Posted on April 6th, 2011 in disasters

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has published the 2011 Smith Lever Extension Special Needs Competitive Grants Program request for applications (RFA). Submissions are due via e-grants by 5:00 pm on May 23rd, 2011. 

Here is some key language from the RFA:

Proposals are welcomed that add new or build upon existing web-based educational materials on the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) at This platform is ideal for staff development. Also, disaster preparedness and mitigation proposals intended for end users that contribute’s to and expand upon the current offerings of the Agrosecurity and Floods eXtension Community of Practice will be considered It is recommended that applicants contact the EDEN executive committee and/or the appropriate community of practice during proposal formulation to solicit support and guidance. The most competitive proposals will provide educational and communication leadership across an optimized mix of these and other resources (emphasis added).  

The RFA also discusses providing “regional/national education and communications leadership to develop or add value to current educational materials regarding disaster issues” in another part of the RFA. EDEN can point to several successful examples of teams who, rather than authoring a single product, developed a portfolio of products (an EDEN issue page, eXtension resources, a regular list-serve update presence) and provide ongoing communications leadership to serve the changing needs of multiple audiences.

Eligibility is limited to 1862 Land-Grant institutions. However, when appropriate, NIFA encourages collaboration with the 1890 and 1994 Land-Grant Universities.

I urge you to read the entire RFA before planning your project. As the request indicates, early contact with and support by the EDEN executive committee and/or the eXtension Community of Practice may strengthen your proposal. The best contacts for this purpose are Virginia Morgan (EDEN Chair) or Rick Atterberry (EDEN Chair-elect).

Best, Bill Hoffman – USDA/NIFA