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About the Center

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is dedicated to providing research-based information that helps create regional prosperity through entrepreneurial and cluster-based innovation, while assuring balanced uses of natural resources in livable communities in the northeastern United States.

Vision

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development believes that small towns and rural places are the basic building blocks of rural society, and, in the context of a global society, they are becoming increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, resulting in an ever increasing number of public issues needing resolution. The Center recognizes that individuals, the foundation of these rural communities, are capable of growth, development and change, and that rural society can be enhanced by increasing the individual, organizational, and problem-solving knowledge and skills of its residents. Finally, the Northeast Center believes that creating a shared vision for the future of sustainable communities requires democratic participation.

Mission

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development: Enhancing the capacity of Land Grant Universities to foster regional prosperity and rural development.

Organization

The Northeast Center is administered by a joint agreement between USDA and the site institution operating for the Extension Service and the Experiment Station in the region. Major core funding comes from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) - and the region's land-grant universities. Increasingly, other federal and state agencies, private foundations, and public interests contribute funding in support of special programs as they envision mutually derived benefits from the combining of resources, for achieving compatible visions and missions. A board of directors is composed of administrators and faculty from the institutions, representatives of NIFA, and the Economic Research Service (ERS) -- USDA, and representatives from public and private agencies and organizations establishes policies and programming emphases. Plans of work and annual reports approved by the various funders provide accountability for receipts and expenditures of public and private monies.

Strategies

The task of resolving rural development issues demands the highest level of scholarly research, and it requires a constant and interactive process between research and action to assess and improve the effectiveness of educational efforts. It requires a proactive role in formulating a bold and realistic working agenda, ensuring innovativeness in priority setting, creativity in staffing, and flexibility in resource allocation. The Center is uniquely well-adapted and explicitly chartered to meet these requirements from regional and national approaches. We synergize our ability to accomplish this task by collaborating with many rural development partners:

  1. citizens, community decision makers, organizational leaders, and other rural development professionals.
  2. agency and organization personnel at regional and national levels.
  3. private and public policy makers in the states, region, and nation.
  4. research and extension faculty -- university-and field-based, and administrators from land-grant institutions.

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is located at the Pennsylvania State University and collaborates with land grant institutions in the northeast U.S.

The Center receives core funds from USDA-NIFA and the Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.