Source: KANSAS STATE UNIV submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2019
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2023
Grant Year
Project Director
Draper, M. A.
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
The Tactical Sciences Coordination Network (TSN), is intended to bring together independent projects that are all closely linked to directly benefiting end users. The projects are largely associated with biosecurity, touching on plant health, animal health, antibiotic resistance, animal drugs for less common livestocjk species,tracking drug residues in livestock, food safety, education for disaster response and various levels of crop pest management whichincludesresearchers, regional clearinghouses or centers and state program. Throughthis new close association we will find efficiencies and enhancements through a shared response to the need.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
The Tactical Sciences Coordination Network (TCN or TSN) allows the tactical sciences to connect anddevelop a Network to leverage resources, build relationships and reframe our operationalstrategies from independent to cooperative and collaborative. We align NIFA's tactical sciences,the Crop Protection/Pest Management (CPPM) program, three programs that serve end-useclientele; the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), a screening network for recognizingincursions of plant pathogens/pests and provide regulatory surge capacity; the National AnimalHealth Laboratory Network (NAHLN), a laboratory network to screen for the most threateninganimal diseases and provide regulatory surge capacity; Inter-regional Project 4 (IR-4), a minor-usecrop pesticide registration program; the Minor-use Animal Drug Program (MUADP), who helpsclear regulatory hurdles for less common livestock species; and the Food Animal ResidueAvoidance Databank (FARAD), who provide data on safe withdrawal intervals of drugs andchemicals in food-producing animals; to form a well-linked network. This project:1) Convenesmembers of the tactical sciences and identify guiding principles, shared governance andcommonalities (i.e., TSN Charter);2) Develops a TSN coordinated strategy that includes coordinated outreach,communications, and program activities with cross-network teams to identify common issues andseek external funding, and;3) Develops a public-private partnership model to sustainably protectthe US food supply. Our strategy applies the 'voice of the customer' in developing trustrelationships and shared strategy, exploring new ways to grow a collaborative nature, and findingmore effective processes, with greater efficiency and accountability. The result is more visibleprograms with an enhanced value that is apparent to customers.In accomplishing these overarching principles, we will achieve the long?term goal of the proposed project is the development a formal TSN and a TacticalSciences coordinated strategy with a sustainability strategy to go forward as a public-private partnership with all parties having a stake inteh a ppositive outcome.We envision that the TSN willbecome an integral part of thethreatawareness, detection, response, and recoverycontinuum, serving to protect against andmitigate the impacts of plant and animaldisease, pests, and other threat vectors.
Project Methods
The existing relationships across TSN programs present an opportunity to identify and applycommon best practices and lessons learned. Some of the programs have overlaps that couldbenefit from efficiencies created through shared or leveraged resources. Recognizing theseissues, the VISION of the TSN is to increase visibility through a common portal, improvesustainability of the programs by leveraging shared resources and engaging in collaborativeactivities to achieve cost reductions, and improve coordination through activities designed toincrease familiarity with one another.The project's approach is designed to align with the goals of Effectiveness, Efficiency, Accountability, and Relationship as stated in the 'Tactical Sciences: Continuing theCommitment' report (NIFA, 2017b).We are approaching this project as a team building exercise using methods ofStephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey, 1989) John Kotter's model for change, explained in Leading Change (Kotter, 1996) offers astrategy for assuring that change will be accepted and stable. We will further analyze the program connections withLean Six Sigma tools to for similarities in progreamatic function and audiences that are served (internal and external customers) and the issues that are critical toquality. Lean methods address efficiency and Six Sigma methods address quality, looking first atthe existing process and then the improved, 'to?be' (future state) process. This approach willenable a better understanding of the goals and means to the goals for each project. We willalso apply team?building principles to engage all participants in the process of change andcollaborative growth.We anticipate the first organizational call within three months of the award of the grant and the first face-to-face meeting within six months. Teams will be formed for individual projects that will meet remotely trhoughout teh year and additional face-to-face meetings will be held annually. A communications portal will be established to connect the programs and serve as a collaborative space.

Progress 07/01/21 to 06/30/22

Target Audience:The target audiences are being expanded and will continue to include the leadership of each of the Tactical Sciences programs but also grow to include grassroots participants in the programs and stakeholders for federal government agencies and industry. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?The June 2022 meeting brought together practitioners in all programs to become more aware of one another and find common ground. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We have provided oral reporting to groups that have requested it and posted information to the website. We are just at a point now where there is sufficient substance to increase communication. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We have initiated a conversation in Design Thinking. A workshop will be held to help identify values that can be used in future promotion of the programs together and improve visibility and understanding of what we do. A workshop is planned in April 2023 to address how new plant pests are a threat to food security as an effect of climate change. Virtual meetings will be held to sustain relationships. An in-person forum will be held in June 2023 to build on working group outcomes. Educational deliverables will be competed for the programs. Podcasts will be posted to the website as well as additional content will be posted, such as e-versions of the educational materials above.

What was accomplished under these goals? Baseline familiarity network analysis has been completed. That analysis will be repeated at the end of the project to measure increases in familiarity and collaboration. Completion of the SWOT analysis of each program and a cross-walk across the programs. Important issues continue to align over the identified working group topics. Strengths - National representation/Communication with Federal partners and agencies/Industry and commodity association board members/Ability to serve as an intermediate with up and down communications Weaknesses - Infrequency of in-person meetings and networking opportunities/Need to better communicate economic value needs of the programs/Sparse infrastructure and support staff to meet intended goals/Evaluation metrics are unclear from national level to regional/state components/Ideas do not flow both up and down/Leadership changes damage continuity of communication Opportunities - Greater visibility might increase funding/a marketing plan could increase visibility/Administrative resources from partner universities/Improving facilities & administration/Indirect costs should be allowed, but it is prohibited in some programs/Revisit length of leadership and membership tenure to promote continuity and efficacy/Become more action item oriented/Fund state IPM awardees to attend NIPMCC meetings/utilize virtual meetings for efficiency Threats - Insufficient funding/Leadership changes endanger success in long term goals/Limited participation dilutes potential impact/Administrative turnover leads to loss of understanding of program value and advocacy/Loss of human capital/Unclear purpose of some administrative bodies that lead programs. Podcast interviews are complete, being edited and plan to be posted in the coming year. Formed Working Groups to build relationships and identify common problems with potential solutions and shared activities - Communications, Surveillance, Workforce Development, Stakeholder Relations, IT Systems, Lab Standards and Equipment Obsolescence. In-person meeting held in June 2022 in Olathe Kansas with a face-to-face meeting that focused on three of the working groups - Communication, Workforce development and Stakeholder relations. Important points emerged. We need more communication to build community among these disparate programs and to build collaboration with state and federal agencies. Stakeholders in many programs are not clear and they do not seem to advocate for programs that serve their interest. Compelling stakeholders to understand our value should be a priority. The workforce development discussion exposed that the most important technical skills are diagnostics and data management, while the human skills of importance are communication, collaboration, people management and mentoring, and budgeting. Finally, there is a concern about succession planning in the leadership on individual programs, but substantial angst about how to accomplish that process. Uncertainty about the stability of the programs is a concern that hangs over people deciding to commit their careers to these programs.


  • Type: Websites Status: Published Year Published: 2022 Citation: Website (

Progress 07/01/20 to 06/30/21

Target Audience: Nothing Reported Changes/Problems:TheCOVID pandemic continues to challenge the original project plan. We are making modifications as best we can to move toward the project goals. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?E-mail and virtual video conderencing. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Provided the pandemic settles down and travel is permitted, we will meet with an expanded group to build rlationship and find areas of shared opportunity. Working groups will be formed for primary areas that are identified throughthe SWOT process.

What was accomplished under these goals? Virtual meetings were held to provide updates. The SWOT process is nearing completion. Two programs are yet to be completed. The introductory podcast series was completed. The webite is nearing completion.


    Progress 07/01/19 to 06/30/20

    Target Audience:At this stage of the project, the target audience is the leadership of each of the Tactical Sciences programs. We have engaged with one to four individals from each program: FADI programs (NPDN, NAHLN, EDEN), CPPM programs (ARDP, and EIP/RIPMC with NIPMCC), and therapeutic programs (IR-4 and MUADP). Changes/Problems:Two original team members left the program as it was beginning due to a retirement and another with health issues. Arebudgeting was also necessary toaddress a contract cost that was not adequately accounted for in the original proposal.Those modification have been made in the system and approved by the university and NIFA. The pandemic has led to moving all activities toavirtual format. That has caused substantial adjustment tohow the planned activites are conducted or delivered. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Invitations to partiocipate in virtual meetings were distributed, with an explanation of the goals of the Coordination Network. We are promoting our project as teh Tachtical Sciences Network (TSN). Corrdination will be inherent in our function. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?The pandemic has casued a revised planning process for all anticipated activities.Two virtual meetings are scheduled for July and August 2020. Theywill be followed with quarterly communications. Participants will be surveyed for their perception of the outcomes of the initial virtual meetings. A website will be launched in calendar 2020.A baseline survey of familairity and connectedness across programswill be administered and SWOT analysis will be conducted via distance technology rather than face-to face as originally planned.

    What was accomplished under these goals? At this point the project has fallen slightly behind schedule due to personnel changes and COVID-19 pandemic-related university shut-downs. We are focused on the first objective at this time. Plans were underway for a face to face meeting to be held in March and that was put on hold. The decision was made to move to a virtual format. That meeting was planned to occur in July, 2020. The July meeting format would not allow for all of the intended outcomes to be achieved, so the approach will be modified and some elements will be delayed to later in the year.