• Dr. Alan Barefield as the 2014 recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award

    Learn More

  • SRDC Director Search

    Learn More

  • New Videos Showcase Civic Engagement Successes

    Learn More

  • National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Center (NARDeP) Releases New Policy Resources

    Read More

  • Reflecting On The Past Looking To The Future SRDC's 2013 Annual Report

    Read More

Featured News

U.S. not getting broadband fast enough

August 20, 2010

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, between 14 million and 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband internet, and immediate prospects for deployment to them are futile.

This new stance by the FCC contradicts previous statements which had said that high-speed internet service was being made available to all Americans in a timely fashion.

The statement was part of a comprehensive report by the federal agency that attempts to measure the country's progress in closing the "digital divide" that separates relatively wealthy, wired communities from less affluent, sparsely populated areas with no access to affordable broadband.

The report found disproportionately large segments of people without broadband access in rural areas of North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky, among other states.

The FCC's sixth statement on the subject, since it was mandated to do so by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is "the first really credible effort" by the agency to deliver findings based on quality data, said FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps.

"The sixth time is the charm," he added. "The documented failure to connect millions upon millions of Americans disproves previous FCC findings that broadband is being reasonably and timely deployed."

While the adoption of broadband has grown "significantly" over the last decade, "we still have a long way to go to ensure that all Americans have broadband access," Copps said.

High-speed internet providers have said it is not economically feasible for them to install broadband in areas with few potential subscribers.

The FCC supports the growth of broadband through public-private partnerships and announced in March that it hopes to use educational programs and an expansion of internet infrastructure to give 90 percent of Americans high-speed web access at home by 2020.

Currently, about 65 percent of Americans have high-speed internet access at home, which the FCC says is a disadvantage to economic growth.

The FCC report also updates a key standard -- the speed used to determine whether households are served by broadband.

For more information, visit CNN.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Community, Local and Regional Food Systems eCoP announces its public launch


The national eXtension Community of Practice (eCoP) around Community, Local and Regional Food Systems (CLRFS), which the Outreach Team was instrumental in establishing, has just announced its public launch. The eCoP is designed to provide information and networking opportunities for educators, community-based practitioners, policy makers, farmers/growers, families, and those individuals involved in building equitable, health-promoting, resilient, and economically balanced food systems.

Learn More    |    July 15, 2014

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Alan Barefield


The Southern Rural Development Center is proud to honor Dr. Alan Barefield as the 2014 recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award. Barefield accepted the award at the 2014 NACDEP conference in Grand Rapids Michigan earlier this month. With 20 years of rural economic development service, Barefield is currently serving as an Extension professor at Mississippi State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

Learn More    |    June 26, 2014

WEBINAR: Cooperative Extension Framework for Health and Wellness


Webinar goals are:

1. Raise awareness of the framework and approval by ECOP as an early step in mobilizing the Extension system around health and wellness of the American population.

2. Encourage participants to use the framework to plan and report on health and wellness programming.

Members of the ECOP Health Task Force will explain the framework, why it came to be and the vision for improving the public's health as a result of educational programming in the priority areas. Ideas for how to use the framework in local and state program planning will be shared. Participants will engage in answering key questions developed by the team using polling via Connect.

Learn More    |    June 26, 2014    |    Time 9:00am - 10:00am