[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 130 (Monday, July 8, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16204]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding the New Water
Challenge Area Within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of web-based listening session and request for
SUMMARY: As part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's
(NIFA) strategy to successfully implement the Agriculture and Food
Research Initiative (AFRI), NIFA intends to initiate a new challenge
area within AFRI in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to address water issues. NIFA
will be holding a web-based listening session in order to solicit
stakeholder input on this new challenge area. It is open to the public
and the focus of the listening session is to gather stakeholder input
that will be used in developing the Request for Applications (RFA) in
FY 2014. NIFA is particularly interested in input on how best to
achieve the most impact, within budget constraints, in the early years
of this new challenge area.
All comments must be received by close of business on July 30,
2013, to be considered in the initial drafting of the FY 2014 AFRI
Water program RFA.
DATES: The web-based listening session will be held on Tuesday, July
16, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST). All
written comments must be received by 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, July 30,
ADDRESSES: The web-based listening session will be hosted using Adobe
Connect. On July 16th, please access the following Web site, http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/afri-water/. In addition, audio conference
call capabilities can be accessed at 1-888-858-2144, participant code
You may submit written comments, identified by NIFA-2013-0010, by
any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
Email: AFRI@nifa.usda.gov. Include NIFA-2013-0010 in the subject
line of the message.
Mail: Paper, disk or CD-ROM submissions should be submitted to
AFRI; Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (IFPS), National
Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP
2240, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2220.
Hand Delivery/Courier: AFRI, IFPS, National Institute of Food and
Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 3444, Waterfront
Centre, 800 9th Street SW., Washington, DC 20024.
Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name
(NIFA) and reference to NIFA-2013-0010. All comments received will be
posted to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Terri Joya, (202) 401-1282
(phone), (202) 401-1782 (fax), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additional Web-based Listening Session and
Comment Procedures--Persons wishing to present oral comments during the
web-based listening session on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 are requested
to pre-register by contacting Ms. Terri Joya at (202) 401-1282, by fax
at (202) 401-1782 or by email to email@example.com. Participants may
reserve one 5-minute comment period. More time may be available,
depending on the number of people wishing to make a presentation.
Reservations will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. All
other participants may provide comments during the web-based listening
session if time permits, or submit written comments. All written
comments must be received by close of business July 30, 2013, to be
considered. All comments and the official transcript of the meeting,
when they become available, may be reviewed on the NIFA Web page,
six months. Additional AFRI Program-specific web-based listening
sessions may occur after July 16, 2013 to obtain public comments for
use in developing other AFRI RFAs. Dates and times will be posted to
the following URL: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/afri/afri_faq_webinars.html.
Background and Purpose
Significant variations from the historical rate of water supply and
availability are projected to have major impacts on agricultural,
forest, and range production systems. The new water program area within
AFRI will be coordinated with, and leverage, efforts in other AFRI
challenge areas, such as the Food Security, Food Safety, Climate
Variability and Change and Sustainable Bioenergy challenge areas, and
help solve critical water resource problems in rural and agricultural
watersheds across the United States. The program will focus on
developing solutions for water management that link food, water,
climate change, energy, and environmental issues. Funding will be used
to develop and transfer management practices, technologies, and tools
for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and managers, and citizens to
improve water resource quantity and quality. NIFA's approach will link
social, economic, and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical
sciences and engineering to address watershed- or aquifer-scale
problems. NIFA has tentatively identified three critical topics that
warrant immediate, comprehensive, and coordinated efforts in research,
education, and extension. These three topics are: (1) Ensuring
agricultural water security, addressing surface water, groundwater and
reclaimed water needed to produce a wide array of agricultural goods
and services now and into the future; (2) Improving nutrient management
in agricultural landscapes with focus on nitrogen and phosphorous; and
(3) Reducing impacts of chemicals of emerging concern and the presence
and movement of waterborne pathogens in the landscape. Information
regarding the AFRI program can be found at http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/afri/afri.html. AFRI grants are authorized for FYs 2009-2013,
of which the Secretary may retain no more than 4 percent for
administrative costs. Grants will be awarded on the basis of merit,
quality, and relevance and may have terms of up to 10 years. Subject to
the availability of appropriations to carry out the research component
of the AFRI program, the Secretary may award grants to State
agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university
research foundations; other research institutions and organizations;
Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or
corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of two or more of
the aforementioned entities. The integrated component of the AFRI
program, the Secretary may awards grants to colleges and universities;
1994 Land-Grant Institutions; and Hispanic-serving agricultural
colleges and universities.
NIFA plans to consider stakeholder input received from this web-
based listening session as well as other written comments in developing
the FY 2014 solicitations for this program.
Done at Washington, DC, this 26th day of June, 2013.
Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2013-16204 Filed 7-5-13; 8:45 am]
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