Around The South
April 2019 Vol. 15, No. 4
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Southern CRD Webinar:
Building a Regional Coalition for Natural Resource Conservation

April 26, 2019 @ 12:00pm CT/1:00pm ET

Natural Resources are an important component of the regional economy in western Kentucky and Tennessee that comprise the Riverlands region. There is a growing interest in building regional capacity to address the challenges faced by communities for the sustainability of natural resources. Extension specialists and agents from Kentucky and Tennessee facilitated a workshop to engage stakeholders with a goal of identifying and prioritizing projects that support outdoor recreation, sustainable resource use, and a high quality of life, while promoting the heritage of the Riverlands region. This session will discuss a collaborative effort between University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee to build a regional coalition for natural resource conservation in the Riverlands region.

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Open Data and Ag Data Commons Webinar

April 25, 2019 @ 11:00am CT/12:00pm ET

Open data is increasingly becoming a priority and requirement of federal agencies. The National Agricultural Library (NAL) provides a catalog and data repository for all REE funded research through Ag Data Commons. Hunger Solutions Institute (HSI) and Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) are pleased to host Ms. Erin Antognoli, Metadata Librarian and Ag Data Commons curator, and Dr. Cynthia Parr, Data Management Officer, both with the NAL. In the webinar, they will describe: Ag Data Commons, its purpose, policies, and features; basics of using the repository and catalog to find open research data; specifics of submitting research data as catalog entries; process of uploading REE funded research data; data management planning guidance; support for REE funded projects.

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Appalachian Regional Commission Offers New Training Program to Build Long Term Community Capacity

Deadline to Apply: June 1, 2019

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) began accepting applications for the inaugural class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute a new leadership and economic development training opportunity for community leaders who currently live and/or work in Appalachia. The Appalachian Leadership Institute is an extensive nine-month program focusing on skill-building, seminars, best practice reviews, field visits, mentoring, and networking. The curriculum will be anchored by six multi-day seminars around the region, followed by a capstone graduation in Washington, DC. Upon completion of the program, Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to Appalachia’s future.

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Regional Spotlight

National Digital Extension Education Team Trains Youth and Adult Leaders in Bridging the Digital Divide

According to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2018 Broadband Deployment report, over 24 million people in the U.S. do not have access to broadband internet (25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload). National Digital Extension Education Team (NDEET) in partnership with the National 4-H Council, Microsoft and Georgia 4-H trained youth and adult leaders to address the digital divide across the U.S. through the 4-H Tech Changemakers program. The 4-H Tech Changemakers program includes working with 4-H educators, broadband service providers, community members, civic leaders, and Microsoft to help people thrive in a digital economy and benefit from high-speed connectivity.

NDEET in collaboration with partners developed a guidebook and other resources to provide communities guidance on planning 6-10 learning sessions, engaging stakeholders, implementation and program evaluation. The information provided to participants include:

  1. Understanding communities: To help assess communities’ needs, a socio-economic index and county profiles were developed. To understand the differences in rural and urban broadband coverage, a digital divide index was developed that includes an infrastructure/adoption indicator and a socio-economic indicator. The Digital divide index score ranges from 0 to 100, a higher number indicating a higher digital divide in that community.
  2. Technical assistance on digital literacy skills: To better utilize technology as a communication tool, youth and adult leaders were provided training and resources to develop programs including comparison of computers, tablets and smart devices; setting up devices and understanding controls; capturing photos and videos; understanding software programs; using social media; online shopping; and video-conferencing.
  3. Internet safety and security: To safely and securely operate devices and navigate internet, youth and adult leaders were provided training and resources to develop capacity to devise programs on understanding computer security and privacy; protecting devices from viruses, spyware, malware and other threats; protecting users from threats, scams, phishing and identity theft; keeping computer secure and updated and creating strong passwords; understanding encryption; ethical use of devices; and preventing cyber-bullying.
  4. Assistance with community engagement principles: Best practices were presented to youth and adult leaders to help implement the 4-H Tech Changemakers program on recruitment and training youth as teachers; finding volunteers and adult leaders to establish trusted relationships in communities; delivery methods such as youth/parents/senior citizens’ technology use; considerations for logistics and scheduling; using templates for marketing and communication; and developing surveys to evaluate and measure impacts.
A total of 368 youth and adult leaders across 15 states and 91 counties participated in four trainings. 48 adult leaders participated in the national training at Washington, D.C in January of this year. 76 youth and adult leaders from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Maine, and New York participated at the first regional training in Washington, D.C. in February. In Columbus (Ohio), 116 youth and adult leaders from Ohio and Georgia participated at the second regional training in early March. In Chicago, 128 adult and youth leaders from Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, and Iowa participated in the third and final regional training in mid-March.

The NDEET Team includes:
Monica Babine, Washington State University
Roberto Gallardo, Purdue University
Gail Huycke, University of Wisconsin
Kenneth Sherin, South Dakota State University
Katherine Spiering, Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University
Sreedhar Upendram, University of Tennessee
Neal Vines, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Rachel Welborn, Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University
Terrence Wolfork, Fort Valley State University

Employee Feature – Amanda Paschall, University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension

Amanda Paschall is an Extension agent with an expertise in Community Economic Development and 4-H Youth Development in Benton County, Tennessee. She enjoys working with the Century Farm Program and is a self-confessed history and genealogy fanatic. Amanda is the first Extension Agent in Tennessee to receive a Certified Economic Developer Designation. As part of the certification, her capstone project focused on Strategic Planning in Benton County, TN. She serves on the Benton County Three Star Committee and was instrumental in securing $88,000 in grant dollars and developing a community action plan for the community. She also documents and reports final impacts of the program to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. 

In 2017, Amanda received a marketing assistance grant ($18,000) that would provide professional video footage and website assistance to promote Benton county. Through this grant, the community plans to develop promotional material and videos to showcase the potential Benton County has to offer to attract prospective industries. She serves on the University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension State leadership team and was appointed to serve on the Benton County Parks and Recreation Board.

Besides working on community economic development projects, Amanda is also a Regional All-Star 4-H Advisor and she initiated the highly successful “Candy for Camp” program that raised funds to offset camp fees for students and increased junior 4-H camper participation.

Amanda lives with her husband, Alan, and three children - Allie, Addison, and AJ on their Century Farm in Henry County, TN.

Grant Connections

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)

Deadline to apply: May 16, 2019

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. Ensuring there will be a “new generation” of beginning farmers and ranchers — regardless of age or production choice — is especially important to the continuation of agricultural production in the United States.

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NIFA’s Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grants Program (SLSNCGP)

Deadline to apply: May 28, 2019

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce $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 disaster or emergency preparedness and specific responses related to natural and human-made disasters. The SLSNCGP supports quality of life in communities across the United States by addressing disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery in the context of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences.

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Recreation Economy for Rural Communities Program

Deadline to apply: May 31, 2019

EPA's Office of Community Revitalization, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Northern Border Regional Commission are offering planning assistance through the new Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program. Partner communities will work with a planning team to foster environmentally friendly community development and Main Street revitalization through the sustainable use of forests or other natural resources.

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Job Announcements

Chief Information Officer – Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University invites applications and nominations for the next Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO will provide leadership, planning and management for information technology including strategy, development, and implementation/optimization within all university IT services, including outsourced IT services. In addition, the CIO will collaborate with key stakeholders, identify risks, evaluate trends, prioritize technology initiatives and make IT recommendations as appropriate to senior leadership.

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National Urban Extension Conference: Seattle, WA

May 20-23, 2019

The National Urban Extension Conference is the only national gathering of Extension professionals who serve our cities. The 2019 conference, “Innovation in the City: A Land Grant University Experience”, will highlight strong urban programming and Extension’s opportunity to support the university-level mission of our land-grant universities in our metropolitan regions. With urban focused sessions, mobile tours, networking opportunities, social events, and exhibits the conference aims to both educate and inspire.

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Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association Annual Meeting: Portsmouth, NH

June 9-11, 2019

The Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) will hold its 2019 Annual Meeting from Sunday, June 9, 2019 through Tuesday, June 11, 2019, with a post-conference workshop to be held June 11-12, 2019. This year’s conference will feature selected paper sessions, a poster session, discussion symposia, and workshop sessions.

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National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals 2019 Conference: Asheville, NC

June 9-12, 2019

Homegrown to New Heights in Asheville, North Carolina June 9 - 12, 2019. The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals invites you to participate in a few days of learning, networking, great food, inspiring and thought-provoking sessions in the beautiful city of Asheville. The conference hotel is Renaissance Asheville, in the heart of downtown and the excitement of this eclectic community.

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Community Development Society 50th Anniversary Conference: Columbia, MO

July 14-17, 2019

The 50th anniversary of the international Community Development Society (CDS) is a golden opportunity to express and explore the extreme relevance and responsibility of the community development field and CDS to be proactive change agents, to help create conditions for and help foster shared and welcoming communities, and to cultivate a future in which community is the pathway through rising chaos and insularity across our world.

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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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Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

Building a Regional Coalition for Natural Resource Conservation

Apr. 26th @ 12pm CT/1pm ET

Learn More


EDEN WEBINAR: Smith-Lever Special Needs Competitive Grant Funding Opportunity

Apr. 24th @ 1pm CT/2pm ET


Open Data and Ag Data Commons Webinar

Apr. 25th @ 11am CT/12pm ET


Community of Practice, Local & Regional Food Systems

Apr. 25th @ 12pm CT/1pm ET

Webinar Link


Southern CRD Webinar Series: 

January: Exploring Ways to Engage Limited Resource Communities in Disaster Education - Strategies from the 1890 EDEN Advisory Group

Webinar Recording

February: Empowering Minority Students with an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Webinar Recording

National CRD Indicators Team Webinar Series:

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

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Evaluating Community Development Impacts Using Qualitative Indicators

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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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