Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

2002 Annual Performance Report & 2003, 2004, 2005 Annual Performance Plans
headline bar
1 - Introduction
2 - Table of Contents
3 - Goal I
4 - Goal II
5 - Goal III
6 - Goal IV
7 - Goal V
8 - Goal VI
9 - Summary of Agency Resources for FY 2003
10 - Summary of Agency Resources for FY 2004
Goal VI

GOAL VI:  Effectively Marshal the Diverse Capabilities and Resources of ARS.

Objective 6.1:  Support Education:  “Support higher education in agriculture to give the next generation of Americans the knowledge, technology, and applications necessary to enhance the competitiveness of United States agriculture.”

All of the activities relating to this objective are crosscutting in nature and reflected in the strategies and performance goals under the six ARS Goals. 

Objective 6.2:  National Agricultural Library:  “Serve as the most significant agricultural information resource for the United States.”

Funding by Program Activity ($000's)

     FY 2002

     FY 2003

     FY 2004

    AG Information & Library Services

       21,907

        20,529

        20,870

               Total

     $21,907

      $20,529

      $20,870

    FTEs

            148

            150

             154

NOTE: Not included in the table are appropriations for repairs and maintenance of ARS facilities and for some of Homeland Security. 

Analysis of Results in FY 2002:  Under Goal VI, 63 Indicators are aligned under 48 Performance Goals.  Several Indicators were added, deleted, or modified in this report that did not first appear in the Annual Performance Plan for FY 2002.  This was done to ensure that significant accomplishments that were not anticipated last year were reported.  While it is not possible to report all accomplishments numerically, the progress projected in 58 Indicators was completed or substantially completed during FY 2002.  Five indicators involving the National Agricultural Library were not met in FY 2002 because of delays in construction and system upgrades.  All will be accomplished in FY 2003.  Seventy-three significant accomplishments are reported below.

Means and Strategies:  To successfully accomplish the activities under this initiative, ARS will need the level of human, fiscal, physical, and information resources shown in the budget estimates for fiscal years 2003 and 2004. 

Verification and Validation:  ARS currently conducts a series of review processes designed to ensure the relevance and quality of its work.  A more detailed description of the evaluation plans can be found in the introduction to this plan.

STRATEGY 6.2.1:  Increase awareness and use of National Agricultural Library (NAL) products and services:  Collect, organize, and provide access to information that supports agricultural programs and responds to information needs.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.1:  Maintain up-to-date data on NAL customer information needs and satisfaction.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

continue analyzing information center programs to ensure accurate focus and customer satisfaction.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Discussions with a major customer, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, and key collaborator, the University of Maryland, revealed the nutrition educator’s growing need for an online resource system to provide nutrition materials targeting low-income audiences.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The Food and Nutrition Information Center created and now offers the Food Stamp Nutrition Connection, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodstamp/index.html.  Since its launch on January 30, 2002, the Nutrition Connection has grown to feature a customized full-service Web site that includes:  a searchable database of over 180 education and training materials; the first ever portal to state Food Stamp Nutrition Education Programs; Hot Topic pages specific to issues impacting low-income audiences; and an electronic discussion group for Food Stamp Nutrition education providers.  On October 30, 2002, the Food Stamp Nutrition Connection was recognized for outstanding work in making quality Food Stamp Nutrition Education materials available and accessible, receiving a ranking of “Among the Best” by Tuft’s Nutrition Navigator – a prestigious independent rating system of nutrition Web sites.

continue to collect and combine data on reference and research information services and information centers.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The NAL Invasive Species Web Project began a major redesign effort to ensure continued usability for customers.  There has been an exponential growth in the site.  Invasivespecies.gov serves as a gateway to information about invasive species, which supports the National Invasive Species Council mandate as stated in Executive Order 13112.  The site doubled in size over the last year linking to more than 6,500 unique resources.  It received nearly 1 million hits, averaging approximately 80,000 per month.  Such a large resource was increasingly difficult to manage in its current structure.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Easier to use and enriched content.  The graphical interface was redesigned to reduce confusing navigational elements, and to enhance the visibility of the National Invasive Species Council and the National Management Plan.  Data collection was initiated to analyze current customer access and usage of the Web site.  Also, Specific Cooperative Agreements were established with North Carolina State University and the University of Arizona to identify Council member information needs, beginning with USDA and professionals working to solve issues relating to Western rangeland weeds.  Collaborations were also initiated with the Universities of Arizona and Maryland to develop specific content for the site.

customize customer relationship management system and begin to collect detailed information on customers.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL has identified two alternatives for electronic collection of customer information and will request the resources to obtain them.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  NAL is involved in the E-metrics project of the Association of Research Libraries, through which NAL will collaborate with other major resources for capturing information on processes and services that reflect the impact of technology on information delivery.

During FY 2003, NAL will

analyze collected information on customers for improved service.

acquire and implement an automated document delivery system to track usage data.

During FY 2004, NAL will

increase the total volume of direct customer services by at least 20 percent.

establish closer relationships with USDA agencies to increase satisfaction with information products and services.

expand automated document delivery capabilities to track usage data.

During FY 2005, NAL will

increase the total volume of direct customer services by at least 20 percent.

implement changes to better serve USDA agencies based on data collected.

analyze usage data and customize services in response.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.2:  Integrate customer data into continuous refinement of NAL operations.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

continue to reduce turnaround times for serving customers by collecting data and incorporating results into customer service operations.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL’s Document Delivery Services Branch (DDSB) identified key performance areas on the Document Delivery Services Contract to enhance data collection and analysis in order to reduce turnaround times.  This collection and analysis led to an overall response rate of 80 percent within 2 days of receipt.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Reduction in turnaround times has been the primary goal of DDSB and continues to be a critical performance area.  Scientists and researchers around the world benefit from receiving the materials they request in the shortest amount of time possible.  

obtain digital resources identified in FY 2001 as needed for geographically remote customers and conduct related user education activities.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  DDSB obtained and implemented the Relais Express electronic management system.  With this software, articles are scanned and delivered either to a printer for traditional printing and mailing, to the Ariel software for delivery to major libraries and institutions around the world, to a fax machine, or posted directly to the Web where a patron anywhere in the world can access it instantaneously.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The ability of DDSB to post articles directly to the Web means that patrons do not need any special proprietary software or equipment to receive the materials requested.  This eliminates the gulf between urban and remote customers, which has been widely praised by users around the world.

During FY 2003, NAL will

conduct studies to assess areas for implementation and change.

revise document delivery procedures in response to analysis of customer data.

investigate new opportunities for providing service through the information centers based on customer information needs and satisfaction.

During FY 2004, NAL will

within OMB guidelines, use the Web presence to collect customer feedback and demographic information in order to provide improved services.

expand customers’ ability to track their document delivery activity.

During FY 2005, NAL will

make changes in Web offerings to increase customer satisfaction.

analyze usage data and customize services in response.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.3:  Develop and improve NAL information delivery systems.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

continue to develop and improve its Web-based information delivery systems, including the National Agricultural Library Digital Desktop Initiative.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  A new Web-based online database for announcing “Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA” (JIA) was implemented to replace the publication of annual List of Journals Indexed.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Current information on journals selected for inclusion in AGRICOLA is available to customers more quickly and in a more convenient form with more access points.

identify system to expand direct patron access to items in NAL collection.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  DDSB worked with cooperators and contractors to begin developing a system and using already acquired software to manage its digitized collections and make them widely available on the Web.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Expanding the accessibility by customers to already digitized and newly digitized materials will vastly enhance the ability of scientists and researchers worldwide to perform critical activities.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL implemented the Digital Desktop Library (DigiTop) prototype to assess the feasibility of delivering electronic journals, databases, and other online resources to USDA employees’ desktops worldwide.  NAL coordinated the selection, acquisition and funding mechanisms to provide content for expanding the Digital Desktop Library (DigiTop) prototype to a DigiTop pilot in FY 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Over 7,000 electronic titles have been made available to USDA employees from NAL’s Web site, bringing the most current, full-text content of materials to all USDA users without delay, and new information resources to previously underserved groups within the Department.

increase by 30 percent the total volume of services delivered to NAL customers.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL increased the total volume of direct customer services by more than

40 percent.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  More NAL customers were supplied with more services on a 24/7 basis.

During FY 2003, NAL will

continue to develop and expand the National Agricultural Library Digital Desktop Initiative.

conduct studies to assess areas for improvement and change.

purchase system to expand direct patron access to items in NAL collection.

increase easy access and availability of services delivered to NAL customers.

increase by 20 percent the total volume of services delivered to NAL customers.

During FY 2004, NAL will continue to expand accessibility to digitized collections with an emphasis on USDA publications and manuscript collections.

During FY 2005, NAL will expand linking capabilities from bibliographic resources to full text information.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.4:  Develop an agricultural subject headings thesaurus.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

complete indexing guidelines for use of the new thesaurus in AGRICOLA indexing.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Guidelines for indexing using the new thesaurus were completed.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Guidelines for consistent subject indexing will improve customers’ ability to retrieve relevant citations from AGRICOLA.

map from CAB descriptors to the new thesaurus for subject heading conversion in AGRICOLA.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Mapping from CAB descriptors to the new thesaurus was deferred until January 2003 in order to use the new 2003 edition of the NAL thesaurus during the migration of AGRICOLA to the new Voyager system.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Workload to complete the mapping is reduced by deferring to coincide with data conversion for the new system.

plan for the implementation of the new thesaurus to coincide with the installation of the new electronic library management system.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Plan was developed and will be implemented with the installation of NAL’s new electronic library management system in May 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The application of a richer set of subject terms that can be used to describe new trends appearing in agricultural information resources.

During FY 2003, NAL will

test, evaluate, and incorporate revisions to the thesaurus for indexing publications in AGRICOLA.

evaluate and incorporate revisions to the AGRICOLA indexing guidelines.

complete implementation of the new thesaurus in conjunction with the installation of the new electronic library management system.

During FY 2004, NAL will implement Web services for the NAL Thesaurus.

During FY 2005, NAL will review selected portions of the NAL Thesaurus.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.5:  Increase collaboration via AgNIC (Agriculture Network Information Center).

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

explore and develop collaborations that support inclusion of and access to non-English language materials in AgNIC.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL hosted an intern over the summer of 2002 to help translate into Spanish many of the AgNIC membership documents and meeting notes.  The coordinator began discussions for expansion of membership in several Latin American agricultural research institutes.  One AgNIC partner made progress on developing the database of electronic USDA publications.  This database will also be offered with a Spanish-language interface which will be developed by another AgNIC partner, Antonio Narro University (Saltillo, Mexico).

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Inclusion of expanded Spanish language materials, resources, and information will support the need for agricultural information and research in Latin American countries, Canada, and the United States.

During FY 2003, NAL will promote the development of an expanded, distributed database structure through the AgNIC alliance.

During FY 2004, NAL will support completion of the open source AgNIC portal and content management system to provide streamlined access for developing subject resources by land grant partners and others.

During FY 2005, NAL will promote expanded participation, development, and additional non-English language resources through the AgNIC partnerships.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.6:  Develop NAL programs and services for previously underserved audiences.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

implement an innovative outreach program to improve library interaction with minority, disabled, and other underserved customers.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL’s Special Collections added eight American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant finding aids (indexes to the content of manuscript collections) to the NAL Web site.  In addition, NAL played a significant role in the “International Screwworm Symposium” and the “30th Anniversary Celebration of the Mexican-American Commission for the Eradication of the Screwworm” held in Tuxtla, Mexico.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Publicizing the Screwworm Eradication Collection at this international event has resulted in multiple contacts from researchers willing to donate their research and manuscript collections to NAL.  In addition, the use of the Collection has gone up dramatically as patrons around the world are made aware of this valuable material.

increase staff sensitivity and ability to serve minority, disabled, and other underserved customers.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Staff participated in training courses about diversity issues, including training in making Web-based information services ADA compliant.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Staff was better equipped to serve minority, disabled, and other underserved customers.

expand library orientations and training for customers in underrepresented groups.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL made presentations to the Asian-Pacific American Network in Agriculture (APANA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) 5th National Conference of African American Librarians, the Medgar Evers College (MEC) Partnership Steering Committee, and the Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Fellows.  NAL exhibited at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Education Braintrust Technology Expo and the BCALA.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The presentations and exhibits increased awareness of NAL’s resources and the ability to access them.

The CSREES Fellows expressed strong interest in having NAL conduct workshops on information resources for the University of Guam and in partnering with NAL on distance education concerns, and in working with NAL to increase representation of faculty published research results in the AGRICOLA database.

The CBC Education Braintrust forum provided training on being a cyberjournalist and information about civic activities related to education and technology, engaged decision makers in dialogue, acquired media literacy skills, and observed testimony in the Rayburn House Office Building on key issues impacting education such as school vouchers, facilities and access to computers.  The NetGeneration of Youth (NGY) is a national youth leadership initiative of the Education Technology ThinkTank (ET) that develops youth to assume leadership in the 21st century.

During FY 2003, NAL will

continue to expand and improve outreach programs to underserved audiences.

evaluate programs and services developed and implemented in prior years for underserved audiences to determine whether program goals and objectives were met.

During FY 2004, NAL will

evaluate its outreach programs and services to determine whether program goals were met.

expand the availability of non-English language translations of NAL information resources.

During FY 2005, NAL will

evaluate its outreach programs and services to determine whether program goals were met.

expand access to previously unpublished material related to specific minority audiences.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.1.7:  Support increased diversity in librarianship and information management.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

implement diversity program plan strategies to recruit and maintain minority candidates locally, regionally and nationally.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL identified several fellowship programs through which to recruit, mentor, and train minority information professionals.  NAL provided employment opportunities to minority college students that enabled participants to increase their knowledge of food and agricultural information resources and about careers in librarianship and information science.  NAL continued discussion with interagency groups, academia and professional associations to identify partnership opportunities to attract high-quality minority library and information professionals.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The ability to utilize these programs, pending receipt of funding, will improve NAL recruitment and minority professionals’ leadership development efforts.

explore innovative approaches for funding NAL minority fellowship programs that provide career opportunities for librarians and information professionals from underrepresented groups.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL continued to explore innovative approaches for funding for NAL minority fellowship program that provide career opportunities for librarians and information professionals from underrepresented groups.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The ability to utilize these programs, pending receipt of funding, will positively impact recruitment and minority professionals’ leadership development efforts.

During FY 2003, NAL will establish a two-year fellowship/scholarship position.

During FY 2004, NAL will

continue to mentor minority librarians and information professionals through professional associations, partnerships, and other leadership and career development programs.

provide a fellowship opportunity for an information professional from an underrepresented group.

continue to provide internships for high school and college students from underrepresented groups to expose them to library and information management career opportunities.

During FY 2005, NAL will continue its work with interagency groups, academia, and professional associations to implement partnerships (fellowship program) to attract high-quality library and information professionals from underrepresented groups.

STRATEGY 6.2.2:  Strengthen National Agricultural Library Operations:  Anticipate and provide information products and services, including educational programs, that enable NAL's diverse customers to identify, locate, and obtain desired information on agricultural topics.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.1:  Expand acquisition of information in all formats by NAL.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will continue to make a transition from print to electronic access.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL implemented the Digital Desktop Library (DigiTop) prototype to assess the feasibility of delivering electronic journals, databases and other online resources to USDA employees’ desktops worldwide.  NAL coordinated the selection, acquisition and funding mechanisms to provide content for expanding the Digital Desktop Library (DigiTop) prototype to a DigiTop pilot in FY 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Over 7,000 electronic titles have been made available to USDA employees from NAL’s Web site, bringing the most current, full-text content to all USDA users without delay, and new information resources to previously underserved groups within the Department.

During FY 2003, NAL will

adopt and develop standard linking mechanisms for ensuring continued access to electronic resources from AGRICOLA.

continue retrospective conversion of collection records not yet represented in AGRICOLA.

During FY 2004, NAL will continue to make a transition from print to electronic access.

During FY 2005, NAL will adopt and develop standard linking mechanisms for ensuring continued access to electronic resources from AGRICOLA.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.2:  Gain space for collection growth.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

complete conversion of the 5th floor of the NAL building from office space to a “stack” and special collections floor.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Construction was started and will be completed in June 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  No materials can be moved to the new state-of-the-art facility until construction is completed.

occupy the renovated 5th floor, thereby removing the most rare and fragile collection materials from the general stacks.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The construction on the 5th floor, will not be completed until June 2003, therefore no materials have been moved.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  There is generalized crowding and a lack of appropriate environmental controls in the areas where these materials are stored.  This will continue until construction is completed and the materials are moved.

shift the entire collection as a result, making room for collection growth to last a projected fifteen years.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The shift has not been performed and will not take place until at least FY 2005 due to the delays in construction on the 5th floor.  Selective weeding of duplicates and out-of-scope materials has been performed in order to make as much room for new materials as possible.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The stacks are “full” and materials are being shelved out of order until the 5th floor is completed and the special collections materials moved on to that floor.

During FY 2003, NAL will continue to shift the collection to make room for growth sufficient for a projected fifteen years.

During FY 2004, NAL will acquire shelving for the renovated 5th floor and initiate the movement of collections to that location.

During FY 2005, NAL will shift the entire collection, redistributing the general collection to allow for growth, following completion of the move onto the 5th floor (subject to the availability of funding).

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.3:  Preserve and secure collections. 

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

remove the most valuable materials from the general stacks and place them in an area specially designed to provide higher security.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  None of the materials that will eventually be housed on the 5th floor were moved because construction is not yet completed.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The most valuable materials are already housed in a secure area so there is no immediate impact, other than crowding and lack of a proper environment.

move special collections and other material collections to the newly renovated 5th floor.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  None of the materials that will eventually be housed on the 5th floor were moved because construction is not yet completed.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  None.

complete the conversion of the Agent Orange collection to a digital presentation on the Web.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The entire Agent Orange collection has been scanned and the template for Web access is in the design phase with expected completion in May 2003.  The finding aid (the index) has been completed and loaded on to the Web with a small number of full text links to other collections.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  A significant increase in the number of requests related to the subject matter have been received and the publicity surrounding its availability has improved NAL’s reputation as a national archive of important manuscript collections.

continue to ensure that security surrounding special collections is appropriate.  In addition, security of the building will be readdressed to assess and correct areas of vulnerability.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL had a security assessment conducted in May 2002 as part of a contract that included all of ARS.  As a result, security upgrades will be made at NAL with appropriated funds on a Departmental contract.  Included in the contract is additional security (including cameras) of special collections.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Special collections and other areas of NAL will receive security upgrades that will further protect staff, building, and the collections.

During FY 2003, NAL will

develop a preservation policy document, which includes traditional paper-based and digital preservation.

identify specific significant projects for digital preservation, which will enhance delivery of information to users.

continue to seek ways of ensuring integrity, security, and environment of all NAL collections.

During FY 2004, NAL will

move collections requiring specialized environmental controls and the highest level of security to the renovated 5th floor.

develop a preservation policy document that includes traditional paper-based and digital preservation.

During FY 2005, NAL will

continue to digitize valuable collections to preserve and secure originals.

identify specific significant projects for digital preservation that will enhance delivery of information to users.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.4:  Increase number of AGRICOLA records.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will increase the number of records in AGRICOLA by 75,000.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The number of records added to AGRICOLA increased to over 78,000.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Access to current agricultural information resources, in print and electronic form, was increased by adding more than 4 million records to the database.

During FY 2003, NAL will increase the number of records in AGRICOLA by 65,000.

During FY 2004, NAL will increase the number of records in AGRICOLA by at least 65,000.

During FY 2005, NAL will increase the number of records in AGRICOLA by at least 65,000.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.5:  Increase links to full-text electronic content in the AGRICOLA database.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will continue the implementation of AGRICOLA as the database index to ARS digital publications.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Activities involving the implementation of AGRICOLA as the database index to ARS digital publications was deferred until after the installation of the new electronic library management system in 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  No guaranteed long-term access to the published record of ARS research is in a single database.

During FY 2003, NAL will

increase links to full text electronic content in the AGRICOLA database.

ensure that more digitally preserved items are available to more remote users.

During FY 2004, NAL will implement new procedures to capture electronic versions of USDA authored articles for indexing.

During FY 2005, NAL will implement open systems linking techniques to incorporate digital objects in AGRICOLA retrieval.


PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.6:  Continue modernization of the Abraham Lincoln Building.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

complete conversion of the 5th floor from office space to a “stack” and special collections floor.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Construction was started on the 5th floor from office space to a “stack” and will be completed in June 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  When completed, the most rare and valuable treasures of the NAL Special Collections will be housed in a state-of-the-art facility, secured for future generations.

procure A&E services for office space, which is the next phase of the renovation.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL continued to focus on repair and maintenance.  Using repair and maintenance (R&M) funds, the following projects were awarded: electrical upgrade, design of sprinkler system for floors 4 and below, and design of plumbing system and restrooms.  Remaining funds were used for repair of existing equipment.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  When completed in FY 2003, the 30-year electrical system will be updated, thus preventing dangerous power surges that could destroy equipment, and lengthy power outages due to equipment not being available to fix the system.

continue to utilize R&M funds appropriated by Congress to upgrade/replace infrastructure projects.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Installing a sprinkler system for floors 4 and below will meet NARA standards to achieve archive status and protect staff and materials on these floors.  Sprinkler systems will be installed on the other floors as renovation proceeds.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Numerous problems have occurred due to the aging plumbing system.  Replacement and renovating restrooms will alleviate pressure issues.

During FY 2003, NAL will

construct and modernize the ground and first floor with Buildings and Facilities (B&F) funds.

continue to utilize R&M funds appropriated by Congress to upgrade/replace infrastructure projects.

upgrade and modernize the plumbing system and tower restrooms.

During FY 2004, NAL will

modernize the ground and first floor with B&F funds.

correct life safety issued with B&F funds.

continue sprinkler system installation using R&M funds.

continue to utilize R&M funds appropriated by Congress to maintain building functions.

continue to implement upgrades recommended by USDA security assessment.

During FY 2005, NAL will

continue the ground and first floor modernizations with B&F funds.

begin window replacements with B&F funds.

continue to utilize R&M funds appropriated by Congress to maintain building functions.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.7:  Ensure systematic upgrade of NAL equipment.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will implement life cycle tracking and upgrades for all NAL computer equipment.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  All workstations at NAL were upgraded to accommodate migration to the Windows 200 operating system.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  All staff and public use workstations are now capable of fully functioning when the new electronic library management system is implemented in FY 2003.

During FY 2003, NAL will evaluate and monitor computer life cycle management.

During FY 2004, NAL will evaluate and monitor computer life cycle management.

During FY 2005, NAL will evaluate and monitor computer life cycle management.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.8:  Ensure security of NAL data and equipment.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will continue to evaluate and implement security measures as needed.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Established NAL Standing Security Committee to address cybersecurity, building security, and collections security.

Developed disaster recovery plans for facilities, collections, and IT infrastructure.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  With established procedures in place, NAL is much less likely to suffer losses in the event of a disaster.

During FY 2003, NAL will continue to evaluate and implement security measures as needed.

During FY 2004, NAL will continue to evaluate and implement security measures as needed.

During FY 2005, NAL will continue to evaluate and implement security measures as needed.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.9:  Implement new electronic library management system with minimal disruption to NAL customers and staff/operations.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

procure an electronic library management system.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Endeavor’s Voyager library system was purchased in April 2002.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  NAL will work with Endeavor staff to complete the migration and installation of the new system by May 2003, at which time NAL will have more integrated data to manage internal operations and an improved Web-based public access catalog for delivery of information resources to all customers.

develop system migration plans from Virginia Tech Library Systems (VTLS) to a new electronic library management system.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  NAL developed plans for the conversion of all bibliographic, holdings, and authority data from the VTLS system to the new Voyager platform.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  NAL will be able to bring up the new system with full functionality and no corruption of data.  This will ensure that the customers will easily and reliably locate information on NAL’s resources through the Web.

implement a new electronic library management system to provide a state-of-the-art online catalog.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Implementation planning for final installation and conversion will begin in 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  NAL will work with Endeavor staff to complete the migration and installation of the new system by May 2003, at which time NAL will have more integrated data to manage internal operations and an improved Web-based public access catalog for delivery of information resources to all customers.

During FY 2003, NAL will continue to implement the electronic library management system to provide a state-of-the-art online catalog and maximum access to NAL collections and services.

During FY 2004, NAL will select the open URL management system for addition to the Voyager library system.

During FY 2005, NAL will enhance the library management system for federated searching of multiple databases.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.10:  Refine NAL administrative and business processes, organizational structures, and functions.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will

continue to seek opportunities to streamline administrative services.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  An electrician was hired to address minor electrical issues within the building and backup the other maintenance engineer.  A facilities team was established within the administrative office to ensure that engineering/maintenance issues were addressed as a team.  An additional budget and fiscal team was established to co-ordinate support for travel, budget and accounting.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Hiring of the electrician will reduce contracting time and costs for administrative services.  Establishment of teams will ensure a more efficient organization.

implement improved disaster preparedness policies and procedures.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Developed disaster recovery plans for facilities, collections and IT infrastructure.

Developed NAL’s Continuance of Operations Plan for inclusion in the ARS COOP plan.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  With established procedures in place, NAL is much less likely to suffer losses in the event of a disaster.

During FY 2003, NAL will continue to refine disaster preparedness policies and procedures.

During FY 2004, NAL will

continue to seek opportunities to streamline administrative services, such as budget and procurement.

continue to refine disaster preparedness policies and procedures.

During FY 2005, NAL will continue to refine disaster preparedness policies and procedures.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.11:  Develop NAL Intranet.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will continue expansion of Intranet functionalities.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Completing priorities delayed the development of a full-fledged Intranet to

FY 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  NAL’s ability to conduct business was not significantly affected.

During FY 2003, NAL will continue expansion of Intranet functionalities.

During FY 2004, NAL will continue expansion of Intranet capabilities.

During FY 2005, NAL will continue expansion of Intranet capabilities.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.12:  Ensure equitable opportunities for NAL staff development.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will ensure that each staff member receives adequate training to support his or her function.  Staff members will also be given career enhancement opportunities, such as details, shadowing assignments, and agency leadership development programs.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Various NAL staff took advantage of leadership development, career enhancement, and other various training opportunities.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Staff learned new skill that can be utilized in their current positions and for future opportunities.

During FY 2003, NAL will ensure that each staff member receives adequate training to support his or her function.  Staff members will also be given career enhancement opportunities, such as details, shadowing assignments, and agency leadership development programs.

During FY 2004, NAL will ensure that each staff member receives adequate training to support his or her function.  Staff members will also be given career enhancement opportunities such as details, shadowing assignments, and agency leadership development programs.

During FY 2005, NAL will ensure that each staff member receives adequate training to support his or her function.  Staff members will also be given career enhancement opportunities such as details, shadowing assignments, and agency leadership development programs.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.2.2.13:  Implement NAL staff succession plan.   


Indicators:

During FY 2002, NAL will provide opportunities for employees to gain leadership experience through acting, detail, and shadowing assignments, as well as attending management meetings, whenever possible.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Various NAL staff members took advantage of leadership development, career enhancement, and various other training opportunities.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Although the official succession planning process was not developed, the staff had opportunities for training.  In FY 2003, workforce planning will be a primary focus.

During FY 2003, NAL will

continue implementation of detailed staff succession plan.

provide opportunities for employees to gain leadership experience through acting, detail, and shadowing assignments, as well as attending management meetings, whenever possible.

During FY 2004, NAL will continue implementation of detailed staff succession plan.

During FY 2005, NAL will continue implementation of detailed staff succession plan.

OBJECTIVE 6.3:  Creative leadership: “Promote excellence, relevance, and recognition of agricultural research through creative leadership in management and development of resources, communications systems, and partnerships with our customers and stakeholders.”

STRATEGY 6.3.1:  Develop research agenda:  Identify ARS program priorities and core research capabilities and use them to provide leadership in developing national research agendas.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.1.1:  Annual conferences of public and private individuals are convened to discuss major researchable issues in agriculture and articulate approaches to addressing these problems.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will convene a number of programmatic workshops and conferences to ensure continuing customer/stakeholder input into the ARS research agenda.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  While the initial series of National Program Workshops were completed at the end of FY 2000, ARS has continued to convene programmatic workshops and conferences involving customers, stakeholders, and scientists to focus on new, emerging, or reemerging issues.  In FY 2002, ARS conducted 14 such workshops.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  ARS workshops and conferences ensure the continued relevancy of the agency’s research activities.

During FY 2003, ARS will convene a number of programmatic workshops and conferences to ensure continuing customer/stakeholder input into the ARS research agenda.

During FY 2004, ARS will convene a number of programmatic workshops and conferences to ensure continuing customer/stakeholder input into the ARS research agenda.

During FY 2005, ARS will convene a number of programmatic workshops and conferences to ensure continuing customer/stakeholder input into the ARS research agenda.

STRATEGY 6.3.2:  Civil rights:  The ARS Civil Rights Staff (CRS) recognizes that systematic communication is important as a means of ensuring that its services meet the expectations and needs of its customers and stakeholders, including managers, supervisors, and employees.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.2.1:  Recommendations are implemented and processes and practices are modified as appropriate.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will monitor results of meetings for effectiveness.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS is continuing to monitor results of various informational meetings and recruitment activities organized and/or attended by the public and USDA employees to ensure that programs and opportunities are made available in the area of agricultural research.  In this regard, ARS continues to sponsor and co-sponsor international and national symposia and exhibits, attend meetings and workshops at State level and with small farmer organizations, and conducts lectures at 1890 and 1862 land-grant colleges and universities.  In addition, ARS is involved in research projects with universities related to the Navajo Nation.

One such project is a collaborative research project with Utah State University Extension Service.  In this project, ARS research chemists analyzed the water in the Navajo Nation to determine the level of calcium.  They also worked to determine the total intake of water per person.  The purpose was to assist in improving the calcium intake in the diet of the Navajo Nation to help prevent hip fractures, etc.  ARS also collected Native dishes, analyzed and added data to National Nutrition Data Base.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Information is used in various surveys to plan school lunches, to calculate calories in food, as well as fatty acid, etc.  The Navajo community has used this information to develop menus for senior centers and to reincorporate native foods back into the diet of seniors.  ARS employees have worked with Utah State University to train professionals in the Navajo senior centers in assessing glucose levels to detect people who have diabetes.  The Navajo community is learning more about USDA/ARS and nutrition and health through this research project.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Animal Disease Research Unit (ADRU) has sent a scientist to the Navajo Reservation following diagnosis of scrapie in a flock owned by Chinle High School.  In collaboration with USDA-APHIS-VS, training in live animal testing was provided to the Navajo Nation veterinarians.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  This testing helped the high school comply with the APHIS flock plan so that restrictions on housing and movement of sheep were eliminated.  ADRU has subsequently supported a program conducted by the Nation's veterinarian to perform live animal testing and genetic susceptibility testing.  Sheep resistant to the disease are given special ear tags.  This program will provide assistance to the sheep-producing community and help ensure that it is able to sell sheep in markets off the reservation.

The Navajo Nation is eligible to continue participating in pilot scrapie eradication programs and is now eligible to participate in pilot programs for chronic wasting disease surveillance testing.  Eventually, the Nation should be able to perform testing in their laboratory.

ARS’ location interacts with D-Q University (DQU), which has affiliation with numerous Tribes, possibly including the Navajo.  This interaction began with participation this summer with the summer student intern program.  The interactions will likely continue between DQU and the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Tree Fruit/Nut Crops and Grapes Unit.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) continue through cooperative research grants, collaborative projects, Capacity Building Grants, and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU).  One such MOU research grant is, “A Model Integrated Small Farm for the United States, Caribbean and Pacific Islands.” The objective of this research is to create a model small farm that combines the strengths of traditional integrated tropical agriculture with a modern focus on niche, value-added market opportunities to produce a commercial enterprise that is an example of a profitable agribusiness.  The whole-farm system integrates aquaculture, vegetable and fruit tree production, livestock, and poultry in an enterprise grossing $100,000 annually.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The technology developed in this project will be disseminated to a large community of HBCUs and small farmers through field days, print, radio, television, and the Cooperative Extension Service to assist in strengthening their knowledge of tropical agricultural and impact the economic growth.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Beginning in FY 2002, the ARS Civil Rights Staff (CRS) established new initiatives to improve recruitment of minorities in agricultural research occupations, and to increase retention of college students for full time career opportunities.  A primary objective of this new initiative is to attract students at an early stage of their education, and to support student development in agricultural and food sciences through cooperative arrangements with educational institutions. 

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Team members completed negotiations with Miami Dade Community College (MDCC), Miami, Florida, to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) implementing a program of cooperation in support of the following objectives and mutual interests: 1) Provide MDCC students experiential learning opportunities in ARS research laboratories and exposure to career opportunities in ARS; 2) Develop and conduct cooperative research projects of mutual interest; 3) Facilitate outreach activities between the parties to increase MDCC student awareness and appreciation for the science of agricultural research and ARS accomplishments.  This program is ongoing.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue to monitor results of various informational meetings and recruitment activities organized and/or attended by the public and USDA employees to ensure that programs and opportunities are made available in the area of agricultural research.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue to monitor results of various informational meetings and recruitment activities organized and/or attended by the public and USDA employees to ensure that programs and opportunities are made available in the area of agricultural research.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue to monitor results of various informational meetings and recruitment activities organized and/or attended by the public and USDA employees to ensure that programs and opportunities are made available in the area of agricultural research.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.2.2:  ARS managers, supervisors, and employees are better informed on EEO/CR issues.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will monitor both Web pages for effectiveness and updates.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The Web pages are kept up-to-date.  In addition, the ARS Civil Rights Director stresses the importance of the Department and ARS’ continued commitment to EEO/CR issues at quarterly ARS Administrator’s Council meetings.  During the Annual Resource Management Plan (ARMPS) reviews, managers and supervisors give the status reports of EEO/CR programs and initiatives in their areas.  In addition, the Area Directors identify future programs and initiatives related to this performance goal.  Documentation of the following EEO/CR initiatives continued to be required in the Annual Resource Management Plans submitted by each Area management unit:

  • Program collaborations/outreach with underserved producers/agricultural groups/minority serving institutions.
  • Activities being taken to recruit, hire, train, and promote employees from diverse backgrounds.
  • Efforts and contracts with minority, women-owned, and small or disadvantaged businesses.
  • Technology transfer activities with minority, women-owned, and small and disadvantaged businesses.

The senior staffs continually emphasize the responsibility shared by each employee to ensure a professional environment that is free from discrimination and sexual harassment.  Concerted efforts are made to ensure that all employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities.  EEO posters are all current and names and phone numbers of EEO contacts at ARS Headquarters are posted in all Areas and locations/units.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  ARS initiated recruitment objectives are based on the FY 2001 Affirmative Employment Program Report and the number of agency vacancies.  The objectives were communicated to management with the requirement to form a collective group to maximize the potential of all employees, develop a broader recruitment resource pool, and work to achieve diversity at all levels.

A team of civil rights employees has been working to analyze reports to determine areas of under representation.  Results showed underrepresented minorities.  Some recommended solutions included: providing additional funding for mentors in the Research Apprenticeship and Summer Intern programs; developing an Area-sponsored Fellowship proposal for the targeted minorities, women, and persons with disabilities; and encouraging and selecting diverse candidates for the ARS executive leadership development program – Professional Excellence and Knowledge (PEAK).

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS continues to integrate EEO/CR responsibilities throughout the agency to perpetuate the EEO/CR leadership responsibilities of each research leader and assimilate EEO/CR principles into the management methodology of each management unit. 

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Wide distribution of the Secretary’s and ARS’ Civil Rights policies were made available using the Web site, emails, and postings on bulletin boards to ensure that all employees are made aware of the policy and their responsibilities.  New employees receive information on civil rights and diversity issues, either through presentations or paper copies in their new employee orientation packets and supervisors are asked   to certify that the employees have read the materials and are aware of these policies.  ARS employees also participated in civil rights online training this fiscal year.  Civil rights training is stressed with high importance not only to employees, but to USDA customers as well.  All employees, managers, supervisors, and contractors are required to participate in annual civil rights training.  Training allows employees and customers alike to be educated about barriers and discrimination within the workplace.  All ARS employees were provided with online civil rights annual training again in 2002.  Other training in the Area Offices included educational videos and participation in small group discussions, reading pamphlets distributed by the Department/agency, etc.  In addition, Civil Rights Staff representatives attended and make presentations at the biannual Research Leader Meetings as well as other annual meetings and training sessions. 

During FY 2003, ARS will

continue to monitor both Web pages and hire a Web page specialist for continuous improvements and design.

pursue an aggressive program of facilitated training to ensure all employees are aware of applicable Federal laws, regulations, and guidelines related to the employment and treatment of ARS’ workforce.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue to pursue an aggressive program of facilitated training to ensure all employees are aware of applicable Federal laws, regulations, and guidelines related to the employment and treatment of ARS’ workforce.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue to pursue an aggressive program of facilitated training to ensure all employees are aware of applicable Federal laws, regulations, and guidelines related to the employment and treatment of its workforce.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.2.3:  Recommendations resulting from the agency wide on-site EEO compliance review are implemented.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will monitor the results of the implementation activities to ensure that all activities have been carried out.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS completed impartial compliance review of its EEO programs on September 30, 2001.  ARS was found to be in compliance with equal opportunity and Civil Rights employment requirements for the period reviewed – October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999, and October 1, 1999 through September 12, 2000.  All of the programs reviewed were found to be in compliance and the monitoring and evaluation systems and work environment pertaining to equal opportunity and Civil Rights employment were also in compliance, as was the handing of employment complaints.  In the seven instances of noncompliance requiring corrective actions, ARS Civil Rights Staff worked with appropriate personnel to implement corrective actions.  As of February 13, 2002, all corrected actions noted in the review were completed.

ARS continues to focus its efforts on outreach efforts for all vacancies.  In some parts of the country where Area Offices are located, recruitment and retention of minorities is challenging.  Outreach efforts are extensive and professional positions are advertised in a variety of publications not previously used.  Contacts are also made with a wide variety of recruitment sources, including minority colleges and universities, and organizations representing workers with disabilities. 

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Recruitment objectives were established for the first time based on the FY 2001 Affirmative Employment Program Report, availability of candidates, and number of vacancies.  The objectives were communicated to the management staff and it was advised to work as a collective group to maximize the potential of all employees, develop a broader recruitment resource pool, and work to achieve diversity at all grade levels.  One Area Office reported that 19 percent of the new hires/conversions met the recruitment goals of that Area. To achieve this goal, the Area Office promoted attendance at career fairs at minority-serving institutions that had not previously been visited by ARS employees.  As a result, one student was hired to complete a required co-op experience during the summer; summer intern positions were advertised, and students were hired.  In addition, ARS was represented for the first time at two PhD Career Fairs at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago to draw attention to research vacancies in ARS, particularly in the areas of biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular biology or genetics and to broaden student’s perspectives about the scientific research being conducted in ARS.  Many students commented that they were unaware of ARS and/or the availability of jobs in ARS that were “non-agricultural degrees” positions.  ARS has a program manager who is responsible for ensuring that the agency meets its disability goals and ensure that these disabled individuals have equal access and the tools they need to perform their jobs.

During FY 2003, ARS will

continue to monitor the results of the implementation activities to ensure that all activities have been carried out.

institutionalize equal opportunity, equity, and diversity in all agency activities.  Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities will be integrated into all occupational groups, grade levels, and organizational units; hold significant project, program, and senior management positions; and be in the pool of outstanding talent from which candidates are selected.

During FY 2004, ARS will

continue to monitor the results of the implementation activities to ensure that all activities have been carried out.

institutionalize equal opportunity, equity, and diversity in all agency activities.  Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities will be integrated into all occupational groups, grade levels, and organizational units; hold significant project, program, and senior management positions; and be in the pool of outstanding talent from which candidates are selected.

During FY 2005, ARS will

continue to monitor the results of the implementation activities to ensure that all activities have been carried out

institutionalize equal opportunity, equity, and diversity in all agency activities.  Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities will be integrated into all occupational groups, grade levels, and organizational units; hold significant project, program, and senior management positions; and be in the pool of outstanding talent from which candidates are selected.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.2.4:  A comprehensive, fully integrated system is installed to assist in analyzing workforce profiles, analyzing adverse impacts, and monitoring every aspect of discrimination complaint processing.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will evaluate the system to determine its effectiveness.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Each quarter and annually, a comprehensive Affirmative Employment Program Report analysis is conducted on the workforce profiling the agency and each of the eight Area Offices in an attempt to continuously monitor every aspect of recruitments, employments, promotions, and individuals leaving ARS.  In addition, weekly and monthly reports are provided to top management on the discrimination complaint process and a periodic analysis is conducted to determine the adverse impacts.

Using the FY 2001 Affirmative Employment Program Report, a team of civil rights employees has been working to analyze this report and other relevant reports to determine areas of under representation.   Results showed under representation of minorities in the mid and senior level positions.  Some recommended solutions included:  Providing additional funding for mentors in the Research Apprenticeship and Summer Intern programs to get more minorities in the pipeline; developing an Area-sponsored Fellowship proposal for the targeted minorities, women, and persons with disabilities; and encouraging and selecting diverse candidates for the ARS executive leadership development program – PEAK to prepare current employees to be promoted into higher level positions.

The goal of ARS is to increase the number of minorities and women entering careers in the food and agricultural sciences and retain minorities who are recruited and selected.  In order to increase outreach, ARS Area Offices promote participation in Career Fairs, briefings to secondary and post-secondary schools, serving as mentors and/or judges for science fairs, providing extensive outreach and advertising with minority based organizations when recruiting for open positions, participating in events of minority focused organizations, developing additional programs which provide ARS with the opportunity to employ candidates from underrepresented groups, increasing emphasis on recruitment of persons with disabilities, and counseling selecting officials on the benefits of less rigid selection criteria for positions and built-in safety nets (i.e., longer probationary periods for those hired under special authorities for the handicapped). 

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Additional attention is being given to targeted employment of underrepresented groups through recruitment sources and preparing current employees to be promoted to higher-level positions.  ARS has promoted an African-American male to the position of Deputy Administrator, Administrative and Financial Management and hired an Asian-American male as the Director, National Agricultural Library.

During FY 2003, ARS will

analyze workforce profiles, and identify problems and barriers to upward mobility for minorities and women.

analyze the informal and formal complaints to identify systemic, reoccurring areas, and hold appropriate personnel accountable for correcting and changing behaviors.

During FY 2004, ARS will

analyze workforce profiles, and identify problems and barriers to upward mobility for minorities and women.

analyze the informal and formal complaints to identify systemic, reoccurring areas, and hold appropriate personnel accountable for correcting and changing behaviors.

During FY 2005, ARS will

analyze workforce profiles, and identify problems and barriers to upward mobility for minorities and women.

analyze the informal and formal complaints to identify systemic, reoccurring areas, and hold appropriate personnel accountable for correcting and changing behaviors.

STRATEGY 6.3.3:  Management of facilities:  Provide appropriately equipped Federal facilities required to support the research and information activities of ARS into the next century.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.3.1:  Criteria and priorities are identified.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will continue its construction, modernization, and repair and maintenance program by updating the ARS facilities modernization plan and requested funding for construction, modernization, and repair and maintenance needs.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS developed a priority list of projects requiring Modernization and Construction (M&C) and Repair and Maintenance (R&M) funding.  ARS received $118,987,000 for M&C and $18,222,000 in R&M funding.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  With these improved facilities, ARS scientists have available state-of-the-art facilities in which to conduct research.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue its efforts to identify Modernization and Construction (M&C) and Repair and Maintenance (R&M) funding needs by updating the ARS facilities modernization plan.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue its efforts to identify M&C and R&M funding needs by updating the ARS facilities modernization plan.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue its efforts to identify M&C and R&M funding needs by updating the ARS facilities modernization plan.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.3.2:  Priority projects are proposed for funding in ARS annual building and facility request.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will identify facilities to be modernized and constructed in accordance with mission priorities.  These projects will be forwarded to the Department for B&F funding consideration.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS forwarded to the Department a request for $297,520,000 in new B&F funding to address facility needs.  Of this amount, Congress eventually appropriated $118,987,000 for new construction and facilities modernization at priority locations.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  With these improved facilities, ARS scientists have available state-of-the-art facilities in which to conduct research.  In addition, the employee work environment will meet all safety and health requirements.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue to identify priority ARS building needs for consideration.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue to identify priority ARS building needs for consideration.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue to identify priority ARS building needs for consideration.

STRATEGY 6.3.4:  Maintenance of core research capabilities:  Develop and implement comprehensive human resource systems and other administrative and financial support systems and policies to support and enhance ARS’ core research capabilities, while maintaining the flexibility to shift research and form interdisciplinary teams to address emerging problems.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.4.1:  Identify core capability requirements and develop a scientific staff to meet long-term research needs.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will continue to conduct consolidated scientist recruitment and provide orientation and training for scientists and research leaders.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  An aggressive program for recruitment of scientists was continued.  In November 2002, ARS achieved the goal of 2,100 research scientists.

Thirty-five new Research Leaders attended the New Research Leader Training Program.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Core scientific capability of ARS is ensured by the continued hiring of bench research scientists.  Research Leader training provides the agency with leadership and supervisory competencies to lead and direct research programs.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue to conduct consolidated scientist recruitment and provide orientation and training for scientists and research leaders.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue to conduct consolidated scientist recruitment and provide orientation and training for scientists and research leaders.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue to conduct consolidated scientist recruitment and provide orientation and training for scientists and research leaders.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.4.2:  Train postdoctoral students through the ARS Research Associate Program and competitively select 10 percent each year to fill full-time positions.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will continue its Research Associate Program as a source of qualified candidates for its permanent research positions.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS employed a total of 357 postdocs.  Thirty-four of these postdocs were appointed to permanent positions through the competitive process during the fiscal year.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The Research Associate Program provides a viable source of qualified candidates for ARS permanent research scientist positions.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue its Research Associate Program as a source of qualified candidates for its permanent research positions.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue its Research Associate Program as a source of qualified candidates for its permanent research positions.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue its Research Associate Program as a source of qualified candidates for its permanent research positions.

STRATEGY 6.3.5:  Provide administrative support to REE: Serve as the lead agency in providing administrative and financial management services for Research, Education, and Economics (REE) headquarters and field locations.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.5.1:  Customer and employee participation in planning processes.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will continue to review the need for revisions to the AFM Strategic Plan and seek customer, employee, and stakeholder input to the planning process.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  The ARS Facilities Division (FD) solicited customer/employee/stakeholder input when developing the FD Business Plan (Administrative and Financial Management Strategic Planning Process).

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  The input was used by the planning process steering committee to develop Business Plan goals focused on meeting ARS needs.

During FY 2003, ARS/FD will continue to solicit customer/employee/stakeholder input when developing future Business Plans or developing or revising processes or procedures.

During FY 2004, ARS/FD will continue to solicit customer/employee/stakeholder input when developing future Business Plans or developing or revising processes or procedures.

During FY 2005, ARS/FD will continue to solicit customer/employee/stakeholder input when developing future Business Plans or developing or revising processes or procedures.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.5.2:  Strategic plan is developed and communicated to REE customers and employees.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will continue to implement the revised Strategic Plan reflecting the priorities of REE customers and employees.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Task completed.  The ARS/AFM Council adopted and implemented a revised Strategic Plan on June 1, 2003.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.5.3:  Formal feedback is solicited from REE customers.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will conduct written customer service surveys, meet regularly with REE agency administrators, conduct customer focus group sessions, and solicit customer feedback through the AFM Web site.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  A comprehensive review of AFM customer services was completed in FY 2001.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:

STRATEGY 6.3.6:  Program Excellence and Relevance:  Ensure excellence and relevance to ARS National Programs through peer reviews of research projects.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.6.1:  Panel peer reviews are conducted on all research projects before implementation and subsequently every five years.  The majority of the peer reviewers are external to ARS.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will panel peer review approximately 250 research projects.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS panel reviewed 150 projects.  (Several panels that were originally scheduled for 2002 were held over for 2003.)  The majority of reviewers are external.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Each of the associated research teams significantly improved the long-term quality of their research by obtaining input from experts in the field.

During FY 2003, ARS will panel peer review approximately 250 research projects.

During FY 2004, ARS will panel peer review approximately 250 research projects.

During FY 2005, ARS will panel peer review approximately 150 research projects.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.6.2:  Review of the productivity, quality, and impact of individual scientists is conducted as scheduled in the Research Position Evaluation System (RPES).

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will conduct RPES reviews of approximately 370 agency scientists.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  RPES panels conducted mandatory reviews of 378 research positions.

IMPACT/OUTCOME: 

Upgrade                                                      185 (48.9%)

Remain in Grade/Refer to Supergrade            192 (50.8%)

Insufficient Factual Basis                                  0 (0.0%)

Grade/Category Problem                                   1 (0.3%)

During FY 2003, ARS will conduct approximately 380 RPES reviews of research scientists.

During FY 2004, ARS will conduct approximately 460 RPES reviews of research scientists.

During FY 2005, ARS will conduct approximately 450 RPES reviews of research scientists.

STRATEGY 6.3.7:  Improve financial management: ARS/Administrative and Financial Management will support Departmental efforts to improve financial management.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.7.1:  Implement integrated management systems in USDA.

Indicators:

Reporting will begin upon issuance of Departmental evidence on the Foundation of Financial Information System (FFIS) for mandatory use by USDA agencies.

During FY 2002, ARS will

continue to work with the OCFO on the design and modification of the FFIS for use by REE.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS worked with the OCFO to successfully implement the FFIS for the REE agencies.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Each REE agency is fully operational on FFIS.

continue to work with the NFC on implementing new and modernized financial systems for the REE agencies.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS worked with the NFC to successfully implement the FFIS for the REE agencies.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  Each REE agency is fully operational on FFIS.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue to work with the OCFO on improvement and modification of the FFIS for use by REE.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue to work with the OCFO on improvement and modification of the FFIS for use by REE.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue to work with the OCFO on improvement and modification of the FFIS for use by REE.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.7.2:  Correct in a timely manner internal control deficiencies.

Indicators:

Reporting will begin upon issuance of Departmental evidence on the FFIS for mandatory use by USDA agencies.

During FY 2002, ARS will continue compliance with the FMFIA, including the timely completion of audit report recommendations and the timely correction of any FMFIA weaknesses that are identified.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS worked with the OCFO and completed its FMFIA Report and ARS addressed all audit report recommendations.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  No material weaknesses were identified and ARS worked with the OCFO to correct and receive final action approval on all audit findings.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue compliance with the FMFIA, including the timely completion of audit report recommendations and the timely correction of any FMFIA weaknesses that are identified.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue compliance with the FMFIA, including the timely completion of audit report recommendations and the timely correction of any FMFIA weaknesses that are identified.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue compliance with the FMFIA, including the timely completion of audit report recommendations and the timely correction of any FMFIA weaknesses that are identified.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.7.3:  Clean and timely opinions are provided on audited financial statements.

Indicators:

Reporting will begin upon issuance of Departmental evidence on the FFIS for mandatory use by USDA agencies.

During FY 2002, ARS will prepare, review, and certify the yearly consolidated financial statements of the REE agencies as required under the Chief Financial Officers’ (CFO) Act.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS prepared and certified the yearly consolidated financial statements of the REE agencies as required by the CFO Act.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  REE agencies received a clean opinion on the consolidated financial statements from the Office of the Inspector General’s audit.

During FY 2003, ARS will prepare, review, and certify the yearly consolidated financial statements of the REE agencies as required under the CFO Act.

During FY 2004, ARS will prepare, review, and certify the yearly consolidated financial statements of the REE agencies as required under the CFO Act.

During FY 2005, ARS will prepare, review, and certify the yearly consolidated financial statements of the REE agencies as required under the CFO Act.

STRATEGY 6.3.8:  Outreach:  ARS will bring the benefits of research to underserved populations, identify barriers that prevent underserved populations from receiving and using agency-generated knowledge/technology, and increase participation of under-represented groups in agency procurement contracts.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.1:  ARS will identify and generate a comprehensive directory of organizations that serve the underserved who are potential users of ARS research.

Task completed in FY 2000.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.2:  ARS will convene a national outreach workshop that will bring together representatives of underserved populations.

Task completed in November 2000.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.3:  In FY 2001, each ARS Area will convene Area workshops to identify researchable issues of interest to underserved populations

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will undertake or participate in specific outreach activities.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Completed in FY 2001.  Responsibility now rests with Area Offices and ARS locations.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.4:  In FY 2000 (using 1999 data), establish baseline data for extramural agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, and Letters of Agreement with organizations serving historically underserved populations.

Baseline data for extramural agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, and Letters of Agreement with organizations serving historically underserved populations was established and reported in FY 2000.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.5:  In FY 2001, ARS will increase its extramural agreements to organizations which serve underserved populations by no less than 20 percent over its established (FY 1999) baseline.

Task completed in FY 2001.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.6:  In FY 2001, ARS will show an increase in the number of invitations extended to representatives of underserved populations to participate in program workshops, symposia, project/program reviews, and site/location reviews.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will demonstrate efforts to enhance participation of underserved groups in program activities.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Completed in FY 2001, the eight ARS Area Offices were assigned primary responsibility for implementing the agency’s outreach initiatives.  The Area Offices and research locations organize and/or participate in a wide-range of outreach activities designed to reach those with limited resources, socially disadvantaged, and/or historically underserved populations.  These activities include, but are not limited to, targeted conferences, special field days, special tours/demonstrations, efforts to establish or expand linkages with the Section 2501 outreach directors, workshops, presentations, brochures, the development of area outreach plans, and support for special education programs.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.7:  In FY 2001, ARS will show an increase in the number of research collaborations and technology transfer activities focused on meeting the special needs of this target population.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will demonstrate increased activities in these targeted areas.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  Completed in FY 2001.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:

through the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), expand efforts to identify groups to enhance the probability of identifying partners for commercialization of ARS technologies.  ARS will give particular emphasis to organizations concerned with minority businesses, rural development, and conservation.  A new program of targeted marketing of specific technologies will enhance the availability of information to potential partners.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  OTT spearheaded a 2-Day technology transfer workshop jointly sponsored by ARS and the Minority-Owned Business Technology Transfer Consortium.  OTT worked with various State and local groups to provide a comprehensive workshop that helped these small, minority- and women-owned businesses understand the process of accessing ARS programs and services.  The workshop was attended by business representatives from Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Texas.  OTT also met with the Advisory Board for the Florida Small Business Council, the Florida TEC Leadership Council, and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and also provided literature, PowerPoint presentations, and CD-ROMs highlighting technologies, opportunities for research partnering, and points of contact for establishing Agreements.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  This workshop and meetings fulfilled Federal requirements to proactively transfer technology to the private sector, especially small and minority businesses.  It provided businesses with the opportunity to work one-on-one with the ARS staff.

During FY 2003, ARS will

demonstrate increased activities in these areas.

through the OTT, expand efforts to identify targeted groups to enhance the probability of identifying partners for help in commercializing ARS technologies.  Particular emphasis will be given to organizations concerned with minority businesses, rural development, and conservation.  A new targeted marketing program for specific technologies will enhance the availability of information to potential partners.

During FY 2004, ARS will, through OTT, expand efforts to identify targeted groups to enhance the probability of identifying partners for help in commercializing ARS technologies.  Particular emphasis will be given to organizations concerned with minority businesses, rural development, and conservation.  A new targeted marketing program for specific technologies will enhance the availability of information to potential partners.

During FY 2005, ARS will, through the OTT, expand efforts to identify targeted groups to enhance the probability of identifying partners for help in commercializing ARS technologies.  Particular emphasis will be given to organizations concerned with minority businesses, rural development, and conservation.  A new targeted marketing program for specific technologies will enhance the availability of information to potential partners.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.8:  In FY 2000, ARS will inform all senior managers and SYs of their roles and responsibilities under the outreach plan.

Task completed in FY 2000.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.9:  In FY 2001, ARS will expand access to research information by the historically underserved organizations.

Completed in FY 2001.  Responsibility now rests with Area Offices and ARS locations.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.10:  ARS will expand outreach efforts to interest underserved students in agriculture/food science.

Indicators:

During FY 2002, ARS will identify through national outreach workshops and related activities ways to involve historically underserved students in agriculture and food service.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:  ARS established and implemented an agreement with Prairie View A&M University (an 1890/HBCU institution) to provide a research and educational experience for high school junior and senior students; employed and mentored two USDA/1890 Scholars; and two research scientists were duty stationed at 1890/HBCU institutions.

A specific cooperative agreement was established with Florida A&M University to facilitate the continued development of a Science Center of Excellence with emphasis on producing career research scientists in the areas of nutrition, food science, animal sciences, plant sciences, agricultural engineering, natural resources, and aquaculture.  ARS will offer experiential learning opportunities for Science Center graduate students and further training opportunities for Science Center faculty in ARS laboratories throughout the South Atlantic Area.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established between Miami-Dade Community College and ARS to increase the understanding of the Hispanic community about varied employment opportunities with ARS.  This will provide an opportunity to “grow our own” employees that will add diversity to the ARS workforce and increase visibility in a minority community.  This is the first agency wide MOU with a community college.

A cooperative effort with ARS at Burns, Oregon, the Burns Paiute Tribe, and the Burns/Hines School District resulted in the creation of an agricultural/natural resources program at Burns High School.  A second part of the effort involved the development of a water quality/riparian management research program on rangeland owned by the Tribe.  The Tribe has also asked ARS to provide technical assistance in the areas of resource management and education.

ARS participated in a 1-day conference entitled “Strengthening International Partnerships With Federal Agencies to Facilitate Increased Participation of 1890/HBCUs In Federal Programs” was held in September 2002 in Arlington, Virginia.  This program was endorsed and supported by the White House.  The objectives of the conference were to address ways and means by which existing relationships/partnerships between 1890s and appropriate Federal agencies with international responsibilities can be strengthened and improved; explore existing and new mechanisms/strategies for advancing relationships; increase participation of 1890s in Federal programs, and to these ends, develop a set of recommendations to present to the “President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities” for consideration and action.

Two African-American females from University of Maryland - Eastern Shore (UMES) are conducting thesis research partly funded by the Watershed-Nutrient Management Project, with two ARS scientists serving on their respective research committees.  They are part of a collaborative research project being jointly led by two ARS scientists and a researcher from UMES.

ARS provided tuition funding for four students, including two whom are attending 1890 Land Grant Universities.  Funding support was awarded competitively to promising students from the W.B. Saul High School, a Philadelphia school with a high percentage (32 percent) of African-American students, which offers an agricultural curriculum.

IMPACT/OUTCOME:  These are just a few examples of ARS’ outreach efforts to support students from the target populations and encourage their interest in agriculture/agricultural research.

During FY 2003, ARS will continue the effort to involve historically underserved students in agriculture and food service.

During FY 2004, ARS will continue the effort to involve historically underserved students in agriculture and food service.

During FY 2005, ARS will continue the effort to involve historically underserved students in agriculture and food service.

PERFORMANCE GOAL 6.3.8.11:  ARS will work with educational institutions and community-based organizations serving target populations to identify barriers and develop strategies to get information to underserved populations.

This responsibility has been assigned to Area Offices and ARS locations.

<< Previous    1     2     3     4     5     6     7     [8]     9     10     Next >>

Last Modified: 2/24/2004
Footer Content Back to Top of Page