WASHINGTON, Feb. 7The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has honored two groups and two individuals with "Administrative and Financial Management (AFM) Support Awards for Excellence" for their roles in an agency construction project, the ARS ethics program, and other initiatives. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The winners were recognized during an awards ceremony on February 7 at USDA headquarters here.
"These employees have all demonstrated a commitment to this organization that exceeds their basic duties," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling. "We want to commend them for their exemplary dedication and service."
Jennifer Cook, Henry Hays, Dennis Jones, Debra Kerr and Michael Thompson (left to right in photo) of ARS' Ames Modernization Branch received the AFM Gold Award for their contributions to modernization of the agency's National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, Iowa.
The Ames Modernization Branch was established in February 2002 to oversee the engineering of the modernization project, which is the most significant USDA construction effort in 40 years. It involves building approximately 1 million square feet of laboratory and animal research space, including two Biological Safety Level 3 facilities.
When the NADC project was accelerated following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the Ames Modernization Branch responded by initiating procedures to expedite project delivery methods that reduced delivery time by about 6 months. The innovation and flexibility of the staff facilitated the quick development of first-rate facilities to promote the safety and health of U.S. food animals.
Sue Prada of USDA's Research, Education and Economics (REE) Mission Area Ethics Program received the AFM Silver Award for developing several tracking programs and databases to increase the effectiveness of the REE Ethics Program. She also helped develop the first USDA ethics website, which is frequently referenced by other federal agencies and has been used as a model within the USDA.
Winners of AFM Bronze Awards included Ben Wong, an engineer in the ARS Northern Plains Area Office, and the Competitive Sourcing Team led by David Love and Anne Riordan and composed of 13 employees in the agency's Acquisition and Property Division and Human Resources Division. Wong's personal designs for pre-engineered facilities have saved ARS more than $100,000 in design costs. The Competitive Sourcing Team helped develop and implement the competitive outsourcing initiative for the Beltsville Area and the National Agricultural Library.