Around The South
MARCH 2012 Vol. 8, No. 03
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

2011 SRDC Annual Report released

The 2011 SRDC Annual Report, “Regional Innovations, National Applications,” captures the variety of Extension and Research activities spearheaded by the Center over the past year in partnership with its land-grant university colleagues and key external collaborators. The report devotes special attention to the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program supported by USDA Rural Development, the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies @ the SRDC sponsored by the USDA Economic Research Service, the Center's National e-Commerce Extension Initiative funded from a grant from NIFA/USDA, and the Turning the Tide on Poverty initiative supported by the Farm Foundation, the Kettering Foundation, and Everyday Democracy. Please explore the highlights at http://srdc.msstate.edu/publications/annual/.

RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies @ the SRDC now accepting 2012 research grant proposals

The RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies @ the SRDC, in partnership with USDA Economic Research Service, has released its 2012 request for proposals for both its Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program and its regular Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America Research Grant Program. Now in its second year, the Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program supports research in the United States by graduate students pursuing doctoral research in areas that closely align with the priorities of the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies. Students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education who have reached the “All But Dissertation” stage are eligible to apply. Proposals must be postmarked by May 18. The Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America Grant Program seeks to invest in innovative research that explores the social science-based dimensions of the food and nutrition issues impacting residents or communities in rural America. The program is especially interested in proposals that focus on Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and other racial/ethnic minorities, as well as children and low-wealth individuals/households. Proposals must be postmarked by May 4. Get full information on these opportunities at http://srdc.msstate.edu/ridge/grants/.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 13: Nominate deserving colleagues for the 2012 Bonnie Teater Community Development Award

This year’s Bonnie Teater Community Development Educator Lifetime Achievement Award will honor an administrator, specialist or agent in the Southern Region who has made significant contributions to the Extension community development for at least 10 years. Named in honor of Ms. Teater, an SRDC staff member for more than 30 years, the award comes with a $500 stipend. The nomination deadline is now Friday, April 13, 2012. Get complete nomination process information at http://srdc.msstate.edu/funding/bonnieteater/.

Stronger Economies Together (SET) prepares to expand to seven new states

The Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative enables communities and counties in rural America to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint for their multi-county region that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of that region. Creating, attracting and retaining jobs as a single rural county, in isolation from other nearby counties, is becoming increasingly ineffective. In today’s global marketplace, economic development progress is more likely to be realized when rural and metro counties work together as a region to assess, design, and implement plans that build on their assets and comparative economic strengths. Launched in 2010 by USDA Rural Development and the nation’s four Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-grant university partners, the exciting initiative is now in place in nearly 40 regions in 19 states. Regional teams in seven additional states will join this year in the project’s Phase III. Download an overview of SET at http://srdc.msstate.edu/set/files/set_overview_2012.pdf.

Survey reveals Mississippi Internet usage statistics

Four new information briefs in the Mississippi Broadband Quick Facts series offer insight into the Internet usage of state residents following a recent statewide survey conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Southern Rural Development Center. Discover who is accessing the Internet exclusively outside of their homes and where they do so. Find out how Mississippians compare to the national trends in their online activities and in rural/urban Internet use, and learn how children in the home increase Internet adoption. Access all seven information briefs at http://srdc.msstate.edu/news/2011_12_exploremississippi.html.

Rural incomes decline – but catch up

SRDC assistant extension professor and economic development specialist Roberto Gallardo found that while everybody lost income in the first decade of the 2000s, the average median household income in rural counties fell less than in the cities, narrowing the gap between urban counties and those in the countryside. Read his full article in the Daily Yonder at http://www.dailyyonder.com/rural-incomes-decline-catchup/2012/02/23/3778.

Child poverty rises in the 2000s

The percentage of U.S. children living in poverty increased dramatically between 2000 and 2010. The highest proportion of poor children lives in counties with small cities. The SRDC’s Roberto Gallardo further explains his findings in his Daily Yonder article at http://www.dailyyonder.com/child-poverty-rises-2000s/2012/02/27/3786.

Other Items of Interest

Rural Development: Three views

Recently, three rural development practitioners testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee about what federal rural development programs have meant for their communities. They described three important sides of this story — how people decide to work on their communities; what rural development programs can do; and what is to become of federal rural development efforts. Read excerpts from their testimonies at http://www.dailyyonder.com/rural-development-three-views/2012/02/21/3774.

President Obama announces intent to appoint Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy as Director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture

President Obama announced last week his intent to appoint Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy as Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA links USDA with the land-grant university community, including historically Black colleges and universities, Native American institutions, Hispanic and other universities, and other public and private organizations, to advance research, extension, and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences and related environmental, social, and human sciences. Dr. Ramaswamy is currently Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. Read more at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2012/03/0091.xml&contentidonly=true.

Conferences and Trainings

Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America Grant Program Informational Webinar

Presented by the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies @ the SRDC
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
1 p.m. Eastern / 12 Noon Central / 11 a.m. Mountain / 10 a.m. Pacific

Please access the following website approximately 20-30 minutes prior to the start of the webinar to ensure a successful connection to the Adobe Connect webinar site: http://msues.na4.acrobat.com/srdc/ (Enter as Guest)

Please call the following toll-free number just prior to the start of the webinar in order to hear the audio portion of the RIDGE Center presentation: 1-800-244-2500 (Participant Code: 548982#)

Cambio de Colores 2012-Latinos in the Heartland

June 13-15, 2012
Columbia, Missouri

Community Development Society Annual International Conference

July 21-25, 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio

Rural Sociological Society 75th Annual Meeting

July 26-29, 2012
Chicago, Illinois

Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting

Aug. 12-14, 2012
Seattle, Washington

National Small Farm Conference

Sept. 18-20, 2012
Memphis, Tennessee

National eXtension Conference

Oct. 1-4, 2012
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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


Associate Extension Administrator, Kentucky State University


Management Analyst, Texas AgriLife Extension Service


State Specialist for Community Health, Kentucky State University


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.

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