Around The South
September 2018 Vol. 14, No. 9
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Coming Together for Racial Understanding Launches First Pilot Effort

On August 27-31, 2018, teams of three from 20 states participated in the first cohort group of Coming Together for Racial Understanding. The purpose of the training is to build capacity with in Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to help communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues. The week-long training was designed to prepare participants to build capacity within their home states’ CES, working across the borders of the Land-Grant Universities (LGU) within a given state (where there are multiple LGUs within a state). Following the train-the-trainer, the process for expanding capacity is two-fold:

  • Build capacity with the CES system in the home state
  • Build capacity within at least one community
The 20 pilot teams will be working collaboratively to measure impacts from this initiative under the leadership of the Southern Rural Development Center. Impacts will measure how the effort has built capacity both within CES as well as within the participating communities.

Learn More

Southern CRD Webinar:
Chalk and Talk: A Different Approach to Community Engagement

September 28, 2018 @ 2pm CT/3pm ET

The ‘Chalk and Talk’ program seeks to engage people in a creative and accessible way about their feelings, thoughts and views on their city’s downtown. In essence it is a way to informally gather and summarize the varying views and experiences of attendees of local festivals and events about the city while they are immersed in it. The intent is that this information can inspire dialogue and help inform the preliminary steps taken towards longer term design, planning and revitalization initiatives.

Learn more

University of Missouri Extension Offers Innovative Online Program

Deadline to Apply: January 7, 2019

University of Missouri Extension has developed an innovative online program with the focus on building better leaders from January 21, 2019 to April 8, 2019. Leadership Online for Today is an interactive program that allows participants to improve communication skills, build relationships and networks, and develop a collaborative project to benefit a community or organization.

Learn more

USDA Launches Webpage Highlighting Resources to Help Rural Communities Bridge the Broadband e-Connectivity Infrastructure Gap

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled a new webpage featuring information about the importance of rural e-Connectivity and the ways the U.S. Department USDA is investing to help deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure in rural America.

USDA plays an important role in helping rural communities bridge this infrastructure gap through program investment, strategic partnerships and best practice implementation by investing in rural telecommunications infrastructure. This new website will provide direct access to information on our decades-long programs that offer more than $700 million per year for modern broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. In the coming months, USDA will almost double these longstanding programs with an additional $600 million to expand rural broadband infrastructure in unserved rural areas and tribal lands.

Learn more

Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship Program

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship Program is seeking highly motivated individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in a hands-on work and study program that trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture production and research.

Apprenticeships are offered in several different focus areas; apprentices apply to the specific apprenticeship that best fits their skills, interests, and goals. The 2019 Sustainable Agriculture Research Apprenticeships are being offered at CEFS’ Small Farm Unit and Farming Systems Research Unit. Appointments are for a period of two to six months and are split between Goldsboro (90%) and Raleigh (10%).

Learn more
Regional Spotlight

Focusing on the Important: Determining Needs for Community and Economic Development Success – University of Kentucky

Cooperative Extension programs strive to make societal changes that are transformative and systemic. In order to make impacts at the community and broader societal level, all program areas of Extension professionals must know how systems work and have appropriate skills to spark change. Following community level change and innovation conversations at the 2017 Southern Region Program Leaders Network (SRPLN) conference, the Extension Community and Resource Development Program Leaders hosted a survey to document the Cooperative Extension professional development needs to lead these transformative systems changes in the community and local economy. Surveys were collected from 117 Extension administration, program specialists, and agents representing the land-grant institutions from 13 states of the Southern Region.

The survey tool assessed the skills and information needed by agents and specialists to support community resiliency and community economic development. The survey identified two primary sets of information for each: the skills and information most important for Extension representatives, and; a prioritization of current training needs for each of these areas.

Key takeaways:
While community development needs and urgency will vary by situation and location, the survey was able to identify areas of information and skills common to the southern region.
The most important information needed to support community resiliency included:

  • Building cultural competence: Recognizing and valuing diverse communities
  • Understanding the context for working in a community, who holds power, what do sides want and why, historical context, and the stakes (identifying perspectives and motives)
  • Understanding how a community's capitals (human, social, built, natural, cultural, political and financial) work together and can be used to create community change
  • Finding, locally validating findings, and understanding implications of community demographics
  • Understanding the principles of community development practice
Responses on the priority training needs to support economic development include:
  • Obtaining and understanding local economic data (i.e. interpreting data)
  • Understanding the local and regional economic context and how they are related
  • Understanding economic development concepts and practices (i.e. understanding income generating industries)
The survey also helped the project team gain a better understanding of the skills needed to facilitate effective community and economic development specific to each extension program area for each state in the region. The Southern Region Program Leaders in Community Resources Development will use this data to guide the development of training opportunities in community and economic development geared to increase capacity across the Extension program areas.

Across the region, it was clear that extension programming would benefit from stronger connections with other institutions and with local government. The development of skills to expand our reach and effectiveness across all populations within our communities and effectively facilitate change in community systems is a priority for expanding the impact of the work we do as land grant universities. The Extension Community and Resource Development Program Leaders of the Southern Region look forward to working together to address the professional development topics and needs identified through this survey. A full report of the survey results can be found at HERE.

- Daniel Kahl, Associate Director, CEDIK, University of Kentucky

Employee Feature – Julianne Dunn, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension

Julianne Dunn is an Instructor-Economic Development at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. She joined Extension’s Community and Economic Development (CED) team in June.

Initially, Dunn will be working on a new project, Create Bridges - Celebrating REtail, Accommodations, Tourism, and Entertainment by Building Rural Innovations and Developing Growth Economies. Arkansas is partnering with the SRDC, University of Kentucky, and Oklahoma State University Extension to develop and implement the project. "I am honored to support CED's efforts to strengthen retail, hospitality, and tourism industries. This program combines my interests in business and education and provides me an opportunity to help Arkansas continue to grow," Dunn said.

Dunn most recently worked as an operations consultant assisting business startups in the Washington, D.C. area. She is returning to Arkansas where she previously worked as Assistant Director of Field Service at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to engage community partners and help students identify and implement successful field projects.

She has a master's degree in public service from the Clinton School, a master’s in public health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and a bachelor's in political science from the University of Missouri. She has lived in several countries and worked two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, where she taught English as a Second Language and American culture to middle and high school students.

Grant Connection

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Foundational and Applied Science Program

Deadline to apply: September 30, 2018

The AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program supports grants in six AFRI priority areas to advance knowledge in both fundamental and applied sciences important to agriculture. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Research-only, extension-only, and integrated research, education and/or extension projects are solicited in this Request for Applications (RFA).

Learn More
Job Announcements

Executive Director – Stennis Center for Public Service

Deadline to apply: September 28, 2018

Federal government leadership center seeks new executive director. A candidate must have proven leadership, program management, financial management, communication skills and relationship/human resource management experience. This is a non-partisan, non-profit institution in the Federal legislative branch that works closely with Members of Congress and their staff as well as with state and local elections in Mississippi and the South. Established in 1989, the center seeks a candidate with vibrant ideas and the ability to create and implement a robust strategy that will take the center into the future, raising the visibility of the center and the reach of its programs. A key quality for the new ED is being able to engage Congress and the public on the value of public service and working for the government. The executive director should be someone who has or can work with a governing board, while at the same time acting as a member of an advisor to the board on direction and management of the center.

Learn More

Director, Lone Oaks Farm – University of Tennessee Extension

The Director will provide leadership for the operation of Lone Oaks Farm (LOF), a new and developing 1,200-acre 4-H Youth Development camping, STEM education and conference center owned and operated by UT Extension. Additional information about LOF is available at https://www.loneoaksfarm.com/. The LOF Director is a direct report to the Dean of UT Extension.

Learn More

Impact Collaborative Summit: Indianapolis, IN

October 16-18, 2018; Deadline to Register: September 20, 2018

The Impact Collaborative Summit is a three-day event available to all member institutions that includes an Innovation Kit Workshop and Designathon Two. The event is hosted twice annually and includes: Day One: Innovation Kit Workshop; Day Two: Designathon Two (Part I); Day Three: Designathon Two (Part II). Institutions have the ability to send project teams to the Impact Collaborative Summit to work together on ideas to move their institutional goals forward.

Learn More

Annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference: Tuskegee University

December 2-4, 2018
Deadline to submit proposals: October 1, 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.

Learn More

2018 NAEPSDP Annual Conference: Alexandria, VA

December 10-13, 2018

“Extension Excellence: Breaking Down Barriers”

Learn More

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.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

National Sustainability Summit: Tampa, FL

Call for Proposals: Deadline October 1, 2018
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.

Learn More

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.

Learn More



Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

Chalk and Talk: A Different Approach to Community Engagement

September 28, 2018 @ 2pm CT/3pm ET

Learn More


National Public Issues Education Consortium Webinar Series on Economic Vulnerability and Poverty

Sept. 19th @ 12pm CT/1pm ET
Sept. 26th @ 12pm CT/1pm ET
Oct. 3rd @ 12pm CT/1pm ET

Learn More


Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

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

Learn More

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

Learn More

Submit Announcements

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

Subscribe To Around The South

Subscribe to Around the South here.