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  • 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: usain-research-fellows-g@vt.edu

    Questions can be directed to Brad Brazzeal (bbrazzeal@library.msstate.edu), Britt Foster (brfoster@csufresno.edu), or Kristen Mastel (meye0539@umn.edu).


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

    USAIN 2022 Research Fellow Application

    Rubric

  • 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. 

     Sincerely,

    Livia Olsen, Jessica Page (chair) and Luti Salisbury

    2022 USAIN Nominations and Elections Committee

    2022USAIN-election-FullBallot.pdf

  • 13 Jan 2022 11:30 AM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)

    The USAIN Awards & Honors Committee is pleased to share this call for nominations for five awards.  Three awards are conference scholarships and two recognize significant service and leadership to our profession.  Nominations are due Jan. 15, 2021 for the service to the profession and honorary membership awards and Jan. 31, 2022 for the scholarships. 

  • 29 Jun 2021 4:54 PM | Megan Kocher (Administrator)

    At their June 25, 2021 meeting, the USAIN Executive Council voted to approve a letter of support  endorsing the White House proposed budget FY2022. This budget provides a significant 18% increase in funding to the National Agricultural Library (NAL). Some of the funds will be dedicated to the improvement of search tools such as AGRICOLA, PubAg and AgData Commons. A significant amount is also targeted for Life Cycle Assessment, an evaluation of all inputs, outputs, and the environmental impact associated with agricultural production, processing, distribution, and consumption and related activities. You can read more explanation about the proposed budget at the USDA website.

    USAIN will send this letter to members of the House and Senate appropriations committees. Please use the text of our letter as follows as a template for your own communications with legislators and government relations offices:

    USAIN Letter of Support for the President’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2022

    The United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) joins with the Association of Research Libraries, in support of President Biden's Proposed Budget FY2022. USAIN is an association of libraries and information professionals, many of whom are employed at agricultural land-grant institutions across the nation.

    We are writing in support of President Biden’s proposed budget FY2022 that includes much needed funding to enhance the programs of the USDA and its agencies. The funding designated to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research programs and the National Agricultural Library (NAL) are critical for generating the latest quality information that farmers, researchers, policy makers and the public use to solve food production and environmental challenges in an era of rapidly changing climate.  

    We support the funding of USDA ARS priority research areas that include strategies for increasing crop and livestock production, improving the nutritional quality of foods and healthy foods for people, pets and livestock, decreasing food losses, revitalizing rural economies, conserving natural resources, mitigating climate change, promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices, and developing biofuels for clean energy production.

    The USDA Agricultural Research Service's National Agricultural Library (NAL) fulfills its role, by federal mandate, as the primary agricultural information resource for the United States, in part by working closely with research libraries and information professionals, including members of the United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN), who amplify NAL’s charge by providing direct information services and resources to faculty, students, farmers, researchers, small businesses, extension personnel, local government officials and policy makers.

    With the designated funds, NAL can begin the important task of enhancing its collections, information products, search tools, and information services to better support innovative agricultural research and knowledge creation at the USDA and at cooperating institutions including land-grant institutions. The funding will give NAL and the nation a competitive advantage in curating and managing agricultural information for research and public consumption. 

    NAL’s areas of focus include: (1) enhancing existing literature and knowledge management search platforms, Ag Data Commons, PubAg, and AGRICultural Online Access (AGRICOLA), into the robust storage, search, and retrieval systems for primary agricultural literature, data, and reports; (2) building the systems, data, and standards for evaluating environmental impacts associated with agricultural food chain operations, systems, and products using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) measures; and (3) supporting scientists, scholars, and policy makers with in-depth searches and synthesis of the scientific literature and other resources for evidence-based decisions.

    Agriculture is a critical sector that supplies food for the masses in the U.S. and abroad, improves the livelihood of rural communities, and is a source of raw materials that drive many industries, including food and chemical technologies, biofuels (e.g. ethanol), paper and textiles, to name a few.

    The White House proposed budget FY2022 has prioritized programs needed to ensure a secure and safe food supply for the health of our nation. The USDA ARS and NAL play key roles in this sector worthy of a high-level funding. We urge you to join us in supporting the proposed budget. 

    Thank you for your dedicated service to the American people.

    Sincerely,

    Megan Kocher,

    President, USAIN, 2021-2022

    FY22BudgetSupportTemplate.docx


  • 25 Mar 2021 11:49 PM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)

    The USAIN Professional Development Committee is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2021 USAIN Research Fellows Award

    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 30, 2021. Award recipients will be notified in June.

    Send the completed application via email to: usain-research-fellows-g@vt.edu

    USAIN_Fellows_Application_2021.docx  Research_Fellows_Rubric_for_Award_2021.docx

    Questions can be directed to kdebose@vt.eduBrazzeal@library.msstate.edu, and sek45@cornell.edu

    Thank you for your interest in the USAIN Research Fellows Award. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • 16 Mar 2021 11:28 PM | Claudine Jenda

    The Nominations and Elections Committee is most pleased to present the slate of the 2021 USAIN Executive Council candidates for President-Elect, Treasurer, and Directors. Please take some time to review the candidates biographies and personal statements, prior to receiving your personal link to the electronic election ballot.   We thank all who are standing for election, and those who considered running.  We applaud your spirit of service.

    Review candidate biographies and statements in the file below:

    USAIN_2021_Elections_Candidates.pdf

    Sincerely,

    Lorrie Pellack, Luti Salisbury, and Claudine Jenda

    2021 Nominations & Elections Committee




  • 9 Jul 2020 2:20 PM | Patricia Hartman (Administrator)

    Click here to learn more about the July 20-23 conference. Register here. Deadline to apply is July 17!

  • 19 Jun 2020 1:48 PM | Kristen Mastel (Administrator)

    The USAIN Bylaws Committee is moving forward on a handful of changes to the USAIN Bylaws (https://usain.org/Fullbylaws).  The Bylaws were last revised in 2016.  This year we need to make some grammatical changes and modifications to officer and nominations and elections to align our Bylaws with the USAIN Procedures and Rules (https://usain.org/P-and-R) and with current practice.

    There are 8 proposed amendments:

    • Article I. Section 2. The amendment is proposed to correct punctuation.

    • Article II. Section 3. – The amendment is to add a date for the establishment of Land Grant Universities.
    • Article III. Section 1. The amendment is proposed to simply punctuation.
    • Article IV. Section 1. – Removal of “disability or withdrawal” as the conditions in which the President is unable to serve. This will allow for more flexibility if transfer of duties to the President-Elect is ever needed.
    • Article IV. Section 5. The amendment is proposed to correct punctuation.
    • Article VII. Section 1. The amendment is proposed to correct punctuation.
    • Article IX. Section 1 and 2. Clarifies language around nominations and elections. We are recommending the removal of geographic and membership category distribution, as this has limited the committee in the past, although we recognize that it is a good practice to follow. In addition, we are not always able to recruit a full slate for each open position, so we have added “strive to” to Section  

    These proposed amendments have been approved by the voting members of the USAIN Executive Council, so we are now sharing the proposed amendments with the entire USAIN membership.  The amendments will be discussed and voted on during the Business Meeting at the upcoming USAIN Virtual Conference, so please review the amendments before then.  If the amendments are approved by a majority vote during the Business Meeting, they will be submitted to the entire voting membership for a final decision via electronic ballot.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact either member of the USAIN Bylaws Committee. The document with proposed changes was shared on the USAIN-L listserv. 

    Respectfully,

    USAIN Bylaws Committee

    Kristen Mastel, Chair

    Noel Kopriva 


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