- Author: Jodi Azulai
The Extension Foundation is accepting applications for the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) Program — an initiative funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in partnership with the University of New Hampshire.
The goal of the New Technologies for Ag Extension grant is to incubate, accelerate and expand promising work that will increase the impact of the Cooperative Extension System in the communities it serves, and provide models that can be adopted or adapted by Extension teams across the nation.
Four types of projects
The grants are intended to spur development of projects that lead to local impact and align with both USDA Strategic Goals and the ECOP Program Priority Areas. Project leaders may apply for one of the four types of projects this grant will support: Incubation, Acceleration, Expansion and Scaling.
Programs with a special focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and climate are encouraged, but not required. All land-grant universities are welcome to apply regardless of membership status, but UC ANR is a member of Extension Foundation.
Depending on the type of project, teams may receive fellowships of up to $100,000, and all projects receive support from Extension Foundation "Catalysts, Coaches and Key Informants." Catalysts are experienced Cooperative Extension administrators who provide mentorship and guidance to projects, and Key Informants have subject matter expertise across areas such as publishing, evaluation, partner development, leadership and team development, marketing, communications and more. Through NTAE, the Extension Foundation provides a set of services most projects rarely have access to — services create deeper impact and greater sustainability for the project.
Community is Our Jam
Amira Resnick, statewide director of community nutrition and health, benefited from the NTAE resources after she received a grant last year for a project that addresses the connection between food safety, food insecurity, food waste and health equity. The Community is Our Jam publication, produced with NTAE staff including Rose Hayden-Smith, emeritus UC Cooperative Extension advisor for digital communications in food systems, offers an in-depth look into the UC Master Food Preserver program.
Apply at https://webportalapp.com/sp/ntae. For more information, visit https://extension.org/2023/11/15/extension-foundation-announces-new-technologies-for-ag-extension-funding-opportunity-applications-due-december-22nd-2023./span>/span>
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The University of California's Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Program is soliciting project and student intern proposals.
Project Proposals that will develop and/or support new or existing Cooperative Extension projects and/or activities that address the educational and extension needs in the management of California's valuable renewable resources on forest and rangeland. The primary purpose of this program is to promote the proper management of these resources, especially on private lands, and to provide the information/education/training needed by Extension personnel, landowners, land managers, and natural resource professionals.
Maximum award is $15,000 per project.
Student Intern Proposals that will use the services and talents of student interns. Internships are open to undergraduate or graduate students from any institution of higher education in California, particularly the University of California and the California State Universities. Principal investigators will not be granted additional RREA funds to pay for supplemental costs associated with the project. Student interns are expected to work on projects or activities that address educational and extension needs in the management of California's renewable resources. Intern proposals must demonstrate the connection to Cooperative Extension (county or campus office).
Interns will be funded up to $6,000.
The submission deadline has been extended to July 7, 2023.
The Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA), Public Law No. 95-306, was passed June 30, 1978, to address educational needs in managing the nation's renewable resources. Funds are appropriated annually by the Congress and allocated to the various states by U.S. Department of Agriculture under an established formula. The national RREA program is administered by USDA-NIFA Extension and the California component by the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). The available annual funding is unknown for 2023-24, but has been approximately $90,000-$95,000 over the past few years.
California RREA Program
California's program for RREA funding over the past years has been administered through competitive mini-grant awards. The awards facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation and expand the capacity of natural resource Extension educators to deliver current and relevant research-based programs to address the multiple management issues facing California's diverse natural resources. California RREA awards help forest and rangeland owners and managers, policymakers, communities, and the general public make informed decisions regarding the sustainability of natural lands and resources that are of critical importance to the ecological, social, and economic well-being of California. Logic Model: California RREA programs logic model focuses on the aspects of the national RREA strategic plan most relevant to the state and also makes the connection between RREA projects intended outcome and UC ANR's Condition Changes and Public Value Statements. Download the UC ANR RREA Program Logic Model for guidance in the development of proposals and completing final project reports.
Objectives of the California RREA program
- Maintain strong renewable resources programs within UC Agriculture and Natural Resources by focusing on integration of disciplines and management of the total landscape.
- Enable landowners, managers and communities to clarify goals and objectives for owning and managing renewable resources, evaluating natural resources in a holistic manner and utilizing integrated management approaches.
- Conduct educational programs for landowners and managers to identify, plan and apply integrated renewable resource management practices for conservation and profit.
- Provide objective, reliable information to public interest groups and to policymakers about renewable resource issues.
- Inform landowners, managers and communities of land-use policy decisions and provide objective analysis of the available management methods and their impacts on ranch or forest operations.
- Promote the use of “best management practices” on public and private wildlands through educational programs utilizing workshops, field demonstrations, training sessions and published information manuals.
- Demonstrate relevance to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision, Public Values and Condition Changes and connection to the 2018-2022 RREA Strategic Plan.
Proposal Evaluation Criteria
A Technical Advisory Committee will review proposals. Education and Extension must be the main goal of the proposals. Research proposals cannot be considered. Reviewers will use the following criteria when evaluating and ranking the proposals:
- Does the project address the objectives of California's RREA program?
- Is the budget appropriate?
- Rate the capabilities and experience of the person(s) responsible for the proposal.
- Does the project address an RREA critical issue area(s) and associated California RREA goal(s) (see UC ANR RREA logic model), and clearly document the relevant inputs, outputs and outcomes?
- How does this project relate to other similar projects? (applicant's own, subject matter and/or geographic)
- Does the project duplicate or work in conjunction with similar projects?
- Does the project demonstrate a level of initial or continued support; Advisors, communities, agencies, etc., including financial support?
- Are the project goals/objectives reachable given the described methods?
- Are the methods clearly stated and justifiable?
- Is the work plan capable of reaching the stated goals/objectives?
- Is the proposal clear and complete?
- How will the information generated by this project be extended (to whom and how)?
- Are activities and stakeholder participation clearly described?
- Does the proposal clearly describe methods to measure and evaluate outcomes and impacts (short- and long-term) relevant to California's renewable resources?
Does the proposal clearly describe methods to measure and evaluate outcomes and impacts, short and long-term, relevant to California renewable resources?
Who can apply?
One of the primary purposes of the California RREA program is to build internal capacity of Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists to respond to renewable resource issues. Both Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists are eligible to apply. Agricultural Experiment Station and other researchers and faculty are also eligible for funding when collaborating with Cooperative Extension Advisors or Specialists. A second purpose of RREA funding is to build natural resource programming capacity within Cooperative Extension. To this end, the resulting projects funded by RREA should result in CE advisors and specialists engaged in natural resource programs. Projects that result in this kind of involvement will receive priority for funding. Using RREA funds for outside consultants or projects where the major effort is not from CE is not permitted.
Download the application and apply through the Universal Review System in the ANR Portal; click on the 2023-2024 RREA Project & Student Intern Grants link. Please carefully read the instructions at the top of each section of the application. If the application is for a continuing project that received 2022-23 RREA funding, the applicant must submit a progress report, formatted similar to UC Delivers, with their 2023-24 RREA proposal. Student Intern applicants: Indicate type by checking the Student Intern checkbox located at the top of page one in the RREA Proposal Application document.
Proposal submitters will be notified of funding decisions by the first week of September 2023 and the project performance period will be Oct. 1, 2023, to Aug. 31, 2024. Funds must be expended by Aug. 31, 2024. Funds are available for both short and multi-year projects. For multi-year projects, funds will be awarded on a yearly basis subject to availability, satisfactory progress report and continuing need of the project.
- The budget must be complete, including a detailed narrative that describes the proposed costs, such as type and duration of positions, type and location of travel, and type of supplies. A complete explanation of all current and pending support (cash or in-kind) listing the source, amount and effective dates should also be provided.
- Indicate what, if any, other organization(s) this proposal has been submitted to.
- Many RREA projects result in products such as publications, videos and other communication media related to natural resources. Development costs and production costs can be included in RREA proposal requests however, UC ANR Publications must be consulted regarding costs and timeline. The UC ANR publications process, including peer review by the program identified Associate Editors, is encouraged and this will be considered when funding decisions are made. UC ANR Publications will provide estimates regarding printing and other cost estimates. These should be included in the proposal with a clear indication of their purpose and how they were derived. Note that printing and other associated production costs will not be included in funded proposals but will be set aside for direct billing with UC ANR Publications. If production outside of UC ANR Publications is necessary, a strong justification should be included in your proposal. For additional information please contact Rachel Lee, Director, UC ANR Publishing.
- Some RREA projects include costs for meetings, including room rentals, AV equipment, speaker travel, etc. and it is expected that a reasonable meeting fee should be charged to recover these costs; however, if RREA funding will be used for meeting expenses a clear justification of need should be included in your proposal.
- The maximum available for a funded project is $15,000; $6,000 for student interns.
- Projects that include matching funds or funds from non-UC ANR other sources are encouraged.
- Equipment purchases are not generally allowable. If equipment is essential for this project, a complete justification, including disposition of equipment at the end of the grant, must be included.
- Funds used for salaries must cover employee benefits associated with general assistance hire.
- All allocated grant funds must be expended by August 31, 2024, and no-cost extensions for RREA awards cannot, and will not, be considered. Multiple year projects will be considered. Projects requiring multi-year funding must submit a proposal application and project progress report each year.
- USDA-NIFA RREA Prohibited Expenses:
- Food & beverages
- Prizes & promotional materials
- Student tuition reimbursement
- Fund transfers from RREA-funded project accounts are not allowed and will not be approved.
- Funding cannot be used for research-related activities.
- RREA funds cannot be used for outside consultants if the project's major effort is not from CE.
A final report will be required upon completion of the project. The national RREA Program requires state RREA programs to submit an annual report that includes detailed project data. All projects funded by the UC ANR RREA Project & Student Intern Grants Program will be required to submit an accurate and detailed final project report.
Submit your completed proposal in the URS by 5 p.m. on July 7, 2023.
For questions about the submission process, please contact Andrea Rayray, research administrator in UC ANR Program Planning and Evaluation.
- Author: Derecka Alexander, American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow
Informational webinars on Sept. 14, Dec. 8
The increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather-related disasters across the country may have many of us wishing we could click our heels and go back to times when weather did not disrupt our agricultural, forestry and rangeland production systems as often as it does today.
In addition to their devastating impacts on people and communities, disasters contribute to land degradation and adversely impact agricultural supply chains at the production, processing, distribution and consumption stages.
In response to extreme temperatures, heavy downpours, droughts and blizzards, USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is introducing a new program to help communities protect the nation's food supply.
The Rapid Response to Extreme Weather Events Across Food and Agricultural Systems program reflects a new cross-cutting program area within NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. The program is housed within AFRI's Foundational and Applied Science program and is designed to rapidly deploy strategies, and fill knowledge and information gaps to protect the nation's food and agricultural supply chains — at the production through consumption stages — during and after extreme weather disasters.
Disasters happen when a community is not appropriately resourced or organized to withstand the impact, and whose population is vulnerable because of poverty, exclusion or other social disadvantages, according to United Nations Office for Risk Reduction official Mami Mizutori.
The new program area contains two grant types: Strengthening Standard and Coordinated Agricultural Project. Project proposals for either grant type will directly address effects associated with an extreme weather event or disaster that has occurred. In addition, applications will present projects that address one or more of the following emphasis areas:
- Agroecosystem Resilience
- Agricultural Commodity and Nutrition Security
- Health, Well-Being and Safety
The intention of the Rapid Response to Extreme Weather Events Across Food and Agricultural Systems program is to fund projects that provide solutions, which may include trainings, communication strategies, tools and technologies, food supply logistics, and climate-smart practices that can be rapidly adopted by various end-users. These projects will also explain how adoption potential of proposed solutions will be measured.
NIFA is committed to alleviating the impacts of extreme weather events and disasters across the food and agricultural system. NIFA understands the importance of supporting timely, critical research and Extension activities following extreme weather events and disasters.
When planning a proposal that includes communication, contact Linda Forbes, director of UC ANR Strategic Communications, at email@example.com.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center invites UC ANR scientists to apply for research funds.
Environmental health science is a branch of public health that is focused on environmental determinants of health.
“This funding is intended to support researchers who are new to EHS to get preliminary data that they can use to pursue larger funding opportunities,” said Shosha Capps, associate director for community engagement. “We highly encourage a community-engaged approach, and part of my job is to support researchers to form effective partnerships with communities in the Central Valley that are impacted by their work.”
“A lot of the topic areas we fund research in are also of interest to folks at ANR, including pesticide use (from a human health perspective), air quality, and water quality and quantity,” said Capps, formerly of the UC Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program. “Plus ANR affiliates are already going to be oriented toward applied research and working directly with the communities impacted by their research.”
A list of this year's community research priorities, as well as projects funded in the past, is at https://environmentalhealth.ucdavis.edu/scientists/funding-opportunities/pilot-projects-program.
“A lot of them are in the fields of toxicology, exposure science and epidemiology, but EHS is a multidisciplinary field and we're hoping to reach beyond the usual disciplines this year,” Capps said.
She encourages UC ANR academics to apply with a partner; for example, collaborating with a health researcher to look at the impacts of environmental issues on the health and well-being of farmworkers, farmers or rural communities.
“If someone at ANR works with a community partner who has brought these kinds of issues up as priorities, but they feel it's beyond their expertise, they could refer the community partner to me, and I could try to match them to an appropriate EHS researcher,” Capps said.
For more information, contact Capps at firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 952-9210.
Do you have a creative idea that reflects UC ANR's mission and public values and will generate sustainable revenue to support your program delivery and reach? Does that idea just need a little help to get it off the ground? If an investment into the idea will help its launch and ensure its success, UC ANR leadership wants to hear about it!
The intent is to use a small portion of reserve funding to secure UC ANR's ability to meet the needs of all Californians. These investments are for the implementation of new ideas and approaches to funding our programs, and not intended to provide bridge funding or grant support. This “venture capital” will be used to launch novel approaches to cost-recovery or income-generation related to program delivery.
Here are a few examples:
- Establish a new partnership model
- Build a fee-based online curriculum or micro-accreditation offering
- Invest in a platform that has novel delivery or subscription use
- Establish a fee-for-service lab or services
- Develop a fee-based speaker series
All UC ANR personnel located throughout the state – academics and staff, field-based and campus-based – are eligible.
- A new revenue stream that contributes to financial security of the program, while increasing or maintaining program reach that is consistent with the UC ANR mission
- Capital repayment – payments must begin within 12 months of award with complete repayment targeted within a 24-month period
Submissions will be received and reviewed on an ongoing basis until the allocated reserve funds ($300,000) are depleted. Any funds not used will remain in the reserve pool.
Read more about the submission and selection process at https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/335333.pdf.