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Marianas Variety: Feds commend NMC-CREES 5-year plan (October 25, 2016)

NORTHERN Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Services has been commended for its five--year work plan that addresses community needs in the CNMI.

“NMC-CREES is to be commended for a well-written and stakeholder-focused plan of work. CREES continues to make progress in spite of several challenges,” said Edwin Lewis, who is a national program lead reviewer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

In a letter dated Sept. 20, USDA Office of Planning and Accountability plan of work administrative leader Katelyn Sellers said NMC’s combined research and extension plan of work update as required under the Agricultural, Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 has been accepted.

“We appreciate your efforts in submitting the plan of work, which we will use in support of the planning, leadership, and evaluation of [the National Institute of Food and Agriculture] program,” Sellers said in her letter to NMC-CREES dean Timothy Kock.

In preparing the five-year work plan, NMC-CREES said it used input gained from external evaluation as well as numerous listening sessions held with stakeholders on Saipan, Rota and Tinian.

NMC-CREES said its five-year work plan “responds to the result of a comprehensive external department review and community needs assessment, and speaks to the knowledge of expert personnel and subject area specialists on addressing emerging issues in the CNMI.”

The five-year work plan addresses the following key areas that NMC-CREES has chosen to prioritize based on extensive external review as well as input from stakeholders on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian: livestock improvement, childhood obesity prevention, aquaculture and fisheries development, agriculture production, and family, community and youth development.

“Since its inception, NMC-CREES has accomplished much to help the community,” Kock said.

“We want to build on that success, refine our programs, and ensure that they focus with laser precision on meeting identified community needs and emerging issues,” he added.

The outcomes identified in NMC-CREES’s work plan include helping clients gain knowledge and skills in animal science, production, health and management, and sustainable agriculture.

Kock said NMC-CREES has also been hard at work rebuilding the agricultural experiment station and its offices which were destroyed by Typhoon Soudelor last year.

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