Around The South
August 2021 Vol. 17, No.4
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Your Opportunity Coming Soon: Identifying National and Regional Priorities for Rural Workforce and Economic Development Post-COVID

Within the next few weeks, a new opportunity for community development stakeholders (you) will be launched to inform national and regional priorities related to rural workforce and economic development. The first opportunity will be through a survey, followed by virtual listening sessions that will be conducted regionally as well as around specific high priority topics (as determined by the survey. The four Regional Rural Development Centers will be working collaboratively on this effort to raise up rural priorities.

Full Release

Choices Magazine Special Issue Focuses On COVID-19 Impacts on Rural America

Choices magazine, which covers food, farms and resource use and is published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), has just released a special themed issue on “Rural Development Implications One Year After COVID-19.” The issue contains eight peer-reviewed papers that explore the pandemic’s effects on aspects of rural life ranging from employment and childcare to recreational trail use and farming.
The papers in this special issue were commissioned by the Council on Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics (C-FARE), and prepared in collaboration with Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development on behalf of the Regional Rural Development Centers.

Access The Papers Here

Regional Spotlight

Cooperative Extension Service Partners with the Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention on EXCITE: One University’s Example.

Cooperative Extension is entering a new partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy Health Innovation Task Force. Project EXCITE (Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement), has a long-term goal to strengthen immunization education with a special focus on adult vaccination hesitancy around both COVID and other adult immunizations. The immediate goal of this project is to promote the uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations through relevant messaging and innovative models for community action. With all 50 states participating, here is one university’s example:
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Cooperative Extension Program, an EXCITE partner, will be working in Lee, Jefferson, St. Francis, and Little River counties. Iris Cole-Crosby, Extension associate for UAPB who will oversee the university grant, said, “The focus will be to identify and address the vaccination barriers for rural and underserved communities. We will provide unbiased information to allow residents to make an informed decision to ‘vaccinate with confidence.’”
“Too many community members in south Arkansas are falling victim to myths and misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines,” Teresa Henson, Extension specialist-program outreach coordinator at UAPB, said. “The false information they read online is causing them to delay getting the vaccine, which puts them and their families at the very real risk of falling ill to and possibly dying from COVID-19.” Focusing on these three counties, the project will be implemented by Extension personnel who work with county Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program staff in partnership with local non-profits and health clinics to focus on two key audiences: Henson said UAPB’s 1890 Cooperative Extension Program serves families with children, grandparents, pregnant women, and others in these counties, many of whom are at risk of COVID-19 infection because they are essential workers or caretakers, live in tight spaces with others, and have underlying health issues.
Crosby said farmers are at risk of contracting COVID-19 because of the nature of their job. Proximity with other people, sharing tools and farm equipment, frequent traveling and demanding working conditions could put them at greater risk of infection. Both Crosby and Henson emphasize the importance of not only getting a vaccination, but also following the CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Full Release

Learn More About Excite Nationally

Grant Connections

Economic Development Administration American Rescue Plan Program

Deadline varies based on program

The American Rescue Plan funding is to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. EDA is proud to make this funding available through a series of six innovative challenges.

Learn More

Job Postings

Community Health Post-Doctoral Associate

Open until filled

The position is a two-year appointment located in southwest part of the state in Tifton, Georgia. The faculty will be expected to support, implement, and evaluate community health capacity building initiatives related to vaccine education with partner institution Morehouse School of Medicine.

Learn More


Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund

Online: September 14, 2021

An incredible lineup of speakers will address the global challenges of climate change, labor, and immigration; and the over-arching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for racial justice. Each speaker will be followed by a panel discussion of local resilience in the face of each of these challenges.

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National Extension Energy and National Sustainability Joint Summits

In-person: October 4-16, 2021

The Summit is the best, single venue to learn about the latest in sustainability and energy research, share innovative Extension programs, update your program toolbox, and cultivate new communities of practice.

Learn More & Register

5-Part Training Series: Building Your Virtual Facilitation Skills

Virtual – Wednesdays, October 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2021; Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Hosted by the University of Main Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, New Hampshire Extension, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the University of Vermont Extension, attendees will learn to engage with virtual group members, mange the group’s virtual process and challenges, handle multiple aspects of virtual technology, and adapt facilitation techniques and tools for virtual environments.

Learn More & Register

Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Courses

In-person: October 12 - October 13, 2021 (St. Paul, MN)

For inspiration, new skill development, or brushing up existing skills, we encourage individuals or teams to take the course. The course gives you the opportunity to prepare a new or updated BRE plan. It allows you to think through the right approach for your situation including two fundamental approaches to business outreach and follow-up action:

• The community-led, volunteer-intensive approach
• The staff-driven, continuous approach

What's new? We're all learning how things are changing in the post-pandemic period. This includes BRE methods. Thus, we will discuss both new and traditional ideas and methods. We welcome discussion of new ways of doing the work. One thing hasn't changed; however, retaining and expanding businesses will continue to be the lion's share of local ED work for Minnesota communities.

Learn More & Register

Rural Renewal Symposium

In-person: October 12, 2021

The Rural Renewal Symposium and Prize are designed to raise awareness, attract resources, and stimulate research toward solving grand challenges facing rural communities. This symposium will provide a unique opportunity for faculty, students, and rural community members from across the U.S. and around the world to connect with others and learn about the latest discoveries, trends, and approaches for rural renewal.

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Making it Count: Applying Science to Support Universal Affordable Broadband Adoption

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Conference Topics will Include:

• Investments in Digital Literacy

• Rural Broadband Business Models and Execution

• Federal-State Policy and Funding Interaction

• Data and Models to Support Program Evaluation

• Labor Market Effects and Response

Hosted by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in partnership with the Southern Rural Development Center. Registration and more information coming soon!

Contact SHEILA MARTIN, for more information.

2021 National Extension Tourism Network Biennial Conference

In-Person: November 7 – 11, 2021 – Savannah, GA

The National Extension Tourism Network’s conference theme this year is “Navigating the Uncharted” which will reflect on how Extension and other tourism professionals have been responding and adapting to the challenges and changes facing the communities we serve. It also will serve to catalyze future Extension programming that best serves our stakeholders’ needs.