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Northeast Center publishes the bi-monthly newsletter, NETWORK, that focuses primarily on issues and problems of rural areas in the northeast region of the United States.

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If you would prefer to receive a hard-copy of any or all of the articles from an issue of NETWORK, please contact the Center, 814-863-4656.

February 23, 2018

We are pleased to announce that Heather Manzo has joined the Northeast Center as its Associate Director for Extension, effective January 2018. In this role, Heather will work with Extension Educators across the region to identify opportunities for cross-state collaborations and sharing of programs, and will help document the impact of Community and Economic Development Extension programs across the region.

February 23, 2018

In 2017, the Northeast Center continued its work of growing strong, collaborative networks with our land-grant partners, numerous federal agencies, and private institutions. We worked on a number of research and outreach projects that reached thousands of people. Read all about it in our latest annual report!

Image: USDA
February 23, 2018

A paper titled "The Economic Status of Rural America in the President Trump Era and beyond" was published this month in a special issue of Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy and was authored by Center Director Stephan Goetz, Mark Partridge (Ohio State University), and Heather Stephens (West Virginia University and NERCRD Technical Advisory Committee). The authors review the current economic conditions of rural America and the current literature, in order to set the stage for future research aimed at developing public policies that support economic prosperity in rural areas.

Image credit: Jonathan Perez, via Unsplash
January 26, 2018

The overprescribing of opioid-based painkillers may be the main driver of the increased abuse of opioids in rural America, but new research by Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz and Meri Davlasheridze (Texas A&M) suggests that other factors, including declining farm income, extreme weather and other natural disasters, may affect a crisis that is killing thousands of citizens and costing the country billions of dollars.

January 25, 2018

For seven years a multidisciplinary team of more than 40 researchers led by the NERCRD has explored the extent to which a more robust regional food system in the Northeastern U.S. could improve food access in low-income communities and improve the long-term food security of the entire Northeast. Now, in an initial collection of three papers published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, team members have summarized some of their findings.

The workshop will be held prior to the NAREA conference, which will take place in Philadelphia, PA in June 2018.
January 24, 2018

The 2018 Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) Pre-Conference Workshop, co-sponsored by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, will be held on June 9-10, 2018, just prior to the NAREA conference taking place June 10-12 in Philadelphia, PA. This pre-conference workshop will highlight recent advances in the economic analysis of food systems in the U.S. as well as globally.

Image source: Routledge Publishing
January 16, 2018

A newly published book co-edited by Don Albrecht, Scott Loveridge, Stephan Goetz, and Rachel Welborn includes chapters from nationally known experts from throughout the U.S. to provide insight to help understand and address the difficult housing concerns within rural areas.

January 15, 2018

The National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) will be holding its annual conference in Cleveland, OH, June 10-13, 2018. This year's conference theme is "Communities that Rock."

January 15, 2018

The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) invites you to explore its new website and programming resources. EDEN Community and Economic Development (CED) delegates have expanded resources for communities as they prepare for, recover from, and mitigate disasters.

Credit: University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics
January 13, 2018

"Urban Agriculture: A Guide for Municipalities" was developed through a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics and the Allegheny County Conservation District, with help from several local and regional partners. The guide describes the benefits of urban agriculture and its many activities for healthy, vibrant communities, and walks the reader through how these activities can be properly and legally permitted through changes to local zoning ordinances. (Links to PDF)

The workshop will be held prior to the NAREA conference, which will take place in Philadelphia, PA in June 2018.
December 14, 2017

The 2018 Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) Pre-Conference Workshop, co-sponsored by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, will be held on June 9-10, 2018, in Philadelphia, PA.

November 10, 2017

We are pleased to welcome several new scholars to the Northeast Center!

November 10, 2017

The Center's signature food systems research project, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast through Regional Food Systems (EFSNE), has issued several research briefs that serve to distill peer-reviewed journal articles authored by one or more project team members into 2-4 page documents intended for a general audience.

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

November 10, 2017

In 2016, with funding from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), the Northeast Center established an award program that provided three teams with access to a new data set that allowed them to explore ways in which business innovation is happening in rural areas, and its impact on rural communities and regional economies. Now that the program has ended, members from each of the funded teams presented their findings in two special sessions co-organized with ERS at the North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association.

UNH members of the Planning Student Organization presented their First Impressions report to the Somersworth City Council. The report is available at Image courtesy of Casey Hancock, UNH.
November 9, 2017

At this summer’s NACDEP meeting, University of New Hampshire (UNH) Extension’s Community and Economic Development Program Coordinator Casey Hancock described how she and her colleagues involved undergraduate student members of the UNH Planning Student Organization in First Impressions programming, which turned out to be a winning partnership. We caught up with Hancock to learn more about how the partnership worked.

November 6, 2017

In 2015, the Northeast Center provided funding to West Virginia University (WVU) Extension and partner institutions to expand WVU’s First Impressions (FI) program into other states. We've launched a new web clearinghouse for FI training resources and reports from our partners who have implemented FI in their states.

To learn more about health insurance and the farming community, visit the HIREDnAg website:
October 23, 2017

A paper published recently in the Journal of Extension explores Extension's role at the intersection of agriculture and health insurance, focusing on current efforts, needs, and opportunities.

October 17, 2017

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held several listening sessions this fall, and continues to solicit public input on the emerging needs and opportunities in food and agricultural research, education, and extension through the initiative, “NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives.” To share your input, follow the linked headline to complete a survey, or submit written comments via

October 16, 2017

The USDA Economic Research Service recently released two reports that explore rural innovation and rural manufacturing, respectively. The authors found that innovation is widespread in rural areas, especially in the manufacturing sector, and that manufacturing is very important to the rural economy, providing more jobs and higher earnings than other sectors like farming and mining.