NERCRD welcomes new members to its Board and TAC, and thanks outgoing members for their service

December 7, 2021

The NERCRD annual meeting that took place virtually November 4-5, 2021, marked a change in the makeup of the Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Committee as follows.

NERCRD 2021 Annual Meeting sets stage for 2022 plan of work

December 7, 2021

Members of the Northeast Center's Board of Directors (BOD) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met virtually in early November to review the Center's progress towards its goals and adopt the 2022 plan of work. In the upcoming year, NERCRD priority issues are: labor and workforce development; economic development, resilience, and innovation; tourism; food systems and agriculture; and general capacity building. To support these issues NERCRD will also prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion; climate change; and rural-urban interactions as cross-cutting areas.

NERCRD selected to lead two projects under New Technologies for Agricultural Extension program

December 7, 2021

NERCRD was selected recently to lead two projects under the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) program. The NTAE program is made possible by funding from USDA NIFA through a partnership with Oklahoma State University and the Extension Foundation. In addition to funding, selected projects receive engagement and technical support from the Extension Foundation.

Food pantries essential for reducing hunger among middle-class in 2020

October 22, 2021

Food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community food services played a critical role in helping Americans meet their food needs, especially during the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by researchers at the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. They found that middle-class Americans benefited the most from these services, demonstrating a key role these programs can play in times of crisis.

RRDCs launch national survey on rural community, economic, and workforce development priorities

September 20, 2021

The four Regional Rural Development Centers invite professionals working on issues of community, economic, and workforce development to participate in a national survey. The survey is the first phase of a listening sessions process aimed at identifying key priorities and critical investments for rural communities' recovery and growth. The process is being implemented by the RRDCs with support from the Extension Foundation through the New Technologies for Agricultural Extension accelerator program.

New NERCRD data brief shows household food insufficiency has fallen below pre-pandemic level

September 9, 2021

Following an initial increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. food insufficiency rates have fallen to levels below those in the year prior to the pandemic. At the end of August 2021, and the beginning of Hunger Action Month, the national average household food insufficiency rate has declined to a pandemic-era low of 7.8% according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. A new NERCRD COVID-19 Data Report examines these changes and provides detailed data for the Northeast U.S. states.

Choices magazine special issue focuses on COVID-19 impacts on Rural America

July 27, 2021

Choices magazine, which covers food, farms and resource use and is published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), has just released a special themed issue on “Rural Development Implications One Year After COVID-19.” The issue contains eight peer-reviewed papers that explore the pandemic’s effects on aspects of rural life ranging from employment and childcare to recreational trail use and farming.

New Report: Craft Beverage Trail Collaborations in Pennsylvania—A Resource for Breweries and Destination Marketing Organizations

June 23, 2021

A new report examines existing beer trails in Pennsylvania and provides insights and considerations for those seeking to establish a craft beverage trail in their locale.

Entsminger selected as Fellow in NAREA Career Advancement and Mentorship Program

May 20, 2021

NERCRD Associate Director and Assistant Research Professor Jason Entsminger has been selected as a Fellow in the 2021-2022 cohort of the Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) Career Advancement and Mentorship (CAM) Program.

Remembering George Morse (1943-2021)

April 29, 2021

It is with heavy hearts that we share that George Morse, a longtime and highly regarded friend and colleague of NERCRD, died on March 28, 2021 at the age of 77. His wife of 56 years, Elizabeth Morse, survives at their home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

New publication provides guidance on hosting intergenerational events

April 29, 2021

A new publication provides guidance on facilitating Intergenerational Friends Fairs—family-oriented, daylong events designed to engage community residents in a wide range of intergenerational activities, while also providing local groups with a platform for connecting with the public, establishing new partnerships, and garnering increased support for their programs. The guide was written by Matt Kaplan (Penn State) and Lori Pacchioli (State College Friends School) based on their own experience hosting a fair in State College, PA, with support from NERCRD. It is available on the NERCRD website (PDF).

NERCRD 2020 Annual Report now available

April 5, 2021

The year 2020 has been described as the most difficult that many Americans may experience in their lifetimes. Despite challenges and loss, colleagues and stakeholders across the region rose to the occasion, shifting to new modes of work and collaboration. Each of our partners worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork for a strong and more equitable recovery. We are honored to be part of such an inspiring network, and grateful for the many opportunities to work with our regional and national collaborators on projects that supported communities responding to the pandemic.

Announcing a change in NERCRD communications

March 27, 2021

After many years of using a listserv for network communications, NERCRD is shifting its communications to a new platform—Mailchimp. The changes are expected to improve the Center's ability to share news and announcements with its stakeholders.

New York Muck Onion Growers explore "Goût de Terroir"

March 25, 2021

With support from NERCRD, an intrepid group of onion growers in New York state have launched a strategic business planning project to explore collaborative promotion and marketing.

New study examines importance and unique characteristics of U.S. female farmers

March 1, 2021

While women can be drawn into farming for many reasons, NERCRD researchers have found that female-owned farms in the U.S. are more common in areas that are closer to urban markets, that engage in agritourism activity, and that offer greater access to childcare.

Pennsylvanians are experiencing hunger at highest levels since onset of pandemic

February 18, 2021

At the end of 2020, more than 12% of Pennsylvania households were experiencing hunger — the highest rate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NERCRD researchers. Their report confirms anecdotal and media reports and highlights the role that community resources, such as food pantries and free school lunches, are playing in the state.

Welcoming Dr. Jason Entsminger to the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development

February 12, 2021

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is pleased to announce that Jason S. Entsminger will join the Center in a new assistant research professor position, effective February 15, 2021. In this role, Dr. Entsminger will lead the Center’s outreach-oriented activities primarily by fostering and strengthening the Center’s relationships with Northeast land grant universities and rural development partners, and by identifying and responding to opportunities for cross-state collaborations and sharing of programs. He also will contribute to the Center’s research program.

NERCRD researchers develop new tool for visualizing vulnerabilities in supply chains

February 11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically exposed the economic vulnerability of U.S. businesses, primarily because they are so interconnected: when one region experiences a labor shortage or supply interruption, adverse effects reverberate throughout the global economy. Researchers at NERCRD and the Korea Rural Economic Institute have developed a model to help visualize the interconnectedness of businesses and industries over geographic space, which potentially can show supply-chain vulnerabilities to future shocks, such as pandemics or climate-change impacts.

New project to explore models for connecting healthcare organizations with local agricultural producers

December 7, 2020

NERCRD is participating in a one-year project aimed at identifying a sustainable model for connecting regional healthcare organizations with local communities and agricultural producers. The project is funded jointly by the Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and College of Medicine.

NERCRD accomplishments and future plans reviewed at annual meeting in October

December 1, 2020

Members of the Northeast Center's Board of Directors (BOD) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met virtually at the end of October to review the Center's progress towards its goals and to provide input to its 2021 plan of work.

NACDEP issues request for conference presentation proposals for 2021

December 1, 2020

Proposals are now being accepted for the National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals 2021 Conference, which is taking place in Coeur d’Alene, ID, May 16-19, 2021. Consideration is given to a wide range of community development topics including economic development, diversity and inclusion, human capacity building, community resilience and sustainability, infrastructure, natural environment, building capacity within government and organizations, tourism, and response to COVID-19.

Return on investment, public value estimates, and using the “but for” attribution principle

November 23, 2020

An article recently published in Journal of Extension demonstrates how a team from University of Minnesota Extension quantified the economic benefits of one of their leadership programs using the “but for” attribution principle. This principle is described in detail in “The Impact Indicators Tip Booklet: Practical and Credible Methods for Using the 'But For' Rule to Document Extension Community Development Impacts," published by NERCRD and available online. Hat tip to George Morse for bringing this article to our attention.

Webinar series on farm stress offered by Mississippi State University Extension Service

November 23, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently launched a webinar series about farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers. The series is open to a national audience and will benefit agricultural producers, industry professionals, Extension agents, U.S. Department of Agriculture employees and other individuals who work in or support those in the agricultural industry.

Rural health findings from the National Center for Health Statistics

November 19, 2020

The NCHS has recently issued two scientific reports that include rurality in their analyses. A data brief on chronic pain shows that "percentage of adults with chronic pain and high impact chronic pain increased as place of residence became more rural." Another report explores the urban-rural differences in visits to doctors by adults with hypertension.

Insights from Coming Together for Racial Understanding trainings are published in Journal of Extension

November 19, 2020

The Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU) initiative, formed as a rapid response team by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy in 2016, has since trained 90 Extension professionals from 26 states. Several organizers and participants have documented the outcomes in a Journal of Extension article, published in October 2020. They describe a "great need for increased education and capacity building to address racism and prioritize racial equity both within our institutions and in the communities we serve" and a critical need "for administrators to show visible support."

NERCRD is hiring an Assistant Research Professor

October 12, 2020

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is seeking applications for a non-tenure track Assistant Research Professor position.

New research briefs explore facets of rural innovation

August 27, 2020

We have added two new research briefs to our "Innovation Issues" series. One brief describes research on how businesses use of different sources of knowledge and creativity drive their innovation activities. Another focuses on the relationship between innovation and knowledge management—how businesses acquire new knowledge and integrate technologies to help them apply it.

NERCRD partners on resource hub for local food-system response to COVID-19

August 26, 2020

NERCRD is partnering with University of Kentucky and Colorado State University in a one-year Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service, to research the impacts, adaptations and innovations of COVID-19 on U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems.

USDA-RD releases Recreation Economy Resource Guide

August 7, 2020

USDA-RD recently launched a resource guide to provide rural community leaders and economic development practitioners a complete list of programs at Rural Development, Forest Service, and National Institute for Food and Agriculture that can be used to support recreational economies in rural America.

Recognizing long-time NERCRD Board Member Gary Thompson

August 1, 2020

We bid Gary Thompson, a member of our Board of Directors since 2015, a fond farewell and best wishes as he embarks on a new role as Executive Director of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD). Since April 2011, Gary has served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and as Director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station. He also sat on the NERCRD Board of Directors since 2015, and served as Board Chair during his 2018-2019 term. We are grateful for his thoughtful leadership over the years. Read more about Gary’s Penn State legacy in this Penn State News story.