Around The South
December 2011 Vol. 7, No. 12
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Happy holidays from the SRDC

On behalf of the staff of the Southern Rural Development Center, I'd like to extend my wishes for a joyous holiday season. Our SRDC team appreciates the strong support we have received from our Southern land-grant leaders and key external partners, especially in light of the fiscal challenges being faced at the federal level. Moreover, we are thankful for the talented group of people within and outside our land-grant system who have given of their time and talents to advance the SRDC's research and Extension priorities. In many respects, 2011 was an exciting and productive year for the Center, and we look forward to working with you on the important community/economic development that await us in 2012.

Bo Beaulieu, Director

Stronger Economies Together Phase III applications due Jan. 20

Applications are now being accepted for Phase III of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative, which strengthens the capacity of rural communities/counties to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of the region. Those states wishing to join the 19 other states and 39 regions currently involved in the program must apply by Jan. 20, 2012. Get the details at http://srdc.msstate.edu/news/2011_12_setphaseiii.html.

SRDC report focuses on national economic impact of Social Security

The SRDC recently published the "Economic Impact of Social Security in the United States" technical report, prepared by Roberto Gallardo and Al Myles. This explanatory study focuses on the role Social Security, particularly Old Age Survivor Disability Insurance (OASDI), benefits play in the national economy. To better understand the impact of OASDI, the team calculated a social security dependency index (SSDI) and conducted a nationwide economic impact analysis, utilizing data from Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Read the report at http://srdc.msstate.edu/news/2011_11_socialsecurity.html.

National e-Commerce Extension Initiative Learning Center features updated direct marketing curriculum

An updated, dynamic version of the Direct Marketing Food Specialty Products learning module is now available at the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative Learning Center. The curriculum, revised by Connie Hancock, Jay Jenkins, and Jennifer Nixon, University of Nebraska Extension; and Glenn Muske, North Dakota State University Extension, hopes to increase the number of food producers implementing one or more online marketing strategies. The new ZMag format engages, for example, grocery store, gift shop, or food specialty shop owners who would like to sell directly to the consumer, with interactive content such as videos, interesting links and a host of additional resources. Check it out at http://srdc.msstate.edu/ecommerce/learningcenter/

Explore Mississippi Internet use survey results

A series of informational briefs are being released following a statewide Internet usage survey conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Southern Rural Development Center. The briefs reveal who uses the Internet, and specifically broadband technologies, and outline some impediments to Internet adoption in the rural state. Exploring demography and geography, the reports also offer some surprising statistics and help show areas that need careful study by state and local leaders as the state's broadband future is outlined. Find the reports at http://srdc.msstate.edu/news/2011_12_exploremississippi.html.

New Cashing in on Business Opportunities lessons teach web sales strategies

A pair of new lessons in the Cashing in on Business Opportunities curriculum focuses on helping entrepreneurs create an online presence and on incorporating social media into their marketing strategies. Both are found under Part Three: Plan as You Expand. The "Your Online Presence" module details the steps in building a web store to sell products and services electronically. The "Incorporating Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy" lesson teaches entrepreneurs how to develop and implement meaningful social media strategies to help them achieve marketing objectives. Download both lessons and the accompanying PowerPoints at http://srdc.msstate.edu/cashing/.

Other Items of Interest

Rural unemployment decreased in October 2011

The unemployment rate in rural America continued to decline in October, dropping to 8.3 percent, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate among those who live in rural counties was below the national rate of 8.5 percent and the 8.6 percent rate in urban counties. View the entire article co-authored by the SRDC's Roberto Gallardo at http://www.dailyyonder.com/rural-unemployment-heads-downward/2011/12/07/3635.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Funding To Improve Access to Education and Health Care in Rural Areas

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced that recipients in 34 states and one territory will receive funding to improve access to health care and educational services in rural areas. Funding is provided through the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program. The grants, administered by USDA Rural Development through its Rural Utilities Service, will help fund 100 distance learning and telemedicine projects, including many in the Southern region. Find out more at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/12/0509

Conferences and Trainings

Foundations of Practice - Level 3 Training

Sustainable Communities eight-week webinar series
Thursdays, Jan. 19-March 8, 2012

11th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities
Feb. 2-4, 2012
San Diego, Calif.

8th Annual Tri-State Diversity Conference

Diverse Communities – Common Unity
Feb. 16 - 17, 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio

Community Development Society Annual International Conference

July 21-25, 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio

Job Opportunities

Assistant/Associate Extension Professor-Agricultural Marketing and Agribusiness, Mississippi State University

View announcement for posting number 6243

Assistant/Associate Extension Professor- Health Education Specialist, Mississippi State University

View announcement for posting number 6237

Assistant Extension Professor-Community Economic Development, Mississippi State University

View announcement for posting number 6251

Assistant Extension Professor-Planning and Evaluation, Mississippi State University (2 positions)

View announcement for posting number 6145

Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia


Vice Chancellor for Development, University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture


Submit Announcements

Job announcements and other items of interest may be sent to Meaghan Gordon for possible inclusion in future issues.

Subscribe To Around The South

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