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

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  • SRDC Director Search

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  • New Videos Showcase Civic Engagement Successes

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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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College degree gap widens between cities and rural America

SRDC's Roberto Gallardo and the Daily Yonder collaborated in a study to measure the changes in educational achievement over the last 40 years. In many ways, rural America has caught up with the rest of the United States in terms of educational achievement. But over the past 40 years, the gap in the percentage of adults with college degrees has increased between urban and rural counties.

Despite a near three-fold increase in the percentage of rural adults who have college degrees, the gap in bachelor degrees between the cities and rural America has widened between 1970 and 2010. In 1970, there was a 6-point difference between urban and rural counties in the percent of people over 25 years of age who had college degrees. (Rural stood at 5.7 percent; urban was 11.6 percent.) By 2010, the gap was nearly 15 points.

The loss of young, well-educated residents is a long-standing problem for rural communities.

"'One of the problems that rural areas face is that in order to get a college education, young people have to leave," says Judith Stallman, an economist at the University of Missouri. "Once you leave, that introduces you to other opportunities that you might not have seen had you not left."

The good news for rural America is that it has caught up in every other measure of education.

To view the full article and corresponding data graphs, visit Daily Yonder .

Community Behavioral Health Early Warning Systems

Call for Proposals 2014


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Regional Rural Development Centers are partnering to implement a national program to explore options for community-implemented early warning systems with respect to community-level incidence of behavioral health issues (e.g. substance abuse, mental illness).

Individuals may participate in both competitions, but the intent of the project is to distribute the projects across different communities. An informational webinar is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

Learn More    |    October 1, 2014

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