Around The South
December 2021 Vol. 17, No.8
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

Message from the Director: Southern Rural Development Center

On behalf of the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC), I am writing to wish you a happy holiday season. Across diverse cultural and faith traditions, this is an important time of year for family, friends, and community. We come together – in-person, via cards and telephone calls, and even virtually – to reflect, celebrate, and welcome in a new year. Although this has been another challenging year in terms of risks to health, environment, and social relations, by drawing on the best features of our common humanity and benefitting from the multitude of our different talents, there is much to be thankful for as we close out 2021 and usher in 2022.

Working with numerous organizational partners, the SRDC is both humbled and pleased to have been involved in so many important initiatives focused on building capacity and improving the quality of life in rural communities. In anticipation of 2022, we are not only reflecting on the past year, but rather the past fifty years. The SRDC and other three Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) will be celebrating our fiftieth anniversary as a movement for multi-state and multi-institutional collaboration. Working to build bridges across what often divides, we can do even better in the next fifty years. So, in this holiday season, please consider what is possible when we work together in the spirit of mutual uplift for the wellbeing of everyone.

Dr. John J. Green

Call to Action: National Extension Housing Programs Survey 

Please take a few minutes to complete this five-question survey from the Land Use Planning Community of Practice – a NACDEP Working Group. The information collected will give the committee an understanding of all national Extension program efforts (past and present) related to this topic. The results of this survey will be shared at the December 15th webinar. 

Survey Informed Consent Form


Regional Spotlight

Local Government Training Highlights Role of County Jails on Budgets, Programs

On any given day, 10,000 people are locked up in county jails in Arkansas. But what does that have to do with county government?

A lot more than most people realize. Arkansas counties allocate over 30% of their annual budgets toward public safety, namely the county jail. Sheriff budgets affect property and sales tax rates, and revenues that remain for other important county services.

Wayne Miller, an economist in the Community, Professional and Economic Development Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture­, teamed up with Kristin Higgins in the Public Policy Center to highlight the role of jails in local government in a recent seminar for county agents.

Agents learned about how growing incarceration rates affected county budgets, as well as how their educational programs involving nutrition, finance, workforce development, and horticulture could be adapted for jail-based re-entry efforts.

“In my view, you have a special opportunity to really engage with that sheriff and that county judge, and say, ‘Here are some resources, here are some opportunities, here are some things we can do to be a strong partner,” Sterling Penix, the director of Arkansas’ Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee, told agents.

The 2021 Local Government Inservice specifically included one-hour seminars on:

  • Responsibilities of County Governments.
  • Developing Effective Working Relationships with County Officials.
  • Effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic & Other Critical Issues Facing County Governments
  • Inside/Out – County Jails as Community Development Partners
  • Developing Local Ballot Issue Fact Sheets.
Click Here to Read Full Article

Grant Postings

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

Assistant Dean and Professor, Agriculture & Natural Resources and Community Economic Development

Open until filled

The Assistant Dean is responsible to the Dean of the University of Tennessee Extension. 

Responsibilities include: 

•Providing leadership and direction to the agriculture, natural resources and community economic development agents, specialists, and programs. 

•Working closely with department heads, specialists, and regional agriculture program leaders in the overall program planning, etc.

 Information about programs and personnel of UT Extension is available Here

Assistant Research Scientist / Rural Social Scientist, University of Georgia

Open until filled

The position supports the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FR-SAN) grant. The purpose of FR-SAN is to establish a network to connects individuals engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs. Establishing a network to assists farmers and ranchers in times of stress can offer a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for agricultural producers, workers, and their families. The USDA/NIFA established four regional centers across the US. This position will serve in the Southern FR-SAN Region. The regional center is headed by the University of Tennessee. Click here to apply

Learn More


Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Online Course

Online: Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Deadline to register is by noon on January 14, 2022

UMN Extension is hosting our online BRE course. Here is more information on our BRE courses. We hope to offer a face-to-face course next fall.
Whether you need to develop new skills, brush up on existing skills, or be inspired, you will find it in the course. The course helps you prepare a new or updated BRE plan and it allows you to think through the right approach for your context. We feature two classic approaches to BRE in the course:

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

Register Here

Community Resource and Economic Development National Indicators Working Group (CRED) Webinar: Using the Community Capitals Framework to Measure Program Impacts

Online: Tuesday, January 25, 2022 • 3 PM ET/2PM CT/1 PM MT/12 PM PT

The Community Capitals Framework (CCF) has been a widely used educational tool, and it also has enormous potential to guide evaluation of community development work in Extension and beyond.

Presenters will highlight ways they have employed the CCF in documenting community-level impacts of Extension programming and their ideas for using the CCF more broadly to document collective impacts of programming within states and regions.

Register Here

National Extension Energy and National Sustainability Joint Summits

In-person: May 15-18, 2022

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




Southern CRD Webinar Series 2020: 

January: The 2020 Census is Upon Us: What Can You Do?

Webinar Recording

March: The Georgia Initiative for Community Housing: Addressing Housing Issues from the Bottom Up

Webinar Recording

April: Rural Resiliency - How to Support Mental Health in Rural Communities

Webinar Recording

National CRD Indicators Team Webinar Series:

The “But for” Principle: Getting to Your Impact

Learn More

Data Visualization: Decision-Making Tools and Methods for Communities

Learn More

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

Learn More

Evaluating Community Development Impacts Using Qualitative Indicators

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.