NERCRD 2020 Annual Report now available

April 5, 2021

The year 2020 has been described as the most difficult that many Americans may experience in their lifetimes. Despite challenges and loss, colleagues and stakeholders across the region rose to the occasion, shifting to new modes of work and collaboration. Each of our partners worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork for a strong and more equitable recovery. We are honored to be part of such an inspiring network, and grateful for the many opportunities to work with our regional and national collaborators on projects that supported communities responding to the pandemic.

New York Muck Onion Growers explore "Goût de Terroir"

March 25, 2021

With support from NERCRD, an intrepid group of onion growers in New York state have launched a strategic business planning project to explore collaborative promotion and marketing.

New study examines importance and unique characteristics of U.S. female farmers

March 1, 2021

While women can be drawn into farming for many reasons, NERCRD researchers have found that female-owned farms in the U.S. are more common in areas that are closer to urban markets, that engage in agritourism activity, and that offer greater access to childcare.

Pennsylvanians are experiencing hunger at highest levels since onset of pandemic

February 18, 2021

At the end of 2020, more than 12% of Pennsylvania households were experiencing hunger — the highest rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NERCRD researchers. Their report confirms anecdotal and media reports and highlights the role that community resources, such as food pantries and free school lunches, are playing in the state.

Welcoming Dr. Jason Entsminger to the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development

February 12, 2021

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is pleased to announce that Jason S. Entsminger will join the Center in a new assistant research professor position, effective February 15, 2021. In this role, Dr. Entsminger will lead the Center’s outreach-oriented activities primarily by fostering and strengthening the Center’s relationships with Northeast land grant universities and rural development partners, and by identifying and responding to opportunities for cross-state collaborations and sharing of programs. He also will contribute to the Center’s research program.

NERCRD researchers develop new tool for visualizing vulnerabilities in supply chains

February 11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically exposed the economic vulnerability of U.S. businesses, primarily because they are so interconnected: when one region experiences a labor shortage or supply interruption, adverse effects reverberate throughout the global economy. Researchers at NERCRD and the Korea Rural Economic Institute have developed a model to help visualize the interconnectedness of businesses and industries over geographic space, which potentially can show supply-chain vulnerabilities to future shocks, such as pandemics or climate-change impacts.

Announcing a change in NERCRD communications

January 6, 2021

After many years of using a listserv for network communications, NERCRD is shifting its communications to a new platform—Mailchimp. The changes are expected to improve the Center's ability to share news and announcements with its stakeholders.

New project to explore models for connecting healthcare organizations with local agricultural producers

December 7, 2020

NERCRD is participating in a one-year project aimed at identifying a sustainable model for connecting regional healthcare organizations with local communities and agricultural producers. The project is funded jointly by the Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and College of Medicine.

NERCRD accomplishments and future plans reviewed at annual meeting in October

December 1, 2020

Members of the Northeast Center's Board of Directors (BOD) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met virtually at the end of October to review the Center's progress towards its goals and to provide input to its 2021 plan of work.

NACDEP issues request for conference presentation proposals for 2021

December 1, 2020

Proposals are now being accepted for the National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals 2021 Conference, which is taking place in Coeur d’Alene, ID, May 16-19, 2021. Consideration is given to a wide range of community development topics including economic development, diversity and inclusion, human capacity building, community resilience and sustainability, infrastructure, natural environment, building capacity within government and organizations, tourism, and response to COVID-19.

Return on investment, public value estimates, and using the “but for” attribution principle

November 23, 2020

An article recently published in Journal of Extension demonstrates how a team from University of Minnesota Extension quantified the economic benefits of one of their leadership programs using the “but for” attribution principle. This principle is described in detail in “The Impact Indicators Tip Booklet: Practical and Credible Methods for Using the 'But For' Rule to Document Extension Community Development Impacts," published by NERCRD and available online. Hat tip to George Morse for bringing this article to our attention.

Webinar series on farm stress offered by Mississippi State University Extension Service

November 23, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently launched a webinar series about farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers. The series is open to a national audience and will benefit agricultural producers, industry professionals, Extension agents, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees and other individuals who work in or support those in the agricultural industry.

Rural health findings from the National Center for Health Statistics

November 19, 2020

The NCHS has recently issued two scientific reports that include rurality in their analyses. A data brief on chronic pain shows that "percentage of adults with chronic pain and high impact chronic pain increased as place of residence became more rural." Another report explores the urban-rural differences in visits to doctors by adults with hypertension.

Insights from Coming Together for Racial Understanding trainings are published in Journal of Extension

November 19, 2020

The Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU) initiative, formed as a rapid response team by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy in 2016, has since trained 90 Extension professionals from 26 states. Several organizers and participants have documented the outcomes in a Journal of Extension article, published in October 2020. They describe a "great need for increased education and capacity building to address racism and prioritize racial equity both within our institutions and in the communities we serve" and a critical need "for administrators to show visible support."

NERCRD is hiring an Assistant Research Professor

October 12, 2020

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is seeking applications for a non-tenure track Assistant Research Professor position.

New research briefs explore facets of rural innovation

August 27, 2020

We have added two new research briefs to our "Innovation Issues" series. One brief describes research on how businesses use of different sources of knowledge and creativity drive their innovation activities. Another focuses on the relationship between innovation and knowledge management—how businesses acquire new knowledge and integrate technologies to help them apply it.

NERCRD partners on resource hub for local food-system response to COVID-19

August 26, 2020

NERCRD is partnering with University of Kentucky and Colorado State University in a one-year Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service, to research the impacts, adaptations and innovations of COVID-19 on U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems.

USDA-RD releases Recreation Economy Resource Guide

August 7, 2020

USDA-RD recently launched a resource guide to provide rural community leaders and economic development practitioners a complete list of programs at Rural Development, Forest Service, and National Institute for Food and Agriculture that can be used to support recreational economies in rural America.

Recognizing long-time NERCRD Board Member Gary Thompson

August 1, 2020

We bid Gary Thompson, a member of our Board of Directors since 2015, a fond farewell and best wishes as he embarks on a new role as Executive Director of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD). Since April 2011, Gary has served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and as Director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station. He also sat on the NERCRD Board of Directors since 2015, and served as Board Chair during his 2018-2019 term. We are grateful for his thoughtful leadership over the years. Read more about Gary’s Penn State legacy in this Penn State News story.

COVID-19 Publication Opportunity

July 27, 2020

The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Regional Rural Development Centers are proposing a special issue for Choices to be published in 2021 if our thematic proposal is accepted.

CDC's rural resources for responding to COVID-19

July 21, 2020

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently launched a webpage dedicated to providing rural communities with information on the COVID-19 pandemic and response. The page offers information for healthcare systems and providers, community organizations, and rural residents and business owners.

Researchers to create a roadmap for fostering successful agritourism enterprises

July 10, 2020

A team of researchers led by a Penn State agricultural economist will receive $500,000 over three years to study agritourism in the United States and to develop research-based information and guidance for farmers looking to diversify their incomes through agritourism activities.

NERCRD is hiring an Associate Director

June 3, 2020

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is hiring an Associate Director. This position will be responsible for leading the Center’s outreach oriented activities in consultation with the Director. Review of candidates will begin on June 15, 2020 and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

For small and minority farmers, networks influence the bottom line

June 3, 2020

In a study looking at the social networks of small-scale and minority specialty-crop farmers in Tennessee, Maryland, and Delaware, farmers who played a more prominent role in their network reported greater sales. The findings can help farming groups and agricultural support organizations leverage networks to enhance the farmers’ success.

Presentation to Council of State Governments East looks at COVID-19 impacts on agriculture and rural areas

June 2, 2020

NERCRD Director Stephan Goetz gave a presentation on the pandemic's effects on agriculture and rural areas on May 22, 2020 to the Council of State Governments (CSG) East. The webinar recording and slides are available on the CSG-East website.

Input sought on regional collaboration and networking opportunities

June 1, 2020

NERCRD is considering establishing Regional Research and Practice Affinity Groups as a way for Northeast-based practitioners and scholars to connect on core programming and research topics across institutions in the region. Especially in this time of diverse pandemic response efforts, we want to gauge NE stakeholder interest in additional collaboration and networking opportunities. Please take a few minutes to share your opinion in this short poll. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about the Small Business Innovation Research program through virtual trainings

May 28, 2020

The USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Office is pleased to offer an online training opportunity for those who would like to learn more about the SBIR program, which provides roughly $27,000,000 annually to small businesses to address problems facing rural America.

NERCRD COVID-19 Issues Briefs explore pandemic in multiple contexts

May 28, 2020

The NERCRD has produced a series of issues briefs in response to the COVID-19 crisis, designed to provide information quickly or stimulate discussion. The briefs released so far explore the virus in the context of direct farm sales, the fruit and vegetable industry, consumer spending and sourcing, network science, and regional science. More briefs are planned, and will be shared as they are published.

Tourism webinar series continues with a look at aquaculture tours

May 28, 2020

The National Extension Tourism Design Team in collaboration with Sea Grant launched a webinar series earlier this year to provide programmatic examples from both the Sea Grant and Land Grant networks. Recordings of recent webinars are available. The next webinar, scheduled for June 18, will be presented by Azure Cygler, Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Seafood Extension Specialist with Rhode Island Sea Grant, who will discuss aquaculture tours as a means to connect citizens directly with growers, help to work through tough use conflicts, and educate about the ecological value of aquaculture.

Call for case studies: Innovative and Promising Practices in Sustainable Tourism, Volume 2

May 28, 2020

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 and the World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation is inviting submissions of case studies that highlight innovative and promising practices in sustainable tourism. Expressions of interest are due by June 30, 2020.