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2017

Position announcement: Postdoctoral researcher in the area of regional economic growth and development
July 28, 2017
The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) seeks applications for a one-year postdoc position, with good chances of renewal subject to funding. The postdoc will be responsible for conducting economic and statistical analyses on a wide range of rural development topics, as determined by the Center’s emerging needs and priorities. There is a strong expectation that this research will contribute both to the science base as well as to informing U.S. rural economic development policy.
Request for proposals: Impacts of successful Extension and outreach programs
July 11, 2017
The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) announces a new competitive grant opportunity that is intended to help Northeast (NE) Land Grant University (LGU) faculty and educators document the impacts of their work while also encouraging collaboration across state lines. Proposals will be accepted until September 1, 2017.
"The Economic Status of Rural America in the Trump Era" featured in Daily Yonder
July 7, 2017
The Daily Yonder is featuring a piece that offers suggestions for improving federal rural development policy without “breaking the bank.” It is an excerpt of a longer paper co-authored by Center Director Stephan Goetz; West Virginia University's Heather Stephens (who also serves on our Technical Advisory Committee); and Ohio State University's Mark Partidge.
Curriculum available for communities facing emerging behavioral health issues
July 6, 2017
One in five Americans experience behavioral health issues in any given year, and yet the signs and symptoms of behavioral health challenges are not always clear. Recently, Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) developed and administered a series of trainings designed to help communities address emerging behavioral health problems. The curriculum, which is available upon request, provides a valuable framework for community development and other extension professionals who want to play a leading role in helping communities address a broad range of behavioral health challenges.
America's "mental health literacy" measured in recent survey
July 6, 2017
The CAPE team, led by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, recently conducted a nationally representative web-based survey to evaluate mental health literacy along four dimensions: depression; anxiety; alcohol abuse; and, prescription drug misuse. Their findings are summarized in four infographics.
A community of practice for data analysis
July 6, 2017
Do you assist communities in using socio-economic data for decision making? Are you looking for better ways of delivering data to community leaders? Are you willing to share your best practices and resources with others, potentially influencing programming in other states? As access to data is becoming ubiquitous for communities, the role of many Extension and Community Development (CD) professionals has shifted towards helping communities interpret data for use in decision-making. A group of such individuals has formed, and they invite you to join their informal listserv.
Congratulations to our Northeast colleagues honored by NACDEP and CDS!
July 6, 2017
Several community development Extension professionals from the Northeast were honored by National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) and/or the Community Development Society (CDS) at their joint 2017 conference held last month in Big Sky, MT, and we'd like to congratulate them on the well-deserved recognition!
Congratulations to Dr. Minghao Li!
July 6, 2017
Congratulations to Minghao Li, a Northeast Center research assistant and Penn State doctoral candidate who successfully defended his dissertation in Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics on June 1, 2017. Li’s dissertation research focused on intergenerational mobility and resulted in three essays.
"Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool" kicks off webinar series offered by Penn State Extension
July 6, 2017
How local municipalities can use an economic development strategy known as "placemaking" will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension on Wednesday, July 19. Presenting the 75-minute webinar from noon to 1:15 p.m. will be Brad Neumann, a senior educator with Michigan State University Extension. This webinar is the first in Penn State Extension's summer-fall webinar series.
Call for papers on local entrepreneurship and tourism
July 6, 2017
The journal Regional Science Policy and Practice is seeking paper proposals for an upcoming special issue titled "Local Entrepreneurship and Tourism: Policies and Practices in Peripheral Areas." The issue will explore the linkages between local entrepreneurship and tourism in order to provide an intriguing starting point for a wider reflection on the role of existing policies and of emerging practices in fostering local development in peripheral areas.
Small Business Innovation Research Program now accepting applications
July 5, 2017
The USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is accepting grant applications through Thursday, October 5, 2017. Funds may be awarded up to $100,000 for a Phase I project. Proposed Phase I projects should prove the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept. Projects dealing with agriculturally related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged across all SBIR topic areas. USDA SBIR's flexible research areas ensure innovative projects consistent with USDA's vision of a healthy and productive nation in harmony with the land, air, and water.
USDA accepting rural community development grant proposals
July 5, 2017
Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grants are awarded to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Applications will be accepted through July 25, 2017.
Still time to register for National Extension Tourism Conference
July 5, 2017
The National Extension Tourism Conference is an opportunity for Extension professionals and others working in the broad area of tourism and recreation – including tourism service providers and businesses – to share programs, initiatives, research, and success stories, and to network with other professionals. Scheduled for August 8-10, it is taking place in Princeton, NJ, and is being hosted by Rutgers University New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension.
Analyzing farmer networks is focus of new training manual
May 19, 2017
A new publication in the Northeast Center's Rural Development Working Paper series provides guidance to Extension educators on analyzing existing farmer networks. Economic and social networks organized around local and regional food systems or value chains have the potential to increase traditionally underserved farmers’ access to the resources, skills and scale of logistical or distribution assets that are prerequisites for profitable expansion into urban markets.
CAPE project issues findings on signs and stigmas associated with prescription drug misuse
May 18, 2017
The results of a national survey that examined the signs and stigmas associated with prescription drug misuse were released this month by the Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) Project. The team reports that nearly 70 percent of U.S. individuals could correctly identify prescription drug misuse, but many didn’t know what to do about it.
Urban food networks featured in special-topic issue of Metropolitan Universities Journal
May 4, 2017
A recent issue of Metropolitan Universities Journal explores the role urban universities play in addressing food-system issues facing their communities. NERCRD Board Member Sabine O'Hara of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) authored one of the featured papers, which describes UDC's Urban Food Hubs program.
Rural manufacturing resilience is focus of new report from USDA Economic Research Service
May 4, 2017
Rural manufacturing plays a significant role in the health of rural economies. According to the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), rural manufacturing provided "almost twice the jobs and three times the earnings that production agriculture provided" in 2011. A new report by ERS explores the factors affecting rural manufacturers’ survival, including size, location, goods produced, and access to capital.
School districts in the Northeast are most likely to serve local foods on a daily basis
May 3, 2017
The USDA's first Farm-to-School Census, which explored how frequently local foods were served in schools and which locally sourced foods were served more often, found that schools' daily use of local foods was most prevalent in the Northeast, according to a new report by the USDA's Economic Research Service.
New project aimed at solving agricultural water issues through community engagement
May 3, 2017
A group of institutions led by Penn State has received nearly $2.2 million for the first year of a planned four-year, $5 million project aimed at developing a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture. Partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Arizona State University and the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Funding opportunity: USDA announces $2.8 million to strengthen rural communities through health education
May 3, 2017
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced $2.8 million in available funding to health education projects for individuals and families living in rural areas. Funding is made through NIFA’s Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) Competitive Grant Program, which seeks to address the needs of rural Americans through individual and family health education programs delivered through cooperative extension.
Position announcement: UNH Extension seeking Community and Economic Development Field Specialist
May 2, 2017
The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and Merrimack County invite qualified individuals to apply for the Merrimack County Economic Development Field Specialist position based in Boscawen, New Hampshire. The Field Specialist will provide educational outreach, technical assistance, community planning, and project implementation support that builds community and regional leaders’ capacity to implement effective strategies grow and sustain the economy and strengthen communities. This opportunity closes on May 31, 2017.
Position announcement: Michigan State University School of Planning, Design, and Construction
May 1, 2017
Michigan State University (MSU) School of Planning, Design, and Construction and MSU Extension seek a Director for their NCI unit. Formerly known as the National Charrette Institute, and based in a landscape architecture/urban planning tradition, NCI is currently focused on non-credit training and developing collaboration by design process techniques to address pressing social problems, with focus on urban and regional issues. NCI brings nationally recognized training curricula and hands-on community-based procedures along with its established networks. Formal review of applications will begin June 12, 2017. (Links to PDF version of full job description.)
Goetz named vice-chair of Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) Board of Directors
April 30, 2017
Stephan Goetz, the director of the Northeast Center, was named vice-chair of the Board of Directors of C-FARE earlier this month. Goetz has served on the Board since 2014, and on the organization's Blue Ribbon Experts Panel since 2011.
Adding grads and going green can brighten economic outlook
March 30, 2017
Attracting college graduates and boosting natural amenities may give communities a double shot of economic growth potential, according to a new peer-reviewed study by economists at the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development and California State University, Fresno.
2016 Annual Report now available
March 6, 2017
In our 2016 Annual Report, we report on the early impacts resulting from Center-funded interstate Extension collaborations; on the work of our Impact Indicators Learning Circle; on our research aimed at measuring impacts of Extension programs; and much more! Read all about it in our 18-page annual report, or explore the links embedded in our 2-page overview.
Seeking farmers' and ranchers' voices on health insurance
March 6, 2017
The Northeast Center is part of a multi-state research and Extension team studying health insurance, farm and ranching families and operations. The project is seeking farmers and ranchers to complete a 20-minute survey aimed at understanding their experiences with health insurance and how those experiences affect both their farm's economic development and their family’s quality of life.
What community and economic development training opportunities do you seek?
March 6, 2017
The University of New Hampshire seeks to identify the types of training and educational opportunities that would be of most interest to economic development practitioners who work with small- to medium-sized towns. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Your input will help UNH develop training and educational resources for economic development practitioners, including planners, local officials, agency staff, and local volunteers. The findings from the survey will be shared publicly.
Webinar on April 11 to explore "deaths of despair" in small cities and rural areas
March 6, 2017
Shannon M. Monnat, Penn State, will present a webinar on April 11, 2017 titled "Deaths of Despair in Pennsylvania and Beyond: A Demographer’s Take on Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Mortality in Small City and Rural America." The webinar, taking place at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, is sponsored by the Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) project.
CDS and NACDEP conference registration now open
March 4, 2017
Registration is now open for the 2017 joint national conference of the Community Development Society (CDS) and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) is scheduled for June 11-14, 2017 in Big Sky, Montana.
National Extension Tourism conference registration now open
March 3, 2017
“Tourism in the 21st Century: Connecting Communities, Places and People” is the theme of the 2017 National Extension Tourism conference, taking place August 8 – 10, 2017 in Princeton, NJ. Registration is now open, and presentation proposals will be accepted until March 27, 2017.
New report explores whether economic development incentives are worth the cost
March 2, 2017
Our Technical Advisory Committee Chair, Paul Gottlieb, brought to our attention a hot topic currently being debated by economists: whether economic development incentives designed to attract businesses are worth their costs to taxpayers.
How health insurance affects farmers and ranchers to be explored in upcoming survey
January 31, 2017
Farmers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Vermont who participate in an upcoming survey will help researchers understand how health-insurance policy affects farmers’ decisions to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises. Potential participants will be notified by mail if they are among those selected for the survey in early February 2017.
Center-led food security project extended for seventh year
January 6, 2017
The Northeast Center's signature food system project, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE), was recently granted a seventh-year no-cost extension by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Having achieved a number of objectives already, team members remain fully engaged as they collaborate on many concurrent writing projects.
Feeding food animals: How self-reliant is the Northeast?
January 5, 2017
New research by the Northeast Center-led EFSNE project reveals how well the Northeast US is able to meet the feed and forage needs of the food animals raised in the region. The team's findings build on earlier work to provide a more complete picture of how self-reliant the region is in meeting its population’s demand for meat, dairy, and eggs.
Sustainable Communities: Online course explores community systems
January 5, 2017
Communities need the expertise of community development professionals now more than ever. Whether your expertise is in agriculture, natural resources, youth, family or economic development you will be asked to help guide a stakeholder group through a difficult decision making process. The Foundations of Practice course, Sustainable Communities, offers you the tools, skills and knowledge to be the trusted resource community groups need in the emerging dialogs around local foods, energy and natural resources. The online course, facilitated by University of Vermont's Mary Peabody, begins February 2, 2017.
Placemaking webinar series offered by North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
January 4, 2017
A webinar series focusing on various aspects of placemaking is being offered by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD). The next webinar, "Stakeholder Centered Community Marketing," will be presented by the University of Wisconsin's Kristin Runge on January 19, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information, including all the titles in the series and links to archived recordings, follow the link to the NCRCRD website.
Webinar to explore community-centered design on January 25, 2017
January 3, 2017
"Community-Centered Design: How to Empower Residents to Shape the Development of their Communities," is the topic of a webinar being offered by the Southern Rural Development Center on January 25th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Community-centered design is a method that invites a community to imagine and build places that reflect what matters most to them – both as a community and as individuals.
Documenting community outcomes with surveys is topic of February 6, 2017 webinar
January 2, 2017
The National Community and Economic Resource Development Indicators Team is hosting a webinar on February 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET, titled "Documenting Community Outcomes with Surveys: A how-to on designing questions and collecting data."
USDA announces $27 million in grants available to support the local food sector
January 2, 2017
The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service today announced the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Two webinars scheduled for February will introduce potential applicants to the grant programs, which include the Farmers Market Promotion Program, the Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program.
Farm size and productivity to be focus of international conference
January 2, 2017
The relationship between agrarian structure and agricultural productivity will be the subject of an international conference planned Feb. 2-3 in Washington, D.C. The conference—Farm Size and Productivity: A Global Look—is a collaboration of USDA's Economic Research Service and Farm Foundation, NFP. Researchers and economists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the United States will discuss new research findings on agricultural development.
Call for presentation proposals for National Extension Tourism conference
January 1, 2017
Presentation proposals are being accepted for the 2017 National Extension Tourism conference, which will take place in Princeton, NJ on August 8-10, 2017. This year’s theme, “Tourism in the 21st Century: Connecting Communities, Places, and People,” focuses on the important role that tourism plays in many aspects of communities, places, and people. The deadline for submitting presentation proposals is March 13, 2017.
Latest headlines from our social media feeds, January 2017
January 1, 2017
What does the opioid epidemic have to do with the election? Why do some community planners go to great lengths to engage their citizenry? What can the maker movement do for manufacturing? These questions are among those answered in news stories we curate for you on our social media feeds. If you haven't followed the Northeast Center on social media yet, here is a sampling of what you're missing.