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2016

White House Rural Forum shines spotlight on progress, issues in rural America
October 30, 2016
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack hosted a White House Rural Forum at Penn State's University Park campus on Oct. 5. Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz participated in the forum, which included panel and roundtable discussions on economic drivers in rural America, the future of agriculture, rural quality of life, regions in transition, and rural young leaders making a difference.
What Works in Rural Business Innovation and Economic Development
October 26, 2016
Strengthening economic resilience in Appalachian communities is focus of newly funded project
October 26, 2016
The Northeast Center is part of a research team that was recently awarded a grant to explore and document strategies and policies that local leaders can use to enhance the future economic prospects of coal-impacted communities throughout the Appalachian Region. The project, titled "Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachian Communities," is funded for nine months by a $149,998 POWER grant administered by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Downstream Strategies, based in Morgantown, WV, is leading the research, which will use the Center’s seminal county-level economic resilience measure, published in The Review of Regional Studies.
New faces at Northeast Center’s annual leadership meeting
October 26, 2016
Members of the Northeast Center's Board of Directors (BOD) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met in Bedford, PA on October 13-14, 2016 to discuss the Center's progress towards its goals and to provide input to its 2017 plan of work. The meeting also gave the newest members of the BOD and TAC a chance to become acquainted with the Center’s work.
Stronger Economies Together: Helping rural counties excel through regional approaches
October 25, 2016
Rachel Welborn, project manager with the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University, describes the Stronger Economies Together program in this guest post on the USDA NIFA blog.
CDS and NACDEP call for presentations closes November 18
October 24, 2016
The Community Development Society (CDS) and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) are requesting proposals for refereed presentations and posters relating to community development for their June 2017 joint conference. Submissions relating to the conference theme, “Big Skies: Bold Partnerships – Moving Mountains Together” are encouraged, but all submissions will be given full consideration.
New research brief from CaRDI explores rural wealth impacts of regional food systems
October 22, 2016
Do local and regional food systems create rural wealth? Researchers at Cornell's Community and Regional Development Institute are developing a framework to help answer that question, and have issued a new research brief about the work.
Congratulations to NIFA Hall of Fame inductee, Daniel Rossi!
October 7, 2016
Daniel Rossi, who served as the executive director of the Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors for nine years, was inducted into the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Hall of Fame.
Webinar series offered by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Program
August 25, 2016
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Program aims to increase awareness and understanding of USDA's SBIR grant program by providing informational and training webinars for Cooperative Extension and other agency personnel to successfully guide SBIR applicants through the proposal writing and submission process. The first webinar was recorded and is archived online. The next webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30, 2016, and will focus on the theme of idea development.
Have a recreation economy success story? Please share!
August 25, 2016
We are collecting success stories that highlight emerging and best practices in recreation economy for use in a forthcoming resource guide. Do you have experience in this area? We'd love to hear from you!
New resource for documenting evidence of Extension impacts (in case you missed it)
August 24, 2016
In case you missed the announcement in our June newsletter, here's a reminder that the "Impact Indicators Tips Booklet" is now available on the Northeast Center website. Written by George Morse, Charles French, and Scott Chazdon, the 40-page booklet explores practical and credible methods for using the "but for" rule to document Extension Community Development Impacts.
UNH Extension embraces technology to assess and revitalize downtowns
August 23, 2016
With funding from the Northeast Regional Center's small grants program, several Extension staff in the region learned from colleagues at West Virginia University Extension about how to implement the First Impressions program in their respective states. Casey Hancock (University of New Hampshire Extension) blogged about what she learned and how she and her colleagues are incorporating technology into their own implementation of the program. Read all about it at the UNH Extension blog.
Congratulations to the Northeast winners of the 2016 NACDEP awards!
August 22, 2016
Several of our regional colleagues were recently honored by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP). Please join us in congratulating them!
"Tackling Wicked Problems in Food Systems" is NESAWG 2016 conference theme
August 22, 2016
Early bird registration is now open for the annual conference of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG). Slated for November 10-12 in Hartford, CT, the conference aims to "bring together farm and food systems practitioners across the 12-state Northeast region to learn, debate, collaborate, and innovate solutions to critical food systems issues."
Impact statement reporting course available through eXtension.org
August 14, 2016
A new eXtension.org training opportunity is available to Extension professionals who want to improve their impact reporting skills. “Impact Statement Reporting” is an online course that includes reading, quizzes, and a video-based case study of an Oregon-based non-profit working to document its own impact. NERCRD staff member Kristen Devlin took the course and offers this summary.
University of Missouri Extension offers arts-focused community development conference
August 12, 2016
Learn how the arts and culture can enrich your community and diversify your economy at a two-day training offered by University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program. The event takes place September 26-27 in Excelsior Springs, MO.
Latest headlines from our social media feeds
August 11, 2016
If you haven't followed the Northeast Center on social media yet, you may have missed stories we've shared recently. Here is a sampling from our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
NERCRD well-represented at NACDEP/ANREP 2016 conference
June 28, 2016
The Northeast Center was well-represented at the annual conference of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals, which was held jointly this year with the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. The two teams that received funding through the Center's multi-state Extension program each held pre-conference workshops. In addition, the Center presented two posters during the poster session. Copies of the posters are archived on our website.
Paper explores roles of agricultural economists in food system research
June 28, 2016
A paper authored by Center Director Stephan Goetz and published in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review describes the ways in which agricultural and regional economists can apply their expertise to food systems analyses.
Richard Rhodes appointed as the new Executive Director of NERA
June 28, 2016
The Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NERA) recently announced that Dr. Richard C. Rhodes III of the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station is its new Executive Director, effective July 1, 2016. As we welcome Dr. Rhodes, we bid farewell to Dr. Daniel Rossi, who will retire after serving over nine years with NERA, and over 37 years in the land-grant system, and to Rubie Mize, who has served as the Assistant to the Executive Director over the past 20 years.
Position announcement: Postdoctoral scholar in food systems modeling at Tufts University
June 28, 2016
An outstanding candidate is sought to work on an original research project supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture entitled, “Overcoming Supply Chain Barriers to Expanding Northeast Ruminant Meat Production.” The incumbent will work with the Principal Investigator to examine whether current infrastructure limits the expansion of small and medium-scale meat production in New York and New England.
APLU's "Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People" initiative releases report
June 28, 2016
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities has released a publication called "Healthy Food Systems, Healthy People," which aims to "help secure funding to improve human health and reduce chronic disease by integrating food, environment and agricultural systems through alignment of science, education, community engagement, and strategic partnerships."
New book documents rise and impact of women farmers in the Northeast
June 28, 2016
Researchers from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Ohio University have co-authored a new book that examines a recent cultural shift in agriculture, marked by an unprecedented number of women who have entered into farming. In "The Rise of Women Farmers and Sustainable Agriculture," the authors explore the societal changes that have empowered women to claim the farmer identity, describe barriers that are broadly encountered by women farmers, and posit that their innovative responses to these barriers are helping to redefine agriculture.
University of New Hampshire research finds Great Recession changed U.S. migration patterns
June 27, 2016
The economic shocks of the housing market crisis and Great Recession were associated with striking changes in net migration patterns in both rural and urban America, with rural farming communities experiencing different migration trends than other rural areas, according to new research funded by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire.
Measuring community well-being is the focus of new brief from Cornell University
June 26, 2016
How do we measure human well-being? Do GDP and other frameworks adequately capture social welfare and progress? A new research and policy brief written by Yunji Kim of Cornell University's Community and Regional Development Institute explores these questions and other ways of measuring well-being.
Map from Economic Research Service shows nonmetro population change varies across the United States
June 6, 2016
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) offers a look at the US nonmetro population change from 2010 to 2015 in a recently released map. The map is based on an ERS topic page on rural Population and Migration and on the June 2016 Amber Waves finding, "Five Years of Population Loss in Rural and Small-Town America May Be Ending
A demographer’s view of the opioid crisis
May 2, 2016
As opioid abuse has escalated to a full-blown national crisis, many wonder why people start using these drugs, how they become addicted, and which communities are most at risk. Shannon Monnat, a Penn State rural sociologist and demographer, has studied these questions in depth, and shared some of her findings at a recent event at Penn State.
Most retiring farmers in New England have no one to take over the farm, new study shows
April 25, 2016
Nearly 30 percent of New England's farmers are likely to exit farming in the next 10+ years, and nine out of ten are farming without a young farmer alongside them. This is according to new analysis of U.S. Census of Agriculture data that was part of a study released recentlly by American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Land For Good (LFG). The year-long study—that also included farmer focus groups—sheds new light on what will be needed to facilitate the transition of farms and farmland in New England to a next generation of farmers. At no point is a farm's future more at risk than during this transition.
Land grant university programs helped keep farmers on the farm
April 19, 2016
Federal cooperative extension programs have helped more than 137,000 farmers stay in business since 1985, according to economists.
Infographic: Cooperative Extension's effects on farmer retention
April 19, 2016
This chart illustrates findings from a Northeast Center study on the effects of public investment in Land Grant University programs. The researchers found that agricultural research and Cooperative Extension programs helped more than 137,000 farmers stay on the farm between 1984 and 2010.
Recipients of Rural Innovation grants program announced
April 18, 2016
Three grant proposals have been selected to receive funding through the Northeast Center's "Drivers of Rural Innovation and Implications for Community and Regional Economic Development" award program, which was established to support data access and research in rural business innovation and economic development. Their selection was based on the unanimous recommendation of a review committee.
Northeast Center 2015 Annual Report now available
April 16, 2016
The Northeast Center has released its 2015 annual report. The report highlights the Center's 2015 research and programming and provides an overview of its funding outlook.
Making farmers markets a healthy priority in Southeast Connecticut
April 15, 2016
When Cindy Barry and her colleagues learned that the Centers for Disease Control recommend farmers markets as a community strategy to promote cardiovascular health, a light bulb came on.
Early registration rates for joint NACDEP/ANREP conference end May 9
April 12, 2016
The National Association of Community Development Professionals (NACDEP) and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) are teaming up for a Joint Annual Conference, scheduled for June 26-29, 2016 in Burlington, VT. Early registration rates end May 9!
Opportunity in rural transportation economics
April 1, 2016
Established and early career professionals (including Ph.D. students) with a strong interest in rural transportation and / or elderly issues are invited participate in a subconference on the economics of transportation for the rural elderly which is part of the 2016 National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation (RIBT). Organizers will cover travel and conference expenses for selected participants, who will be expected to subsequently collaborate on a white paper and other published materials related to transportation for the rural elderly and disadvantaged populations. Applications are due May 16, 2016.
Rural homelessness featured in special issue of Rural Voices
March 29, 2016
The March 2016 issue of Rural Voices, the publication of the Housing Assistance Council, was devoted to the topic of rural homelessness. It includes articles on innovative housing solutions, farm worker homelessness, schools' approaches to working with homeless youth, and more.
Education and industrial variety power high-growth companies nationwide, Center study finds
February 22, 2016
High-growth companies are not just found in California's tech-rich Silicon Valley. According to a team of economists, these fast-growing firms are found across the U.S. and in a variety of industries.
Center-affiliated doctoral candidate successfully defends dissertation
February 22, 2016
Congratulations to Jiaochen Liang, a Penn State doctoral candidate who recently defended his dissertation in Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics. Liang's dissertation research focused on U.S. regional development and economic resilience.
"Evaluation on a Shoestring" webinar is available as archived recording
February 19, 2016
The National Community Resource and Economic Development (CRED) Indicators Working Group presented a webinar on February 2, 2016 that highlighted how a small CRED program in New Hampshire has been able to develop its evaluation capacity over time in spite of several challenges. If you missed the webinar, you can still access it online.
Center-led food systems project marks its last year with national conference
February 16, 2016
On December 10-11, 2015, more than 100 people gathered for a conference in Greenbelt, MD, to mark the last phase of the Northeast Center-led transdisciplinary food systems project, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE). Attendees learned about EFSNE project findings and engaged in conversation and collaboration with other food system researchers, practitioners, advocates, and funders.
Steven Turner selected to lead Southern Rural Development Center
February 16, 2016
A longtime department head at Mississippi State University has been named the new director of the Southern Rural Development Center. Steven Turner, who previously had served as head of the Mississippi State University Department of Agricultural Economics for 12 years, officially began as the center’s director on January 1. We look forward to future collaborations with Dr. Turner and SRDC staff.
Position announcement: UNH seeking Community & Economic Development Field Specialist
February 15, 2016
The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension invites applications for a Community & Economic Development Field Specialist based in Newport, New Hampshire.
"Why regional? Incorporating a regional perspective into your work" is topic of webinar on February 9
February 2, 2016
There is growing interest in local food systems, but is local enough? Contextualizing “local” within a regional food system approach may enable us to make smarter decisions about transportation and infrastructure support, as well as the management of water and other natural resources. On February 9, food systems consultant Kate Clancy will explore these issues in a one-hour webinar sponsored by the Chesapeake Food Network.
Wetherill honored with "Citizen of the Year" award
January 6, 2016
Andy Wetherill, small farms educator at Delaware State University and a member of the NERCRD Technical Advisory Committee, was recognized by the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Philadelphia as their 2015 Citizen of the Year. In addition to his service to the Antiguan and Barbudan community of the greater Philadelphia area, Wetherill was selected for his contributions to science education and agriculture in the US and the Caribbean. Wetherill received the award at the Association's Annual Gala, held in Philadelphia on October 31, 2015.
Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association slated to meet in Maine this summer
January 3, 2016
Mark your calendars for the 2016 annual meeting of the Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA), scheduled for June 19-22. Meeting events will take place in Bar Harbor, Maine.
In case you missed it...
January 2, 2016
We're finding it easier than ever to share news, opportunities, and the great work of our partners via Facebook. In case you haven't "liked" us yet, here are some items we've shared recently that you may have missed.