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Fund for Rural America_Research, Education, and Extension Activities

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

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The CSREES Fund for Rural America competitive grants program will support applied, developmental, and adaptive research; technology transfer; extension and related outreach activities; and education. The program will emphasize biological, physical, and social sciences to address systems-based problems. This requires involvement of affected parties within the system (such as producers, commodity groups, environmental interests, rural communities, and other program beneficiaries); therefore, this program will give priority to projects that are designed and proposed by eligible grant recipients in collaboration with institutions, organizations, and communities of interest. Strong partnerships will be critical to leverage and apply research, education, and extension investments to address user needs and solve community-defined problems. The program is segmented into two initiatives: (1) The Fund Core Initiative, which addresses and links international competitiveness, profitability; and efficiency; environmental stewardship; and rural community enhancement; and (2) the Secretary's Initiative to Ensure a Safe, Competitive, Nutritional and Accessible Food System. Examples of potential research, education, and extension activities to be funded under the Fund Core Initiative include, but are not limited to: extension to improve producers' risk management knowledge, skills, and practices; adaptive research to develop new strategies for animal waste management to reduce environmental contaminants in animal waste; and innovations in delivery of education and information in rural areas. As part of the Fund Core Initiative, CSREES also intends to provide funding for FRA Center Grants which are aimed at bringing together individuals, institutions, States, and/or regions in support of research, education, and extension in a collaborative process towards a common goal. Initially, CSREES will award FRA Center Planning Grants to support only the planning stages of FRA Centers, and only those organizations successful in receiving a FRA Center Planning Grant will be eligible to receive follow-on funding for a FRA Center. Proposals for FRA Center Planning Grants and for follow- on FRA Center Grants may be solicited in separate announcements. Examples of research, education, and extension activities to be funded under the Secretary's Initiative to Ensure a Safe, Competitive, Nutritional and Accessible Food System include, but are not limited to: assessment of educational needs of small and very small meat and poultry processing plants to achieve Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) implementation; research, development and on-farm extension education about low-cost production facilities, such as hoop housing for swine production, combined with management systems and genetics appropriate to these facilities; research to create foods that have increased amounts of the beneficial components found in fruits, vegetables and grains; and research and extension efforts to develop and implement mechanisms such as community-operated canneries or dehydration facilities to extend the "shelf-life" of food available through gleaning and food recovery programs. Funds provided under the CSREES Fund for Rural America competitive grants program may not be used for the construction of a new building or for the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing building (including site grading and improvement and architect fees), or for the purchase of fixed equipment.