Around The South
July 2022 Vol. 18, No.7
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

SRDC Staff Participates in the Delta Regional Forum

Reflections from Southern Rural Development Center Director, John J. Green

I have long been involved in the Delta Directions Consortium (DDC), a diverse and ever-evolving network of scholars and practitioners associated with universities, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Among other endeavors, DDC partners put on the Delta Scholars Program (DSP) and the Delta Regional Forum (DRF). The Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) has been involved in these programs this year.

An important part of the DSP includes the students participating in the DRF, organized by the SRDC and the Center for Populations Studies (CPS) (through the latter’s Delta Fellows Program). The Forum is an annual event intended to provide time and space for sharing diverse perspectives and experiences on development issues and strengthen capacity for applied research and community development action. With activities including presentations, panels, workshops, and even a film screening, diverse participants gain information and expand their networks across community and university lines. This year’s Forum including reflections from leaders within the Delta Regional Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office in Mississippi.

SRDC Participates in the Delta Scholars Program

The Delta Scholars Program (DSP) brings together diverse students from the Southern Region and beyond to learn about social change, community development, and cultivating public service. Engaging with the experiences of people working in the Delta, Scholars explore innovative approaches to problem solving that can be applied to their professional lives.

Over a two-week period, they spend time in Delta communities (Mississippi and Arkansas) and on the Mississippi State University (MSU) campus. Scholars develop a capstone project informed by what they learned from Delta leaders. Their projects are intended to make contributions to improve the quality of life and wellbeing in the communities where they are from, where they are going to school, or care about in general; thus, this impacts a range of communities across the region and nation. Cohorts are selected through a competitive application process, and this year’s group included 18 representatives from across ten colleges/universities and six states.

Read the Full Original DRF and DSP Reflections Article

SERA-47 Impact Statement: Research and Extension to Support Local Food Systems

SERA-47 has recently released its impact statement regarding the Research and Extension to Support Local Food Systems.

In the South, local food systems face numerous complex issues, such as barriers to entry, fragmentation, and racial injustice. These issues can keep producers and consumers from fully participating in local food systems. Strengthening local food systems can improve food access for consumers, increase farmer profitability, stabilize and/or grow local economies, and enhance community viability.

Land-grant universities are uniquely positioned to help make local food systems more vibrant, resilient, and just. To read the full impact statement, visit https://www.mrfimpacts.org/.

The Rural Renewal Initiative Call for Nominations: 2022 Rural Renewal Research Prize

The Rural Renewal Initiative at Oklahoma State University is looking for nominations for the 2022 Rural Renewal Research Prize. This research prize (and $5k honorarium) recognizes the work of a deserving individual.

The Rural Renewal Initiative inspires, empowers, and coordinates rural renewal research at Oklahoma State University and beyond. The Rural Renewal Initiative supports interdisciplinary research by funding seed grant projects looking to improve the lives of people in rural communities and providing them with trained student research scholars to lead community-engaged and participative research.

The Rural Renewal Initiative will host its annual Rural Renewal Symposium in Stillwater, Oklahoma, October 5, 2022, to expand and empower its network of collaborating faculty, students, and community leaders. The symposium will include the research of faculty, research scholars, and other technical and social scientists who have researched in and for rural communities. The Rural Renewal Research Prize will be awarded at the Rural Renewal Symposium. This award will honor a global leader in rural renewal research, education, and engagement. Nominations are due August 12, 2022.

More information about the symposium and nominations can be found here on the Rural Renewal Initiative webpage.

Social Media Series: Reflections on the Regional Impacts of the Southern Rural Development Center

To highlight the impacts of our Center regionally, Dr. Michelle Eley, Community Development Specialist at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has been interviewed for a reflective piece about her experience working with the Southern Rural Development Center and the RRDCs. To read the full article, visit our social media linked below.

Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn


Regional Spotlight

TXFED Peer-learning Supports Farmers and Farmers Markets

The number of U.S. small farms and beginning farmers continues to increase, but tight profit margins create barriers to farm creation and viability. The Texas Food Education & Discovery network (TXFED) helps farmers, food businesses, and farmers markets increase customers and sales and develop new market opportunities. Online, on-demand (asynchronous) courses provide content created by and for farmers and farmers market organizers, along with trusted organizations.

TXFED is led by the Texas Center for Local Food along with some institutional and many other collaborators from across the state of Texas. It is a peer-learning network that recognizes the unique expertise of farmers and the importance of prioritizing experience and real-world applications. More than 50 experienced farmers and market organizers share their hands-on, practical knowledge and co-creating courses with 13 respected organizations in the Texas local foods environment. The result is practical, relatable courses with evaluated learning objectives, consistent course design, and related worksheets, templates, and external resources. Topic teams consisting of collaborating organizations vet course objectives and content to provide reliable, high-quality courses and consistency across course series. Current courses for farmers include a series whether selling at a farmers’ market is right for your business, selling at the farmers market for beginners, and beginners guide to using social media to build your farm. Courses for farmers market managers include how to create a welcoming farmers market for SNAP shoppers, introduction to measuring your farmers market impact, and using Instagram to promote your farmers’ market. Additional courses are in development.

With more than 500 enrollments in the first year, the first 9 courses average 4.6/5 stars. Courses have proven especially valuable to beginning farmers and individuals exploring starting a farm business. The online courses are available on-demand at the TXFED platform. Courses have closed captioning and Spanish subtitles. To explore available courses, visit the TXFED website at https://www.txfed.org/. Check back often for new content.


Grant Postings

FY2022 CARES Act Economic Recovery Corps and Equity Impact Investments Notice of Funding Opportunity

Deadline for submitting applications is August 5, 2022.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published the FY 2022 CARES Act Economic Recovery Corps and Equity Impact Investments Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). This NOFO funds two programs to provide support to underserved communities across the country in their efforts to develop successful economic development plans and projects. The first program (NOFO pages 4-8) is a network of Economic Recovery Corps fellows to add human capital to local organizations focused on improving economic resilience and competitiveness in distressed regions across the country. The second program (NOFO pages 8-11) is Equity Impact Investments that provides technical assistance to enable organizations serving underserved populations and communities to participate in economic development planning and projects.

Learn More and Apply

Southern SARE Releases 2023 Education Grant Call for Proposals

The deadline for submitting proposals is August 5, 2022, at 12 p.m. (noon) EST. Grants will be announced in February of 2023. Projects begin April 1, 2023.

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released its Call for Proposals for the 2023 Education Grants program.

Southern SARE’s Education Grant, falling under the Research & Education Grant Program, is a broader education and outreach effort. Education Grants are open to organizations, institutions, and individuals who are interested in conducting education and outreach activities for the benefit of the greater sustainable ag community, and promote efforts in farmer innovations, community resilience, business success, agricultural diversification, and best management practices.

Download the Call for Proposals

STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA Accepting Applications for Placemaking Cooperative Agreements to Spur Economic Growth and Community Development in Rural America

Electronic applications must be submitted via grants.gov by Aug. 15, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced the department is accepting applications for cooperative agreements to help eligible entities provide planning, training, and technical assistance to foster placemaking activities in rural and Tribal communities. USDA is offering priority points to projects that advance key priorities under the Biden-Harris Administration to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, advance equity, and combat climate change. USDA encourages applicants who will serve communities participating in the Rural Partner’s Network. USDA also encourages applications that support communities planning projects that enhance the capacity to build high-speed internet infrastructure, including investments under USDA’s ReConnect program. For more information, contact: RD.RPIC@usda.gov or visit page 39053 of the June 30 Federal Register.

1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants

Deadline for applications is Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at 4 PM CT / 5 PM ET.

The 1890 Institution Teaching, Research, and Extension Capacity Building Grants (CBG) Program is a grant program striving to vitalize teaching, research, and extension programs in the food and agricultural sciences in areas of curriculum design and materials development, faculty development, studies and experimentation, extension program development support systems, and integrated project grants. Submitted applications must address at least one of the following National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA) strategic goals: sustainable bioenergy, food security, childhood obesity prevention, or food safety.

Learn More and Apply

Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program

All Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program applications are due by Friday, September 30, 2022, at 10:59 p.m. CT/11:59 p.m. ET.

The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program (MM) is a $1 billion grant program that will provide funding to expand middle mile infrastructure and reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas. MM will invest in the construction, improvement, or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure.

An application checklist and packet of templates and the program application guidance is available for you to prepare your application. It is important to know that using the templates and application guidance provided will ensure the most effective and timely review. To learn more, visit the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program webpage. If you have questions about this program, please email MiddleMile@NTIA.gov.

Job Postings

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist: Food Systems Communication

Open until filled

The Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at North Carolina State University (NCSU) are recruiting its future Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Food Systems Communication. The specialist will contribute to the expanding undergraduate agricultural sciences major with a specific focus on developing and teaching courses in agricultural communication. The specialist will provide mentorship and advising to students in the agricultural and human sciences graduate program. Additionally, the specialist will collaborate directly with the Plant Sciences Initiative (PSI) and Plants for Human Institute (PHHI) to research and present findings to a broad audience. The specialist will partner with a dynamic team of Agricultural and Human Sciences specialists and across NCSU working in agricultural, life sciences, and food system communications. The specialist will partner with the internal College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Departments and colleges across the university as well as serve as a member on departmental, college, and university committees.

Learn More and Apply


Program Center Stage Webinar Series

Virtual every fourth Monday on the following remaining dates of 2022: August 22, September 26, October 24, and November 28

The Program Center Stage is showcasing programs from across the system in a webinar series hosted by the Extension Foundation and Impact Collaborative. The series occurs every fourth Monday of each month. This series is open to anyone that would like to attend. Membership in the Extension Foundation is not required to participate.

Register Here

2022 Association of Extension Administrators (AEA) System-Wide Conference

In person: July 31 – August 4, 2022, Orlando, Florida

The AEA 1890 Land-Grant Universities is hosting its 2022 System-Wide Conference. The intent will be to share information about the history and significance of the 1890 Land-Grant System and more.

Learn More and Register

2022 Rural Sociological Society Meeting

In-person: August 4-7, 2022, Westminster, CO

The 2022 RSS Annual Meeting will be titled “Including Diverse Voices for Equitable Community Choices”. Registration is now open.

Register Here

Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Free Outreach Meetings

Virtual on the following remaining dates of 2022: August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10, December 8 each at 1PM – 4PM CT / 2PM – 5PM ET.

The Prairie View A& M University and the Agriculture and Natural Resources are hosting the SFLR Free Outreach Meetings to discuss how landowners can turn forestry into a generational source of revenue, provide information to landowners relating to their heirs’ property, and provide technical and financial resources available to landowners through USDA.

Register Here

Overview of Local Food Systems Online Professional Development Training

Virtual Courses: August 15 – November 15, 2022; Enrollment registration: July 18 – August 15, 2022

The North Carolina (N.C.) Cooperative Extension Local Food Program is hosting the Overview of Local Food Systems Online Professional Development Training Program for beginners in local food systems or individuals wanting to gain a broader perspective of the industry. For more information or to register, visit the Local Food Courses’ website. If you have questions, please email the course coordinators at localfoodncce@ncsu.edu.

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund: 55th Annual Meeting

Hybrid: August 18 – 20, 2022, at Birmingham & EPES, Alabama

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is hosting its annual 55th Meeting & 21st Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony to achieve equity using a collective strategy to promote cooperative advocacy.

Learn More and Register

Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Legal Clinic Workshops

Virtual on the following remaining dates of 2022: August 25, October 27, and December 15 each at 1PM – 3PM CT / 2PM – 4PM ET.

The Prairie View A& M University and the Agriculture and Natural Resources are hosting the SFLR Legal Clinic to provide legal information to help landowners with estate planning, Wills, trust agreements, title clearing, and more.

Register Here

Virtual 2nd Annual Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Joint Regional Conference

Virtual: August 30, 2022, at 9AM – 4PM CT/ 10AM – 5PM ET & August 31, 2022, at 9AM – 1:30PM CT / 10AM – 2:30 PM ET.

The Prairie View A & M University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are hosting its Virtual 2nd Annual SFLR Joint Regional Conference.

Learn More and Register

International Workshop on Agritourism

In-person: August 30 – September 1, 2022, Burlington, Vermont

The International Workshop on Agritourism will take place in person in Burlington, Vermont, USA. This workshop is designed to be a hybrid event to allow those unable to travel to have access to content as well as a variety of other ways for all participants to engage and connect with colleagues in the agritourism community. The conference will feature over 140 presentations, workshops, and posters. Topics cover every aspect of agritourism, including running and marketing an agritourism business, managing farms stays, promoting rural development, creating regional partnerships, and sharing research and case studies. Registration is now open.

Register Here

Louisiana 2022 Small Farmers Conference

In-person: September 21 – 23, 2022, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The conference is to celebrate 11 years of innovative practices in the small farming industry.

Learn More and Register

Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Reckoning Program Workshops

Virtual on the following remaining dates of 2022: September 28 and December 14 each at 1PM – 3PM CT / 2PM – 4PM ET.

The Prairie View A &M University and the Agriculture and Natural Resources are hosting the SFLR Reckoning Program to inform and help landowners with a general understanding relating to their heirs’ property.

Register Here

Digital Inclusion Week 2022

In-person & virtual: October 3-7, 2022

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance has released the dates for Digital Inclusion Week 2022. The annual week looks to provide awareness, recognition, and celebration for digital equity in communities across the country. For more information, please visit the Digital Inclusion website.

Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference

In-person: April 16-19, 2023, Arlington Virginia

The Joint Council of Extension Professionals is requesting presentation proposals for the 2023 PILD Conference. The conference is to enhance education and advocacy skills to positively affect federal, state, and local resources available for Cooperative Extension. The proposal submission deadline is October 15, 2022.

Learn More

NACDEP 2023 Conference

In-person: April 30 – May 3, 2023

Mark your calendars: The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) has set conference dates for their 2023 conference. More information and registration will be available at a later date.




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 Carmen Kelly for possible inclusion in future issues.

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