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About Us


Rural America has experienced dramatic economic and technology changes over the past twenty years that has significantly impacted small businesses. In response to these changes, USDA launched the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative in 2003, to address:

  • The technology and e-commerce needs of small businesses in rural areas, and
  • The need for educational support and resources to assist small business owners with e-commerce applications

To help small businesses remain viable and strategically position themselves in the online retail marketplace, The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative has developed educational resources to assist these businesses and educators working with them. Interactive online learning modules, webinars, as well as, other resources assist in identifying specific e-ecommerce needs, developing a strategy, and implementing a plan to meet those needs.

By providing effective e-commerce educational resources and programming, the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative is impacting the capacity for economic growth by increasing the profitability of small businesses.

Monica Babine

Senior Associate For Telework and Digital Inclusion Division of Governmental Studies and Services

Washington State University
11716 NE 95th Street
Kirkland, WA 98033

James Barnes

Assistant Extension Professor

Department of Agricultural Economics
Mississippi State University
317 Lloyd Ricks Watson
P.O. Box 5187
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Jenny Fertig

Program Leader, Community and Economic Development

Gus R. Douglas Institute West Virginia State University
P.O. Box 100 803 Curtis Square
Institute, WV 25212

Connie Hancock

Extension Educator

University of Nebraska
920 Jackson Street
Box 356 Sidney, NE 69162

Andrew Lewis

Community Development Specialist

University of Wisconsin
610 Langdon Street
Suite 334
Madison, WI 53703

Maria Marshall

Assistant Professor, Ag Economics

Purdue University
KRAN Building 639
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Rick Moorefield

Extension Agent

West Virginia University
Summers Co. Extension Office
Hinton, WV 25951

Glenn Muske

Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist

North Dakota State University Center for Community Vitality
2718 Gateway Ave. Suite 104
Bismark, ND 58503

Mary Peabody

Extension Specialist

617 Comstock Road, Suite 5
Berlin, VT 05602

Joel B. Schumacher

Extension Economics Associate Specialist

Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Montana State University
210D Linfield Hall
P.O. Box 172920
Bozeman, MT 59717-2920

Bill Shuffstall

Senior Extension Agent

Penn State University
7 B Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802

Brian Whitacre

Assistant Professor and Extension Economist

Department of Agricultural Economics
Oklahoma State University
504 Ag Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078


Kent Wolfe

Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development

University of Georgia
222 Conner Hall
Athens, GA, 30602

Rachel Welborn

Program Manager

Southern Rural Development Center
Mississippi State University
Box 9755
150 Lloyd-Ricks-Watson