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2020

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.
Atiles named West Virginia University's dean of Extension and engagement
May 28, 2020
Jorge Atiles has been selected as the next leader of the statewide West Virginia University Extension Service, effective June 29. Atiles will also hold a faculty appointment in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
Congratulations to regional NACDEP 2020 award winners
May 28, 2020
At this year's virtual NACDEP conference, several regional partners were recognized with awards. Members of the Farm Fresh Food Boxes team, the University of New Hampshire Nature Economy team, and the LEAD New York program were among this year's award recipients.
RRDCs aggregating resources for communities responding to Coronavirus
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.)
NERCRD's COVID-19 Update
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.
CDC update for rural partners, stakeholders, and communities on the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response
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.
NERCRD 2019 Annual Report released
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!
NERCRD invests in four new multi-state collaborations through its 2019-2020 small grants program
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!
Newly published NERCRD research examines rural innovation, expansion of hop production, and community influence on longevity
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.
Amplifying the Rural Voice: Choices Magazine looks at 2020 Census challenges and opportunities
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.
USDA releases vision for scientific initiatives through 2025
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."
Rural Community Action Guide released to help guide local responses to addiction crisis
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.)
"Farm and Farm Family Risk and Resilience Toolkit" released to support Extension programming
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.
Community factors influence how long you’ll live, study shows
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.
"Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparities" released
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.
New tourism webinar series launches with a look at national Extension and Sea Grant programming
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.
Craft-beer boom linked to record-number of US states growing hops
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.
Innovation is widespread in rural areas, not just cities
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.