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President's Annual Report 2005-2006

Dear USAIN Members,


It was indeed a great honor and privilege to have served as your President from June 2005 - May 2006.  I am most thankful and appreciative of the support, assistance and encouragement during this period from members of the Executive Council, USAIN Committees, Interest Groups, general membership and colleagues and administers at the University of Arkansas. Best wishes to Heather Moberly during her tenure as President, 2006-2007.


USAIN Highlights - 2005-2006


(1) AgNIC


              (a) A Memorandum of Agreement was renewed with AgNIC in July 2005. The purpose of this Memorandum is to facilitate and enhance organizational cooperation and to establish formal affiliation between the two organizations. Both parties will support, promote and encourage opportunities for direct professional contacts between our members.


              (b) At the request from the AgNIC interest group, USAIN Executive Committee voted to award two scholarships ($500.00 each) as a one time funding to defray the expenses of two USAIN members to attend the AgNIC Coordinating Council meeting, April 27-28, 2006 in Maryland.  Mike Haddock, Chair of the AgNIC Interest group worked with interested members to define the criteria for the award and aided in the selection process. We were able to fund one member that met the criteria agreed on by the Executive Committee.



The AGRICOLA Interest Group advertised the proposal distributed by the National Agricultural Library to re-scope AGRICOLA on the USAIN and FAN ListServs.  The AGRICOLA Brainstorm blog was created and linked from the USAIN homepage to gather input from USAIN members to aid their decision on redefining AGRICOLA's coverage.


(3) Special Projects Funding


A special task force that consisted of USAIN Directors was formed to draft procedures for special projects funding. These procedures were approved by the Executive Committee and they are posted on the webpage. In particular, this document outlines the procedures to be followed from the time a request for a special project is received until the decision is made to fund it and its subsequent supervision and accountability.


(4) Taskforce for the Assessment of the National Agricultural Information Infrastructure


The USAIN Executive Council established this taskforce with the purpose to develop a white paper to:


    (a) document the important role and contributions of agriculture and agricultural information to the well-being of society;

    (b) identify current players and systems in the U.S. agricultural information environment;

    (c) review national and international trends in information technologies, standards, and user demands; and

    (d) suggest options and opportunities for developing a more efficient, coherent, and collaborative infrastructure.  It is expected that this white paper will provide USAIN Members with the documentation and wording we may need to make official statements to government officials, to promote a national agricultural information agenda, and to gain new resources for special initiatives.


The members of this taskforce are: Barbara Hutchinson (Chair), Constance J. Britton, Diana Farmer, Anita Ezzo, Randy Heatley,  Susan McCarthy, Sheila Merrigan, Mary Ochs and Amy Paster, Luti Salisbury (Ex-Officio)  and Olivia Vent (Consultant).


This committee had brainstorming sessions at ALA mid-winter and at AgNIC meetings to gather input from USAIN members.  A draft of the report will be presented at the 2006 USAIN conference at USAIN conference, Cornell, Ithaca.


With partial funding provided by USAIN, Barbara Hutchinson attended an FAO Consultation meeting in Rome in October 2005 entitled: The International Information Systems for Agricultural Science and Technology: Review of Progress and Prospects. This aims and deliberations of this expert consultation meshed in perfectly with the guidelines establish for our taskforce.


(5) Support for information in the Farm Bill


A statement prepared by the Taskforce for the Assessment of the National Agricultural Information Infrastructure was sent to four members of congress on agricultural committees to be included in the new farm bill. The statement emphasized the importance of information in agriculture and the need for the U.S. to take a leadership position in supporting the development of a dynamic, collaborative and fully integrated electronic agricultural information system.


It also recommended that congressional members add wording to the farm bill that speaks to the importance of agricultural information and the associated funding to build and maintain it.



(6) National Agricultural Library


With the initiative coming from the National Agricultural Library and with agreement from USAIN, the Agricultural Update at ALA has expanded to include broader issues/topics relating to agriculture, food and life sciences information.


USAIN sent letters of support for the National Agricultural Library's budget request to the

  • Honorable Robert F. Bennet, Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations and to
  • the Honorable Herb Kohl, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations.

(7)  Webpage Redesign

The Executive Committee voted to approve funding for a project to redesign the webpage.  This project was undertaken to improve the design, accessibility and function of the USAIN web site, review the quality and organization of the content, and identify additional content for the resource pages and AgZines.


(8) USAIN Preservation

Phase VI "Preserving the History of the United States Agriculture and Rural Life: State and Local Literature, 1820-1945 was funded. Thanks to the continued efforts of Mann Library, Cornell University. With this funding thirty states would have participated towards the goals established in the USAIN National Preservation Plan for Agricultural Literature.


(9) Agriculture Leadership Council Planning Meeting

With funding from USAIN, Pat Wilson, Past-President, attended the Leadership Council meeting held in Washington DC, January 9-10, 2005.


(10) USAIN Updates

USAIN updates were presented at the annual and midwinter meetings of ALA, AgNIC Partners Meeting, AERO meeting and at the annual SLA conference.

I would like to extend my thanks to all my colleagues worldwide who served USAIN in various capacities during the year, including:


Executive Council:

  • Heather K. Moberly - President-Elect
  • Eileen Herring- Secretary/Treasurer
  • Pat Wilson - Past-President
  • Second year Directors - Katie Clark , Norma Kobzina and Sheila Merrigan
  • First year Directors -  Debbie Currie, Allison Level, and Mary Ochs

Committee Chairs:

  • Awards and Honors - Heather K. Moberly
  • Budget Taskforce - Eileen Herring
  • Bylaws - Pat Wilson and M. Kay Mowery
  • Communications - Kathleen Clark-Newman
  • Legislative and Government Relations - Barbara Hutchinson
  • Membership - Sean Gaffney
  • Nominations/Elections - Pat Wilson
  • 2006 Conference Planning -  Mary Ochs and Nan Hyland
  • Preservation Special Project - Joy Paulson
  • TaskForce for the Assessment of National Agricultural Information Infrastructure -  Barbara Hutchinson

Interest Group Conveners:

  • AgNIC - Mike Haddock
  • AGRICOLA - Norma Kobzina, Karl Schneider and Carla Long Casler
  • Collection Management - Allison Level and Valerie Perry
  • Technology Trends - Claudine Jenda, Martin A. Kesselman and Vernon Kisling
  • Social Issues/Rural Information - Regina Cannon and Deva E. Reddy

In closing, I wish to extend my congratulations newest members of the incoming Executive Council members:

  • President - Heather K. Moberly
  • President-Elect - Norma Kobzina
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Eileen Herring
  • Directors - Diana Farmer, Martin A. Kesselman, and Sheila Merrigan

I look forward to continue to serve our association in my capacity as Past President, 2006-2007.


Lutishoor Salisbury

President 2005-2006