• 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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  • Phase V of SET Launching in January 2015

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Around The South

Compiling SRDC and national news, recent publications, upcoming conferences and events, and job opportunities, this monthly newsletter furnishes a brief overview of announcements from the Southern region.

Recent Issues
December 2014 Main Topics

Phase V of SET Launching in January 2015

Stronger Economies Together, a partnership between Cooperative Extension Service, USDA RD, the four Regional Rural Development Centers, NIFA, and Purdue Center for Regional Development, is launching Phase V. SET V is taking a brand new approach based on an extensive review of the program. Significant improvements to engage participants has been made; a civic engagement module added which will increase stakeholder involvement and buy-in; and a more streamlined approach which reduces the number of modules and gives greater flexibility to adapt to the capacity of that region. Most importantly, significant time will be devoted to launching the plan into implementation.
Read more »


Local Food, Local Places: Bringing Expertise and Creative Thinking to Community Economic Development

Around the country, communities are seeking creative approaches to integrating entrepreneurship, environmental management, public health, and other place-based considerations into successful economic planning. Local food development can be one strategy. The White House Rural Council and six federal agencies have selected 26 communities to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing direct technical support and expertise to community partners integrating local food systems into regional economic action plans.
Read more »


Understanding Communities - Online course offers tools for community development

January 15, 2015

Would you like to understand how communities work? Are you curious about why good ideas sometimes fall flat? Do you watch groups struggle to make decisions without adequate data? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions we invite you to register now for Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics. The seven-week series begins January 15, 2015 and concludes February 26, 2015. Each week features a 90-minute webinar focusing on topics including demographics, economic development, strategic planning and power structures. Sign up early before December 19, 2014.
Read more »


Launch Issue

November 2014 Main Topics

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program

This program represents an exciting opportunity for Extension in the Southern region to provide leadership in developing the program and providing program support to farmers and other groups in rural and urban areas that are seeking to better connect consumers and producers through local food markets. It is also an exciting opportunity for farmers, farmer organizations, and related eligible groups to receive grant writing support and technical assistance in this program.
Read more »


Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development.

A newly updated publication, Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches, and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development, is a one-stop guide to find the details about federal programs and how to apply for them. The publication provides a description along with eligibility and application requirements for each of nearly 70 individual programs. They range from grants and loans to technical assistance and informational resources. Federal programs can be a helping hand for people who want to develop innovative, sustainable, enterprises in agriculture and forestry.
Read more »


Rural America at a Glance, 2014 Edition

While urban employment now exceeds pre-recession levels, rural employment remains well below its 2007 peak. Median income in real terms has fallen in both rural and urban areas since 2007, with the drop in rural incomes slightly greater. The total rural population has declined slightly for several years, as slowing natural population growth fails to offset net migration away from rural areas; this is the first time rural population declined since data became available in 1950 that could detect such a trend.
Read more »


Launch Issue

October 2014 Main Topics

CAPE Project: Community Behavioral Health Early Warning Systems

Call for Proposals
Deadline: November 19, 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.
Read more »


New Partners for Smart Growth Conference – Pre Conference Workshops

January 29 - 31, 2015
A significant factor in this event’s tremendous success is its appeal to so many different disciplines. The conference will draw a national audience of local elected officials and city and county staff; state and federal agency leaders; professionals in planning, transportation, public health, landscape architecture, architecture, public works, parks and recreation, and crime prevention; realtors, developers, builders and bankers; advocates for equity and environmental justice, youth, older adults, and walking and biking; labor representatives; school leaders and staff; environmentalists; and all others committed to building safer, healthier and more livable communities everywhere. Early Bird rates will be available from October 6 – November 10. Regular rates will apply from November 12 through the January 5 registration deadline.
Read more »


The 2015 National Health Outreach Conference

Call for Proposals
Deadline: October 1 – October 31, 2014
A call for presentations from a wide variety of professionals that are doing work fostering health and wellness for individuals, families and communities is now open. The goal is to build a collaborative approach with organizations achieve a healthier and safer America. Professionals may include, but are not limited to: university faculty in medical and other academic institutions; public health professionals; local, state and federal agency partners; practitioners in the health care industry; students and Cooperative Extension professionals. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza, Atlanta, GA, on May 6 – 8, 2015.
Read more »


Launch Issue

September 2014 Main Topics

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.
Read more »

An Extension Education Program to Help Local Governments with Flood Adaptation

Education is an important tool to increase the capacity of local government officials for community flood adaptation. To increase the effectiveness of the programs, future workshops should strive to increase participant knowledge retention over time and actively recruit participants with a low level of starting knowledge of streams and flooding.
Read more »

Training Materials Developed for Latino Entrepreneurs

Extension has created a training program that is designed to help assist current and potential Latino immigrant entrepreneurs in starting businesses in Arkansas. All items were designed with the ultimate goal of providing business owners with worksheets and an organizational system that can be used to write a business plan.
Read more »

Launch Issue

August 2014 Main Topics

Bonnie Teater Awards and NACDEP Southern Awards

SRDC would like to congratulate Alan Barefield for receiving the prestigious Bonnie Teater Lifetime Achievement Award, and also a congratulations to the National Association of Community Development Extension Professional award winners from the South.
Read more below about the awards and their recipients.
Read more - Allen Barefield »

Read more - NACDEP »

Sustainable Food Systems

We often forget that the birth of Extension was accompanied by a great sense of urgency, and the need to create a more ordered food system informed by scientific research became a paramount national goal in America. Again, we face that same sense of urgency today, as we contemplate the need to feed a projected global population of 8 billion in 2025, and as we try to determine how to meet the new and evolving needs of communities, while we struggle with limited resources and capacity.
Read more »

Energy Extension is Central to Sustainability

Not only is energy uniquely tied to sustainability, but also energy in itself is a broad and diverse issue. Looking to the past for guidance, the Extension system has a long, if intermittent, record of offering programming on energy problems. The evolution of energy technology and policy has increasingly empowered individuals, enterprises, and organizations with new energy choices. Extension model of offering unbiased, research-based information through local connections still remains a strong vehicle for future energy education and outreach.
Read more »

Launch Issue

June 2014 Main Topics

Extension has a 100-Year History Working on Water Issues

Water is the key to life and also a recourse that must be properly stewarded. Only 1.3 percent of water in the world has the potential to be useful for people and ecosystems in our ground and surface waters. The role of Extension in water sustainability issues is many-fold. Indeed, Extension has been working in these issues since its inception, as water is integral to agricultural production and quality.
Read more »

Nearly two-thirds of rural U.S. counties have lost population since 2010

New regional patterns of growth and decline emerged in recent years. Areas of population decline appeared for the first time in the eastern United States. In the Mountain West, population growth also slowed considerably, and in some cases turned negative. In contrast, an energy boom has spurred population growth in sections of the northern Great Plains that had previously experienced long-term population declines
Read More »

The Sustainability Revolution

We are in the middle of the most profound social transformation of our time, the sustainability revolution. Sustainability is often confused with only ecological concerns, but sustainability values represent the broadest context of issues. We have to know where Cooperative Extension fits into this picture. Extension has ingrained cultural values which can greatly benefit our sustainability outreach efforts. We have an established presence in most areas of the United States which has always made a positive difference.
Read More »


Launch Issue

May 2014 Main Topics

Choices Magazine: Opportunities for Rural Development in Cooperative Extension's Second Century

Extension addresses eight key priority issues for a stronger rural America. While the focus is on the extension system, viable investments in extension must be supported through complementary invest ments and activities in the Agricultural Experiment Station system. The nation’s future potential for exports depends in large measure on our ability to efficiently and flexibly connect rural areas to international markets.
Read more »

Study of Rural Transportation Issues

Read the reviews on transportation and its effect on rural communities, with an emphasis on agricultural transportation. The report looks in depth into each of the four major modes of transportation commonly used by agriculture in the United States: trucking, railroads, barges, and ocean vessels, examining each in the light of its ability to meet rural America’s transportation needs now and in the future.
Read More »

Development of a University Undergraduate Course Sequence About the Extension System

Many undergraduates are interested in community-based programming, but at most land-grants undergraduates have little contact with Extension. This article describes a grant project that developed tw o undergraduate courses about Extension and community-based, experiential education.
Read More »


Launch Issue

April 2014 Main Topics

The Ridge Center for Targeted Studies: Request for Proposals

Deadline May 8, 2014
The purpose of the RIDGE Center for Target 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 racial/ethnic populations, as well as low-wealth individuals/households, are strongly encouraged.

Read more.

Cooperative Extension: A Century of Innovation

Cooperative Extension celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014; the Land-Grant System will be reflecting on the first century of accomplishments and preparing for a second century of education. This commentary is the first in a series of six throughout the year that will analyze the rich history of Cooperative Extension, examine its role in contemporary society, and help us collaboratively envision the future of this unique American educational endeavor.


Read more.

Launch Issue

March 2014 Main Topics

Bonnie Teater Award Nominations are Due March 31

The Southern Rural Development Center is pleased to announce that nominations are being sought for the Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014. This award will go to a distinguished individual with a superior lifetime work and who has made an important contribution to the Extension Community Development area.

Read more.

Informing Decision Making for Better Community Behavioral Health Outcomes

CAPE’s new collaborative three-million dollar project involves helping communities overcome their struggles with behavioral health problems. This project will organize information for leaders, who have difficulty keeping up with the needs of the vast majority, by tapping into land grant university resources across the country. The program will give leaders access to accurate data so they can efficiently aid those in need.


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/healthbench.info

Twitter - https://twitter.com/healthbench

Read more.

Launch Issue

January 2014 Main Topics

NARDEP Publishes Energy Policy Briefs

The National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Center is organized by the Regional Rural Development Centers to provide information about the increasingly contentious and complex agricultural and rural development U.S. policy issues.

Read more.

Entrepreneurs & Their Communities - New Resources

New resources are available to support entrepreneurs and their communities. Among these are a webinar series, a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter. Explore these new resources through the links below.


  • Webinar Series 2:00 p.m. ET/ 1:00 p.m. CT/12:00 p.m. MT/11:00 p.m. PT
    • January 9 – Crafting a Consistent Marketing Message
    • February 13 – Blogging for Food
    • March 13 – Incorporating Video in to the Marketing Strategy
    • Join the sessions - https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/etc-cop
  • Blog - http://entrepreneursandtheircommunities.wordpress.com/
  • Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/eXtensionentrepreneurs
  • Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/extbizteam
Read more.

Launch Issue

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