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NERCRD funds three multi-state teams to advance regional collaboration and impact data collection

Posted: November 10, 2017

Three grant proposals have been selected to receive funding through the Northeast Center's 2017-2018 "Impacts of Successful Extension and Outreach Programs" award program, which was designed to help Northeast Land-Grant University faculty and educators document the impacts of their work while also encouraging collaboration across state lines. Twenty-two people from nine states are participating in the projects. Selection of the funded projects was based on the recommendations of a review panel.
Twenty-two people from nine states are participating in the Center-funded projects. Map: Paul Robinson via Wikimedia Commons.

Twenty-two people from nine states are participating in the Center-funded projects. Map: Paul Robinson via Wikimedia Commons.

The programs that were selected for funding are:

Developing a Coordinated Community Risk Management Approach to Health and Health Insurance among Farm Enterprises

  • Virginia Brown, University of Maryland Extension (PI)
  • Maria Pippidis, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension (Co-PI)
  • Shoshannah Inwood, The Ohio State University (Co-PI)

Abstract: Farming is dangerous. Having health insurance serves as an important risk management tool protecting farmers against unforeseen costs associated with injury and illness. The goal of this project is to enable individuals and partnerships to take the lead in focusing on farming viability through a coordinated community risk management approach to health and health insurance for the farming enterprise. This community development approach will build on two previously successful initiatives, the Vermont Summit on Health, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development and the Smart Choice-Smart Use Health Insurance curriculum. Success will be documented through short-term program outcomes and NERCRD Impact Indicators.

Downtowns and Trails Program Assessment

  • Shannon Rogers, University of New Hampshire (PI)
  • Molly Donovan, University of New Hampshire (Co-PI)
  • Charlie French, University of New Hampshire (Co-PI)
  • Casey Hancock, University of New Hampshire (Co-PI)
  • Laura Brown, University of Connecticut (Co-PI)
  • Lisa Chase, University of Vermont (Co-PI)
  • Rebecca Sero, Washington State University (Co-PI)
  • Collaborator: Jayoung Koo, Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, (CEDIK) University of Kentucky

Abstract: Communities in New England often seek support for downtown economic development engagement and planning from Extension Educators. Communities are also beginning to question how their natural assets can be better integrated into improvements in quality of life and downtown vibrancy. Trail infrastructure can be an important natural asset. We are proposing the creation of a knowledge sharing network in New England so that Extension organizations can better understand and leverage existing knowledge, resources, and programs to help communities connect downtown economic development and local trails. This network will result in a guide to be used throughout New England and beyond.

Farm Fresh Food Boxes: A Marketing Innovation Linking Farmers to Rural Retailers, That Benefits Local Economies

  • Jane Kolodinsky, University of Vermont (PI)
  • Lisa Chase, University of Vermont (Co-PI)
  • Marilyn Sitaker, The Evergreen State College (Co-PI)
  • Julia Van Soelen, University of California, Davis (Co-PI)
  • Diane Smith, Washington State University (Co-PI)
  • Hans Estrin, University of Vermont (Co-PI)
  • Weiwei Wang, University of Vermont (Co-PI)
  • Lauren Greco, University of Vermont (Co-PI)
  • Mary Peabody, University of Vermont (Co-PI)
  • Christa Alexander, Jericho Settlers Farm, VT (Co-PI)
  • Teresa Snow, Salvation Farms, VT (Co-PI)
  • Mike Trackim, Jolley Mobile, VT (Co-PI)

Abstract: Farm Fresh Food Boxes is a multi-state collaboration between
extension and research that tests an innovative entrepreneurial model in which farmers and rural retailers partner to offer pre-ordered boxes of fresh local produce to local consumers. In addition to the metrics we are already collecting for outcome evaluation of the study, we propose to include Extension “action” and “impact” indicators that support a “but for” explanation of observed outcomes.