Around The South
August 2022 Vol. 18, No.8
In This Issue

SRDC Items of Interest

The Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) Showcasing its Support for the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Priorities

The RRDCs have been working to showcase support for the ECOP Priorities and to continue to uplift the interests of the Land-Grants in mutually supporting these great efforts.

For more information, check out two publications Regional Rural Development Centers Leadership Contributions, and Alignment with the ECOP Advocacy Topics.

SRDC Staff Participates in the Meetings with the Association of Extension Administrators

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

The AEA meeting focused on advancing the mission of the 1890 Land-Grant System by providing a forum for the exchange of information and expansion of networks.

In addition to engaging with colleagues and gaining insights on the exciting and innovative programs being offered by 1890 institutions, Michael Wilcox (North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, NCRCRD) and Dr. John Green met with colleagues to help strengthen relationships between the RRDCs and our 1890 Land-Grant partners. Additionally, Dr. Green was invited to deliver a presentation on the SRDC’s work, highlighting opportunities for research and Extension collaboration that transcend institutional and state boundaries.

To learn more about the Association of Extension Administrators (AEA), visit http://1890aea.org/.

SRDC Participates in Meetings with the Rural Sociological Society

The Rural Sociological Society (RSS) conference was a great compliment to the AEA meeting. Bringing together rural sociologists and other social scientists to share innovative research designs and findings, the conference helped identify numerous ways of advancing research to inform Extension programs concerned with the quality of life in rural America. The meeting included a dynamic panel on heirs’ property. The end of the RSS meeting Dr. Dreamal Worthen (Florida A&M University) completed her term as the 2021-2022 President, and Dr. John Green, SRDC Director, began his term as President (2022-2023).

As part of both meetings, Dr. Green was able to help disseminate insights from the Regional Rural Development Centers’ (RRDCs) collective survey and virtual listening session project to inform rural recovery and further community, economic, and workforce development.

To learn more about those findings, visit www.usu.edu/rrdc/listening-sessions.

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

This month SRDC celebrates 50 years of Rural Development! On August 30, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the Rural Development Act of 1972 establishing the four Regional Rural Development Centers in the U.S. To see this post and others highlighting the 50th Anniversary of the RRDCs, visit our social platforms below.

Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn


Regional Spotlight

Alabama Extension: CRD at AAMU

Community Resource Development (CRD) provides education and resources that empower marginalized communities to overcome barriers and achieve equity, resilience, and mobility. CRD also addresses complex social, economic, and environmental issues. Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University’s CRD program area focuses on creating economic opportunities with people-centric approaches.

CRD Programs
All CRD programs are available in-person and virtually. The CRD team current offers the following programs:

  • Career Countdown is an interactive, two-part workshop that provides insights to link interests, skills, and abilities to career choices. Aimed at middle and high school students, participants engage in a realistic simulation involving managing a proposed salary and budget to meet lifestyle choices.

  • Filing for Success is a four-part series in which participants explore all the legal requirements for becoming a small business owner. Participants are also trained on how to complete each process on their own.
CRD at Work
In the past year, the CRD team trained 511 Alabamians in small business development. After completing the Business Modeling 101 series, 74 percent of participants felt ready to design profitable business models compared to 24 percent prior to the class. The CRD team also piloted the Birmingham Community Incubator, a collaborative project that involved six weeks of education and coaching, micro-grants, and the opportunity to network among women business owners of color. After attending this class, 100 percent of graduates continue to grow their businesses.

In addition to offering other dynamic programs, the CRD team manages the Small Business Café, a Facebook group for entrepreneurs. Contact Extension Assistant Director Kimberly Sinclair-Holmes at (256) 372-4941 or visit the CRD website for more information.


Grant Postings

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.


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect Program Round 4 Funding

Applications begin on September 6, 2022 and will end on November 2, 2022.

Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small will begin accepting applications on September 6 for funding to expand access to high-speed internet in rural America nationwide. USDA is making the funding available under the ReConnect Program for up to $150 million in loans, up to $300 million in loan/grant combinations, and up to $700 million in grants. For more information, visit the USDA webpage.

Oklahoma State University (OSU) Assistant Director/State Program Leader for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Community Economic Development

Applications Review will begin September 9, 2022. Position is to be filled by January 1, 2023.

OSU seeks an innovative and creative leader to identify, plan, implement, coordinate, evaluate and report statewide Extension Agriculture, Natural Resources and Community Economics Development programs with campus and field staff to address critical needs of Oklahomans. The Assistant Director/Program Leader is reports to the Associate Vice President, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES). The tenure track professor position is to be filled by January 1, 2023, or as soon thereafter as a suitable candidate is available. Interested applicants must apply via OSU’s online applicant tracking system for the position labeled req12058.

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


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

Virtual on the following remaining dates of 2022: 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

Religious and Cultural Literacy and Competency in Disasters: 2-Day Workshop

In-person: September 20 – 21, 2022, at Illini Center in Chicago, Illinois

The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is hosting a two-day workshop to expand efforts in disaster education and how to efficiently serve stakeholders. Registration is required.

Learn More and Register

Program Center Stage Webinar Series

Virtual every fourth Monday on these remaining dates of 2022: September 26, October 24, and November 28

This webinar series hosted by the Extension Foundation and Impact Collaborative showcases programs from across the system. Membership to the Extension Foundation is not required participate.

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.

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

Virtual on the following remaining dates of 2022: 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

Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Course

In-person: November 1-2, 2022, University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus; Registration deadline: October 26, 2022

University of Minnesota is providing a BRE course that will discuss interview techniques at real businesses; tips and stories; networking with economic developers; and a special focus on business succession and transition research, methods, and case studies. The course is designed for economic and community development professionals and stakeholders, community leaders, and others who want to conduct a community led BRE effort. For more information or to register, visit the University of Minnesota Extension webpage.

Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC)

In-person: November 13-15, 2022, Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, Montgomery, Alabama

PAWC is a forum committed to a world that values and promotes equal opportunity equitable access to information and technology for sustainable development of communities and natural resources. The conference began in 1942 mainly with Tuskegee University and local and state support and participation. It is now national in scope including representatives from the national land grant community, and from the state, federal, and private sectors.

Register Here

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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