Stakeholder Listening Opportunity for Priorities in Research, Education and Extension
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture announces its stakeholder listening initiative ``NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives.'' This stakeholder listening opportunity informs the research, extension and education priorities of NIFA, which has the mission of investing in and advancing agricultural research, education and extension to solve societal challenges. These investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global pre-eminence of U.S. agriculture. This listening opportunity allows stakeholders to provide feedback on the following questions: ``What is your top priority in food and agricultural research, extension or education that NIFA should address?'' and ``What are the most promising science opportunities for advancement of food and agricultural sciences?'' This effort to obtain input on NIFA's science priorities will be carried out through online and in-person submission mechanisms. Stakeholder input received from the two mechanisms is treated equally. The priorities and opportunities obtained from this effort will be evaluated in conjunction with input from NIFA staff. This information will be critical for NIFA's evaluation of existing science emphasis areas to identify investment opportunities and gaps in the current portfolio of programs. The information obtained through this iterative analysis and synthesis will help to ensure the strategic positioning and relevancy of NIFA's investments in advancing agricultural research, education and extension.
Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) for a decrease in the assessment rate established for the 2017-2018 and subsequent fiscal periods from $1.40 to $1.00 per ton of apricots handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of growers and handlers of apricots operating within the area of production. Assessments upon apricot handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.