Friday, February 1, 2013

FW: Publications, Learning, Tools, and Funding

Resources from our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development.


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2013 7:33 AM
Subject: Publications, Learning, Tools, and Funding




Five Things You can Do to Help Your Community – Attached is a quick primer on how a community or region can kick start their path down the road to a better place.  It includes references to other handy tools. I have attached this 5-page document from RCAP.


Tourism Bureau establishes “Locavore Route” to promote tourism in NE OH -


Read the Heartworks Case Study - To find out how Biddeford tackled the challenge of reinventing itself through revitalization, check out the Case Study of the Heartworks Downtown Master Plan project. Read Case Study

Read a new Transfer of Wealth Issue paper for a story about how one foundation is using Transfer of Wealth (TOW) research as a part of its youth and community engagement strategies.

Market penetration by farmers’ markets varies geographically - Farmers’ markets are a significant source of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, and other items sold directly from the producer or farmer to U.S. consumers. Data from August 2012 show that across much of the United States the number of farmers’ markets continues to grow. Since 2009, counties that showed the largest increase in the number of farmers’ markets per capita tended to be near urban areas, particularly along the East and West coasts and in the historically industrialized parts of the Midwest. But counties where the number has declined relative to population are often adjacent to or surrounded by those that showed the largest growth, suggesting that these local markets are dynamic and heterogeneous despite their geographic similarities. Areas where the density of these markets relative to population is the most stable tend to be in the most sparsely populated parts of the country, likely reflecting a population density too small to make new or additional markets economically viable. A map is available from ERS’s Food Environment Atlas.


Historic Regional Concentrations Persist

High-poverty areas tend to be clustered into groups of contiguous counties that reflect distinct regional concentrations. This can pose special problems by taxing the resources that State and local governments can bring to bear to address poverty. The majority of nonmetro high-poverty counties and nonmetro poor are located in specific geographic areas with a long history of distressed or transitioning regional economies, many with a former dependency on natural resources and/or a largely low-skill minority population. High levels of nonmetro poverty are pervasive in the South, particularly in the Cotton Belt, Southern Appalachia, the Rio Grande, and the Mississippi Delta. Poverty rates are typically highest at the cores of these high-poverty clusters and then taper off gradually toward the edges.


There were 193 nonmetro counties newly defined as high poverty in 2006-10, compared with 55 metro counties. Most of the new nonmetro high-poverty counties are adjacent to previously existing high-poverty clusters. The majority are in the Southern Interior Uplands, the Cotton Belt, the Southern Piedmont, and the Southern Great Plains. These regions are characterized by historically high rates of poverty for rural racial/ethnic minority populations (see “Anatomy of Nonmetro High Poverty Areas” in the February 2004 issue of Amber Waves). Findings also reveal an emerging nonmetro high-poverty region in the Pacific Northwest and a more dispersed pattern of new high-poverty counties elsewhere in the West and the Midwest. This suggests that not only has the incidence of concentrated nonmetro poverty increased over the last decade but that it has also become more widespread.




Public Process and the Perils of Dismissive Engagement

“What would you like to see here?”And there it is. Perhaps the most inane question ever posed in the course of a public design process. And posed it is, constantly. “We’re doing a master plan for downtown. What would you like to see here?” It’s crazy. In one sweeping question, practitioners not only set the stage for unmet expectations, they devalue the art and craft of urban design at the same time. Steve Jobs famously said,  “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” He didn’t mean that people are incapable of articulating their own needs and desires. He meant that they can identify things they want to be able to do, or problems they need solved, but they’re not necessarily equipped to deliver the most elegant solution.


Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Newsletter: Despite a severe drought, profits in the U.S. farm sector soared in 2012.  Although total farm incomes remained high, the drought exacerbated a widening gulf in profitability between the crop and livestock sectors.  This issue of the Main Street Economist explores the possibility that the pendulum of farm profits may be about to swing.


Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Newsletter:  In general, indexes reflecting economic conditions for Fourth Quarter 2012 in the Low-Middle-Income (LMI) community were fairly stable and remained moderately below neutral, suggesting the general assessment is that conditions are worsening.  Still, the overwhelming number of respondents reported little change.  Labor market conditions have improved compared to one year ago.





Video Tutorial for New and Improved American FactFinder - The U.S. Census Bureau has simplified FactFinder. You've got to try it! See my quick tutorial on YouTube.

The Census Bureau announced earlier this week that it has revised American FactFinder. Check out the new The new version provides two easy ways to search for information (Community Facts and Guided Search) as well access to all data through Advanced Search, which was previously the only option. 


I(Rebekka) love this new version so much that I've already posted a short demonstration on YouTube at  And while we are on the topic of Census data, don't forget about the state- and county-level data that is available in seconds through the Census Bureau's QuickFacts.This is still the fastest way to find basic Census data.


WEBINAR: eXtension webinar, Top 10 Trends and Cool Tools in Social Media, to be held February 14, 2013 at 2 p.m. (ET). To join, click here and enter as "Guest".


WEBINAR: UTILIZING THE VILLAGE: Effective Reengagement and Recovery Programming in Rural Communities - February 28, 2013 from 1:30 pm-3:00 pm EDT


  • Gary Chapman, Executive Vice President, Communities In Schools (CIS), National network
  • Constance Thomas, Executive Director, Berrien County Collaborative, Inc., Communities In Schools/Family Connection - Nashville, GA

·         JEFF FITE, Director of Job Readiness and Training, Sojourners Care Network, Youthbuild of Southeast Ohio - McArthur, Ohio

Participants will come away from the session with:

·         Information and resources about trends in the field of recovery programming, including the importance of designing tailored programs and the focus on career and college-ready standards.

·         Examples of two highly effective reengagement and recovery programs serving at-risk youth in very rural communities.

·         Practical advice on key practices to deliver relevant curriculum, build strong partnerships, and support rural students through the transition into college and career.

To register for this free event please visit:  Please contact Monica Melville at if you need technical assistance registering or if you do not receive a registration confirmation email within 24 hours.



Community Planning Meets the Classroom - LearnLocal is a place-based education model designed to prepare students to become engaged citizens. The online curriculum, sponsored by Orton, is one of the many outcomes of the Heartworks project. Visit Site


Looking for entrepreneurship education resources? Check out the Roadmap for Entrepreneurship Education from the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.


Interactive Map of Current Transportation Projects

This interactive map from Reconnecting America shows 2013 transportation projects, sorted spatially by the population of the area and the number of projects occurring there.  By clicking each region, a list of projects appears, complete with details including the project’s name, status, and transit technology, and a link to the project’s source.


Know Your Region Website Provides a Clearinghouse for Economic Development Publications and Presentations
The website for Know Your Region, an EDA-funded and NADO-managed project, provides a variety of resources on regional and local approaches to economic innovation and competitiveness across the United States.  Recent publications and presentations, as well as a library of other tools and resources, are available throughout the website and are intended to help local officials, economic development practitioners, community leaders, and citizens assess the local and regional assets leading to long-term regional prosperity and sustainability.  Continue to check back for new updates and reports as they are released.  Know Your Region can be found online here


Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Newsletter:  The Winter 2013 issue of Community Connections features a variety of entrepreneurial-centered strategies that offer marketing and technical support to growing companies, including the Kansas City Fed's Grow Your Own guide, which takes a community-based approach to assisting small businesses. Steve Radley, president and CEO of NetWork Kansas, also offers his insights on expanding economic gardening efforts in Kansas. In addition, Kelly Edmiston, senior economist at the Kansas City Fed, assesses the status and effect of the nation's student loan debt.


National Rural Assembly 2013 - June 23-26, 2013.  Washington D. C. Metro Area.  Sponsor: National Rural Assembly





ING Run for Something Better Offers Grants to Establish Youth Running Programs - The program provides a minimum of fifty grants of up to $2,500 each for schools to establish a running program or expand an existing one for children in grades K-8.... Deadline: May 15, 2013


Saucony Run for Good Foundation Seeks Proposals for Youth Running Programs - The foundation awards between ten and twenty grants a year to community organizations working to reduce obesity and promote healthy lifestyles in youth under the age of 18 through participation in running programs.... Deadline: February 13, 2013, and December 13, 2013


World of Children Accepting Nominations for 2013 Humanitarian, Health, Youth Awards - The World of Children award program honors individuals who have created proven, high-impact programs that make a permanent difference in the lives of children in the United States and abroad.... Deadline: April 1, 2013


Peace First Prize Seeks Nominations of Young Peacemakers - Five young leaders (between the ages of 8 and 22) in the United States will be awarded two-year, $50,000 fellowships in recognition of their work to address injustice and create lasting change in their schools and communities.... Deadline: April 12, 2013


Open Society Foundations Invites Applications for Human Rights Photography Audience Engagement Grants - Five to eight grants of $10,000 to $30,000 will be awarded to support photographers interested in using an existing body of work as a tool for social change.... Deadline: June 18, 2013


Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation Announces 2013 Toolbox for Education Grant Program - Ranging from $2,000 to $5,000, Toolbox for Education grants are awarded in support of projects that encourage parent involvement in local schools and build stronger community spirit.... Deadline: February 15, 2013


AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Accepting Grant Applications for Connections for Cardiovascular Health Program - Grants of $150,000 will be awarded to U.S.-based nonprofits engaged in charitable work that addresses cardiovascular health issues at the community level.... Deadline: February 28, 2013


Getty Images Invites Proposals for 2013 Creative Photography Grants - The grants are designed to help nonprofits that do not have the resources to employ photographers, filmmakers, or communications professionals but understand how bold imagery and strategic thinking about communications are essential to their mission.... Deadline: March 1, 2013



Suzette M. Agans
Rural Development | Community and Economic Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Stop 3254 | Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone: 202.401.1922 | Fax 202.401.7311

"Committed to the future of rural communities"
"Estamos dedicados al futuro de las comunidades rurales"


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