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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.

March 24, 2020

The Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) have set up a website to aggregate research and Extension resources related to COVID-19. (Links directly to the RRDC site.)

March 20, 2020

During this challenging time, we are thinking of our partners, colleagues, collaborators—all of you—wishing you safety and comfort. As we all adjust to new ways of living and working, we want to continue to support the important work you. As our collective community responds to the COVID-19 crisis, we no doubt will have resources and information to share in the coming weeks. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can be a resource to you during this time. Our team is working remotely, and will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

March 17, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hosting a webinar on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time to share guidance with partners, public health practitioners, healthcare providers, and others working to protect the health of rural communities.

March 16, 2020

In 2019, the Northeast Center continued its work of facilitating strong, collaborative networks across the land-grant system, across federal agencies, and across the nation. Together with our collaborators, we achieved a number of research and outreach milestones. Read all about it in our 2019 Annual Report!

March 16, 2020

Four projects have been selected to receive funding through the Center's 2019-2020 small grants program, based on input from an independent review panel. The four project teams comprise 35 individuals from nine states, who will address community and economic development issues including the recreation economy, entrepreneurship education, Main Street revitalization, and attracting new residents. Congratulations to the funded teams!

Map showing latent innovation by U.S. county. Credit: Devon Meadowcroft, Penn State
March 14, 2020

Three recently published studies explore how often-overlooked innovation is taking place in areas not thought of as innovative; how the craft-beer boom is giving way to an unprecedented expansion of hop production; and, how community factors might influence longevity. The papers were published in Research Policy, Journal of Wine Economics, and Social Science and Medicine and were authored by researchers from NERCRD, the Korea Rural Economic Institute, West Virginia University, Michigan State University, and The University of Toledo.

March 13, 2020

A collection of articles recently published in Choices Magazine explores the theme of "Amplifying the Rural Voice: 2020 Census Challenges and Opportunities." Dr. Steve Turner, Director of the Southern Rural Development Center, served as the collection's guest editor. The articles (including one co-authored by NERCRD and UNH faculty) explore factors associated with lower Census counts; anticipated participation across the rural–urban continuum; strategies for improving participation; and, the importance of the Census to Cooperative Extension programs and services across the U.S. Choices is an outreach publication of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and is freely available online.

March 13, 2020

In February, the USDA released its Science Blueprint, which "provides a foundation for focused leadership and direction in advancing USDA’s scientific mission through 2025. It lays out five overarching themes for research, education, and economics, each with established objectives, strategies, and evidence-building measures."

March 13, 2020

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has released a Rural Community Action Guide to help equip rural leaders with information and wisdom gleaned from the front lines of addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery in rural America. The guide is intended to help local leaders design effective strategies for deployment in their own communities. (Links to PDF.)

March 13, 2020

A new toolkit developed by Bonnie Braun (University of Maryland Extension) and Maria Pippidis (University of Delaware Extension) provides several tools educators can use to apply the socio-ecological model to risk management and resilience educational programming for farm audiences. The toolkit includes a guidebook, logic models, and communication and programming tools.

Credit: Christopher Williams via Unsplash
March 13, 2020

While lifestyle choices and genetics go a long way toward predicting longevity, a new study shows that certain community characteristics also play important roles. American communities with more fast food restaurants, a larger share of extraction industry-based jobs, or higher population density have shorter life expectancies, according to researchers from Penn State, West Virginia, and Michigan State Universities. Their findings can help communities identify and implement changes that may promote longer lifespans among their residents.

March 12, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal partners have released an updated Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparities. The Compendium was produced by the Interdepartmental Health Equity Collaborative (IHEC) and hosted by the HHS Office of Minority Health. First released in 2016, the Data Compendium serves as a resource that identifies the relationship between socioeconomic factors, social determinants of health, and health equity. This updated Compendium includes descriptions of more than 250 databases, information relevant to public health crises, and information on datasets with more controlled access.

March 11, 2020

In February 2020, the National Extension Tourism Design Team in collaboration with Sea Grant launched a webinar series to provide programmatic examples from both the Sea Grant and Land Grant networks. The first webinar in the series was held in February and focused on results from a survey conducted nationally to identify the types of Sea Grant and Extension tourism programs offered across the U.S. and programmatic gaps and challenges. A recording and resources mentioned during the webinar are now available.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
January 6, 2020

Craft breweries aren't just a fun place to meet up with friends. They may be fueling an unprecedented geographic expansion of hop production across the U.S., according to researchers at Penn State and The University of Toledo. Their findings suggest that as more craft breweries emerge around the country, so may new opportunities for farmers.

Credit: Devon Meadowcroft, Penn State
January 6, 2020

Conventional measures of innovation suggest that only big cities foster new ideas, but a more comprehensive measure developed at the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development shows that innovation is widespread even in rural places not typically thought of as innovative. This "hidden" innovation brings economic benefits to businesses and communities, according to researchers, whose findings will help decision makers think in new ways about innovation and how they can support it.

November 22, 2019

With funding from the Northeast Center, a multi-state team will bring the Marketing Hometown America program to the Northeast Region. The team is composed of members from Penn State Extension, West Virginia University Extension, and University of New Hampshire Extension.

Farm Vitality and Health was a special insert developed for The Delmarva Farmer, a weekly newspaper for farmers and agriculture industry professionals in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
November 21, 2019

A collection of articles aimed at providing health and economic information to farmers and agricultural professionals was published in The Delmarva Farmer and is a useful resource for those working with farming communities. It was just one of the outcomes from two state-wide forums organized last year by recipients of a Northeast Center grant.

The FFFB project developed an infographic, along with a report, describing their evaluation using four impact indicators. Follow the links below to access them.
November 21, 2019

In 2018, the Farm Fresh Food Boxes project received a grant from the Center to demonstrate the impact of their project using selected community economic development indicators. They have developed an infographic and report to share their findings.

November 21, 2019

Is your community searching for economic development opportunities and better food access? Farm Fresh Food Box (F3B) is an innovative model in which farmers and retailers provide affordable fresh produce to rural customers. If you're interested in learning more about the F3B model, check out the team's December 5 webinar (register by December 4), and attend their "deep-dive virtual workshops" in 2020.

Bob Ratcliffe, US National Park Service, addresses the 80+ person audience. Image credit: Trav Williams, Broken Banjo Photography.
November 20, 2019

Many online resources are now available from the 2019 Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Conference, which took place in Astoria, Oregon in October. The conference theme emphasized the “triple bottom line” approach to supporting tourism and outdoor recreation development, which emphasizes the ecology, economy, and people involved with places and experiences.