USDA invests nearly $118 million to support America’s specialty crop producers

Oct. 2, 2014, U.S. Department of Agriculture

On Oct. 2 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nearly $118 million in grants to strengthen markets for specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops. The grants were authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill as part of an effort to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and provide resources to strengthen American agriculture. The Secretary made the announcement in Florida.

“Specialty crop grants provide a major boost to the rural economies,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s announcement is another example of how [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] (USDA) is implementing the Farm Bill to deliver critical tools producers need to successfully grow, process, and market high-quality products.”

Sales of specialty crops total nearly $65 billion per year, making them a critical part of the U.S. economy. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), will provide $66 million to state departments of agriculture for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, through research and programs to increase demand. In addition, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is awarding $51.8 million in grants through its Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). SCRI supports the specialty crop sector by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address the needs of specific crops. Continue reading

NCCOR’s D. Berrigan an HHSinnovates semi-finalist: Voting is open!

We are pleased to share that Dr. Tatalovich and National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) member Dr. David Berrigan’s  HHSinnovates nomination – “Updated Urban Sprawl Data for the United States: Better data describing changes in urban form over time will strengthen evidence for the role of the built environment in access to health services and as an influence on obesity and health” – has been selected as a semi-finalist in Round 7 of the HHSinnovates program and will advance to the next phase of the competition—Health and Human Services (HHS) community voting. From April 7-25, HHS employees are invited to review this round’s semifinalists and help choose the best.

If you are an HHS employee, you can go on its intranet to read about the nomination (and vote) here or here. Please note that these links will only work for HHS employees.  Continue reading

New funding opportunity from NIH/CDC for small business to create tools to collect health metrics

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a funding opportunity for small businesses to develop user-friendly tools facilitating the construction of environmental metrics related to the determinants: health behaviors and health care. Such metrics are gaining wider use in the research literature, notably in the development of indices of the food and physical activity environments and in quantifying access to cancer-related health resources.

The grant is funded through the NIH/CDC Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) mechanism. The SBIR program provides support for research and development (R&D) of new or improved technologies and methodologies that have the potential to succeed as commercial products. The program consists of the following three phases: Continue reading

Johns Hopkins Global Center for Childhood Obesity funds projects to improve school nutrition programs and increase sale of health foods in urban areas

April 24, 2013, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity has awarded funding to two intervention projects aimed at preventing childhood obesity. The research is part of the third round of funding focused on “rapid response projects.”

The Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity reviewed research proposals from around the world and selected the following: Continue reading

USDA announces new funding opportunity for childhood obesity prevention research

On Feb. 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would be funding up to $5 million in new grants for childhood obesity prevention research.

The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which funds competitive grants for fundamental and applied research, education, and extension to address food and agricultural sciences. These new awards fall under the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Area: a program designed to achieve the long-term outcomes of reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 2-19. Continue reading

Cancer Research Training Award fellowship opportunity at the National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services, is inviting applications from qualified candidates for a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) with an emphasis on health behaviors research.

The CRTA appointment is a one- or two-year position with the Health Behaviors Research Branch (HBRB), Behavioral Research Program (BRP), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) of NCI.

The full-time position based in Rockville, Md., will allow the applicant to interact with a large number of scientists representing the disciplines of nutrition, behavioral sciences, obesity prevention, physical activity, skin cancer prevention, gene-environment interactions, behavioral genetics, and other disciplines within public health, at NCI, NIH, and at institutions around the country.

CRTA provides an outstanding opportunity for an individual with a strong interest in health behaviors and cancer control to gain experience working with an extramural behavioral scientist at NCI.

Please click here for more information about the CRTA fellowship.

RWJF awards grants to help reverse childhood obesity epidemic

Jan. 16, 2013, The Wall Street Journal

Six national associations have received a total of $1.8 million in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help communities increase children’s access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

The grants were awarded through Leadership for Healthy Communities, an RWJF national program that assists state and local leaders in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The associations were selected because their members are uniquely positioned to work across multiple levels of government and across intra-governmental agencies and departments to eliminate barriers to healthy eating and active living in schools and communities. Continue reading

UCLA project to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity

Oct. 8, 2012, News-Medical.net

Researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have been awarded a $20 million federal grant to further their innovative efforts to curb obesity. …

The UCLA project, rather than requiring busy, stressed individuals in low-resource neighborhoods to seek out physical activity and nutrient-rich foods, will engage them as “captive” audiences in settings they already frequent – including schools, offices and churches – making healthier options a default that can only be avoided with effort or by “opting out.” Continue reading

JHGCCO releases second round RFA for rapid response studies

The Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity (JHGCCO) released its second round Request for Applications (RFA) on July 1, awarding research grants for “rapid response” studies.

JHGCCO seeks to jumpstart systems-oriented childhood obesity research in a rapidly-changing physical or policy environment by supporting rapid response projects — opportune pilot and feasibility projects with timelines that would not allow funding through the regular NIH review cycles. Continue reading