Around The South
MAy 2018 Vol. 14, No. 5
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Southern CRD Webinar Series Continues:
Increasing Stakeholder Involvement to Build Capacity and Promote Sustainability of Healthy Communities

May 24, 2018 @ 9:00am CT/10:00am ET

How do Extension agents engage stakeholders in significant roles to address community health? What are the challenges and benefits of community based participatory research focused on healthy communities? What do county agents gain from involving stakeholders to achieve policy, systems and environmental changes? This webinar will share lessons learned and successful strategies from county Extension programs currently focused on building healthy communities.

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SRDC Welcomes New Extension/Research Associate

SRDC is pleased to announce that Russ Garner will be joining our team as an Extension/Research Associate. John Russell “Russ” Garner hails from Brooksville, MS and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, from Mississippi State University, and recently completed his Master of Public Policy & Administration, also from MSU. Before coming to Mississippi State, he worked in agribusiness and heavy industry, including 16 years with Holcim (US), a multinational cement company. Most recently, Russ was working at the MAFES Sales Store at MSU. On behalf of everyone at the SRDC, we are very excited to have Russ as part of our team.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Releases Rural Health Strategy

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released the agency's strategy to promote high-quality health care for all rural Americans, address the unique economics of providing rural health care, and bring a rural focus to CMS health care delivery and payment reforms. Developed by the agency's Rural Health Council with stakeholder input, the strategy calls for CMS to "apply a rural lens" to its programs and policies; improve access to care through provider engagement and support; advance telehealth and telemedicine; empower patients to make decisions about their care; and leverage partnerships with stakeholders to achieve the stated goals. CMS said the strategy also aligns with the goals of the Health Resources and Services Administration's Office of Rural Health Policy and other administration priorities, such as reducing regulatory burden and combating the opioid epidemic.

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USDA Announces $462,000 to Support Disaster Preparedness

Deadline for Applications: June 19, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $462,000 in available funding to decrease the impact of disasters through cooperative extension programming. Funding is made through NIFA’s Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program (SLSNCGP). This grant program supports innovative, education-based projects that address emergency preparedness and specific responses related to natural and human-made disasters.

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Regional Spotlight

Identifying Assets in Rural Texas: Texas Rural Leadership Program – Leaders in Action

Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) was formed in 1989 to provide leadership development opportunities in underserved areas of rural Texas. Through its Leaders in Action curriculum, TRLP guides community members to develop a more inclusive style of leadership and promote participation in community development efforts, emphasizing “learning together” about personal and community assets in order to activate and shape a collective future.

As a 501c3, in partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M University Public Partnership & Outreach, TRLP utilizes a three-tiered model to build leadership capacity in rural communities. The model includes a training of local leaders to facilitate the TRLP curriculum in their communities. These trained facilitators deliver a series of seven 90-minute informative and interactive sessions to members of their community who want to learn how to improve the well-being of their distinct area of Texas. Topics include: Asset-based community development, appreciative inquiry, leadership competencies, management functions, systems thinking, non-violent communication, community engagement, group dynamics, deliberative dialogue, building trust and shared vision, and designing and implementing asset-based projects. Each session involves activities and dialogue to engage participants in using the concepts presented.

Individuals desiring to learn and expand their leadership potential are encouraged to participate. Age is not a factor. The program is targeted to adults, but high school youth are welcomed to learn an inclusive approach to leadership. Communities often have businesses and organizations seeking leaders, and can benefit by sponsoring employees or members, who have potential and interest to serve in leadership roles, to participate in the TRLP class. Neighborhoods, communities, churches, emergency services, hospitals, and government agencies at all levels have encouraged their potential and developing leaders to participate. Participants are expected to actively engage together in each class session and, as a group, plan and complete a class project using the competencies learned in the program. A recent example of a TRLP class project was the creation of a Crossroads Hometown Festival in the rural community of Hearne (Population 4,483; Robertson County), with the purpose of highlighting the assets of Hearne and the surrounding communities and to promote local businesses and regional entertainment. A local news story on this festival can be found here. Additional information about the Texas Rural Leadership Program can be found here.

Employee Feature – Craig A. Rotter

Craig A. Rotter, an assistant lecturer in Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communications at Texas A&M University, has been named Executive Director of the Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP). The mission of the Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) is to create and deliver engaging, effective leadership development opportunities for rural Texas. TRLP’s strategic intents are to be recognized as the premier leadership development resource for rural Texas and to build capacity for long-term growth and sustainability.

Prior to this role, Rotter served as Assistant Director for Academic Support Initiatives in the Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University, managing a $400,000 annual budget, and working as a student affairs professional since 2001. He has taught academic leadership education courses since 2005, with the commencement of a high impact learning experience for first-year university students, the Leadership Living Learning Community (L3C), now in its 13th year. Rotter is a Wakonse Foundation Fellow for College Teaching (2000), recipient of the Regents’ Scholars Dr. Robert M. Gates Inspiration Award for his work with first generation university students (2012), recipient of the President’s Meritorious Service Award (2002) at Texas A&M University, and serves as a Posse Foundation-Atlanta Faculty Mentor. In 2017, Rotter co-authored an Episcopal Health Foundation of Texas grant ($315,000) for the Texas Rural Leadership Program.

Rotter earned her PhD in leadership education; a master’s in leadership education; a bachelor’s of science degree in agricultural economics; and a bachelor’s of business administration degree in human resource management, all from Texas A&M University.

FY 2018 EDA Disaster Supplemental Grant

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) released its Disaster Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) targeting economic recovery for areas impacted by natural disasters in 2017. EDA is soliciting applications under its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program and funding is available to assist in economic recovery. The agency emphasizes long-term regional development strategies in proposals which align with goals of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Grant funding is also available to fund “strategy grants” to develop or update a CEDS for a region experiencing sudden and critical economic dislocation. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants

Deadline to apply: June 4, 2018

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.

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Job Announcements

Regional Director, Northeast Region – LSU AgCenter

Deadline to Apply: May 31, 2018

This individual will provide strategic leadership and administrative direction for all LSU AgCenter research and extension programs and locations in the Northeast Region. This includes research and extension programs in agronomic and horticultural crops, forestry, animal sciences and agricultural and natural resource programs, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences and community development. The regional director provides direct leadership for the region’s programs, but also works indirectly through program coordinators and those with programmatic leadership responsibilities for parish and regional extension programs and research stations.

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Extension Assistant – Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is hiring an energetic and outgoing individual to help pilot a workforce development program and support entrepreneurship and economic development programming. The person hired will be expected to organize and manage logistics for community-level meetings, facilitate dialogue and present economic data during meetings, analyze and apply economic and business data for localized decision-making, and engage in partnerships to deliver workforce development training. The incumbent will also support the Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) business advising network with data analysis. Familiarization with the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program, GIS, federal and proprietary business data sets are desired.

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Assistant Professor & Extension Housing/Community Development Specialist – University of Georgia

Deadline to Apply: June 15, 2018

Assistant Professor & Extension Housing/Community Development Specialist (nine month, academic appointment, tenure track, 75% public service and outreach, 25% teaching). The applicant must understand and embrace the land grant mission of public service and outreach, including serving the needs of underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged individuals and communities. The successful applicant must be an effective communicator, both orally and written and with diverse audiences, and must work successfully, both independently and within a team.

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Southwest District Extension Director – University of Georgia

The District Extension Director (DED) is a member of the Extension leadership team in the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES) at the University of Georgia responsible for administering the Extension program in the Southwest District of the state.

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APLU Vice President, Economic Development and Community Engagement

APLU seeks an experienced leader with knowledge of the role of higher education institutions in innovation and entrepreneurship; talent and workforce development; and social, cultural, and community advancement. While APLU recognizes that candidates may have more depth in one of these broad areas of university partnerships with external stakeholders, the association seeks someone who is able to apply knowledge and experience across a diverse array of partnerships, and across different kinds of economic and societal outcomes. The candidate should also be an experienced grant developer and leader of volunteers and/or distributed teams.

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2018 Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association: Philadelphia, PA

June 9-12, 2018

The 2018 Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) Pre-Conference Workshop, co-sponsored by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, will be held on June 9-10, 2018, prior to the main conference on June 10-12. This pre-conference workshop seeks to highlight recent advances in the economic analysis of food systems in the U.S. as well as globally. They seek papers that address individual impacts and causes as well as papers that examine system-wide interactions within the food system, including production, distribution and consumption linkages.

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National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference: Cleveland, OH

June 10-13, 2018

Communities that Rock! Our speakers are confirmed. Session proposals are being reviewed. Finishing touches have been made to the pre- and post-conference workshops, as well as Tuesday afternoon’s mobile learning workshops. We are now working to finalize the schedule and create the program.

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Community Development Society’s Annual International Conference: Detroit, MI

July 22-25, 2018: Registration Now Open

Conference Theme: Engaging in a Culture of Health: Making Waves in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Goals of the 2018 National Health Outreach Conference: fostering a culture of health through community-based strategies; encouraging health equity; creating improvement in health through disruptive change and innovation; promoting co-creation with communities to ensure relevance and reduce barriers to positive change.

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2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit: Arlington, VA

September 15-18, 2018

USDA’s 2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit (“Summit”), conducted in partnership with the Food Distribution Research Society, National Value-Added Agriculture Conference, Farmers Market Coalition, and Farm Credit Council. This Summit, the first of its kind in the United States, will feature topics on new resources intended to assist farmers market managers and direct marketing farmers; recent research and data on direct-to-consumer (DTC) markets; and technical assistance workshops led by USDA staff and FMPP grantees.

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National Summit for Gateway Communities: Shepherdstown, West Virginia

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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Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

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

May 24th, 2018 @ 9:00am CT/10:00am ET

Learn More


Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

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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Other Great Webinars:

Reaching Urban Veterans through Urban Horticulture

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The Impact of Latino-Owned Business on Local Economic Performance

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Improving the Health and Safety of NC Farmworker: Connecting Community

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Florida’s Urban Extension Strategic Plan

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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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