Posted: March 24, 2022

We are pleased to share our latest Annual Report, which highlights our Center’s accomplishments and activities of 2021. While this was another very challenging year in many respects, we are grateful for the many opportunities to work with our regional and national partners in support of a strong and equitable rural recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges facing rural communities.

Download the 28-page Annual Report here (3MB PDF). 

Our 2021 accomplishments include:

report cover linking to pdf

A national and regional outreach portfolio that bolstered our Extension partners’ ability to create community impacts by:

  • Launching a year-long national initiative in collaboration with the other RRDCs to identify priorities and capacities for rural community, economic, and workforce development. The findings from this effort will inform our 2022-2023 plan of work and will be shared with USDA NIFA and other federal partners as stakeholder feedback.
  • Engaging deeply with the National Extension Tourism network to support their organizational growth and to help increase the reach of tourism and recreation Extension programming and research.
  • Supporting the formation and growth of several new knowledge-sharing networks in the region, including two groups that will examine tourism and resiliency through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A robust research agenda that contributed to society’s understanding of economic development, rural vitality and resilience, innovation, food systems, and social networks by:

  • Supporting a research fellowship that resulted in a new book, which explores how innovation manifests itself in rural places and contributes to entrepreneurial development and community resilience.
  • Providing new insights on COVID-19’s food system and food security impacts; on the importance and unique characteristics of female farmers; and on best practices for collaboratively developing craft beverage trails.
  • Initiating a new international research collaboration examining food insecurity during a pandemic using real-time social media data.
  • Sharing our findings widely via more than 20 presentations, 16 reports and articles, and six peer-reviewed publications.

Download the full 2021 Annual Report for a comprehensive look at the NERCRD’s 2021 activities and impacts, and reach out if you have any questions or feedback.