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It's hard to believe that another year has just about come and gone. While time appears to have flown by, the SRDC has enjoyed a landmark year in terms of its research and Extension activities. Certainly, the major strides we have made over the past year have been due to the hard work and talents of our Center staff, a group that seems to do whatever it takes to get the job done well. At the same time, a number of our land-grant colleagues and a host of non-land grant partners have invested their time and resources in the regional and national efforts of the SRDC. So, it appropriate at this time of the year to express our sincere thanks to all of you for making us a better and more productive regional rural development center. The entire SRDC extends its wishes to all of you for a happy holiday season.
Bo Beaulieu, SRDC Director
Cashing in on Business Opportunities Webinar set for Wednesday, December 8
The SRDC knows that launching a business is no small feat. That's why we're hosting a Webinar to showcase our most popular and long-standing curriculum Cashing in on Business Opportunities. Fresh from a two-year long revision, this tool offers entrepreneurs and the educators who serve them the technical knowledge and skills needed to manage, maintain and grow a home-based or micro business. Conducted by the curriculum developers, the free Webinar will offer program insights in addition to highlighting unique aspects and tools. To learn more about Cashing and upcoming learning opportunities, join us on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12-1:30 p.m. (CST) At least 15 minutes before the Webinar, go to http://msues.na4.acrobat.com/srdc/ and sign in with your name and enter as "guest." The link should be active at least 30 minutes prior to the session to allow you time to test your connection early. You will need a computer with speakers to hear the audio and a microphone if you wish to be able to talk to presenters. An optional "chat" feature is provided for those that do not have microphones on their computers. For questions or more information regarding the session, contact Rachel Welborn at email@example.com or call 662-325-3207. For technical assistance before or during the Webinar, call 662-325-8581. The complete curriculum including PowerPoints, handouts and instructor's manuals are available at http://srdc.msstate.edu/cashing/.
SET program receives $1.7 million for expansion to high poverty and oil spill affected areas
A national economic development program coordinated by the Southern Rural Development Center has received $1.7 million to expand the Stronger Economies Together initiative to high poverty and oil spill affected communities. Launched as a pilot effort in eight states this year, Stronger Economies Together (SET) encourages communities to look beyond city and, county or state borders to capitalize on shared assets to strengthen regional economies. Formed as a joint partnership between USDA Rural Development and the Regional Rural Development Centers of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture/ USDA, SET originally launched with $350,000 in USDA RD for the purpose of delivering SET training to teams located in 22 multi-county regions in Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Read more about SET and upcoming expansion plans at http://srdc.msstate.edu/news/120610_set.html.
SRDC releases survey results on jobs, schools and leadership in Mississippi Delta County
As part of its Delta initiative, the SRDC has released three of 12 briefs highlighting the public's view of the local leadership, status of jobs and the local economy, and quality of public schools in Coahoma, Leflore and Philips counties in the Mississippi Delta. Taken from a countywide survey that the SRDC conducted in 2009, the data are presented in a straightforward and useful manner in hopes to stimulate informed conversation between all who are working to increase economic opportunities in these areas. The three briefs on Coahoma County are available at http://srdc.msstate.edu/data/focus/.
Level 3 Foundations of Practice training set to launch in January 19
Community Sustainability is a common term these days, but understanding what it means and helping communities tackle sustainability issues can sometimes be difficult. Aimed to poise Extension educators to respond to community needs, the latest round of Foundations of Practice training will offer the necessary skills and knowledge to be the positive force communities need. Successful community sustainability initiatives rely on understanding systems thinking, sustainability models, and the needs and conditions in your town, county, state or region. Tapping into a long legacy of one of the country's most respected organizations, this training, brought to you by the Cooperative Extension Service, provides the background, resources and strategies to support your work in communities. Learn more at http://srdc.msstate.edu/news/120610_fop.html.
e-Commerce Mini-Grant applications due January 26
The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative is accepting applications to expand the adoption of e-commerce strategies by communities, small/micro businesses, and entrepreneurs across the country. Land-Grant University (LGU) Extension educators or teams (involving both Extension and non-Extension partners) are invited to submit proposals outlining how they propose to implement one of the e-commerce educational curricula that the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative has released. Proposals are due Wednesday, January 26, 2011 with award notifications issued on Friday, February 11, 2011. The maximum amount allowed for any proposal is $3,000. Read about the two most recent mini-grant recipients and learn how to apply in the latest issue of eNews at http://srdc.msstate.edu/ecommerce/enews/.
Scholarships available for 10th Annual Smart Growth conference
The Local Government Commission (LGC) is sponsoring two scholarships to offset conference registration fees and to increase conference diversity at the 2011 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. For the LGC Scholarship fund for individuals representing small nonprofits, community-based and grassroots organizations, local policymakers, health officials, school officials, and other local government agency staff, priority will be given to those traveling from outside the region to participate. The deadline to apply for a scholarship through this fund has been extended to Friday, December 17. The Diversity Scholarship Fund is being established to assist conference organizers in accomplishing two very important goals:  more effectively engaging leaders from disadvantaged communities in the conference by assisting them with covering their registration fees and some of their travel costs to participate; and  diversifying the conference audience in an effort to ensure that it is more reflective of our nation's real population. The deadline to apply for a scholarship through this fund is Thursday, December 30. The 2011 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference is set for February 3-5, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The registration deadline is January 14, 2011. Your payment, in full, must accompany your registration form. The SRDC is proud to partner with this annual event. Learn more at http://www.newpartners.org/.
Innovation Engineering: Knowledge, Tools & Inspiration for Young Entrepreneurs
On Thursday, December 9, 2010 eXtension Entrepreneurship Webinar series returns to its youth entrepreneurship theme with a presentation on Innovation Engineering: Knowledge, tools and inspiration to become an innovator and entrepreneur. The presenter will be Renee Kelly, Co-Director of Programs, Operations and Outreach, at the Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine. Tune in to learn about the work that is incubating our next generation of entrepreneurs. In order to be future leaders, students need to know how to innovate. They need to know how create unique ideas, communicate them effectively and implement them, whether they want to start their own business or work in an established organization. The Foster Center for Student Innovation at the University of Maine has developed an academic minor for students from all majors to learn a variety of tools and methods for a systematic approach to innovation. The Foster Center has begun outreach to adapt this program to younger students including a summer camp for youths from grades 3-8, workshops for high school students, after school programs and partnerships with K-12 schools to integrate concepts into their curriculum. No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. The Webinar will begin at 2:00 p.m. (ET); 1:00 p.m. (CT); 12:00 p.m. (MT); 11:00 a.m. (PT). About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ecop. You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest" option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer's speakers.
Help us ring in the New Year with 100+ Facebook friends
Since launching, the SRDC Facebook page has been spreading the latest community development news. With Around the South only coming out once a month, there are times when important opportunities pass by before the next issue is released. So be sure to catch everything at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Rural-Development-Center/59310894978.
Loveridge named director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
Dr. Scott Loveridge has been named director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD). The NCRCRD works with Extension professionals, researchers and their partners to enhance rural development outcomes in the 12-state north central region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas). Loveridge brings more than 20 years of rural development research and Extension experience to the position. He also has substantial administrative skills, in addition to being a nationally recognized authority on state and local economic development. The search committee praised Loveridge's understanding of the diverse issues facing the region. Loveridge, who has been serving as associate chairperson of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University since 2006, will maintain tenure in his home department and will phase into full-time director status between now and March 1, 2011. For more information about the NCRCRD, visit http://ncrcrd.org.
More Americans relied on food assistance during recession
During the recent recession, many U.S. households suffered job losses, declining incomes, home foreclosures, and diminished net worth. Food security—consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living—is vulnerable to these financial challenges. In 2009, 14.7 percent of U.S. households (17.4 million) were food insecure, meaning that at some time during the year, they had difficulty providing enough food for all members due to insufficient resources. The percentage was essentially unchanged from 2008 (14.6 percent), remaining at the highest level observed since food security surveys were initiated in 1995. More households have sought additional resources from public and private sources. Since 2001, the number of households that reported obtaining emergency food from a food pantry over the previous 12 months rose. The largest increase occurred between 2007 and 2009, when households using food pantries rose by 44 percent from 3.9 to 5.6 million households. Read more at http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/December10/Findings/FoodAssistance.htm.
The two faces of rural population loss through outmigration
Population loss is endemic to many rural areas. Nearly half of the Nation's 2,050 nonmetropolitan counties lost population through net outmigration between 1988 and 2008; for over 700 counties, this loss exceeded 10 percent. In counties with a long history of high outmigration, the loss is often exacerbated by "natural decrease," an excess of deaths over births due to an aged population. Rural depopulation is a continuing concern in the rural policy community, and repopulating rural communities is one of the goals of USDA's Strategic Plan for 2010-2015. What makes nonmetro high net outmigration counties different from other nonmetro counties? Research results suggest that no single set of characteristics differentiates high outmigration counties. Some outmigration counties have populations with low education, high unemployment, and high poverty; most, however, have relatively well-educated populations and below-average unemployment rates. Their high outmigration appears related to geographic isolation and a lack of natural amenities. Learn more by accessing the complete article at http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/December10/Features/RuralPopulation.htm.
SRDC's Grant Connections: Rural Development Funding Opportunities
The SRDC staff compiles Grant Connections primarily for the faculty of land-grant colleges and universities in the South to provide funding information in support of activities in agricultural economics, education, human sciences, rural sociology, youth development and other related disciplines.
Cashing in on Business Opportunities Introductory Webinar
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
12-1:30 p.m. Central
Innovation Engineering: Knowledge, Tools & Inspiration for Young Entrepreneurs
eXtension Entrepreneurship Webinar Series
Thursday, December 9, 2010
2:00 p.m. (ET); 1:00 p.m. (CT); 12:00 p.m. (MT); 11:00 a.m. (PT)
Sustainable Communities, Foundations of Practice - Level 3
January 19, 2011 – March 16, 2011
10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth
Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities
February 3-5, 2011
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) Tenth Annual Conference
SERA-37 Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with this event.
June 8-10, 2011
Kansas City, Missouri
Agricultural Economist, Economic Research Service/USDA
Associate Extension Administrator, Kentucky State University
Associate Research Director/Principal Investigator, Community Research Service Unit, Kentucky State University
Extension Specialist, Community and Economic Development, West Virginia State University
National Program Leader (Professional Development, Staff, & Volunteers), National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA
National Program Leader (Vulnerable Populations), National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA
Principal Investigator – Sustainable Farms & Families, Kentucky State University
State Specialist Economic Development and Community Vitality, Kentucky State University
Teaching Instructor, University of Arkansas
Job announcements and other items of interest may be sent to Alicia Barnes for possible inclusion in future issues.
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