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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.

Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash
July 23, 2018

Poor mental health ranks as one of the costliest forms of sickness for U.S. workers and may sap billions of dollars from the country's income growth, according to a team of researchers including Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development staff.

Photo by Bradley Wentzel on Unsplash
July 12, 2018

A research team led by Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz will receive $500,000 over three years to study innovation in rural communities and find ways for communities to support rural entrepreneurs.

Photo by Jeffrey Lin on Unsplash
July 11, 2018

World Cup football teams with a higher proportion of players smiling in their official portraits have scored more goals on average in all group phases since 1970. The authors of this study argue that smiling is a reflection of confidence. Greater confidence results in a greater capacity to overcome complex situations and score more goals. Center Director Stephan Goetz and his colleague David A. Fleming-Muñoz decided to explore whether this same smiling-creativity link holds for entire societies by looking at the relationship between happiness and creative capacity. (Links to article published in The Conversation.)

Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash
July 3, 2018

Wineries, breweries, fall festivals, hiking, camping….these are just some of the joys of the great outdoors and the bucolic beauty of visiting a thriving farm. Activities such as these are important economic drivers to many business owners living in rural America, and represent an arena of potential for the Land Grant system. A national group of Extension-affiliated professionals is interested in creating best practices to better help rural communities develop resilient businesses and advance Extension work under the tourism umbrella.

Credit: Andisheh A on Unsplash
July 2, 2018

From entrepreneurs' use of Twitter to the impacts of a popular Extension program, several newly published manuscripts co-authored by NERCRD staff shed light on a wide range of community and economic development topics.

The Ag Alternatives publication is available at
July 1, 2018

A multi-disciplinary team of Penn State Extension staff, faculty and researchers, along with NERCRD staff, worked together to create a new publication on industrial hemp production that explores the production practices, economics, and policies around this crop.

Photo by Karolina Szczur on Unsplash
June 30, 2018

Western PA has experienced a recent boom in local breweries and distilleries, but the supply chain supporting these businesses is not well understood. A Penn State Extension team including NERCRD Associate Director Heather Manzo conducted research in 2017 to assess current and future production levels and supply chain actors and to identify future potential for local and regional sourcing of ingredients. While the study focused on Western PA, some findings may be useful to other Northeast states.

June 30, 2018

In 2016, NERCRD Technical Advisory Committee Chair Paul Gottlieb launched a strategic planning effort on the Center's behalf aimed at understanding the economic development issues that are especially important to the rural areas of the Northeast. Last month, he took this effort on the road, sharing his findings at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) annual conference in order to garner feedback from state-based experts.

June 29, 2018

A new interactive feature on the USDA rural opioid misuse webpage allows visitors to learn about actions rural leaders are taking to address the opioid epidemic.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
June 29, 2018

The Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup is hosting an ongoing series of webinars on Extension substance abuse programming that could be shared quickly across state lines and used to help address the growing opioid crisis. Although several webinars have already taken place, recordings and other resources are available online. Mark Skidmore, Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, is coordinating the working group.

June 28, 2018

As part of a five-year, multi-state research project, researchers at Cornell University conducted a national survey to learn more about how well informed Americans thought their local leaders were, how levels of trust might vary when the issues at hand are controversial, and what local leaders should base their decisions on when those issues are controversial. The researchers summarized their findings in a recent policy brief published by the Cornell University Community and Regional Development Institute. (Links to PDF.)

Image: Carsey Institute for Public Policy
June 28, 2018

A new research brief titled "Domestic Migration and Fewer Births Reshaping America" was released by the University of New Hampshire Carsey Institute for Public Policy earlier this year and shows that population migration patterns "are reverting to those common before the recession."

Credit: National Academies Press
June 28, 2018

To explore the impacts of economic, demographic, and social issues in rural communities and to learn about asset-based approaches to addressing the associated challenges, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on June 13, 2017. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Mary Peabody presented Michael Dougherty (top), Daniel Eades and Dougherty (middle), and Neal Fogle (bottom) with NACDEP awards at the Northeast regional meeting in Cleveland, OH. Images provided by Mary Peabody.
June 28, 2018

Congratulations to our colleagues who were recognized with awards from the National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) in Cleveland last month! Award winners from the Northeast include Michael Dougherty and Daniel Eades, West Virginia University (WVU), and Neal Fogle, Penn State.

Stephan Goetz (second from left) attended the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development conference in April 2018.
June 10, 2018

Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz traveled to Edinboro, Scotland this spring to attend the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference on rural innovation, where he learned about the UK's strong ties between rural development and tourism.

June 7, 2018

Several trainings are being held throughout the US for potential applicants to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The Northeast trainings are being held in Pennsylvania (Altoona, Lancaster, and Scranton) and in Moorefield, WV.

The researchers found that, often, the only way up economically for young people in rural communities is to move out. Image: wabisabi2015, via Flickr
March 29, 2018

Investing in education may help boost economic opportunities for the next generation, according to a team of economists including Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz.

Credit: Amy Humprhies via Unsplash
March 23, 2018

Case studies are a valuable way to synthesize and share lessons learned to create new knowledge and enhanced applications in practice. The National Extension Tourism (NET) Design Team is inviting submissions of case studies that highlight innovative and promising practices in sustainable tourism.

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!