Around The South
October 2018 Vol. 14, No. 10
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Southern CRD Webinar:
Citizenship in Action: How Extension Can Engage and Educate Voters on Ballot Issues

October 30, 2018 @ 2pm CT/3pm ET

Even without commercials, mailers and social media noise, voters can have a difficult time understanding the implications of proposed laws and policy changes they're asked to vote on Election Day. This webinar looks at Arkansas' model of voter engagement and shares how Extension professionals can incorporate ballot issue education into programs for voters of all ages.

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National CRED Indicators Team Webinar:
What’s Your Program Worth? Evaluation Strategies for Documenting the Dollar Value of Extension Programs

November 20, 2018 @ 1pm CT/2pm ET

Extension stakeholders, most notably county commissioners, often need to justify their decisions to continue funding Extension and need more than evaluation data on program outcomes. They want to know the economic benefits of their Extension funding in their communities. This webinar provides two case studies of evaluation efforts to document the return on investment of Extension programming. Both of these efforts combined quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data on the dollar value of Extension programming.

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USDA Launches Interactive Data Tool to Help Rural Communities Address the Opioid Crisis

The USDA has launched an interactive data tool to help community leaders build grassroots strategies to address the opioid epidemic. The opioid misuse Community Assessment Tool enables users to overlay substance misuse data against socioeconomic, census and other public information. This data will help leaders, researchers and policymakers assess what actions will be most effective in addressing the opioid crisis at the local level.

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University of Kentucky, Community Design 101 Webinar Series

Trailblazing – Beyond a Path
October 23rd, 2018 @ 10am CT/11am ET

Developing trails has become an interest for many communities in Kentucky for the past couple of years. A number of communities have also been successful in gaining certification through the Kentucky Trail Town program. Understanding and facilitating trail planning and design projects with community members can benefit your engaged role in the community. This 60-minute webinar will help you understand what trail planning and design entails and examples of community projects in Kentucky. Participants will have the opportunity to understand the planning and design process and key factors to identify in one’s own community to facilitate.

Webinar Link

‘Life in Rural America’ Report Findings

This “Life in Rural America” report is based on a survey conducted for National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A sample of 1,300 adults ages 18 or older living in the rural United States was surveyed to understand the current views and experiences of rural Americans on economic and health issues.

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Regional Spotlight

Kickstart Cleveland County: Big Things Can Happen in Small Rural Counties – University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

Community change doesn’t happen overnight. However, determination and commitment of local leaders, businesses and residents and a willingness to take advantage of assets and resources available can change a community or region’s trajectory even when challenges seem insurmountable.

Cleveland County, Arkansas (population 8,689) is slowly overcoming 21 years of limited economic development, change, and improvements. Faced with vacant store fronts, declining population, and a stagnant economy, community leaders in the City of Rison (county seat) came together in 2012 to discuss how to take action. This led to formation of Rison Shine Downtown Development, a grassroots organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown Rison. Rison Shine created the first Cleveland County Christmas Parade, a pocket park and a new farmers’ market.

But the larger issues remained, and the group wanted to tackle them on a county basis. In 2015, leaders from Cleveland County made the commitment to participate in Extension’s Breakthrough Solutions Program. This led to the launch of Kickstart Cleveland County, a county-wide grassroots effort focused on development of all of Cleveland County. Continued commitment to the cause, investment and leveraging of assets, and making the most of opportunities that fit with the vision and goals developed by the citizens of Cleveland County have resulted in significant breakthroughs and are making a sustained difference. Examples include:

  • Creation of a brand for Cleveland County…”America’s Homestead: Real. Simple. Life.” This brand provides the framework to develop and market Cleveland County.
  • Seven community action groups have been established: Kickstart Kingsland, Pioneer Village, re-New-ing Edinburg, Rison Shine Downtown Development, Wake Up Woodlawn, County Fair Board, and Community Theater.
  • Eight new businesses, the first in 25 years, including two new buildings being constructed in downtown Rison.
  • $235,000 in grants received for county projects.
  • Eight Homesteading Conferences (four of those in other counties) with monthly homesteading workshops around the county.
  • Establishment of a community garden with 20 raised beds and 1 high tunnel structure.
  • Cleveland County Childhood Obesity Prevention was formed to address rising childhood obesity in the county by using raised garden beds for each grade level at each of the three elementary schools.
  • Friends of Pioneer Village was formed to repair this historic village; renovations completed to date: Mercantile, restored home, doctor’s office, and Methodist Church.
  • Cleveland County Community Theater group has completed five productions in multiple venues.
  • New events conducted to engage residents: Christmas in the Village, Trunk or Treat on Main Street, Lion’s Club Haunted House, Race to the Fair 5K Family Run/Walk, and Farm to Market 5K Family Run/Walk.
  • Farmers’ markets have been established, small farm workshops have been held, and clean-up events have occurred throughout the county.
  • The City of Kingsland (birthplace of Johnny Cash) has purchased a building to establish a Johnny Cash visitors’ center.
  • EAST (Education Advanced by Service and Technology) Lab students are shooting 30-second YouTube videos to promote the county and working with Wake-up Woodlawn to develop a website.
  • Celebrate Cleveland County Banquet (the past two years) to celebrate accomplishments and award outstanding community volunteers from each action group.
For more information about the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s community and economic development programs, visit www.uaex.edu

Employee Feature – Melody Nall, University of Kentucky

Melody Nall, Extension Specialist and Engagement Director with& Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) connects with Kentucky communities. Before joining CEDIK, Melody served as a Regional Cancer Control Specialist with the University of Louisville’s Kentucky Cancer Program, and as the outreach coordinator for the Purchase Area Health Education Center, offering community coalition building throughout the 13 county area of Western KY. Since joining CEDIK in 2015, Melody has developed and coordinates a number of health-related initiatives including coordinating rural hospital and public health department community health needs assessments, and economic impact studies. She has supported hospitals and health coalitions across Kentucky, and actively partners with the Kentucky Office of Rural Health, Kentucky Hospital Association and Kentucky Rural Health Association. Melody provides an important bridge as she actively works with District Directors and 120 County Extension Offices as a support to their community and economic development needs and activities, specifically related to leadership training and rural health. Melody’s commitment to healthy communities, background, and drive for making a change have made her an invaluable asset to community development in Kentucky!

Grant Connection

FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program

Deadline to apply: December 4, 2018

Farm to School programs support local communities through a variety of activities, including taste tests, farm visits, local purchasing, and farmers and producer training. USDA will award up to $7.5 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in fiscal year (FY) 2019. Each grant helps implement Farm to School programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, providing students with quality meals at a reasonable cost while also supporting local producers. In FY 2018, USDA awarded 73 grants across the United States. The RFA includes three tracks—Implementation, Planning, and Training. These will support a variety of projects and implementation stages. Each track provides funding for a specific range of activities.

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Job Announcements

Director of Agricultural Communications, North Carolina A&T University

The Director of Agricultural Communications (AgComm) is expected to provide leadership for the Unit which includes seven staff. The Director is the college’s top communication position, responsible for the development of communication strategies to enhance the reputations of both the college and Extension locally, nationally and internationally. Ag Comm’s objective is to communicate information developed by faculty, researchers, and specialists to residents in the state, and worldwide.

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Local Food Program Manager, North Carolina State University

This position will work with other local food leadership groups to build Extension’s statewide capacity in local food systems. This will happen mainly through resource development, managing the local food web portal and online courses, participating/ leading cross disciplinary curriculum and training development teams, co-chairing the Local Food Program Team and delivering training. This work will primarily be accomplished through the efforts of cross disciplinary working teams.

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Extension Specialist-Entrepreneurial Leadership, West Virginia University

Deadline to apply: November 4, 2018

This position is an appointment with West Virginia University Extension Service (WVUES) in Morgantown, West Virginia. The incumbent will develop statewide, evidence-based Extension programs focused on helping individuals and communities achieve goals through proactive entrepreneurial behavior, promoting innovation to capitalize on opportunities, and supporting enterprising change for dynamic community environments.

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Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, Auburn University

The successful candidate is expected to develop a nationally recognized and externally funded research program in applied social sciences that is relevant to the state and region. The successful candidate is also expected to deliver excellent teaching with an innovative curriculum that meets the needs of the Rural Sociology program and the department. In addition, the candidate is expected to contribute to the university's outreach mission and to provide service to the discipline as well as to Auburn University, the College of Agriculture and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.

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Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities Annual Meeting: New Orleans, LA

November 11-13, 2018

Join us November 11-13 in New Orleans as we tackle the challenges facing public universities. The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting is Resilience. The meeting sessions will explore the capacity of universities, their communities, and partners to adapt and thrive no matter what stresses or acute shocks they experience. The meeting offers a great balance of informative and interactive sessions and networking time with fellow public university leaders.

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Annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference: Tuskegee University

December 2-4, 2018

The Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC) is a forum committed to a world that values and promotes equal opportunity equitable access to information and technology for sustainable development of communities and natural resources. The conference began in 1942 mainly with Tuskegee University and local and state support and participation. It is now national in scope including representatives from the national land grant community, and from the state, federal, and private sectors. The 2018 PAWC will be held in December 2nd to 4th at the Kellogg Conference Center, Tuskegee University.

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Rural Stress: Promising Practices & Future Directions: Atlanta, GA

December 10-11, 2018

Rural America faces many challenges: challenging economics, rising suicide rates and the growing opioid epidemic. Land-grant institutions are uniquely positioned to impact community wellness in rural America at the local level. The University of Georgia invites you to join representatives from across rural America to have a conversation, explore best practices and learn from industry and academic experts.

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2018 NAEPSDP Annual Conference: Alexandria, VA

December 10-13, 2018

“Extension Excellence: Breaking Down Barriers”

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National Summit for Gateway Communities: Shepherdstown, WV

December 11-13, 2018

This three-day summit will bring together gateway communities, their partners and experts from conservation, community and economic development, recreation and tourism, planning, and other creative fields to highlight success stories and lessons learned while engaging in robust discussions that lead to specific actions for invigorating the future of gateway and rural communities.

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Extension Leadership Conference sponsored by JCEP: San Antonio, TX

February 6-7, 2019

The conference Keynote Speaker will be Grace Gorrell who is a former faculty member at the University of Kentucky. Since retiring she has begun a business "Leading with Grace".

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National Land-Grant Diversity Conference: Hebron, KY

February 7-8, 2019

The Conference is hosted by five land grant universities from Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. It is designed for public and private university administrators, faculty, and staff; research and academic programs; K-12 educators; community leaders; health and social services professionals; employers and supervisors; human resource staff; elected officials; and all others with diversity interests. The goal of this diversity conference is to learn more about ourselves and others, to network, and to link resources to integrate diversity into programs, policies and practices for creating community well-being.

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Small Business Institute Conference: Orlando, FL

February 14-16, 2019

"The Magic of Small Business"

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National Sustainability Summit: Tampa, FL

April 16-19, 2019

This national conference will bring leading sustainability and energy educators and practitioners together to showcase land grant university Extension and research program successes, share challenges, and identify opportunities to strengthen our collective impacts. Participants will hear from dynamic plenary speakers with expertise in sustainability and energy issues, enhance their professional knowledge and skills through pre-conference educational tours and/or mobile workshops, attend inspiring abstract presentations and networking sessions, and learn from local exhibitors and sponsors. Extension professionals from all national associations will benefit from the cross-disciplinary and process-oriented structure of the joint Summits.

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Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Conference: Astoria, OR

October 8-10, 2019

Join colleagues including University Extension and Sea Grant professionals, other faculty, agency, students and industry representatives working on tourism and outdoor recreation. Present and learn about research, case studies, sustainability and funding modes, educational program materials etc. Open to all interested individuals. Mobile presentations will visit coastal community projects and environments.

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National CRD Indicators Webinar:

What’s Your Program Worth? Evaluation Strategies for Documenting the Dollar Value of Extension Programs

November 20, 2018 @ 1pm CT/2pm ET

Learn More

Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

Citizenship in Action: How Extension Can Engage and Educate Voters on Ballot Issues

October 20, 2018 @ 2pm CT/3pm ET

Learn More


Community Design 101- University of Kentucky

Trailblazing – Beyond a Path
Oct. 23rd @ 10am CT/11am ET

Webinar Link

Wayfinding Planning & Design In Communities
Nov. 13th @ 10am CT/11am ET

Webinar Link


Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

September: Chalk and Talk: A Different Approach to Community Engagement

Webinar Recording

July: CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Webinar Recording

June: Financial Capability as Community Development

Webinar Recording

May: Increasing Stakeholder Involvement to Build Capacity and Promote Sustainability of Healthy Communities

Webinar Recording

April: Leadership Development: A Process of Un-Doing Understanding

Webinar Recording

March: The Opioid Epidemic: Considering Extension's Role and Virginia's Multi-Faceted Approach

Webinar Recording

February: Creating a Sense of Community through the 5 C's of Social Capital and Cultural Competency

Webinar Recording

January: How Can I Be of Service? Determining the Best Role for Community Engagement

Webinar Recording

National CRD Indicators Team Webinar Series:

Understanding and Evaluating Collective Impact Initiatives

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Estimating the Economic Impact of Programs: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

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Submit Announcements

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

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