New project aimed at solving agricultural water issues through community engagement

May 3, 2017

A group of institutions led by Penn State has received nearly $2.2 million for the first year of a planned four-year, $5 million project aimed at developing a model for engaging communities and stakeholders to ensure adequate supplies of good-quality water both for and from agriculture. Partners include the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Arizona State University and the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Funding opportunity: USDA announces $2.8 million to strengthen rural communities through health education

May 3, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced $2.8 million in available funding to health education projects for individuals and families living in rural areas. Funding is made through NIFA’s Rural Health and Safety Education (RHSE) Competitive Grant Program, which seeks to address the needs of rural Americans through individual and family health education programs delivered through cooperative extension.

Position announcement: UNH Extension seeking Community and Economic Development Field Specialist

May 2, 2017

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and Merrimack County invite qualified individuals to apply for the Merrimack County Economic Development Field Specialist position based in Boscawen, New Hampshire. The Field Specialist will provide educational outreach, technical assistance, community planning, and project implementation support that builds community and regional leaders’ capacity to implement effective strategies grow and sustain the economy and strengthen communities. This opportunity closes on May 31, 2017.

Position announcement: Michigan State University School of Planning, Design, and Construction

May 1, 2017

Michigan State University (MSU) School of Planning, Design, and Construction and MSU Extension seek a Director for their NCI unit. Formerly known as the National Charrette Institute, and based in a landscape architecture/urban planning tradition, NCI is currently focused on non-credit training and developing collaboration by design process techniques to address pressing social problems, with focus on urban and regional issues. NCI brings nationally recognized training curricula and hands-on community-based procedures along with its established networks. Formal review of applications will begin June 12, 2017. (Links to PDF version of full job description.)

Goetz named vice-chair of Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) Board of Directors

April 30, 2017

Stephan Goetz, the director of the Northeast Center, was named vice-chair of the Board of Directors of C-FARE earlier this month. Goetz has served on the Board since 2014, and on the organization's Blue Ribbon Experts Panel since 2011.

Adding grads and going green can brighten economic outlook

March 30, 2017

Attracting college graduates and boosting natural amenities may give communities a double shot of economic growth potential, according to a new peer-reviewed study by economists at the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development and California State University, Fresno.

2016 Annual Report now available

March 6, 2017

In our 2016 Annual Report, we report on the early impacts resulting from Center-funded interstate Extension collaborations; on the work of our Impact Indicators Learning Circle; on our research aimed at measuring impacts of Extension programs; and much more! Read all about it in our 18-page annual report, or explore the links embedded in our 2-page overview.

Seeking farmers' and ranchers' voices on health insurance

March 6, 2017

The Northeast Center is part of a multi-state research and Extension team studying health insurance, farm and ranching families and operations. The project is seeking farmers and ranchers to complete a 20-minute survey aimed at understanding their experiences with health insurance and how those experiences affect both their farm's economic development and their family’s quality of life.

What community and economic development training opportunities do you seek?

March 6, 2017

The University of New Hampshire seeks to identify the types of training and educational opportunities that would be of most interest to economic development practitioners who work with small- to medium-sized towns. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. Your input will help UNH develop training and educational resources for economic development practitioners, including planners, local officials, agency staff, and local volunteers. The findings from the survey will be shared publicly.

Webinar on April 11 to explore "deaths of despair" in small cities and rural areas

March 6, 2017

Shannon M. Monnat, Penn State, will present a webinar on April 11, 2017 titled "Deaths of Despair in Pennsylvania and Beyond: A Demographer’s Take on Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Mortality in Small City and Rural America." The webinar, taking place at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, is sponsored by the Community Assessment and Education to Promote Behavioral Health Planning and Evaluation (CAPE) project.

CDS and NACDEP conference registration now open

March 4, 2017

Registration is now open for the 2017 joint national conference of the Community Development Society (CDS) and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) is scheduled for June 11-14, 2017 in Big Sky, Montana.

National Extension Tourism conference registration now open

March 3, 2017

“Tourism in the 21st Century: Connecting Communities, Places and People” is the theme of the 2017 National Extension Tourism conference, taking place August 8 – 10, 2017 in Princeton, NJ. Registration is now open, and presentation proposals will be accepted until March 27, 2017.

New report explores whether economic development incentives are worth the cost

March 2, 2017

Our Technical Advisory Committee Chair, Paul Gottlieb, brought to our attention a hot topic currently being debated by economists: whether economic development incentives designed to attract businesses are worth their costs to taxpayers.

How health insurance affects farmers and ranchers to be explored in upcoming survey

January 31, 2017

Farmers in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Vermont who participate in an upcoming survey will help researchers understand how health-insurance policy affects farmers’ decisions to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises. Potential participants will be notified by mail if they are among those selected for the survey in early February 2017.

Center-led food security project extended for seventh year

January 6, 2017

The Northeast Center's signature food system project, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE), was recently granted a seventh-year no-cost extension by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Having achieved a number of objectives already, team members remain fully engaged as they collaborate on many concurrent writing projects.

Feeding food animals: How self-reliant is the Northeast?

January 5, 2017

New research by the Northeast Center-led EFSNE project reveals how well the Northeast US is able to meet the feed and forage needs of the food animals raised in the region. The team's findings build on earlier work to provide a more complete picture of how self-reliant the region is in meeting its population’s demand for meat, dairy, and eggs.

Sustainable Communities: Online course explores community systems

January 5, 2017

Communities need the expertise of community development professionals now more than ever. Whether your expertise is in agriculture, natural resources, youth, family or economic development you will be asked to help guide a stakeholder group through a difficult decision making process. The Foundations of Practice course, Sustainable Communities, offers you the tools, skills and knowledge to be the trusted resource community groups need in the emerging dialogs around local foods, energy and natural resources. The online course, facilitated by University of Vermont's Mary Peabody, begins February 2, 2017.

Placemaking webinar series offered by North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

January 4, 2017

A webinar series focusing on various aspects of placemaking is being offered by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD). The next webinar, "Stakeholder Centered Community Marketing," will be presented by the University of Wisconsin's Kristin Runge on January 19, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information, including all the titles in the series and links to archived recordings, follow the link to the NCRCRD website.

Webinar to explore community-centered design on January 25, 2017

January 3, 2017

"Community-Centered Design: How to Empower Residents to Shape the Development of their Communities," is the topic of a webinar being offered by the Southern Rural Development Center on January 25th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Community-centered design is a method that invites a community to imagine and build places that reflect what matters most to them – both as a community and as individuals.

Documenting community outcomes with surveys is topic of February 6, 2017 webinar

January 2, 2017

The National Community and Economic Resource Development Indicators Team is hosting a webinar on February 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET, titled "Documenting Community Outcomes with Surveys: A how-to on designing questions and collecting data."

USDA announces $27 million in grants available to support the local food sector

January 2, 2017

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service today announced the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Two webinars scheduled for February will introduce potential applicants to the grant programs, which include the Farmers Market Promotion Program, the Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program.

Farm size and productivity to be focus of international conference

January 2, 2017

The relationship between agrarian structure and agricultural productivity will be the subject of an international conference planned Feb. 2-3 in Washington, D.C. The conference—Farm Size and Productivity: A Global Look—is a collaboration of USDA's Economic Research Service and Farm Foundation, NFP. Researchers and economists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the United States will discuss new research findings on agricultural development.

Call for presentation proposals for National Extension Tourism conference

January 1, 2017

Presentation proposals are being accepted for the 2017 National Extension Tourism conference, which will take place in Princeton, NJ on August 8-10, 2017. This year’s theme, “Tourism in the 21st Century: Connecting Communities, Places, and People,” focuses on the important role that tourism plays in many aspects of communities, places, and people. The deadline for submitting presentation proposals is March 13, 2017.

Latest headlines from our social media feeds, January 2017

January 1, 2017

What does the opioid epidemic have to do with the election? Why do some community planners go to great lengths to engage their citizenry? What can the maker movement do for manufacturing? These questions are among those answered in news stories we curate for you on our social media feeds. If you haven't followed the Northeast Center on social media yet, here is a sampling of what you're missing.

New Community and Economic Development Educator at University of Connecticut: Laura Brown

May 9, 2015

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Laura Brown, who recently joined the University of Connecticut as a Community and Economic Development Educator. Brown, originally from Massachusetts, returned to the Northeast after nearly a decade in Wisconsin where she worked at the state and county levels on food systems and community development projects. We caught up with Brown to find out how her experiences in the Midwest will shape her work in Connecticut, and what issues she’ll be working on in the months to come.

Featured faculty: Matt Kaplan — seeing the silver lining in the "silver tsunami"

May 15, 2014

Communities throughout the region and the nation are bracing themselves for what some are calling the "silver tsunami" — the coming wave of baby boomers who will be entering old age. To Matt Kaplan — a professor of intergenerational programs and aging in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Education, and Sociology at Penn State — the "silver tsunami" can be a golden opportunity for communities.

University of Maine's "Recipe to Market" program offers cross-disciplinary training to new food entrepreneurs

May 9, 2014

During the NERCRD's 2014 “What Works” conference, Louis Bassano presented “From Recipe to Market: Helping Specialty Food Entrepreneurs Add Value to Their Agricultural Products.” We caught up with Bassano and his University of Maine colleagues to learn and share more about their program. Watch for more conference highlights in future issues of our newsletter.