AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.
ACTION: Notice of listening sessions and stakeholder feedback
SUMMARY: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announces its
stakeholder listening initiative "NIFA Listens: Investing in Science
to Transform Lives." This stakeholder listening opportunity informs
the research, extension and education priorities of NIFA, which has the
mission of investing in and advancing agricultural research, education
and extension to solve societal challenges. These investments in
transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and
global pre-eminence of U.S. agriculture. This listening opportunity
allows stakeholders to provide feedback on the following questions:
"What is your top priority in food and agricultural research,
extension or education that NIFA should address?" and "What are the
most promising science opportunities for advancement of food and
This effort to obtain input on NIFA's science priorities will be
carried out through online and in-person submission mechanisms.
Stakeholder input received from the two mechanisms is treated equally.
The priorities and opportunities obtained from this effort will be
evaluated in conjunction with input from NIFA staff. This information
will be critical for NIFA's evaluation of existing science emphasis
areas to identify investment opportunities and gaps in the current
portfolio of programs. The information obtained through this iterative
analysis and synthesis will help to ensure the strategic positioning
and relevancy of NIFA's investments in advancing agricultural research,
education and extension.
(A) Online Input: Submission of online stakeholder input to the
target questions will be open upon publishing of this Notice through 5
p.m. Eastern time December 1, 2017.
(B) In-person Listening Sessions: Four listening sessions, each a
full day, will be organized throughout the United States to obtain
input from all stakeholders, including small institutions, local
business and other stakeholder groups. The listening sessions will take
place on October 19, 2017, October 26, 2017, November 2, 2017 and
November 8, 2017. Each session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is scheduled
to end by 5:00 p.m. local time. Each session will include a
presentation of the goals and background information on NIFA programs,
followed by comments from stakeholders. Each registered speaker will
receive 5 minutes to share their comments with the Agency. If time
allows after all comments from registered speakers are made,
unscheduled speakers will be allowed 5 minutes to present their
comments to the Agency. The length of the sessions will be adjusted
according to numbers of participants seeking to provide input. All
parties interested in attending an in-person listening session must
RSVP no later than October 12, 2017. These sessions will be webcast and
transcribed. Information about registering for the in-person session,
providing written comments and viewing the webcast can be found at
Registration: The Web site, https://nifa.usda.gov/nifalistens,
includes instructions on submitting written comments and registering to
attend or speak at the in-person listening sessions. All parties
interested in attending an in-person listening session must RSVP no
later than October 12, 2017. The number of attendees and oral
commenters is limited due to time and space constraints (see below).
Oral commenter slots will be allotted on a first-come, first-served
basis. All interested stakeholders, regardless of attendance, are
welcome to submit written comments.
Comments: Written comments are due by December 1, 2017. Written
comments must be submitted electronically through https://nifa.usda.gov/nifalistens or emailed to NIFAlistens@nifa.usda.gov.
ADDRESSES: The in-person listening sessions will take place at
conference facilities in Kansas City, MO (October 19, 2017), Atlanta,
GA (October 26, 2017), Sacramento, CA (November 2, 2017), and
Hyattsville, MD (November 8, 2017).
All parties interested in attending an in-person listening session
must RSVP no later than October 12, 2017.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Megan Haidet, Program Specialist,
NIFA, at 202-401-6617, email NIFAlistens@nifa.usda.gov, or visit
https://nifa.usda.gov/nifalistens for detailed information about
providing written comments, joining the in-person sessions remotely, or
registering to speak at an in-person session.