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
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Conferences, Workshops, Trainings
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
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.
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.