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.

Goetz named president-elect of North American Regional Science Council

December 11, 2018

Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, was appointed president-elect of the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) last month.

Farewell to longtime NERCRD research associate Yicheol Han

December 11, 2018

Congratulations to longtime NERCRD research associate, Yicheol Han, who has accepted a position as a research fellow at the Korea Rural Economic Institute in Nasu-si, South Korea. Han (known by many as “Char”) will be leaving the Center at the end of the month, after more than seven years of very productive service.

Multi-state project sheds light on rural population change following the Great Recession

December 10, 2018

A new publication features the research highlights and findings of a multi-state project titled "The Great Recession, Its Aftermath, and Patterns of Rural and Small Town Demographic Change, 2012-2017." The research team, which included NERCRD Technical Advisory Committee Member László J. Kulcsár and many other colleagues from the region, carried out important first steps in developing policies that address the current and future needs of rural people, places, and institutions. Read the impact statement and learn more about the team's findings here (links to PDF).

Commentary offers new thinking about regional food systems

December 7, 2018

In the fall issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, Kate Clancy and Kathy Ruhf discuss “regional” as an essential and distinct framework for advancing sustainable food systems. In their commentary, the authors offer an update to their 2010 examination of the value of regional thinking and the regional scale in food systems. They also share six suggestions for working at the regional scale. Clancy and Ruhf both were members of the leadership team of the "Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast through Regional Food Systems" (EFSNE) project.

Recordings available for impact-evaluation webinar series by CRD Indicators Team

December 6, 2018

If you missed one of the webinars organized this year by the National Community and Economic Resource Development (CRD) Indicators Team team, fear not -- recordings are available online for viewing anytime. The team collaborates to share compelling stories about the collective impacts of community and economic development work, at local, state, regional and national levels.

UNH's Molly Donovan receives APLU's Northeast Excellence in Extension Award

December 6, 2018

Molly Donovan, a University of New Hampshire Extension community and economic development state specialist, received the Northeast Regional Award for Excellence in Extension from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) last month. The APLU awards committee praised Donovan’s work with “citizen volunteers and leaders to build resilient communities and a strong economy” in New Hampshire cities and towns. UNH Extension Dean and Director Ken La Valley accepted the award on Donovan’s behalf at APLU’s annual meeting in New Orleans. Congratulations, Molly!

NACDEP call for presentation proposals is now open

December 5, 2018

The National Association for Community Development Professionals (NACDEP) is now accepting proposals for presentations, workshops, and posters for its 2019 conference. The conference, which has the theme of "Homegrown to New Heights," will be held in Asheville, NC, June 9-13.

Happy Holidays!

December 3, 2018

The Northeast Regional Center would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season and best wishes in the new year! Our offices will be closed from December 22, 2018 to January 2, 2019.

Study of Northeast food system advances understanding of regional potential

October 23, 2018

After seven years of analyzing a number of consumption, distribution, production, and other aspects of the Northeast U.S. food system, researchers from Penn State and 10 other universities and organizations have made significant gains in understanding the extent to which the region can increase production of certain foods, and potentially better meet the food needs of low-income populations in the locations they studied. Findings and outputs from the project, which concluded earlier this year, will be useful to food system planners, policy makers, researchers and advocates interested in advancing regional food systems.

R&D-heavy firms thrive in diverse economies

October 22, 2018

Companies that invest heavily in research and development are more likely to benefit from locating near dissimilar businesses, while companies that invest less in technology are better off near businesses in their own industry, according to new research by a team of economists. The findings can help business owners and policy makers design better business strategies and economic policies.

Rural and urban communities need different policies to boost economic mobility

October 21, 2018

The farther away from a city a person is raised, the more likely they are to climb the economic ladder, according to economists, who also found that community characteristics associated with upward mobility actually have different effects in rural and urban locations.

Poor mental health days may cost the economy billions of dollars

October 20, 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.

Northeast Center welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors

October 19, 2018

There were some new faces at the Northeast Center’s in-person meeting of its Board of Directors (BOD) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) this year. Richard Rhodes III, Executive Director of the Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NERA), and Bernadette (Bunny) Reichle, Northeast CARET Chair, each joined the Board of Directors for a three-year term.

Presentations explore land-grant university role in rural development

October 19, 2018

A special session of the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association meeting focused on the land-grant institutional capacity to support human capital and to cultivate economic opportunity over the nation’s vast rural expanse. Representatives of the USDA, the Regional Rural Development Centers, and other applied economists from the land grants spoke about recent successes and future challenges. The presentations are archived online.

New tool to help rural communities address the opioid epidemic

October 18, 2018

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and USDA announced a new listing of Federal programs that can be used to build resilient communities and address opioid misuse in rural communities. The Rural Resource Guide to Help Communities Address Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse is a first-of-its-kind, one-stop-shop for rural leaders looking for Federal funding and partnership opportunities, according to a USDA press release. Read the full press release and download the resource guide here:

University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension’s Community and Economic Development program launches newsletter

October 17, 2018

The UNH Community and Economic Development Update is a quarterly newsletter that includes stories about local community and economic development programs, information about upcoming workshops and events, and resources for new community and economic development topics.

Report: Residents of rural U.S. largely optimistic about the future and like where they live

October 16, 2018

A poll conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Public Radio, and Harvard University shows that rural residents like their jobs and say they are doing better than their parents—but worry about drug abuse and their local economies.

$500,000 grant to focus on how rural innovation happens, how to inspire more

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.