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2019

Small grants program continues with “Marketing Hometown America” project
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.
Linking farm vitality and health: statewide-forums give rise to new publication for farmers
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.
Farm Fresh Food Boxes team tests impact indicators, measures impact of their program
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.
Farm Fresh Food Boxes team offers webinar, workshops on their model
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.
Dispatch from the 2019 Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Conference
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.
Innovative and promising practices in sustainable tourism documented in collection of case studies
November 20, 2019
A new book of case studies from across North and Central America provides a look at nine innovative approaches taken to develop sustainable tourism in a variety of contexts. The book, titled "Innovative and Promising Practices in Sustainable Tourism" and edited by Nicole Vaugeous, Miles Phillips, Doug Arbogast and Patrick Brouder, is freely available online.
NERCRD well-represented at North American Regional Science Council conference
November 16, 2019
The North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) held its annual meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, this year, and the Center was well-represented. Center Director Stephan Goetz, the 2019 president-elect of NARSC, delivered the presidential address, titled "Network Applications in Regional Science: New Insights from Old Tools." In addition, Postdoctoral Scholars Elizabeth Dobis, Devon Meadocroft, and Zheng Tian presented on their research.
Get to know NERCRD's Sarah Rocker
November 15, 2019
Northeast Center Postdoctoral Scholar Sarah Rocker was featured recently in the newsletter of the Food Systems Leadership Network of the Wallace Center at Winrock International. Check out the profile, authored by Annalina Kazickas, for a look into how Sarah found her way to food systems work, what inspires her, plus a peek at her home garden!
Rural innovation redefined: Presentation by Dr. Charlie French
November 14, 2019
For several days in September, the Northeast Center hosted Dr. Charlie French, Associate Extension Professor at University of New Hampshire, while he conducted research on resilient, rural communities including the role of innovation. As part of his visit, he gave a seminar titled "Rural Innovation Redefined." A recording of his presentation is available online.
Incentivizing the missing middle: Presentation by Dr. Heather Stephens
November 14, 2019
In October, Dr. Heather Stephens, Assistant Professor of Resource Economics and Management at West Virginia University and incoming Chair of the NERCRD Technical Advisory Committee, gave an invited seminar at Penn State titled "Incentivizing the Missing Middle: The Role of Economic Development Policy." The presentation and the working paper on which it was based are both available online.
Small-grant program update: Reopening our 2019 Request for Proposals
November 8, 2019
The Northeast Center is reissuing its 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP) to its small-grants program. The program is designed to help Northeast land-grant university faculty and educators document the impacts of their work while also encouraging collaboration across state lines. This new iteration of the RFP includes changes aimed at making the program more accessible to a wider audience by reducing the number of team members required and allowing more flexibility in the geographic composition of funded teams. Proposals will be due January 10, 2020.
Two Center-related research papers recognized with awards
November 3, 2019
Stephan Goetz and his co-authors recently received awards for their published research from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and from Emerald Publishing.
Wisconsin Public Radio features Center research
November 2, 2019
Stephan Goetz, Director of the Northeast Center, discusses the factors that make some communities more resilient in recovering from economic downturns in this 12-minute interview with Wisconsin Public Radio.
Aging in rural America focus of new research network
November 1, 2019
The rural population in the U.S. is aging at a more rapid rate than in urban areas, while disparities in rural health and life expectancy continue to grow. A new five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) will fund a Penn State-led project to build an interdisciplinary network of researchers focusing on rural population health and aging.
Call for proposals for NACDEP 2020
October 31, 2019
The National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) is now accepting proposals for their 2020 conference, which is scheduled to take place May 31-June 30, 2020 in Portsmouth, NH. Deadline for submission is Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 11:59pm.
Call for proposals: International Workshop on Agritourism
October 31, 2019
Farmers, researchers, agricultural service providers, tourism professionals, and others interested in agritourism are invited to submit proposals to present at the International Workshop on Agritourism in Burlington, Vermont October 27-29, 2020. The call for proposals will close Jan 31.
Save the Date: National Health Outreach Conference 2020
October 30, 2019
Mark your calendars for the 2020 National Health Outreach Conference! The conference will be held May 13-15, 2020 at the Marriott on the Plaza in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. With the theme of “The Grand Challenge: Building a Healthy Future for All,” there will be sessions related to Nutrition, Health, 4-H Youth Development, Workforce Development, Human Development, and many other topics.
New method of analyzing networks reveals hidden patterns in data
September 12, 2019
A new way of measuring how relationships in a network change over time can reveal important details about the network, according to researchers at the Northeast Regional Center and the Korean Rural Economic Institute. For example, when applied to the world economy, the method detected the greatest amount of network change during 2008-09, the time of the global financial crisis.
Location, location, location: Where and how do food hubs flourish?
July 29, 2019
For a new food hub to succeed, it should be located in a community with a population sufficient to sustain it, according to a team of economists, who found that a county seeking to establish its first food hub needs roughly 182,000 residents for that food hub to break even. Their findings could help funding agencies establish criteria to determine whether and where new food hubs should be added.
"Innovation Issues" research brief series launches with a look at a new measure of rural innovation
July 26, 2019
Smaller and rural businesses innovate in ways that are often missed by traditional measures of innovation and, as a result, little is known about their innovation activity. However, through a funding program administered by the Northeast Center in collaboration with the USDA Economic Research Service, three research teams have broadened our understanding of how rural businesses are innovating and the effects such innovation is having on communities. With the goal of distilling some of their findings for a general audience, the Northeast Center is launching a new series of research briefs. The first focuses on a new, broad measure of innovation that provides insight into the effects of innovation on the economic health of communities and businesses.
New faces at the Northeast Center
July 25, 2019
We're delighted to welcome to the Northeast Center our new business manager, Kim Boonie, and three new postdoctoral scholars: Devon Meadowcroft, Anne Põder, and Sarah Rocker.
Toolkit for surveying and mapping local/regional food system assets now available
July 25, 2019
Looking for ways to better understand your local food system? A new toolkit, developed by Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County, may be used to support projects seeking to acquire a more robust understanding of local/regional food system assets.
Connecting downtowns and trails: new infobrief provides key findings from multi-state inquiry
July 24, 2019
With funding from the Northeast Center, a team of Extension staff and faculty from five states explored how communities can leverage their existing trail systems to promote vibrant downtown economies. They've recently released an infobrief that summarizes what they learned.
Penn State's Ted Alter part of team receiving United Nations Public Service Award
July 23, 2019
Ted Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental and regional economics in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is among an international group of community, industry, government and academic leaders who are being lauded for their work to help manage an invasive and destructive species in Australia. The team has received the 2019 United Nations Public Service Award, the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.
Still time to register for the 2019 Conference on Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation!
July 23, 2019
The National Extension Tourism Design team has been busy planning their biennial conference, and the program is taking shape. There's still time to register for this conference, taking place in the port city of Astoria, Oregon October 8-11.
Save the Date: NACDEP is coming to the Northeast in 2020!
July 23, 2019
The National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) 2020 conference will take place May 31-June 3 in Portsmouth, NH. For a peak at what's in store, check out a video produced by planning committee members from the University of New Hampshire!
Measuring network rewiring over time
June 29, 2019
A new paper by Stephan Goetz and former Northeast Center research associate Yicheol Han advances the field of network science by introducing a new method of measuring how relationships in networks change over time. It was published in PLOS ONE this month.
Request for Proposals: Impacts of Successful Extension and Outreach Programs
June 4, 2019
The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) announces a new competitive grant opportunity that is intended to help Northeast (NE) Land Grant University (LGU) faculty and educators document the impacts of their work while also encouraging collaboration across state lines. Proposals in the topic areas of innovation or tourism are especially encouraged. Proposals will be accepted until September 30, 2019.
Promoting economic resilience in Appalachia: Lessons from successful communities
May 8, 2019
The Appalachian communities that enjoyed persistent economic growth following the 2008 Great Recession have a number of factors in common, according to researchers who analyzed all 420 counties in the Appalachian region. Their findings will help guide future economic development strategies across Appalachia.
"Health Insurance and National Farm Policy" wins Honorable Mention for 2018’s Outstanding Choices Article
May 8, 2019
An article by the Health Insurance, Rural Economic Development and Agriculture (HIREDnAg) team led by Shoshanah Inwood of The Ohio State University (formerly of the University of Vermont) was selected to receive "Honorable Mention" for 2018’s Outstanding Choices Article. The article describes a study consisting of in-depth interviews with 100 farm families and surveys of 1,062 randomly selected farmers and ranchers in ten states. The team's findings paint a picture of how prominently health insurance figures into the decision-making of many farm families, who are engaged in one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S.
NERCRD research cited in the 2019 Economic Report of the President
May 6, 2019
NERCRD research is being used in the highest level of Federal Government. The 2019 Economic Report of the President cited three scientific papers written by NERCRD and collaborating researchers.
Multiple funding opportunities recently announced
April 6, 2019
The USDA, EPA, and others have recently announced funding opportunities that may be of interest to those working in community development, outdoor recreation, and food systems.
Tools for productive community meetings: Rising above the challenges
March 6, 2019
A team of Penn State Extension educators has developed a free video series that offers practical strategies to facilitate and build trust in the community. Titled “Community Conflict: Finding Middle Ground,” the series is designed to help community leaders, municipal officials and others who work in the public and nonprofit sector learn how to guide meetings toward a more productive and positive outcome for all. Each short video focuses on individual topics important to productive community conversations.
Registration now open for 2019 Sustainable Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Conference
March 1, 2019
The National Extension Tourism Design Team is hosting its biennial conference in Astoria, OR, October 8-11 and registration is now open. The team is working out its final agenda details and will be updating the conference website regularly.
2018 Annual Report now available
February 8, 2019
In 2018, the Northeast Center continued its work of growing strong, collaborative networks across the land-grant system, across federal agencies, and across the nation. Together with our collaborators, we worked on a number of research and outreach projects that reached thousands of people. Read all about it in our 2018 Annual Report!
University of New Hampshire's La Valley and Donovan join Northeast Center advisory groups
February 7, 2019
The Northeast Center's Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Committee recently filled their remaining vacancies with the addition of two new members from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension: Ken La Valley and Molly Donovan.
Reaching new audiences: Northeast Center research featured at National Governors’ Association meeting
February 6, 2019
Under the 2018-2019 National Governors’ Association (NGA) Chair’s Initiative, "Good Jobs for All Americans," the NGA is sponsoring three regional workshops in different locations across the U.S., with a culminating conference in Montana at the 2019 NGA Summer Meeting. The first regional event was held in Pittsburgh, where NERCRD Director Stephan Goetz provided context for a discussion around empowering the rural workforce.
New research documents economic resilience across Appalachia
February 6, 2019
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently released "Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia," a new study identifying factors common across communities experiencing persistent economic growth in the aftermath of the 2008 Recession and other economic disruptions. Together with West Virginia University, the NERCRD played an instrumental role in developing this report. The research includes a statistical analysis of key factors common to economic resilience. A companion Guidebook for Practitioners offers additional insight that can inform economic development strategies across Appalachia.
USDA launches high-speed broadband e-connectivity resource guide
February 6, 2019
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett recently announced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. The e-Connectivity Toolkit features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The guide allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources that the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research, and other e-Connectivity projects.
Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup releases report
February 6, 2019
In many states, universities within the land-grant system are responding to the opioid crisis. However, the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) felt that a coordinated land-grant effort could provide a more comprehensive and effective strategy for addressing the ongoing crisis, and created the Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup (EOCRW) to develop a strategic framework to guide Extension activities related to addressing the crisis nationwide. The EOCRW has issued a final report that summarizes their process and activities, findings, and recommendations.
Report: Pennsylvania population trends mirror employment changes since 2000
February 5, 2019
Changes in the distribution of Pennsylvania's population — largely toward the state's southeastern quadrant — reflect challenges that policymakers need to address to promote and maintain statewide prosperity, suggests a new report compiled by economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
New webinar series explores community-based stakeholder engagement in natural resources
February 4, 2019
The multi-disciplinary Water for Agriculture project is hosting a webinar on February 19 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on the Voluntary Stewardship Program. The webinar will offer an on-the-ground example of diverse interests engaging in a collaborative process to address issues around preserving agriculture while protecting natural resources like water and fish. It is the first in a series intended to encourage sharing of scholarship and practitioners’ experience with community-based stakeholder engagement in natural resources.
APLU launches "Rural Engagement for Resilient Communities" learning exchange forum
February 2, 2019
The APLU invites you to join a group of university leaders making a difference in rural communities. This Learning Exchange Forum will be a series of monthly phone calls for members to exchange best practices, engage philanthropic, private sector, and government funders, and more. Co-chaired by Sheila Martin, APLU, and Michael Gaffney, Washington State University, the group will hold a monthly discussion every third Tuesday at 12:00 noon Eastern time, beginning February 19, 2019.
Call for proposals for the 2019 Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation conference
January 2, 2019
The National Extension Tourism Design Team is accepting presentation proposals for the 2019 Sustainable Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Conference, scheduled for October 8-11, 2019 in Astoria, OR. The conference will provide a forum for Extension professionals, academic faculty, and others working in the broad area of tourism and recreation, including tourism service providers and businesses, to share programs, initiatives, research, and success stories, and network with other professionals.