trustees. Members of Extension’s Strategic Planning Council represent the needs of their communities to Extension administrators and subject matter specialists in providing research-based educational programs and information on critical issues to people throughout the state.]]> Cooperative Extension Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:33:11 -0500 RAP apps due soon in 2011 research iconThe application deadline for the 2011 Research Apprentice Program is Monday, Feb. 28, which means the holiday break will be an excellent time for high-caliber high school students with an interest in working with SAES research scientists next summer to fill out an application. In addition to four weeks living in a dorm on the A&T campus and working with members of the Agricultural Research Program faculty, RAP students also receive weekly stipends of $250. The RAP run for 2011 will be June 26 – July 22. Cards announcing the 2010 RAP application deadline have been mailed, but SAES faculty and staff are invited to help sound the alert. Feel free to pass the card along to any high school junior or senior you know who might be interested in the 2010 RAP. ]]> Agricultural Research Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:32:42 -0500 Agromed abstracts due first Friday in 2011 documents iconThe N.C. Agromedicine Institute has set a Jan. 7 deadline for letters of intent — built around short abstracts of less than 150 words — for inter-institutional research projects that will promote the health and safety of individuals and communities involved in farming, fishing or forestry. The N.C. Agromedicine Institute is operated jointly by East Carolina, N.C. State and A&T, and because a primarily objective for this funding is to promote inter-institutional research collaborations, proposals must have at least two of the three institutions on board for significant involvement.  The preliminary projection is that two awards for $30,000 each will be granted under auspices of this initiative.

Know a high quality high school senior headed to the SAES ]]> Agricultural Research Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:31:00 -0500 Know a high quality high school senior headed to the SAES in the fall of 2011? academics iconThe Ron Brown Scholar Program — named to honor the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce who died in a plane crash in 1996 — has a Jan. 9 application deadline in 2010. The program awards recipients $10,000 a year for four years at the college or university of their choice. (Students who have graduated from high school and started college are not eligible.) In 2010 there were a dozen applicants who qualified for scholarships including Danai Kadzere, the daughter of a former chair of the SAES’s Department of Animal Sciences, Dr. Charles Kadzere.]]> Agricultural Research SAES University Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:27:23 -0500 Lowdown from Chronicle of Higher Ed The Dec. 5 Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article, “How to Fail in Grant Writing” that provides a list of doomed-to-failure approaches to content, format and style, literature citations, "impacts" statement and reviewers relations.

Among the advisories for getting your grant rejected for poorly presented content:
• “Don't explicitly state any goals, objectives, or hypotheses in your grant proposal.
• “ Make it obvious that you have cut and pasted sections from your other grants into this new proposal. ... Don't worry if the formatting does not match or there are sentences and sections from the old proposals that have no bearing on this one. Reviewers are impressed by people who are too busy to proofread.”
• “Use lots of acronyms. Define them several pages after you first use them, if possible, or at least bury the definitions in long paragraphs.”
• “Don't bother discussing what you will conclude if your data don't turn out exactly as you expect.”

Among the advisories for getting your grant rejected for format and style blunders:
• “Use very few subheadings or at least weird subheadings that do not map onto one another. Grant reviewers are smart enough to figure out where the subheadings should be. A single multipage paragraph is fine.”
• “Use a myriad of type styles. Within a paragraph, try to use BOLD-FACED, ALL-CAPITALIZED TYPE for some sentences, then italicize others, and underline still others. Alternatively, use the same plain style throughout the entire proposal—for headings, subheadings, and paragraphs—for a nice, calming homogeneous appearance.
(Reviewers love10-point, Arial-font, single-spaced type ... no spaces between paragraphs, headings, or subheadings.)”
• “Don't use spell-check or worry if illustrations or graphs are on different pages than the legends that explain them.”
• “ Impress reviewers by using complex illustrations with many panels, arrows, boxes, drawings, and photos. The more stuff you can squeeze in, the smarter you'll look. Condense labels into tiny boxes, so that key parts are unreadable. Also assume that the illustrations are self-explanatory—no need for a pesky extended caption.”
• “Replace simple, meaningful words with polysyllabic behemoths whenever possible." ]]> Communications Corner Wed, 15 Dec 2010 17:26:48 -0500 Nominations must be in by December 10 award iconThe nomination deadline for a number of Cooperative Extension’s annual awards for employees working at both state offices in Greensboro and Raleigh, and county Extension Centers, is Friday, Dec. 10.

There are five major categories of awards for North Carolina Cooperative Extension employees. Three of these categories — "Award Programs for Agents," "Award Programs for Program Assistants/Associates," and "Award Programs for Specialists" — have honors for which members of the campus faculty and field staff of The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T are eligible.

The program includes more than 20 awards for members of the Extension field staff. Among them are awards restricted to Extension agents working in family and consumer sciences, 4-H and other disciplines. Most of these awards are for either $500 or $1,000.

Among the awards for which paraprofessionals are eligible is a 4-H Graduate Education Scholarship for graduate students who are currently working as 4-H agents, program assistants or program associates.

There are awards for Extension specialists for professional developmentinterpreted broadly, including advanced study, and travel ....”

There’s also a Research Friend of Extension Award, with a stated intention of recognizing “one outstanding research faculty member who has provided significant assistance to an ongoing Extension program.”]]> Cooperative Extension Wed, 01 Dec 2010 17:11:19 -0500 Magnificent, seven money iconThe final tallies are in and the SAES’s contribution to the N.C. A&T 2010 State Employees Combined Campaign was $8,953, a considerable chunk of the University’s grant total of $166,621. The SAES’s seven unit solicitors would like to thank their colleagues’ for their generosity just as University and SAES administrators would like to thank the solicitors for their diligence and sense of commitment. This year’s solicitors were:
• Cassandra Dixon, Natural Resources and Environmental Design
• Lajoy Evans, Cooperative Extension
• Sharon Mitchell, Animal Sciences
• Iris Moses, Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education
• Vashti Pinnix, Dean’s Office
• Gail Steele, Family and Consumer Sciences
• Angelia Williamson, Agricultural Research Program

Williamson also served as the SAES’s representative on the University-wide steering committee for the 2010 SECC.

Chancellor Martin’s thank-you memo for the good work on the 2010 SECC noted that the 2010 total of $166,621 exceeded the initial goal of $150,000 by more than $15,000.]]> SAES Wed, 01 Dec 2010 17:10:21 -0500