Monday, September 23, 2013

OK Recycling Conference & Weekly Publications, Learning, and Funding Update

Reminder:  Oklahoma Recycling Conference, “Recycling Trends: Past, Present & Future,” OSU Conoco-Phillips Alumni Center, Stillwater, Oklahoma, Thursday, October 17, 9:00am – 3:30pm


Lodging: Rooms have been reserved at the Best Western Cimarron Hotel & Suites for the night prior to the conference, Oct. 16, at $89 single/king or $99 double/queen, plus taxes. This offer is guaranteed if reserved by Oct. 3; call 405/372-2878 and mention the OKRA or Oklahoma Recycling Association room block.


Free Post-Conference Compost Education Workshop: Stan Slaughter will present "Best Practices in Compost Education" from 3:45-4:45pm.  Whether you register for the conference or not, you may join us for this free workshop that explores many innovative approaches used by top programs around the country.  


Stan Slaughter, the US Composting Council’s 2000 Educator of the Year and veteran compost education consultant, will craft an experience that is fast paced and fun. Slaughter has been contracted as Kansas’ statewide waste reduction educator for the past 16 years and has been touring the country as a free-lance composting and recycling educator for more than 20 years.  Arrive at 3:30pm for free refreshments.  No pre-registration necessary for this post-conference workshop.


For the latest full conference agenda, registration fees and more, visit:


To register for the full conference online, visit: (new interface this year! Please email if you are having any issues registering online).


Exhibitors may also register online. Exhibit space is limited.  For additional exhibit information, contact Exhibitor Chair Ian Groshong:


Our 2013 Oklahoma Recycling Conference Sponsors:


Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality
Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority

OSU Physical Plant Services

Choctaw Nation

City of Stillwater

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful
OGE Energy Corp.

Republic Services

SWANA Oklahoma Chapter
Waste Connections Of Oklahoma

Natural Evolution, Inc.

United Engines


From our colleagues at USDA-RD:



Training and Employment Notice 25-09 announced the release of the paper, “Think Entrepreneurs: A Call to Action – Integrating Entrepreneurship into the Public Workforce System Throughout America.”  


Kauffman Foundation Announces Grant to Startup Genome to Grow and Study World’s Largest Maps of Local Entrepreneur Communities - may be of interest to the Boards and American Job Centers which have explored (or plan to explore) entrepreneurship and self-employment in their communities delivered through the public workforce system.  This new Kauffman-supported effort may also be of interest to EDA (cluster mapping website, CEDS), NACCE/Coleman Grant Finalists, SBA’s SBDCs and other supports for entrepreneurship, and BusinessUSA.

Nonmetro poverty at its highest in more than 25 years - Nonmetro areas have had a higher rate of poverty than metro areas since the 1960s, when poverty rates were first officially recorded. Over time, the difference between nonmetro and metro poverty rates has fluctuated, falling from an average difference of 4.5 percentage points in the 1980s to a record low of 1.6 percentage points in 2010, as the metro poverty rate rose faster than the nonmetro rate over 2006-10. Because of the uneven economic recovery following the 2007-09 economic recession, nonmetro poverty rose slightly in 2011 (to 17.0 percent) and again in 2012 (to 17.7 percent), while the poverty rate fell slightly in metro areas. As a result, the nonmetro poverty rate is at its highest level since 1986 and is now 3.2 percentage points higher than the metro poverty rate. From Rural Poverty and Well-Being topic page on the ERS website.

Participation in USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program shifts to child care centers

In fiscal 2012, on a typical day, USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provided meals and snacks to more than 3.4 million children at family day care homes and nonprofit child care centers, homeless shelters, and after-school programs. The program also provided subsidized meals for 118,530 older or functionally impaired adults at adult day care centers. The total cost to USDA for CACFP in fiscal 2012 was $2.8 billion—96 percent of which covered children’s meals and snacks. Since 1992, the average number of meals served per day to children in family day care homes and child care centers has risen from 1.2 to 1.9 billion. In 2012, 70 percent of meals were served in centers, reflecting growing numbers of children attending child care centers and fewer family day care homes participating in CACFP. In 1996, reimbursements from USDA to family day care homes shifted from a single rate to a two-tiered system with higher reimbursements for homes serving primarily low-income children. Eligible centers continued to be reimbursed by USDA on a sliding scale based on the child’s family’s income. There is a chart is from the Child Nutrition Programs: Child and Adult Care Food Program topic page on the ERS website.





WEBINAR: Register now for October's WCRL webinar on October 24th, 1-2 pm ET - Want to Know How WealthWorks?


ARTICLE: Four Ways to Remove a Board Member Board Cafe [1] • By Jan Masaoka

Occasionally, a board member needs to be removed from the board. In some cases, a conflict of interest or unethical behavior may be grounds to remove an individual from the board. In other cases, the behavior of a board member may become so obstructive that the board is prevented from functioning effectively.

The best boards often have strongly felt disagreements and heated arguments. Challenging groupthink and arguing for an unpopular viewpoint are not grounds for getting rid of a board member. But if a board member consistently disrupts meetings or is otherwise destructive and demoralizing, it may be appropriate to consider removing the individual from the board:

1. Personal intervention

2. Leave of absence

For the rest of the article and more details visit -





ARC and EPA Announce 2013 Livable Communities Partnership to Focus on Local Food Systems
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are teaming up to provide a second year of funding for technical assistance and first-step implementation efforts of Livable Communities Action Plans in four Appalachian communities. Both agencies have committed funding of up to $100,000 each. This year’s selected communities will have an interest in developing local food systems as a means of promoting economic competitiveness and economic diversification. To apply, communities in the ARC-defined Appalachian region should submit a letter of interest (no more than two pages in length) by Friday, October 4 describing the needs and goals of the community in developing a vibrant local food economy. For more information, please contact Wilson Paine at ARC ( or Ed Fendley at EPA ( 


Filmmakers From Underrepresented Communities Invited to Apply for Tribeca All Access - Five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers from the U.S. and Puerto Rico will each receive a grant of $15,000 to use toward the development, production, post-production, or marketing of their project.... Deadline: November 5, 2013


Tribeca Film Institute Opens Submissions for Documentary Fund
Grants of at least $10,000 will be awarded to exceptional filmmakers with character-driven nonfiction works in progress that sit outside the social issue landscape.... Deadline: November 5, 2013


YoungArts Foundation Invites Applications for 2014 Young Artists Prize - Up to seven hundred young artists will receive grants of up to $10,000 each and will be provided access to workshops, interdisciplinary activities, performances, exhibitions, and master classes with internationally renowned artists....Deadline: October 18, 2013


Arch Coal Foundation Invites Nominations for 2013-14 Teacher Recognition Program - The program seeks nominations of outstanding K-12 teachers from West Virginia, Wyoming, and four counties in Utah (Carbon, Emery, Sanpete, and Sevier) for awards of $3,500.... Deadline: January 6, 2014


Captain Planet Foundation Offers Grants for Hands-On Environmental Education Activities
Grants of up $2,500 will be awarded to support educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through hands-on learning projects that improve the environment in their schools and communities.... Deadline: Various


Mountaineers Foundation Offers Funding for Projects to Research and Conserve Pacific Northwest Wilderness
Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to organizations and agencies working to preserve the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Pacific Northwest.... Deadline: February 1, 2014


SUMMARY: This notice extends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) application deadline for funds available under the Grant Program for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas. VA published a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register on July 9, 2013 (78 FR 41195), to announce the availability of funds for applications through September 9, 2013, 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time. The NOFA includes funding priorities for those applicants who, through innovative transportation services, will assist Veterans in highly rural areas travel to VA medical centers and other VA and non-VA facilities in connection with the provision of VA medical care. To allow applicants more time to complete the application process, VA is extending the application deadline to midnight eastern standard time on October 9, 2013. VA will consider all applications received up through the original deadline, plus those received through the extended deadline of October 9, 2013.  Click here for the docket version.



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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding

From our colleagues at USDA-RD:




Advanced Manufacturing in the American South: An Economic Analysis Supporting Regional Development -- was released this week.


New NADO Research Foundation Case Studies: Peer Innovations in Transportation

The NADO Research Foundation’s Peer Innovations in Transportation case studies highlight how transportation professionals have addressed rural and small metro regions and their partners to improve the planning and implementation process of vital transportation projects by strengthening communications and collaboration across state, regional, and local agencies.  The case studies identify projects presented at the Rural Planning Organizations of America Peer Symposium held on April 25, 2013 at the National Rural Transportation Peer Learning Conference in Greenville, SC.  This event was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and organized by the NADO Research Foundation and Development District Association of Appalachia.  Project speakers included Chris Cummings from Oregon DOT, Jack Cebe and Jean Crowther from Alta + Planning, Pat Steed from Central Florida RPC, and Paul Black from Land-of-Sky Regional Council/French Broad River MPO (NC).  For more in-depth information please follow the links to individual case studies from the RPO America Peer Symposium webpage.


Helping Small- and Mid-Sized Manufacturers Reach Their Export Potential

The Great Recession forced a number of U.S. manufacturers and service providers to look outside national borders to not only succeed, but to survive in the face of a weak domestic market. In their latest report, On the Threshold: Refocusing U.S. Export Assistance Strategy for Manufacturers, Stone & Associates argues that the U.S. must focus on bolstering manufacturing exports as a way to lessen U.S. reliance on its domestic market, reduce the trade deficit, and foster job creation. Rather than focus on macro-level strategy, the report centers on firm-level measures that export assistance organizations can take to aid small- and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in increasing their exports. Read more...


Rule-Breaking Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs - Study finds successful entrepreneurs have brains and a history of risky behavior in their teens.

According to a new study, successful entrepreneurs are three times more likely to have engaged in illicit activities as teens like shoplifting, skipping out of school and even drug-dealing.

The insight comes from a nationally representative sample of 12,686 Americans who have been followed for other 30 years, since they were teenagers (Levine & Rubinstein, 2013).

They looked at what types of cognitive and other factors were associated with becoming a successful entrepreneur—especially one that had incorporated their business.

Naturally they found that successful entrepreneurs have to be smart, have high self-esteem and be well-educated; but they also need the attraction to risk.

But this illicit aspect was also coupled with a very stable family background. Successful entrepreneurs were disproportionately likely to come from families that were:

  • high-income,
  • well-educated,
  • and stable.

So we're not exactly talking about disadvantaged youths here.

But does this extra risk pay off?

This study found that in a financial sense, the risk may well pay off. Successful entrepreneurs earned 41% more per hour than similar salaried workers, although they also worked longer hours (on average, 27% more). In a similar vein, the taste for risk-taking plus high self-esteem can provide a dangerous mix which can easily lead to lapses in judgment. Because of this, entrepreneurs are likely to need someone more risk-averse around who can rein them in when they go too far.


Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings
Presents results of the 2012 survey on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of youth and adults. Statistics are available according to region and by county geographic type (metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas). Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Date: 09 / 2013


Rural Health Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities
Describes the characteristics and the challenges of the rural health care workforce and the factors affecting delivery of health care in rural areas. View more issues in this policy brief series on the WWAMI website. Organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center. Date: 07 / 2013


Roadmap for Auto Community Revitalization

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR), the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, and the Manufacturing Alliance of Communities (formerly the Mayors Automotive Coalition (MAC) today announced the joint release of the "Roadmap for Auto Community Revitalization."

The document provides resources and information for communities affected by the recent restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. As these cities and towns move forward with efforts to rebuild sustainable and economically vibrant communities, this roadmap can provide useful information about the sources of funding and technical assistance currently available to communities with historical ties to the automotive industry, or "auto communities." Roadmap for Auto Community Revitalization (PDF)     

Serving school children a healthier mix of vegetables raises vegetable consumption

America’s schools are entering their second year of meeting new nutrition standards for USDA school lunches that feature whole grains, low-fat milk, more fruit, and a healthier mix of vegetables. To explore the question of whether children who are offered more fruits and vegetables will actually eat them, ERS researchers used a nationally representative survey of 242 schools in 2005 to match food intake data to that day’s lunch menus. After controlling for a number of student and school foodservice characteristics, serving more fruits and a healthier mix of vegetables did increase students’ vegetable consumption, although average amounts consumed were still small. For example, in schools that offered more total vegetables, students ate 0.38 cups of them at lunch on average versus the 0.30 cups eaten by students in schools that did not meet the total vegetables standard. Available alternatives mattered—students at schools that had no à la carte options, or only healthy à la carte options, had higher intakes of dark green vegetables. This chart appears in “Eating Better at School: Can New Policies Improve Children’s Food Choices?” in the September 2013 Amber Waves.

Like this chart? Embed it on your blog or website.

See all ERS Charts of Note





Are you considering finding pro bono support for your organization? Learn the best model for your project before you make the ask.   

This free white paper from Taproot Foundation outlines eight of the most impactful pro bono service models, provides case studies of major companies that have successfully administered them, and identifies key factors in matching providers to recipients. Whether you're looking for help on one small project or want to build an ongoing pro bono partnership, understanding these models will better position you to ask for meaningful pro bono assistance.

New Tool Provides Framework for Measuring Anchor Mission - The Democracy Collaborative’s latest paper and online tool The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practices to Meet Low-Income Community Needs, and companion research report Achieving the Anchor Promise: Improving Outcomes for Low-Income Children, Families and Communities, provide a valuable framework to help the field more clearly focus on what it means for a hospital or university to pursue an anchor mission. As place-based entities that control vast economic, human, intellectual, and institutional resources, anchor institutions have the potential to bring crucial, and measurable, benefits to local children, families, and communities. These tools move the anchor institution conversation from “programs” to “institutional impact” by outlining best practices in economic development, community building, education, health, safety, and the environment, along with potential mechanisms to track progress using already available data. Find Out More»


blogger Roshan Bliss posted about a great new report from AmericaSpeaks on e-petitions and engagement (,


A new paper on the use of "clickers" in deliberation from Public Agenda (


We Honor Veterans: Rural Veterans
Describes special considerations for delivering care to veterans in rural communities. Offers resources for more information. Organization: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization


Business USA: Health Care Changes
A one-stop-shop website that provides employers of all sizes information on how the Affordable Care Act may affect businesses and help them compete. Includes a wizard tool that is based on the size and location of the business. Also provides employers informational content on tax credits and other provisions of the law from the Small Business Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury Department. Organization: U.S. General Services Administration



HAC’s RURAL DATA PORTAL is a simple, easy to use, on-line resource that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of communities in the United States.

The RURAL DATA PORTAL provides over 350 data indictors for your community. Most of the information provided in the RURAL DATA PORTAL comes from HAC tabulations of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the American Community Survey (ACS) and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data.

Join HAC for a webinar introduction and overview of the RURAL DATA PORTAL on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Register Now





WEBINAR: Asset-Based Economic Development Strategies Webinar, SEPTEMBER 13, 1-2:30 EDT

Leaders of small and rural communities can develop local and regional economies and attract new residents by leveraging common natural environmental, economic, cultural, and physical assets. Learn how it’s done during this webinar on Friday, September 13 from 1-2:30ET  that will tell the stories of three communities and their best practices in adaptive reuse of underutilized buildings, supporting clusters of existing or emerging industries, and leveraging natural resources and amenities.  This webinar is presented by ICMA in partnership with the NADO Research Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Speakers:  Michael Cain, City Manager of Boyne City, Michigan; Glen Catt, Catt Development, Gaylord, Michigan; Doug Friedlander, Executive Director of the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce; Kimberly Clement, Community Development Officer, Southern Bancorp Community Partners; Lisa Nolder, VP Economic Development and Governmental Affairs, Quantam Renewable Energy (former Executive Director of Prowers County Development, Inc.).  Click here to register for the webinar. 





Promise Zone update – draft application criteria now available at


National Indian Health Outreach and Education (NIHOE III) - Application deadline: Sep 22, 2013
Funding for a national Indian organization to conduct outreach and education, and training and technical assistance designed to improve Indian health care and further health reform opportunities.
Sponsor: Indian Health Service


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. Sponsor: National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation


Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation Community Service Grant - Application deadline: Nov 1, 2013
Provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Sponsor: American Dental Hygienists' Association


AmeriCorps State and National Grants - Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 11, 2013; Application deadline: Jan 8, 2014
Funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems. Sponsor: Corporation for National and Community Service


American Kennel Club Humane Fund Invites Applications from Women's Shelters that Permit Pets
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to nonprofit organizations for operational support and capital improvements related to the housing and maintenance of pets belonging to domestic abuse victims.... Deadline: Quarterly (November 15, February 15, May 15, and August 15)


RedRover Seeks Applications From Emergency Shelter Organizations to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse and Their Pets
Grants of up $3,000 will be awarded to help victims of domestic violence and their animal companions stay together during times of crisis.... Deadline: October 30, 2013


Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Accepting Applications for USArtists International Grant Program
Grants of up to $15,000 are available to American dance, music, and theater ensembles and soloists that have been invited to perform at international festivals anywhere in the world outside the United States.... Deadline: December 6, 2013


National Art Education Foundation Seeks Applications for 2013 Art Educator Grants - Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded for programs that aim to promote and improve the teaching of art and/or encourage research and experimentation in arts education.... Deadline: October 1, 2013


W.K. Kellogg Foundation Announces New Family Engagement Initiative - Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to public entities and nonprofits to support effective family engagement models that address obstacles faced by low-income families.... Deadline: September 23, 2013 (Pre-Applications)


'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


Grants for Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability Initiatives Deadline: December 1, 2013
Funder: The Ray C. Anderson Foundation


Community Snapshots: Local Context Edition.

Hello all,

Attached you will find the brochure for this years’ Community Snapshots workshop. Registration information available on the brochure, however, please let me know if you have any questions.



Cherie Shupert

Administrative Assistant

Agricultural Economics

310 Ag Hall

405 - 744 - 8792


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FW: Publications, Learning, Tools, and Funding

From our colleagues at USDA-RD . . .


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 2:37 PM
Subject: Publications, Learning, Tools, and Funding




The Seventh Key to Economic Success is Growing Entrepreneurial Communities.


The Riches of Third Places - The Heart & Soul of a town can often be found in unexpected places. From the Orton Family foundation newsletter.

Think of your town. Now think of your favorite places —the places, aside from your home and workplace, where you spend quality time. What types of places are they and why are they meaningful to you?   For the rest -


Funding America’s Rural Nonprofits by Rick Cohen, June 13, 2013 Nonprofit Quarterly -  some analysis over 5 years of funds to rural nonprofits.


“Changing Lands Changing Hands” is a 30-minute video that was produced by NET Television in Nebraska and Harvest Public Media that looks at the fastest growing group of farmers in the United States, those who are 65 years old and older. Thousands of farms, as much as half of the farmland in the United States, will be changing hands over the next generation. "Changing Lands, Changing Hands" examines how that could reshape the industry that drives the economy in middle America. Click here to watch the video. A second video “How Can We Save Rural America?” offers a 30-minute discussion program following up on issues raised in "Changing Lands, Changing Hands." It focuses on solutions to helping small towns in rural America survive and thrive. Watch this video here.  


“All-In Nation: An America That Works for All” is a book from PolicyLink and the Center for American Progress that offers policy recommendations for building a prosperous economy by ensuring that all are able to participate and achieve their full potential – particularly communities of color that are quickly becoming the nation’s majority. Download a free copy here.


“Community Food Enterprise: Local Success in a Global Marketplace” is a book funded by The Kellogg Foundation and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From the Executive Summary: “The local food movement is now spreading globally, yet is not well understood. To many, local food is exclusively about proximity, with discriminating consumers demanding higher-quality food grown, caught, processed, cooked, and sold by people they know and trust. But an equally important part of local food is local ownership of food businesses. This report is about the full range of locally owned businesses involved in food, whether they are small or big, whether they are primary producers or manufacturers or retailers, whether their focus is local or global markets. We call these businesses community food enterprises (CFEs).” Download the book here.  


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published the latest edition of its Community Development Investments newsletter entitled “Extending Credit in Indian Country: How Banks Use Federal Programs to Promote Economic Development”. This issue reviews current economic conditions in Indian Country, presents examples of how national banks and federal savings associations can use federal programs to lend and invest in this market, and provides a primer on Community Reinvestment Act implications for OCC-regulated institutions that seek to do business in Indian Country.  Click here to read the newsletter.





“Storytelling Tools for Community Change: Tools You Can Use” PowerPoint

Resource title: “Storytelling Tools for Community Change: Tools You Can Use” PowerPoint Source (copyright holder): Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources Resource description: This PowerPoint resource talks about the important of intentionally and strategically finding stories, crafting them, and using them …





WEBCAST - Sept. 11 Farm Foundation Forum - Broadband services in rural America, 9-11am EDT

An informational opportunity available to your colleagues, members and clients.  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 the members and leadership of your organization can participate in the discussion live regardless of their location.


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

We ask you help in sharing information on the availability of this free webcast with your membership.  Encourage them to participate and add their voice to the discussion. 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 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. 


WEBINAR SERIES:   October Youth Online Workshops – Addressing Out-migration

For years, rural communities have been exporting one of their most precious resources - young people. Increasingly, we hear from rural leaders that they are searching for ways to stem youth out-migration and attract alumni and young families to their communities. These young people bring so much to a community - new energy and ideas, new pupils for the schools, new shoppers on Main Street, new business and civic leaders. Beginning in October, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and the Heartland Center for Leadership Development will co-host a three-part series to help rural leaders address youth out-migration through strategies to attract young people and families. We bring together the extensive experience of our two organizations and input from over 40,000 young people across rural America about what motivates them to want to return to rural communities. 

The three sessions will address Tying Assets to Targets (October 2), Crafting Your Message (October 23) and Building a Winning Game Plan (November 13). To register for the series, click here. For more information, contact the Center's Craig Schroeder.





MISSISSIPPI RURAL IMPACT FUND provides funding for publicly owned infrastructure needs. Funding from this program can be used by rural communities to assist with the location or expansion of businesses. Usage of the funds must be directly related to the construction, renovation or expansion of industry. Deadline: Open. Click here to learn more about this fund.


CHARLOTTE MECKLENBURG COMMUNITY FOUNDATION has announced the availability of Front Porch grants of up to $2,500 to nonprofits, congregations, educational institutions and government agencies working to foster the building of social capital between and among individuals, communities, neighborhoods and organizations. Deadline: 9/16/2013 (pre-registration); 9/30/2013 (full application). Click here to learn more about the foundation and these grants.


THE FEDERAL LANDS HIGHWAY PROGRAM has announced the availability of funding to tribal governments for transportation projects related to safety, engineering, emergency services and education. Deadline: 9/19/2013. Click here for more information and to apply.


USDA still has a substantial amount of funding available for Section 504 home repair loans. Loan funds not obligated by 9/30/2013 will be lost. USDA Section 504 loan funds are available in all states and funds help very low-income homeowners repair their homes. Click here to learn more about the program and here to find out where to apply in your state.  


HUD is offering grants to owners of eligible subsidized housing developments to hire staff to coordinate supportive services for elderly residents and/or residents with disabilities. Deadline: 10/14/2013. Click here for more information and to apply.


LOWE’S TOOLBOX FOR EDUCATION® GRANTS support projects in the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations and safety improvements. Grant requests can range from $2,000 to $100,000. Deadline: 10/15/2013. Click here to visit the website and read more about this program.  


THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN (AAUW) is accepting applications for Community Action Grants of up to $10,000. Grants 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: 1/15/2014. Click here to learn more about the AAUW.  


W.K. Kellogg Foundation Announces New Family Engagement Initiative - Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to public entities and nonprofits to support effective family engagement models that address obstacles faced by low-income families.... Deadline: September 23, 2013 (Pre-Applications)


Blackstone Charitable Foundation Seeks Proposals for Annual Entrepreneurship Initiative - Grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to organizations that pilot, expand, or replicate entrepreneurial projects designed to catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities.... Deadline: October 4, 2013


Target Accepting Applications for K-12 Field Trip Grants Program
Over 3,600 grants of up to $700 each will be awarded to help public, private, and charter schools in the United States bring K-12 students to museums, historical sites, and cultural organizations in 2014....Deadline: September 30, 2013


Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Accepting Minigrant Applications - Public schools and libraries in the United States and its territories are invited to apply for mini-grants of up to $500 to support extra-curricular projects that foster expressiveness and community....Deadline: March 15, 2014


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


Practice Change Leaders Invites Applications for Program to Improve Leadership at Health Institutions Offering Care to Older Adults - Offering a $45,000 stipend, the program is a one-year opportunity for organization leaders to gain enhanced skills and expertise to positively influence care for older adults.... Deadline: September 23, 2013



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.