Around The South
July 2019 Vol. 15, No. 7
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Southern CRD Webinar:
Creating Bridges for the Rural Retail Workforce: Bringing Businesses and Employees Together to Identify Long-Term Employment Solutions for Rural Retail

July 26, 2019 @ 12:30pm CT/1:30pm ET

Retail, entertainment, accommodation, and tourism sector jobs are a growing share of rural employment. In some rural South communities, these jobs represent the only local employment opportunities for residents with limited or no college education, since manufacturing, mining, and other industries left in the latter part of the 20th century. In addition, these sectors provide critical jobs for those seeking to enter, or re-enter, the workforce and have proven to be economic development engines. However, these jobs often suffer from low wages, no obvious career path, and experience high rates of turnover, despite the economic importance these sectors may have in rural communities. CREATE BRIDGES is a multi-state initiative to strengthen retail, entertainment, accommodation, and tourism industries in rural communities. The process is designed to: raise awareness of the role these important businesses play; determine challenges negatively impacting these businesses and workforce participation; and implement strategies to strengthen them within selected regions.

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Racial Equity in Food Systems Working Group Webinar: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics

July 16, 2019 @ 2:00pm CT/3:00pm ET

The webinar will provide an introduction to the newly published guide, Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics, including examples of metrics in four different themes and ways the guide can be used. Following this introduction, two food system leaders will share how they are using data and metrics to drive system change. There will be time in the webinar for questions, comments, and suggestions for related resources.

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Regional Spotlight

Georgia Students Selected for TEAM Success Program – Fort Valley State University

Before enrolling in classes for fall 2019, a select group of 17 high school students and graduates will have work experience and $2,100 in their pocket from a summer employment program through Fort Valley State University.

They are participating in the TEAM Success Program sponsored by Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program this summer. TEAM is an acronym for Teaching, Enlightening, Achieving and Mentoring.

For six weeks, beginning June 3 and ending July 12, the students will shadow Extension personnel, county agents and program assistants in 14 counties FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program serves. County Extension agents and program assistants provide various services to youths, seniors, farmers and other members of the community. For the duration of the program, the students will assist Extension agents and program assistants in activities and projects in areas such as horticulture, food and nutrition, financial planning and 4-H youth activities.

“TEAM Success was developed to encourage high school juniors and seniors within the community to come to Fort Valley State University, learn about the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology and be enlightened on different careers in the agricultural field,” said Kena Torbert, family life specialist and coordinator of the TEAM Success Program. Torbert added that as employees of FVSU, TEAM Success participants will learn about job professionalism, develop contacts with community leaders and acquire skills needed to become productive citizens for the state of Georgia.

Kearis Ivey, a 2019 graduate of Crawford County High School, decided to participate in TEAM Success after hearing positive news about the program. She said she is looking forward to learning more about agriculture and meeting new people during her internship. She plans to attend FVSU this fall and major in accounting.

To be selected for TEAM Success, the student must be entering the 11th or 12th grade or be a high school graduating senior. They must also live in one of 14 counties where an FVSU Cooperative Extension Program county agent or program assistant is based.

In addition, students must complete and submit an application, have a cumulative grade point average of 2.4, acquire three letters of recommendation, write an essay and submit the information through an online application process. Finally, the TEAM Success Selection Committee reviews, scores and ranks each applicant based on the listed criteria.

For more information about the TEAM Success Program, contact Kena Torbert at (478) 825-6573 or torbertk@fvsu.edu.

Grant Connections

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

Deadline to apply: July 25, 2019

The purpose of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program is to establish a network that connects individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs. The establishment of a network that assists farmers and ranchers in time of stress can offer a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for agricultural producers, workers and their families.

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Job Announcements

Department Head, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University, invites nominations for the position of department head for the agricultural economics department. This position is administratively responsible to the vice president and dean. The Department of Agricultural Economics has a national and international reputation for excellence in teaching, research and extension. The department head administers state, national and international programs. Agricultural Economics employs 27 tenure track and eight non-tenure track faculty members. In spring of 2019, students in agricultural economics and agribusiness programs numbered more than 600 and the department had 49 graduate students majoring in one of our masters or doctoral degree programs. Interest or nominations may be sent to dasnradmin_search@okstate.edu.


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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National Conference for Outreach & Agriculture Development: Richmond, VA

September 10-11, 2019

Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach Program in partnership with Minority Outreach Network and USDA will host the first National Conference for Outreach and Agriculture Development on September 10-11, 2019 at the Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, VA. Outreach Professionals who lead or conduct activities to support farmers and agricultural production through non-governmental organizations (NGOs), grass roots organizations (GROs), schools, universities and state and federal organizations are encouraged to attend. During this two-day conference, participants will learn ways to grow and strengthen their programs in expert educational sessions and panel discussions on the most important emerging issues for agriculture-related outreach.

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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: 

Creating Bridges for the Rural Retail Workforce: Bringing Businesses and Employees Together to Identify Long-Term Employment Solutions for Rural Retail

July 26th @ 12:30pm CT/ 1:30pm ET

Learn More


LISC Institute Webinar| Navigating Community Development: Harnessing Comparative Advantages to create Strategic Partnerships

July 17th @ 2pm CT/3pm 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

June: Telling the Whole Story: Economic Contribution and Cotton Cooperatives

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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