• New Videos Showcase Civic Engagement Successes

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  • 2014 Bonnie Teater Award Nominations

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

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

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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.

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Graduate Student Association 12th Annual Awards Banquet

Congratulations to Roseanne Ellison Scammahorn for receiving the Graduate Service Assistant of the Year Award from the Graduate Student Association 12th Annual Awards Banquet. Mrs. Scammahorn is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in Agricultural and Extension Education.

Learn More    |    April 10, 2014

The RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies Advancing Social Sciences-Based Research on Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America

The purpose of the RIDGE (Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics) Center for Targeted Studies is to invest in innovative social sciences-based research that explores the food and nutrition assistance challenges of rural people and places. The program is especially interested in a wide array of topics and issues. Proposals that focus on Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and other racial/ethnic populations, as well as children and low-wealth individuals/ households, are strongly encouraged. This document outlines the key information for applicants planning to submit grant proposals.

Learn More    |    March 17, 2014

RIDGE Center Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program 2014.

The RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies, a partnership of the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC), is pleased to announce a new round of funding for its Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program. The program is intended to invest in graduate students attending universities in the U.S. who are pursuing doctoral research in areas that closely align with the research priorities of the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies. This document provides guidelines and procedures for students and their supervising professor who may wish to apply for this exciting new RIDGE initiative.

Learn More    |    March 12, 2014

e-biz: Social Media Tools for Small Businesses

e-biz is concise, current, cutting-edge social media and social commerce educational products that have been developed to enable entrepreneurs to launch and grow his or her online business. Each e-biz card has practical and usable information that can be used to integrate social media components and other online applications into any existing small business. Eleven e-biz cards cover the Social Media areas of LinkedIn, Mobile Applications, Twitter, Mobile Media Marketing, Blogging, Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Pinterest, in addition to an e-Commerce Checklist and a Social Media Overview.

Learn More    |    January 29, 2014

New Videos Showcase Civic Engagement Successes

Two videos have just been released showcasing the successes from Turning the Tide on Poverty, a citizen led process aimed at addressing poverty. The process engages a wide range of citizens over a five week period to determine the action steps that best fit the community. The Kettering Foundation, project partners on the initiative with the SRDC, developed these two videos to highlight some of the important wins that are possible when people bring their voices and hands together for a common purpose.

Watch Now    |    January 29, 2014

eTailing Curriculm

eTailing is effective in helping small niche-market businesses reach an audience that was once difficult to find or only gathered on rare occasions. Through eTailing - Taking Charge of Your Online Presence, small business owners can expand their geographical reach. Today, the marketplace for any business can be global in scope.

Read More    |    November 20, 2013

National e-Commerce Extension Initiative 2013/14 Competitive Grants Program Request for Proposals

The Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach, in partnership with NIFA/USDA and the Southern Rural Development (SRDC), is pleased to announce a new round of funding for its e-commerce competitive grants program.

Read More    |    October 1, 2013

Broadband Availability: Geography Matters

Across the board, rural areas lag urban ones in their access to broadband. A first-of-its-kind map and a state-by-state chart compute the geographical difference in “availability,” which is the first piece of the rural broadband puzzle.

Read More    |    August 13, 2013

Well-designed $20,000 houses for the poor? Rural Studio makes them

20K Houses, a visionary project of the architects at Rural Studio in Alabama, designs and builds innovative $20,000 houses.

Read More    |    August 13, 2013

RIDGE Center awards 2013 grants for food and nutrition assistance research

TThe RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies @ the SRDC, in partnership with the Economic Research Service, is pleased to announce the 2013 slate of two doctoral dissertation grantees and four regular competitive grants program recipients. These innovative social sciences-based research projects exploring the food and nutrition assistance challenges facing key populations in rural America are slated to be completed fall 2014.

See the list of awards.    |    June 13, 2013

SET expands again in its fourth year

Stronger Economies Together (SET) celebrates its fourth year by expanding to new regions in 2013. Five states previously involved in SET (Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas) have been selected to expand to additional regions. Two new states, Nebraska and Illinois, join SET, an initiative that enables communities and counties in rural America to work together on a regional basis to develop an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region.

Read More    |    June 7, 2013

Program Leadership Network conference registration now open

Online registration and conference information is now available for this summer’s Joint Meeting of the Southern Region Program Leadership Network, Association of Extension Administrators and Association of Southern Region Extension Directors, set for Aug. 19-23 in Nashville. This year’s theme is “Connecting Our Communities: Preparing for the Next 100 Years.” As the Land Grant System celebrates its first 100 years of the Smith-Lever Act, we look forward to what the next century will bring. Advances in technologies, changes in communities, and expanded partnership opportunities are among just a few of the possibilities as we move forward. Register by July 15 for the early bird discount!

Read More    |    May 16, 2013

Identity and Wealth in Rural America

Most of us have heard of the growing racial wealth gap and the statistics that show how white America continues to diverge from households of color when it comes to building assets, particularly in the form of quality homeownership. While we may tend to think about this disparity in the context of urban and suburban environments, it is crucial to also relate the issue to the households that live on the other 90% of the U.S. landmass, known as rural and small town America.

Read More    |    May 22, 2013