Tuesday, August 27, 2013

FREE Webcast: High-Speed Internet in Rural America





Farm Foundation Forum - September 11, 2013

Delivery of High-Speed Internet Services to Rural America

Engineer with laptop in rural setting
On Sept. 11, the Farm Foundation Forum will examine issues on the delivery of high-speed internet services to rural America. This Forum will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EDT at the National Press Club. A free webcast will also be offered, which means you can participate in the discussion live regardless of your location.


From the comfort of your home or office, or via a gathering of leadership in your offices, you can hear the live speakers and ask questions of them as part of the discussion session.


To participate in this free webcast, all you need to do is register at:



The webcast will be archived for those unable to view the live event.


Iowa farmer Ann Jorgensen, a former member of the Board of the Farm Credit Administration, will moderate this Forum. Panelists are:

  • Sharon Strover, the Philip G. Warner Regents Professor in Communication and former Chair of the Radio-TV-Film Department at the University of Texas. She is one of authors of Rural Broadband Availability and Adoption; Evidence Policy Challenges and Options, a report commissioned by the Regional Rural Development Center's National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Center.
  • Jessica Zufolo, Deputy Administrator of USDA's Rural Utilities Service, on the challenges of advancing broadband access to rural communities.
  • Mark Lewellen, manager of Spectrum Advocacy, Deere and Company, who will discuss broadband use by agriculture.
  • John Windhausen, Executive Director of Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), examining broadband needs of rural communities and schools.

Panelists will each have about 10 minutes to present, after which the floor will be opened for discussion. 
















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Western Rural Development Center | Utah State University | 4880 Old Main Hill | Logan | UT | 84322-4880


Monday, August 26, 2013

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding

From our colleagues at USDA-RD




Why Rural Philanthropy Must Mean More than Money
Jul 17, 2013 -- Nonprofit Quarterly article discusses how in rural communities and small towns, philanthropy can take stands, create coalitions, and break down racial barriers that other institutions avoid. James Joseph, former president of the Council on Foundations, finds that foundations have five forms of capital: social, reputational, moral, intellectual and financial.


Critical Access Hospitals: What's the Fuss? - Jul 31, 2013 -- Daily Yonder article by Wayne Myers M.D. discusses how the U.S. system of Critical Access Hospitals began as a way to keep medical care available in the places where it was needed the most – remote rural communities with few health-care alternatives. With budget tightening underway, can the nation improve the system without undermining its intent?


10 states where manufacturing still matters

In July, America's manufacturing sector grew for the second month in a row. This improvement is in line with longer-term trends, according to the Institute for Supply Management. While some experts are predicting a revival, manufacturing has lagged the economy for years. The country has lost nearly 2.5 million manufacturing jobs in the past 10 years.  Read More


A Summer in the Country Can Inspire Physicians to Practice in Rural Areas, Study Finds
Aug 6, 2013 -- A 15-year study by the University of Missouri School of Medicine showed that medical school graduates involved in their Summer Community Program not only entered family practice residency training at higher rates than nonparticipants, but nearly half began their medical careers in rural locations.


Examination of the Relative Importance of Hospital Employment in Non-Metropolitan Counties Using Location Quotients
Examines the intensity of hospital employment in rural counties relative to the nation as a whole using location quotients and to draw conclusions regarding how potential changes in Medicare and Medicaid might affect rural populations.  Date: 07 / 2013. Journal: Rural and Remote Health


Promotion and Protection of Rural Miner Health: Are the Resources in Place? (Policy Brief)
Reports that mining areas in the U.S., compared to non-mining areas, have on average better supplies of safety net providers, hospitals, and practicing primary care physicians. However, the study results support the need to examine the availability of safety net provider types in selected geographic areas where mining takes place.
Organization: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center. Date: 06 / 2013


Uninsured: An Analysis by Income and Geography
Reports that a larger proportion of the rural population than the urban population is uninsured and low income. A larger proportion of the rural population than the urban population will be eligible for subsidized Health Insurance Marketplace coverage due to income levels and current lack of insurance. Organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis. Date: 06 / 2013


Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's newsletter:  The number of people wanting work, but who are not looking for a job, has swelled in recent years. While a rapid return of this group into the labor force is possible, authors Troy Davig and Jose Mustre-del-Rio analyze the labor market dynamics of this group and find that their impact on the unemployment rate will likely be modest.

Macro Bulletins in some cases are short summaries of Economic Review articles and in other cases are stand-alone snapshots of other macroeconomic research findings from the Kansas City Fed. 




Close to 7 cents of the U.S. food dollar is value added by U.S. farms - For a typical dollar spent in 2011 by U.S. consumers on domestically produced food, 15.5 cents represents the farm share, or value added at the farm gate. The farm share includes the value added by the farmer; services and supplies from agribusinesses; and farm-level inputs from nonagribusiness industries. For example, the energy industry supplies natural gas to agribusinesses producing nitrogen fertilizers used on U.S. farms, and the finance and insurance industry supplies financial services to U.S. farmers. Nonagribusiness industries accounted for 4.6 cents of the farm share in 2011, and agribusinesses added 3.0 cents of value. From the remaining 7.9 cents of farm value added, 6.6 cents was produced on U.S. farms and 1.3 cents represents imported farm commodities purchased as inputs by U.S. producers. Most of the farm value added represents property income accruing to the farmers who own the farm operations. Salaries and benefits for hired farmworkers amounted to 1.7 cents. Net farm subsidies from the Government lowered farm commodity costs per food dollar by about 1 cent in 2011. A chart appears in “ERS Food Dollar Series Allows an Indepth Look at Farm-Level Components of the U.S. Food Dollar” in the July 2013 issue of Amber Waves magazine.


Who Would Be Affected By a New Minimum Wage Policy? - Describes the population who would be directly affected by the proposal to increase the minimum wage and provides a rural and urban comparison. Organization: Carsey Institute Date: 2013



The NARDeP Center, a joint effort of the Regional Rural Development Centers, funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, announces its new web-based publications series.  Authored by top researchers from around the country, NARDeP offers the following sources of policy insights, all available free of charge at:  




  • Rural Broadband Availability and Adoption: Evidence, Policy Challenges, and Options
  • Natural Gas Issues and Policy Options


  • How Rural Areas Can Adapt to Declining Rural Latino Immigration
  • Natural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery: Issues and Policy Options
  • Lessons Learned From the Greater Sage Grouse
  • Trends in U.S. Agricultural Conservation Programs
  • Immigration and Farm Labor in the U.S.
  • Policy Options for Broadband in Rural Regions
  • Natural Gas Extraction
  • Addressing Rural Economic Disadvantage



  • Changes in Energy Production, Employment and Businesses Between 2001-2010
  • Where the Jobs Went After 2007



  • Predicting the Economic Resilience of U.S. Counties from Industry Input-Output Accounts
  • Current Federal Rural Policy Issues: Internet and Social Media Analysis
  • Who Influences National Rural Policy? Identification and Description of Rural Interest Groups
  • U.S. Agricultural Conservation Programs: Trends and Effects on Farmer Participation





Clearinghouse for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) - Access information, tools, data, and other resources describing promising practices and evidence-based solutions for building programs to assist older adults and people with disabilities. Organization: National Association of State Units on Aging


J-1 Visa State Contacts - Access a list of contacts in each state who can address questions related to the State Conrad 30 program and/or J-1 Visa Waivers.
Organization: National Rural Recruitment & Retention Network


Medicare Advantage: National and State Enrollment Tables and Maps - A listing of tables and maps identifying enrollment in Medicare Advantage and other prepaid plans by state. Tables 3, 4, and 5 show rural by state. Organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis


Rural Health Value - Access tools and resources, plus details on innovations and demonstration projects that are designed to support health care quality, improved population health, access to affordable services, and sustainability in rural communities. Organization: Rural Health System Analysis and Technical Assistance


Community Change Resource Bank is an online searchable database that houses resources pertaining to community change and policy. It is being organized by a coalition of community, economic, and rural development practitioners and researchers nationwide.


Final List of Rural and Underserved Counties for Use in 2014
Identifies rural and underserved counties for mortgage loans made by creditors. This list created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines rural by using the USDA Economic Research Service's urban influence codes for rural counties, and “underserved” counties are also defined by reference to data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).





WEBSITE: Charity Raters Part II: Managing Your Rating

Finance & Strategy - By Jan Masaoka - August 12, 2013 - Email

In Part I of this two-part article, we summarized the features and criteria of six of the best known "charity raters" including Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau, and others. Many readers added thoughtful comments and noted lesser-known raters as well; we encourage you to read Part I and the posted comments.

Here in Part II, we offer advice to nonprofits on managing their ratings, and comment on the impact of the raters as a whole.

Just two weeks after we published Part I, an unusual three-some of Guidestar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau issued an unexpected but welcome joint statement " denouncing the "overhead ratio" as the sole measure of nonprofit performance." (emphasis added) (overheadmyth.com) The statement also defends overhead to an extent: "Overhead costs include important investments charities make to improve their work: investments in training, planning, evaluation, and internal systems -- as well as their efforts to raise money so they can operate their programs. When we focus solely or predominantly on overhead . . .> Read more





USDA Seeks Applicants for Funds to Assist Rural Microentrepreneurs - Due September 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2013 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the availability of loan and grant funds to support rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises.

"By supporting very small business enterprises through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, USDA has been able to direct assistance to small firms that otherwise might not be able to obtain credit," said Vilsack. "This program has shown that even a modest investment of federal dollars can have a huge impact for the local economy in small towns across rural America."

Despite budget uncertainties, USDA remains focused on strengthening the rural economy.

USDA's Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) was established under the 2008 Farm Bill to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, which are defined as rural businesses with 10 or fewer employees. About $12.2 million will be provided to eligible applicants this year. Under the program, USDA may provide loans of up to $500,000 to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs). They, in turn, make microloans for business start-up or development to eligible microentrepreneurs who are unable to obtain conventional credit elsewhere. Grants of up to $30,000 are available for MDOs to provide technical assistance and training, particularly in rural areas that have experienced significant outmigration. USDA does not directly provide funds to the ultimate recipients.

RMAP applications are due by September 13, 2013. More information about how to apply is available in the August 14, 2013 Federal Register. View it here: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-14/pdf/2013-19765.pdf, or by contacting any USDA Rural Development state office.


KaBOOM! Offers Let's Play Maintenance Grants for Playground Maintenance
Grants of $750 will be awarded to communities that wish to extend their efforts to make their KaBOOM! playgrounds cleaner, safer, and more inviting.... Deadline: August 31, 2013


William T. Grant Foundation Invites Applications for Youth Social Setting Research Projects - Grants ranging from $100,000 to $600,000 will be awarded in support of research designed to understand and improve the everyday settings of youth between the ages of 8 and 25.... Deadline: January 8, 2014 (Letters of Inquiry)


Applications Invited for Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards - Fifty teachers will be selected to receive grants of up to $1,500, plus the chance to win an additional prize of $1,000, in recognition of their dedication to providing high-quality child care.... Deadline: December 6, 2013


SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Accepting Applications for Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Projects
Grants will be awarded in the areas of species research, animal rescue and rehabilitation, habitat protection, and conservation education.... Deadline: December 1, 2013


Journalism Schools Invited to Apply to Host a McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute.  Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to individuals and organizations interested in hosting an intensive reporting workshop that provides subject-specific expertise and practical skills to working journalists....Deadline: November 15, 2013


American Indians Into Nursing - Application deadline: Aug 19, 2013. Grants to operate the American Indians into Nursing Program, to develop and maintain American Indian nursing career recruitment programs, designed to encourage Indians to enter the nursing field. Sponsor: Indian Health Service


Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) - Application deadline: Aug 23, 2013
Funding to link medically underserved women to breast health education and screening services. Sponsor: Avon Foundation


Veterans to Nurses and Physician Assistants Workforce Program - Application deadline: Aug 26, 2013
Funding to create a Veterans to Nurses and Physician Assistants Workforce Program that will expand opportunities for veterans with prior medical training to receive the education necessary to become civilian nurses and physician assistants. Preference will be given to applicants that will substantially benefit rural or underserved populations. A single cooperative agreement will be awarded. Sponsor: Bureau of Health Professions


Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) - Application deadline: Nov 12, 2013. Grants to provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development.


Community Resource Group (CRG) Loan Fund - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Loans to help small, rural communities and tribal nations with water and wastewater projects.  Sponsor: Community Resource Group


Hearst Foundations Grants - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture, and Social Service.  Sponsor: Hearst Foundations


Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
This program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas.  Sponsor: USDA Rural Development


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is accepting applications for grants for transportation of veterans in highly rural areas. Eligible organizations should use innovative approaches to assist veterans with transportation to VA and non-VA facilities for medical care, serving veterans who would not otherwise be able to obtain medical care through conventional transportation options. Applications due September 9.


'Stand Down' Grants to Assist Homeless Veterans

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $600,000 in "Stand Down" grants that will provide an estimated 10,000 homeless veterans with opportunities to reintegrate into society. The grants are being awarded under the department's Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program. Approximately seventy grants in each of the three fiscal years covered by this solicitation are expected to be awarded. A maximum of $10,000 per multi-day event or $7,000 for a one-day event can be awarded. Stand Down grant funds must be used to enhance employment and training opportunities or to promote the self-sufficiency of homeless veterans through paid work. Applications for Stand Down funds will be accepted from State Workforce Agencies, State and local Workforce Investment Boards, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), local public agencies, and non-profit organizations including community and faith-based organizations. All applications for Stand Down grant funding must be submitted to the appropriate State Director for Veterans' Employment and Training (DVET) at least ninety (90) days prior to the event.

Find the address and contact information for each State DVET

Learn more about Stand Down grants and apply


SBA – Loan and Grant tool - http://www.sba.gov/content/search-business-loans-grants-and-financing#


Gene Haas Foundation Donates $1 Million to the SME Education Foundation for Machining and Manufacturing Scholarships - http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/aug/20/gene-haas-foundation-donates-1-million-to-the-sme-/#ixzz2coJrDcbX.  Gene Haas Foundation Board Chair Bob Murray presented a check to Kathy Burnham of the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Education Foundation, which will administer the scholarship fund.  The application process is online and opens on September 1, 2013. The SME Education Foundation expects to award 950 to 1,000 scholarships this year, exhausting the $1,000,000 grant. To be eligible, applicants must be pursuing an associate’s degree or technology certificate and have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Displaced workers or people training for a second career are also eligible. A scholarship committee reviews the applications as they are submitted to ensure the minimum eligibility requirements are met. All applicants meeting the requirements will be awarded a scholarship, as long as funding is available.

HUD is offering grants through The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program that supports the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans, including housing rehabilitation, programs for youth, and the creation of public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods. Deadline: 9/10/2013. Click here for more information.  


The AETNA Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations for healthy food and activity initiatives that serve people who are most at risk for poor health – low-income, underserved or minority populations. The 2013 focus is on the following two categories: Healthy Food Choices grants supporting programs that provide nutrition education and help increase the availability of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved communities; and Healthy Activity grants supporting programs that provide opportunities for physical activity in underserved communities. Deadline: 9/15/2013. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.  


The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies, including libraries, to develop faculty and library leaders, to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, to conduct research, to attract high school and college students to consider careers as librarians, to build institutional capacity in graduate schools of library and information science, and to assist in the professional development of librarians and library staff. Deadline: 9/16/2013. Click here for an application and to learn more.


The Office Depot Foundation is offering grant support to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, and schools that bring systemic change to the communities they serve. The Foundation provides grants averaging $1,000 in three distinct categories. The focus of the “Giving Children Tools for Success” category is on activities that give young people tools to succeed in school and in life through education and inspiration. The “Building Capacity to Serve Communities” category targets programs that help nonprofit organizations to serve the needs of their communities efficiently. The purpose of the “Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding” category is to support efforts that help people and communities prepare for disasters and rebuild and recover when disasters occur. Applications will be accepted from May 1 through October 31, 2013. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the guidelines.


DOE offers funding for clean energy projects on tribal lands.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is offering up to $7 million to deploy clean energy systems in tribal communities. Through the “Community-Scale Clean Energy Projects in Indian Country” funding opportunity, up to $4.5 million is available for projects installing clean energy systems that reduce fossil fuel use by at least 15 percent in either new or existing tribal buildings. The “Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance” funding opportunity offers up to $2.5 million for projects installing renewable energy and energy efficiency that reduce fossil fuel use in existing tribal buildings by at least 30 percent. The full funding opportunities are described on the Tribal Energy Program website


The CHS Foundation invests in the future of rural America, agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development and supports national projects related to its mission as well as programs within the CHS trade territory for regional multi-state, or statewide projects. The Foundation's funding focuses on the following program areas: Cooperative Education, Rural Youth Leadership Development, Farm and Agricultural Safety, Returning Value to Rural Communities, and University Partnerships. All applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, with the exception of Cooperative Education applications, which are due in the fall of each year. Visit the Foundation’s website here for a description of each grant category and online application instructions.


National Indian Health Outreach and Education (NIHOE II) - Application deadline: Sep 8, 2013
Funding for national Indian organizations to provide outreach and education efforts for the tribal Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Intervention (MSPI) and HIV/AIDS programs.

Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing - Application deadline: Sep 13, 2013
Loans and grants to increase the number of available housing units for domestic farm laborers. Sponsor: USDA Rural Development


Tribal Transportation Program Safety Funds - Application deadline: Sep 19, 2013. Awards funding to tribal governments for the purposes of transportation projects related to safety, engineering, emergency services, and education.  Sponsor: Federal Lands Highway Program


Foundation for Rural Service Grant Program - Application deadline: Oct 1, 2013. Provides grants for rural communities in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Sponsor: Foundation for Rural Service


Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing - Application deadline: Oct 14, 2013. Funding to enable independent living for people with disabilities and the elderly.


NBCC Foundation Rural and Military Scholarship Programs - Application deadline: Nov 1, 2013
Scholarships to increase the availability of counselors in underserved areas, with the current priority areas of rural and military communities.


Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) - Application deadline: Nov 12, 2013
Grants to provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Sponsor: USDA Rural Development


Christopher D. Smithers Foundation Grants - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Provides funding to alcoholism prevention and education programs.

Community Resource Group (CRG) Loan Fund - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Loans to help small, rural communities and tribal nations with water and wastewater projects.

Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Awards grants to organizations that provide direct services such as transportation, food, shelter, and medical aid to disabled veterans.

Hearst Foundations Grants - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture, and Social Service.

National School Lunch/After School Snack Program - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Funding for schools to provide after school snacks to low-income children who participate in the National School Lunch program. Sponsor: USDA Food and Nutrition Service


Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance Program - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Assistance for tribal communities to enhance economic growth and development by improving transportation services. Sponsor: Community Transportation Association of America


Banfield Charitable Trust Offers Grants to Keep Pets and People Together
Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to nonprofit organizations working to keep pets with their families, pet food distribution programs, companion horse feeding programs, and/or hospice patient/pet support programs.... Deadline: October 31, 2013


Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Accepting Proposals for Fund for a Just Society
Grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded to non-Unitarian Universalist groups in the U.S. and Canada working to create systemic change in the structures that affect those who have been excluded from resources, power, and the right to determination.... Deadline: September 16, 2013


Lilly Endowment Accepting Applications for 2014 Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program
The program will award one hundred grants of $10,000 each to Indiana K-12 educators to pursue an "imaginative project" that infuses their busy lives with personal renewal and intellectual revitalization.... Deadline: November 1, 2013


National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Seeks Proposal for PreK-8 Action Research Projects - Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded for "action" research projects aimed at enhancing the teaching of math in pre-K through 8th grade classrooms.... Deadline: May 2, 2014


Chesapeake Bay Trust Invites Applications for Restoration Grant Program -Grants of up to $50,000 are available for restoration projects that address watershed challenges in and around the Chesapeake Bay.... Deadline: September 6, 2013


AAUW Accepting Applications for Community Action Grants
Grants of up to $10,000 are available to individuals, AAUW branches, and AAUW state organizations as well as local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women.... Deadline: January 15, 2014


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Asset-Based Community Development workshop CANCELLED

Due to low registration numbers, the Asset-Based Community Development In-service scheduled for Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at the Cleveland County Extension Office has been cancelled. We will try to offer this opportunity again next Spring – watch your email or my blog for details!


For those of you who already registered, your checks will be returned to you via mail next week. Please let me know if you do not receive it.


Sorry for the inconvenience!


Assistant Professor and Community Development Specialist

Department of Agricultural Economics

Oklahoma State University

323 Ag Hall

Stillwater, OK 74078



Follow my blog Oklahoma Extension Development Resources


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning, Funding, Input sought

From our colleagues at USDA-RD.



Inflation-adjusted supermarket prices are up for some foods, and down for others - Due to inflation—the general fall in the purchasing power of money over time—shelf prices of most foods in the supermarket tend to rise a bit each year. However, by holding the value of the U.S. dollar constant at a particular point in time, it is possible to see how U.S. grocery store food prices have changed over time in real, inflation-adjusted terms. In real terms, bananas, tomatoes, eggs, and chicken are all cheaper today than they were in 1984. Bread, however, has grown more expensive. Real food prices are largely determined by supply-and-demand conditions. Increases in U.S. production, imports, or both have pushed down real prices of bananas and tomatoes, and production efficiencies have helped lower real prices for chicken and eggs. The greater variability of real prices of tomatoes and eggs reflects, in part, supplies that shift more dramatically from year to year as compared to bread, bananas, and chicken. Alternatively, real prices of major field crops, including wheat, have been increasing since 2002, resulting in higher real bread prices beginning around that time. More information on food price changes and forecasts can be found in ERS’s Food Price Outlook data product, updated July 24, 2013.


While Telehealth Workforce Expands, Barriers Slow Availability by Candi Helseth
Telehealth offers many benefits in rural and remote areas, but physician licensing, reimbursement and technology remain challenges.





Listening Party Discussion Guide - Planning to host a party? Download our discussion guide for some advice on structuring a conversation, sample discussion questions, and resources to help you along the way.





WEBINAR: Develop a Mission-Driven Sales Culture for CDFI Lending, August 22, 2:00 pm EDT/1:00 pm CDT/11:00 am PDT  To register click here

Increasing demands to meet the needs of underserved local communities, CDFIs are re-assessing of how they build their pipelines and produce results.  More and more CDFIs are finding it necessary to build a mission-driven sales culture. A sales culture can help bring in more clients and increase mission fulfillment, but developing the right culture requires a change in thinking, behaving, communicating and learning.  In this groundbreaking webinar, Friedman Associates will highlight the steps you need to take to develop a culture of sales.  Key questions we will address are:

  • What is mission-driven sales and why it is important?
  • How do you develop the right mission-driven sales goals?
  • How do we get everyone in our organization focused on getting borrowers and keeping them?
  • How do you measure and monitor progress?

The webinar will be led by Leslie Hoffman, Catherine Meyrat and Barbara Eckblad, nationally recognized leaders in the microenterprise CDFI industry. 


WEBINAR: Crowdfunding: Can your organization leverage the online power of social media to access new sources of funding? September 26th, 1-2 pm ET, Drew Tuchin, Social Enterprise Associates, will be our presenter. Click here to register and share the link with your colleagues!





Enter Our Successful Communities Contest - Here’s your shot at success! Host a listening party for Ed’s call, and if your group decides on an action to get started, you can enter to win $500 to make it happen.


“Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity” program at the National Science Foundation.  Community colleges are eligible to submit proposals.  Click here for the full announcement.  “Smart healthcare,” “smart infrastructure,” and “precision agriculture” are enumerated by NSF as examples of technology applied to service systems.  Letters of Intent are due by November 18, 2013. Full Proposal deadline is January 27, 2014





HUD Seeks Input on Draft Strategic Plan 2014-2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is currently seeking input on its draft Strategic Plan 2014-2018, and has established an interactive online forum on HUD Ideas in Action through which both HUD employees and the public may submit their feedback on the draft plan framework.


The Strategic Plan will guide the organization as it will help determine the focus of the Department’s work over the next four years.  Feedback is due on August 16 for the initial draft of the Plan. A second round of feedback will be solicited in the fall for the final draft of the Plan. Comments for the final Plan will be accepted until December 5. 


HUD seeks input on the following topics:

·         Do you think the Strategic Plan accurately reflects what HUD needs to accomplish in the upcoming years?

·         What strategies should HUD consider in order to reach each goal?

·         What specific performance goals would you like to see HUD strive towards?


Additional Links:

·         To view the draft Strategic Plan framework, visit HUD Ideas in Action.

·         Review HUD’s existing Strategic Plan

·         Learn more about HUDStat, through which HUD tracks progress on its strategic goals




Newsletters and email from where I gather this information include:

v  Foundation Center RFP Service -  To subscribe or unsubscribe, or to change your e-mail address, visit: http://foundationcenter.org/newsletters/

v  To subscribe to the RAC Health Listserv - click here to go to the subscription form.

v  Electronic newsletter of the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Entrepreneurship NewsTo subscribe, http://team.energizingentrepreneurs.org/news2/public_html/lists/?p=subscribe  

v  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter: http://www.kansascityfed.org/alert/

v  The npEnterprise Forum (www.npEnterprise.net ) - 5000+ subscribers discuss practical ways that organizations can advance their social missions through entrepreneurial, earned-income strategies.  http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/npEnterprise/

v  Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful.  http://www.blueavocado.org/

v  Rural LISC e-newsletter - http://www.lisc.org/rural

v  National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) – www.nado.org

v  ERS - A notification service is provided by USDA's Economic Research Service for Charts of Note and other research to keep you informed of the latest and most relevant research on the topics that interest you. You can subscribe at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Updates/

v  Department of Labor – Email Subscription Service - https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOL/subscriber/new?topic_id=USDOL_167

v  Good Done Great - Knowledge Sites – webinars and websites geared to nonprofits – to subscribe - http://4good.us1.list-manage.com/profile?u=04c75b52bdc230f3f32ad149d&id=7dc46f4ba6&e=53110692a1


This is the bulk of them, a few others are random.




Suzette M. Agans

Community and Economic Development
Rural Development | U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. | Washington, D.C. 20250-3253
Phone: 202.401.1922 | Fax 202.401.7311


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


This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.