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  • 29 Nov 2022 9:02 AM | Suzanne Stapleton (Administrator)

    Save the date and make plans to attend USAIN 2024 biennial conference hosted by Michigan State University! Exciting news is that the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries will gather together with USAIN the week of May 6th, 2024.

  • 7 Sep 2022 6:15 PM | Becky Miller (Administrator)

    The USAIN Agricultural Research Services Interest Group (ARSIG) is pleased to announce we will be hosting a webinar “Historic Yields: Making Old Agricultural Data New Again” presented by Sandi Caldrone of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  See the event details below.  The webinar will be recorded.

    All are welcome to attend! 

    Please direct any questions to IG co-conveners Sarah Williams ( and Maggie Albro (

    Historic Yields: Making Old Agricultural Data New Again

    Presented by Sandi Caldrone

    Wednesday, September 28

    1:00-2:00pm (Central)

    Meeting ID: 885 5797 9234  |  Password: 624479

    Webinar Description: Dusty annual reports, typewritten tables, random PDF files, and Excel trackers full of idiosyncratic notes and special formatting. How do we transform records like these into Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data? Historical agricultural datasets present information professionals with a smorgasbord of digital preservation challenges. In this webinar, data librarian Sandi Caldrone walks you through her experiences with two such datasets – soybean tests dating back to 1941 and the Morrow Plots experiment dating back to 1876 – and the challenges, lessons learned, and old-fashioned team effort it takes to make historical data usable again. We will also make time for attendees to share their own experiences with historical data. Please feel free to bring an example to share.

    Sandi’s Bio: Sandi Caldrone is the librarian for the Research Data Service at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She leads education and outreach efforts for the service, and is particularly interested in transforming traditional workshops into self-guided learning experiences. Her research interests include data rescue, data visualization, and curating research datasets for classroom use. She previously worked for the Purdue University Libraries’ data repository where she curated a wide variety of datasets. Sandi earned her M.S. in Library and Information Science with a focus on data curation from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and also holds an M.A. in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from Northern Illinois University.<</p>

    We hope to see you there!

  • 22 Aug 2022 9:25 AM | Suzanne Stapleton (Administrator)

    The recording of the Update on the USDA National Agricultural Library provided to USAIN by NAL Director, Paul Wester, Jr. on July 13, 2022 is now available (see link below). Bonus feature is Paul's premier TikTok on bagel baking!

    Update on USDA NAL [recording]

    Bagel making with Paul Wester

  • 25 Jul 2022 9:37 AM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)

    The Professional Development Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 USAIN Research Fellows Award. Kiri DeBose's proposal “Economic Analyses of the Impacts of Seasonal Heat Stress on Dairy Production,” has been approved and awarded $3,990. The committee noted the strength of library and faculty collaboration in the project, and learning opportunities for student workers assisting with the literature review and statistical analyses. In addition, this project is very timely as last year NOAA ranked 2021 as the 6th hottest year on record, and we are looking at that happening again this year.

    Congratulations to Kiri (and colleagues)! We look forward to hopefully hearing more about their research project at USAIN 2024 in Michigan!

    - USAIN Research Fellows Award committee members: Britt Foster, Brad Brazzeal, and Kristen Mastel

  • 12 Jul 2022 8:34 AM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)
    We are pleased to invite USAIN members and friends to an Update on the USDA National Agricultural Library by Director Paul Wester, on Wednesday, July 13th at 3:00 pm Eastern. The zoom link for this presentation is There is no prior registration or fee to join. The session will be recorded and available to members unable to attend. 
  • 26 May 2022 5:31 PM | Megan Kocher (Administrator)

    On May 25, 2022, the USAIN Executive Council Approved the attached letter sent to Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks and Interim Library Dean Julie Ballestro outlining our concerns with the proposed changes to the TAMU Libraries. USAIN is committed to advocacy on behalf of our members and our profession and we urge TAMU to reconsider the changes being made in their library system.

    Letter to TAMU President M. Katherine Banks

  • 13 May 2022 3:10 PM | Suzanne Stapleton (Administrator)

    USAIN Conference Reflection

    By J. Oren, Graduate Student, San Jose State University School of Information

    The 2022 USAIN virtual conference took place through a series of virtual meetings hosted through the University of Arkansas. This year’s conference theme was: Supporting Agriculture, Food, Fiber and Family. This virtual event did a wonderful job of providing a welcoming experience for all information professionals and presenters.

    While the COVID-19 pandemic confined the conference to Zoom meetings, the only regret I experienced was not having the opportunity to visit the University of Arkansas in person (even in spite of the proclamations about the pollen count). As an MLIS student with interest and experience in agriculture, I attended with eyes wide open ready to learn from the multitude of presenters and speakers who were sharing work.

    The keynote speaker, Dr Kara Young Ponder, discussed the importance of race in agriculture. She highlighted and exposed the history of the American food system. The social construct of race has been used historically to justify agricultural practices which reinforce racism, and oppression of workers and landowners alike. This was a session that opened a startling reality for me.

    Dr. Young Ponder first explained how race was used as an identifiable marker to enslave forced labor, thus creating a foundation for racial injustice. Dr. Young Ponder expanded on the idea of race in agriculture by sharing how the forced internment of Japanese farmers during WWII created a food scarcity issue. This presentation struck a chord with the practices of agricultural economics in the San Joaquin Valley. Also, we see in the Sacramento valley the impact of the Japanese internment and the loss of agriculture resulting in lands being converted into housing and urban sprawl. When fields are converted into sidewalks and strip malls, there is not ever a return to food-producing fields. This also raises the question of food quality. When food is not grown locally, it must be transported, threatening nutrition and quality.

    Because of the WWII issues, Victory Gardens were promoted to make up the difference in output from interned farmers. While Dr Young Ponder’s keynote address was much different from many of the other presentations in regards to its sociological content, it set an important tone for a conference which delved into information, economics, and land use practices. Much of the history of race and agriculture isn’t shared or exposed; this was the only presentation in the conference which touched on this subject, but the importance of knowing historical precedent and practice is a crucial component when studying equity in agriculture.

    Although Dr. Young Ponder’s presentation was a lightning bolt for me, all presenters shared valuable information and insight into their work. I especially enjoyed the tour of the Turpentine Creek Animal refuge. While a zoom presentation to a exotic cat rescue refuge isn’t the best format to view these animals, the presentation was information-rich as well as unexpected in that it expanded my narrow ideas of what constitutes agriculture. This presentation demonstrates an example of the wide variety of agriculture represented at the conference.

    This opportunity from USAIN made a life-altering impact on me. I thought I had a handle on the business and importance of agriculture, but my perspective, appreciation, outlook changed because of this opportunity. As a librarian, I know that I shall use the information and share the experience with those I serve in the community. I feel that I am a better advocate now.

  • 5 Apr 2022 4:36 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)

    The USAIN Professional Development Committee is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2022 USAIN Research Fellows Award. We look forward to hearing from you!

    A total of $4,000 in funding will be available to one or more USAIN members for financial support for conducting research on agricultural information. Examples of costs that could be covered by the award include (but are not limited to): transcription, travel to an institution for research, student worker support, etc. The funding is not to be used for professional development activities.

    To apply, please complete the attached application to:

    ·  outline your proposed research or project 

    ·  describe what support is needed 

    ·  provide a research support justification demonstrating how this award will benefit your research objectives (and possibly USAIN and the profession)

    ·  give preliminary ideas of where you plan to disseminate the outcome or results of your project

    Applications will be judged on the applicability of research to the USAIN mission, and adherence to application guidelines (see the rubric that is also attached).

    Deadline is Friday, April 29, 2022.

    Award recipients will be notified in June.

    Send the completed application via email to:

    Questions can be directed to Brad Brazzeal (, Britt Foster (, or Kristen Mastel (

    Thank you for your interest in the USAIN Research Fellows Award!

    USAIN 2022 Research Fellow Application


  • 26 Feb 2022 10:41 AM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)

    In light of recent threats to HBCU campuses, the USAIN Executive Council recently penned an open letter to express support and solidarity. Please see attached.

    Open letter of support to HBCUs from USAIN_signed.pdf

  • 25 Feb 2022 9:33 AM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)

    The Nominations and Elections Committee is pleased to present the slate of the 2022 USAIN Executive Council candidates for President-Elect, Secretary, and three Directors: 2022USAIN-election-FullBallot.pdf

    Please take some time to review the candidates’ biographies and personal statements.  You’ll receive your personal link to the electronic election ballot via SurveyMonkey next week; please be sure to check your junk mail folders.  

    The Committee identified two candidates for President-Elect, one for Secretary, and four candidates for the three Director positions.  The ballot will also allow for write-in candidates.

    We thank all who are standing for election, and those who considered running. 


    Livia Olsen, Jessica Page (chair) and Luti Salisbury

    2022 USAIN Nominations and Elections Committee


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