The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative

The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative

Promoting e-commerce learning opportunities for all...

Background information

The economic foundation of rural America has experienced dramatic changes over the past two decades, making it increasingly important for rural businesses to implement e-commerce strategies to strengthen their economic health and stability, improve their market share and catapult the efficiency of their products and services.

In response to these changes, the Southern Rural Development Center, in partnership with National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, administers the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative. This program, launched in 2003, addresses the following factors that will dictate the adoption and diffusion of e-commerce innovations in rural areas: whether rural areas have the technology in place to embrace e-commerce applications, whether these businesses understand how e-commerce can benefit their operations, and whether Extension educators have the resources to provide adequate educational support to small businesses.

As the sole outlet nationally for e-commerce educational offerings geared at Extension programming, the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative features interactive online learning modules. In addition, the program's Web site offers a library of additional resources and a tutorials section for greater explanation on Web site design and function. With a variety of funding options directed at the creation or dissemination of educational offerings, the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative attracts leaders and innovators in e-commerce from throughout the Extension system.


About the Southern Rural Development Center


The Southern Rural Development Center seeks to strengthen the capacity of the region's 29 land-grant institutions to address critical contemporary rural development issues impacting the well-being of people and communities in the rural South.


  • Stimulate the formation of multi-state research teams
  • Coordinate the development and revision of educational materials and maintain a centralized repository of educational resources
  • Organize and deliver high priority rural development research and educational workshops/conferences
  • Provide leadership for the preparation of science-based rural development policy reports
  • Build partnerships that link the South's land-grant university system with other key entities committed to rural development activities in the region

Click here to learn more about the Southern Rural Development Center


eXtension Entrepreneurship Webinar Series

Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors
April 11, 2013
Londa Nwadike, University of Vermont Extension Food Safety Specialist

Tracking Sales to Learn What Customers Really Think
May 9, 2013
Mary Peabody, UVM Extension

Are you a Supermarket Vendor or a Super Market Vendor?
June 13, 2013
Ginger Myers, UMD Extension Marketing Specialist

All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at 2 p.m. (ET); 1p.m. (CT); noon (MT); 11a.m. (PT). No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at . You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest" option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

For more information and archives on the Webinar Series, please visit our Webinar page.