• National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center Established

    Learn More

  • CHANGE OF DATE AND LOCATION

    August 27th at noon to August 28th at noon, Orlando Florida

    Read More

  • SET PHASE V Launching in 13 States

    Read More

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
May 2015 Main Topics

Stronger Economies Together Heading into Phase V

Stronger Economies Together (SET) celebrates its fifth year by entering into Phase V. The program is now in place in 30 states with the addition of regions in Iowa and North Dakota. Phase V also includes regions located in Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Virginia.

SET is an initiative that enables communities in rural America to work together to develop an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging strengths of their region. Launched in 2010 by USDA Rural Development and the nation’s four Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-grant university partners, SET has provided the specialized training and technical assistance to help rural areas compete in the global job market by pooling their resources across county boundaries.                                   
Read more.

SRDC is Pleased to Award Dr. Susan Jakes with the Bonnie Teater Award

The Southern Rural Development Center is proud to honor Dr. Susan Jakes as the 2015 recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Early Career Achievement Award. Jakes is a member of the Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Jakes is the Associate State Program Leader of Community and Rural Development for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at North Carolina State University. In this capacity, she provides the strategic direction for community and economic programming for Extension and is the university’s point person for integration of economic development programming with Extension’s flagship initiatives of Agriculture, Local Foods, and Youth Development.
Read more.

Launch Issue

April 2015 Main Topics

SRDC Partners With University of Kentucky to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center through USDA Grant

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky officials announced the establishment of the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The center will use cutting-edge solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in states with the highest number of persistently poor rural counties. Currently, about 85 percent of all persistently poor counties in the United States are in rural areas, and children are one of the most vulnerable groups living in rural areas.                                   
Read more.

SRDC Partnering with University of Vermont on Research on Health Insurance and Economic Development in the Agriculture Sector

The University of Vermont was awarded a four-year, $500,000 USDA Rural Communities and Regional Development grant to investigate how health insurance options and health care reforms impact the farm and ranch population in the United States.

This grant is part of a $14 million USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture initiative to increase prosperity in rural America.  Through research led by the University of Vermont with help from SRDC, and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, the study will focus on promoting rural community development, economic growth, and sustainability.
Read more.

Launch Issue

Recent Issues
March 2015 Main Topics

SRDC in Search for a New Director

The search for a Director for the Southern Rural Development Center continues. This is a 12-month, tenured faculty appointment in the Department of Agricultural Economics. The faculty member in this position serves as Director of the Southern Rural Development Center. As one of four regional centers, the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) works with 13 Southern states, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands to initiate, foster, and facilitate regional research and education efforts that contribute to an increased quality of life for residents of the Southern region. The SRDC is partially federally funded and hosted by Mississippi State University.
Read more »

SRDC Partnering on National Project to Support Local Foods

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced a partnership through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.
The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the Farmers Market Promotion Program to fund farmer-to-consumer direct marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.
Read more »


Launch Issue

January 2015 Main Topics

SRDC Partnering on National Project to Support Local Foods

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced a partnership through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the Farmers Market Promotion Program to fund farmer-to-consumer direct marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.
Read more »

Bonnie Teater Award Nominations Due April 1

The Southern Rural Development Center is pleased to announce that nominations are being sought for the Bonnie Teater Community Development Early Career Achievement Award for 2014. This award honors the work of a "rising star" who has already achieved great things in his/her early career in community development.
Read more »


Launch Issue

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

Subscribe

To receive monthly newsletters, you can subscribe to Around The South.

Archive

2015 Issues

2014 Issues

2013 Issues

2012 Issues

2011 Issues

2010 Issues

2009 Issues

2008 Issues

2007 Issues

2006 Issues