Around The South
June 2019 Vol. 15, No. 6
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

SRDC is Pleased to Award Ramona Madhosingh-Hector with the Bonnie Teater Early Career Achievement Award


The Southern Rural Development Center is proud to honor Ramona Madhosingh-Hector as the 2019 recipient of the Bonnie Teater Community Development Early Career Achievement Award. Ramona is a Regional Specialized Urban Sustainability Agent at University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) in Pinellas County, Florida.

In Ramona’s nine years of serving in this role, she has accomplished numerous achievements. Ramona has received more than 30 state and national awards and has also presented at nearly 100 conferences. She has been a dominant player in developing and launching a new UF/IFAS Extension Program: CIVIC, Community Voices, Informed Choices. This provides a platform for deliberative dialogue and feedback through a two-way exchange versus a one-way program delivery style. Another one of Ramona’s achievements includes a program called Sustainability Connections which is a community film series. This series offers an engaging platform to support regional sustainability education efforts. Also, in the field of sustainability, Ramona was an integral part of the planning team for the 2019 National Sustainability and National Extension Energy Joint Summit in Tampa, Florida.

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Southern CRD Webinar:
Telling the Whole Story: Economic Contributions and Cotton Cooperatives

June 18, 2019 @ 11:00am CT/12:00pm ET

Cooperative businesses are an important part of the cotton value chain. They also have unique characteristics that lead to misunderstandings about their operation and value to their communities. Extension specialists and cooperative professionals across Texas and Oklahoma have joined in an effort to share the true story of cooperation by measuring the economic contribution of these businesses.

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Regional Spotlight

Kentucky Winchester Design Studio – University of Kentucky

In partnership with the College of Design, the Clark County Cooperative Extension Office, and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, CEDIK (Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky) recently launched the University of Kentucky Winchester Design Studio. This storefront in Winchester, KY is designed to provide support for downtown development initiatives led by Main Street Winchester and economic development and city leaders grounded in the community’s vision for enhancing its downtown. Before opening the studio this summer, Ryan Winchester, CEDIK’s Landscape Architect and Community Design Extension Specialist, led an independent study last fall with two architecture graduate students to create a model of downtown Winchester with some proposed strategies moving forward. In addition, Ryan led a “Bracket Challenge,” a fun basketball-themed contest to determine a downtown beautification project that ultimately benefitted a local charity. The Greater Clark Foundation sponsored the winning design, colorful shade canopies lining a significant section of downtown Winchester.

Over the next year, the Winchester Design Studio will host a series of exciting learning opportunities and events. For example, the College of Design and the Department of Landscape Architecture will host student studios where students spend significant time in downtown Winchester. There will also be independent design efforts led by faculty and staff in response to the community’s needs. In addition, CEDIK will provide support in conducting a building inventory that will map all downtown buildings and their vacancy/occupancy status. This process was used in another downtown in Southeast Kentucky as a way to change the narrative that there aren’t as many vacancies as perceived. Melissa Bond, UK’s Arts Extension Program leader will support arts initiatives that complement Winchester’s growing arts district. The Kentucky SBDC will host workshops for businesses and provide one-on-one technical assistance. During the summer and fall, there will be a series of events designed to welcome small business owners, non-profits, youth, etc. In addition, the local Extension office plans on hosting a series of events to provide education to clientele who might find the downtown location more convenient. In addition, Mercedes Maness, CEDIK’s Extension Associate, will provide leadership to youth programming to complement existing efforts with a particular focus on downtown design and engagement.

CEDIK has made a commitment to Winchester for two years. This is a pilot initiative to help identify best practices for supporting intensive downtown revitalization efforts. This is truly a collaborative effort with many partners contributing to programming, costs, and time. We expect to measure success primarily by the number of businesses supported and expanded, the number of new audiences we have reached, and the number of projects implemented by the city to improve their downtown. Stay tuned!

Employee Feature – Hannah Dankbar, NC State Extension

Hannah Dankbar joined NC State Extension as the Local Food Program Manager in March 2019. In this role Hannah co-leads the Local Food Program Team; this 80 county and campus person team is designing and developing training, curriculum, and other resources to build the capacity of agents across the state to support local food systems development. Hannah also contributes to the development and distribution of training materials to build the capacity of NC Cooperative Extension educators and other professionals working on food system development and provides support for new and existing local food programming across North Carolina. Hannah is excited to share the success stories of local food in North Carolina and build on the momentum to increase support for local food across the state.

Hannah believes local food is a tool that can be utilized to work towards more inclusive and engaged communities and food and farming systems. Hannah is committed to supporting local food systems whether that looks like advocating for farmers to increase their visibility across the state along with their profitability, supporting the development of regional food infrastructure, or training local food leaders to promote community-based local food projects. Hannah aims to engage a range of stakeholders across the state to build support and capacity for local food in North Carolina.

Hannah has an M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and M.C.R.P. in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University. Before joining Extension Hannah worked as a land use planner providing environmental land use planning services throughout the Columbia River Estuary and on the Oregon Coast. Hannah brings experience managing community gardens, providing community classes on vegetable gardening, and working on an urban farm to her role in Extension.

Grant Connections

National Endowment for the Arts Research Labs

Deadline to apply: July 15, 2019

The Arts Endowment’s five-year research agenda aims to build public knowledge about the arts’ contributions to individuals and society. Through the NEA Research Labs program, we seek to extend this agenda and its impact by cultivating a series of transdisciplinary research partnerships, grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, to produce and report empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike.

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Job Announcements

District Extension Director (Northeast & West District), Oklahoma State University

Deadline to apply: July 3, 2019

This is a full-time 12-month appointment. The incumbent is administratively accountable to the Vice President, Dean and Director, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, through the Associate Vice President of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

Learn More-West District
Learn More-Northeast District

Community Food Systems Program Manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deadline to Apply: July 4, 2019

The Community Food Systems Program Manager works with faculty, staff, and partners to develop needed community food systems program activities and manages the Community Food Systems Extension Program. This position manages and supports outreach educational programs designed to build the capacity of community residents, leaders, organizations and First Nations to build and enhance place-based food systems to improve community health and well-being.

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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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2019 Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society: Richmond, VA

August 7-10, 2019

Theme: Justice and Tyranny: Mobilizing Rural Sociological Imaginations. The meeting will also include a preconference, ‘RSS on the Hill’ and an educational field trip ‘Exploring Richmond’s Racial Past and Moving Forward’.

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2019 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit: Rosemont, IL

October 7-9, 2019

The Summit provides a unique networking opportunity for direct agricultural market practitioners to form new partnerships and learn new business strategies that can improve the performance of their farms and businesses. The Summit features resources to assist market managers, direct marketing farmers, and agribusinesses as well as practitioners or technical assistance providers in understanding and enhancing direct marketing efforts. The Summit focus on “Entrepreneurship Opportunities Across the Food Value Chain” focusing on direct to consumer markets, local food systems and value added technical assistance.

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Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Conference: Astoria, OR

October 8-11, 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: 

Telling the Whole Story: Economic Contribution and Cotton Cooperatives

June 18th @ 11am CT/12pm ET

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Linking Extension & Research to Identify Management Solutions in Partnership with Producers and Industry

June 18th @ 12pm CT/1pm ET



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

March: Equipping Georgia's New Farmers for Success

Webinar Recording

April: Building a Regional Coalition for Natural Resource Conservation

Webinar Recording

May: Community Food Systems: A Space for Ecology, Justice, and Markets

Webinar Recording

National CRD Indicators Team Webinar Series:

Data Visualization: Decision-Making Tools and Methods for Communities

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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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