Items of Interest
Heirs' Property Receives SERA 49 Designation
Building from the previous Heirs' Property working group, Southern Extension and Research Activity (SERA) 49 was officially approved in 2023. To see the full write up, please visit: https://srdc.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/2024-01/SERA-49-app-doc.pdf
To learn more about Heirs' Property, visit: https://srdc.msstate.edu/programs/heir_property
Recently Released: Collaborations that Work Full Report
In 2023, the Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) worked with 1890 and 1862 Cooperative Extension Service leaders across the Southern Region to gain insights from collaborations that work among the South's 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Universities (LGU).
To see the results from the effort and read the full report, please visit:
Listening Session Voluntary Opportunity on Rural Population Change
The Rural Population Research Network (RPRN) is leading an effort to identify the issues diverse rural stakeholders see as top priorities for understanding population change. They are inviting Extension colleagues working with rural people and places to participate in one hour online listening sessions on challenges and opportunities related to population change in any of the four following areas:
Agriculture and Food Systems (February 8 @ 11am ET/10am CT/9am MT/8am PT)
This session will focus on how population changes in rural America affect agricultural regulations, loss of farmland, farmland preservation, housing, value-added production, labor shortages, etc.
Community and Economic Development (February 15 @ 11am ET/10am CT/9am MT/, 8am PT)
This session will focus on how population changes in rural America affect local tax bases, development vs. gentrification, job opportunities, financing public services, recruiting employers, affordable housing, etc.
Environment and Natural Resources (February 22 @ 11am ET/10am CT/9am MT/ 8am PT)
This session will focus on how population changes in rural America affect delivery of water and/or sewer services, infrastructure costs and maintenance, environmental preservation, lack of capacity to maintain, protect, and/or provide clean and affordable water, etc.
Health, Health Care, and Disability Services (February 29 @ 11am ET/10am CT/9am MT/ 8am PT)
This session will focus on how population changes in rural America affect aging populations' health care services, opioid crisis management, access to and affordability of health care services, deficit of health workers, etc.
Please register for the session(s) most closely aligned with your areas of expertise and interest for sharing.
Your insights will be used to inform future research on these topics. Findings from the sessions will be used to produce a public report, presentations, and publications identifying topics of interest and priorities for future applied research. Findings will also help guide the work of the Rural Population Research Network and be shared with stakeholders including participants, state and federal agencies, and philanthropic organizations.
If this is something you would be interested in participating in, please register using the following link: REGISTRATION.
***These focus groups are part of a research study that has been reviewed by The Pennsylvania State University, University of Tennessee, Tennessee State University, Mississippi State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s HRPP/IRB. Participation is strictly voluntary. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Dr. Danielle Rhubart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Arkansas Extension Launches EDA Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development
Contributed by Dr. Hunter P. Goodman, Assistant Professor, Community, Workforce, and Economic Development and Brandon L. Mathews, Program Associate, Economic Development at UADA-Extension. Article drawn from UADA-Extension press release by Rebekah Hall November 14, 2023.
In October 2023, The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service (UADA-Extension) received a five-year, $650,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create and support Extension’s Center for Rural Resilience and Rural Development. Extension’s EDA University Center extends our mission to strengthen Arkansans and their communities by connecting them with research-based resources throughout the state.
The Center is not a physical location. Rather, it is embedded within the Community, Professional, and Economic Development Unit and uplifts the strengths of the unit to support state’s “economic development ecosystem,” through the planning and development districts with a particular focus on rural marginalized, Hispanic, and Marshallese communities. The economic development ecosystem includes the organizations and groups that focus on improving local economies as well as county extension offices.
The particular focus of the work is through Arkansas’ eight Planning and Development Districts, or PDDs, which are funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. PDDs are multi-jurisdictional entities, commonly composed of multiple counties and sometimes across state borders. PDDs develop local and regional strategies for comprehensive economic development, and they partner with public, private, and non-profit sectors to implement these strategies.
The Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development will offer training and workshops for their PDD staff and community partners on strategic planning and facilitation, grant writing, data literacy, leadership, and additional topics focused on capacity building and culturally relevant outreach opportunities for marginalized communities.
Extension’s University Center will also develop a data resource center focusing on workforce data through a partnership with Heartland Forward, a Bentonville-based nonprofit that studies broad economic trends and builds data-driven and community-tested partnerships, programs, and policies to address local needs.
“Heartland Forward is excited to partner with extension to deliver data tools and build capacity at the local and regional levels in Arkansas around workforce development,” said Dave Shideler, chief research officer for Heartland Forward.
“Heartland Forward will create interactive data dashboards called ‘labor market observatories’ for the eight PDDs, which will focus on workforce data primarily for rural, Hispanic and Marshallese populations,” said Brandon L. Mathews, program manager for the EDA University Center. These dashboards will be used to identify and analyze labor market trends and opportunities for future programming — workshops, trainings, and other extension outreach.
The Center will continue use of the FORWARD Workforce Curriculum as a training and technical assistance curricular resource for Extension agents in year 2. FORWARD, piloted in Hempstead County Arkansas in 2022, focuses on workforce development skills focused on Extension agents, helps agents identify and address the needs of workers and employers in rural communities, and equips agents as community-centric trainers to then share resources within their Planning and Development Districts, economic development partners, school districts, and others who advance workforce development locally. The FORWARD workforce development curriculum is housed at the Purdue University Extension Community Development Library.
For further information, contact Dr. Hunter P. Goodman, EDA University Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development Director at email@example.com.
Staff Spotlight: Dr. Frank Seo, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Dr. Frank Seo joined the Community, Professional & Economic Development (CPED) team in September 2023 as our new Assistant Professor-Rural Development at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA). As an Extension Economist, he focuses on supporting economic, social, and quality of life advancement in rural Arkansas counties.
Dr. Seo received his Ph.D. in Agricultural & Applied Economics from Texas Tech University. He completed his B.A. and M.A. in Agricultural Economics from Dankook University, South Korea. Before coming to the U.S., he worked as a rural development policy consultant for central and local governments and an agribusiness consultant for agricultural organizations in the horticulture, grain, local farming, broiler, and livestock industries
Dr. Seo’s research focused on agribusiness, especially cooperatives, small farmers, local/organic food, and consumer behavior. His recent study, “Attributes that Influence Consumers’ Preferences for Choosing Locally Grown Food Sources During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was published in The Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
Since starting his UADA career, Dr. Seo has released a white paper, “The Ongoing Trend of Arkansas Farm Information Technology Usage and its Implications,” which compared farm IT usage between Arkansas and other states. Currently, he is developing the “2024 Rural Profile of Arkansas,” which highlights socio-economic characteristics and trends in Arkansas counties and regions. He is also collaborating with Dr. Amanda Perez on the Building an Arkansas Agricultural Network Development (BAAND) Project and Dr. Hunter Goodman in launching a new Center for Rural Resilience and Workforce Development to build regional economic ecosystems.
Dr. Seo is an avid photographer who specializes in portrait photography for businesses and events. He is married to Kami Seo, who runs her own online ESL Education company. Together they love hiking and spending time with their two dogs, Van Gogh, a deaf Aussie, and Twix, a senior chihuahua mix.
Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate - Decision-Making & Team Science, Auburn University
The Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Auburn University is accepting applications for a postdoctoral fellowship. The anticipated start date is April 15, 2024, for an initial period of 24 months with a possibility of extension depending on the availability of funding. This is a benefit eligible, non-tenure track position. They seek an energetic and motivated postdoctoral fellow/research associate to conduct innovative socioeconomic research for a project titled, Socio-Agroclimatology: Farm Security, Equity, and Sustainability. The minimum qualifications include an earned Ph.D. in any of the following or closely allied fields at the time employment begins: agricultural economics, environmental economics, environmental studies, science, and technology studies, economic or cultural geography, sociology, or rural sociology. Prior research in agrifood systems studies, as well as the science of team science, transdisciplinary, and convergence is highly desired. Experience working with data in Excel is also desired. The individual selected for the position must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive and work independently. In addition, the candidates much be able to meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States by the start date and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.
Applicants must complete an online application process at the following link: https://www.auemployment.com/postings/42639 and attach the following: 1) Cover letter stating research interests and experience, 2) current curriculum vita, 3) recent research paper, and 4) copies of academic transcripts. When prompted, please provide names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three professional references. Only complete application materials will be considered. Review of the applications will begin February 1, 2024, and continue until the position is filled. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience. For questions regarding the position, please contact Dr. Worosz at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Sawadgo at email@example.com. To learn more, visit the Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate pdf.
Assistant Extension Professor of Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky
The Department of Community and Leadership Development in the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky seeks applications for a 12-month, tenure eligible Assistant Extension Professor. Review of applications will begin 1/12/2024, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The position is available 7/1/2024 (start date is negotiable). To apply visit, https://ukjobs.uky.edu/postings/498020
Extension Leadership Specialist, University of Georgia Extension
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) seeks a dynamic and innovative professional for the position of Extension Leadership Specialist with primary responsibilities in leading the national faculty leadership development program, LEAD21, which is sponsored by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and administered through a contract with the University of Georgia. This is a full-time Faculty appointment home-based in Athens, Georgia. The position reports to the Director for the Office of Learning and Organizational Development.
Applications received by Dec. 15, will be assured full consideration, but the position is open until filled. Applicants must submit their application via the UGAJobs website (https://www.ugajobsearch.com/postings/349481) and will require the following documentation: (1) a letter of application; (2) curriculum vitae; and (3) contact information for three letters of reference. Please contact Michael Toews, Search Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist in Tourism Economic Development, Auburn University
Auburn University is seeking a 12-month tenure track assistant professor and Extension specialist to provide statewide leadership in tourism economic development. This position is housed within the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management at Auburn University in the College of Human Sciences. This position is designed to assist the College of Human Sciences and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in developing the state’s full economic tourism potential. The selected applicant will provide strategic and inclusive leadership in tourism economic development in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Required qualifications include an earned doctorate in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Tourism Economics, Sustainable Tourism Development, Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources, Economic Development, or a related field when employment begins.
Applicants should also have evidence of, or strong promise in, building a record or scholarship, grantsmanship, and multi-disciplinary collaborations. The candidate selected for this position must also be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States when the appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.
Apply online using the link: https://www.auemployment.com/postings/40771. Provide application letter, complete CV, transcripts from all universities attended, research and educational interests, and three (3) professional references (names, email addresses, and phone numbers). For more information about the position, contact Dr. Alecia Douglas, Ph.D., Chair- Search Committee, at email@example.com.
Assistant Administrator, Community Development and Outreach, Fort Valley State University
Open until filled.
The assistant Administrator for Community Development and Outreach will develop, coordinate, and facilitate programming through the Cooperative Extension Program designed to assist communities to realize their long-term goals; through provision of education, technical assistance, and opportunities to secure grants that support strategic planning and community visioning to provide a foundation for economic development. Coordinate or assist in the coordination of programs through outreach efforts with USDA Agencies, State, private and public and nonprofit entities. Master's degree in Agricultural Economics, economics, business administration or other business disciplines is required. Preference will be given to applicants with extension and strong community development experiences. Applicants with degrees in closely related disciplines with community development experiences may also apply. To learn more and apply, visit https://fvsu.applicantpro.com/jobs/2568591.
Conferences, Workshops, Trainings
2024 Southern Rural Sociological Association (SRSA) Meeting
In-person: February 4-5, 2024, Atlanta, Georgia
Theme: Rural Livelihood Stories: Past, Present, and Future
The 2024 SRSA meeting will showcase papers, posters, and panels to discuss the importance of rural livelihoods stories across time, capturing snapshots of communities, struggles, and actions to pursue pathways to resilience that taken together will form a gallery exhibiting rural lives and landscapes.
2024 Association of 1890 Research Directors (ARD) Research Symposium
In-person: April 6-9, 2024, Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
Registration- February 23, 2024
Save the date for the 2024 Association of 1890 Research Directors (ARD) Research Symposium.
Theme: Climate, Health, and Cultivating the Next Generation of Agriculture Leaders: Creating Solutions in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
2024 Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference
In-person: April 15-17, 2024, Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport, Arlington, Virginia
The Joint Council of Extension Professionals’ Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference brings together Extension professionals, elected officials, and volunteers to learn how to communicate Extension’s value, increase understanding of our federal partnerships, and build experience and confidence in engaging with elected leaders. PILD is open to all Extension professionals in 1862, 1890, and 1994 institutions and invites proposals from a wide array of disciplines that reflect the themes of the conference. Mission: Enhance education and advocacy skills to positively affect federal, state, and local resources available for Cooperative Extension.
2024 National Extension Technology Community (NETC) Conference
In-person: May 13-16, 2024, State College, Pennsylvania
Save the date for the 2024 National Extension Technology Community (NETC) Conference to innovate, educate, and connect NETC Style, with a unique Nittany Lion flavor. In early January, the NETC will share logistics including hotel blocks and airport considerations, a “Call for Proposals,” and registration. The NETC website, conference tools, and services will be online early January. If you have conference-related questions, please contact NETC2024@psu.edu.
2024 National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) Conference
In-Person: June 17-20, 2024, Marriott Marquis Houston, Houston, Texas
Save the date for the 2024 National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) conference.