Monday, September 8, 2014

FW: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding

From our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development


From: Agans, Suzette - RD, Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2014 2:33 PM
Subject: Publications, Tools, Learning, and Funding



Record U.S. soybean area, yield, and production are forecast

The 2014/15 U.S. soybean crop is forecast at 103.8 million tons (3.82 million bushels)—13.6 percent above the previous record set in 2009/10—based on the outlook for record area harvested and yield. The first USDA objective yield forecast for the 2014 crop indicates an all-time high of 3.05 tons per hectare (45.4 bushels per acre), 4.7 percent above the 2013/14 record. Harvested area is forecast at 34.02 million hectares (84.1 million acres), 9.7 percent above the previous record set in 2010/11. Higher supplies are forecast to raise season-ending soybean stocks to 11.7 million tons (430 million bushels), with the growing stocks forecast leading USDA to trim its 2014/15 forecast of the U.S. average farm price by 15 cents to $9.35-$11.35 per bushel. Seventy percent of the U.S. soybean crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition as of August 24—a level surpassed only once for this date (in 2004). Favorable growing conditions have been widespread throughout the country, with record yields anticipated for Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Find additional analysis in Oil Crops Outlook: August 2014.


Strategies to Mitigate Rural Poverty: Using Human and Social Capital 
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Podcast | August 2014
One outcome of the recent recession is that rural poverty rates are the highest since the mid-1980s. Mil Duncan, founding director of the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute, discusses the issues facing the rural poor in an Economic Development podcast. Read the transcript or listen to the audio file


A blog in Shelterforce’s Rooflines poses the question “Is the Housing Crisis Over in Rural America?” The piece, by Housing Assistance Council’s Lance George, sheds some light on affordable housing in rural areas. Read the post here.


“Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland” is the title of a report prepared by TRIP, a national transportation research group. The report looks at the condition, use, and safety of the nation’s rural transportation system and discusses recommendations to improve connectivity in America’s small communities and rural areas to access jobs, education, and healthcare. Download a copy here.  


STEM Shortage is Most Acute for Manufacturers, Industry Week, Pete Fehrenbach

The shortage of job candidates who have STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills has grown so pronounced that, by one prominent measuring stick, high school grads with STEM backgrounds are now in higher demand in the job market than college graduates who don't have STEM skills.

That's a key finding of a new Brookings Institution report, "Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills."

The report's author, Brookings analyst Jonathan Rothwell, says the study found that STEM job openings requiring only a high school diploma or college associate degree take an average of 40 days to fill, whereas non-STEM job openings that require a bachelor's degree take an average of 37 days to fill.

The data also show that manufacturing companies have greater difficulty filling STEM job vacancies than other types of businesses. The following index shows graphic evidence of that disparity:

"What we're seeing is that the manufacturing sector in general has a harder time filling vacancies than other sectors," Rothwell says. "And it seems that it's particularly a problem for the manufacturing industries that do more research and development, and have greater needs for STEM workers."

To help alleviate the problem and shield their companies against the impact of the STEM skill shortage, Rothwell recommends that manufacturers re-examine their hiring practices to make sure they are up to date with changes in the ways people are acquiring STEM skills.

"There may be ways to bring people in to get a particular skill, or a computer language, even if they haven't acquired the formal degree that is normally associated with it," Rothwell says. "For example, there has been a proliferation of online learning opportunities over the last few years through 'MOOCs' [massive open online courses] and other organizations that provide online access to university classes."


New ACA Outreach and Education Projects Listed on RAC - RAC’s Rural Health Models and Innovations Hub now includes descriptions of ten projects that helped rural residents learn about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act. The projects were done by Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Health Care Outreach grantees, who received supplemental funding from ORHP for this work. The full list of project examples is available on RAC’s Health Insurance Outreach and Enrollment topic guide.





Community Paramedicine Topic Guide - this new guide focuses on the emerging profession of Community Paramedics and how rural communities can use paramedics and EMTs in expanded roles to provide healthcare services in the community. Visit the guide to learn how to start a community paramedicine program, find models and existing examples of programs, and challenges community paramedics’ face. The guide was developed by developed by RAC Information Specialist Mary Reinertson-Sand and expert reviewers Gary Wingrove, Chris Montera, Anne Montera of The Paramedic Foundation.


Transportation to Support Rural Healthcare Topic Guide - RAC's Transportation topic guide has received a major update and is now focused on how rural communities can address transportation issues to improve access to care. The guide was developed by RAC Information Specialist Kathleen Spencer with input from Jess Wallis, National Rural Transit Assistance Program; Jeremy Mattson, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute; and Charles Dickson, Community Transportation Association of America.





The CDFI Fund, in partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network, is holding a series of webinars exploring the financial intricacies of community health centers and ways CDFIs can invest in them. The webinars will be held September 9, September 24, October 7 and October 22 at 2:00 PM ET. Learn more about the series by clicking here.  


NOTE: Breaking my own rule of only providing free learning opportunities.  But this looked very good – and worth if several groups got together to split the cost, I suspect. Please let me know how it went.

GrantStation is offering a webinar on Thursday, September 25, 2014, 2:00-4:00 PM ET on current trends affecting rural funding. Questions to be addressed in the webinar include: "When has it ever been easy to secure funding for rural communities? Is there a way to level the playing field so small towns and counties/boroughs can compete for both government and private sector grants? What are the other options for financially supporting a rural project whether you are a nonprofit or local government? Are collaborative efforts worth the effort? And, of course the biggest question: Who is funding rural America?" The webinar will be presented by Cynthia Adams, CEO of GrantStation. Cost: $89.00 per person, or $150.00 per site. Click the link here to register.





National Indian Health Outreach and Education (NIHOE I) - Application deadline: Sep 25, 2014
Funding for a national Indian organization to provide tribal health outreach and education; research and analyze Medicare and Medicaid programs; provide support in regards to Affordable Care Act policy; provide tribal budget consultation; and provide consultation to the Department of Health and Human Services. Sponsor: Indian Health Service


National Indian Health Outreach and Education (NIHOE III) - Application deadline: Sep 25, 2014
Provides funding to national Indian organizations to conduct Affordable Care Act/Indian Health Care Improvement Act training and technical assistance throughout Indian Country.
Sponsor: Indian Health Service


Incentive Grants for Practitioners, Students, and Community Practice Residents - Application deadline: Sep 29, 2014
Offers pharmacists seed money to implement or support an existing patient care service within their pharmacy practice. Sponsor: American Pharmacists Association


Advances in Patient Safety through Simulation Research (R18) - Application deadline: Sep 26, 2016
Award grants for projects that develop, test, and evaluate simulation approaches that have the potential to improve the safe delivery of healthcare. Past projects included testing simulation approaches in rural areas. Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


Tom's of Maine Invites Nominations for 2014 50 States for Good Competition - DEADLINE: September 30, 2015

Fifty-one organizations will be chosen by public vote to receive $10,000 each in support of a current or future community event or project....


Project Learning Tree Seeks Applications for Environmental Education Projects - DEADLINE: September 30, 2014

Grants of up to $2,000 will support environmental projects that embody service-learning, give students a voice, and involve at least one community partner....


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants through the American Indian/Alaska Native Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships program which provides support to expand access to high-quality, comprehensive services for low-income American Indian/Alaska Native infants and toddlers and their families. Deadline: 10/6/2014. Click here to visit the website for more information and to apply.


BEN & JERRY'S FOUNDATION is offering grants of up to $20,000 to support nonprofit community-organizing groups in the United States working to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems. Deadline: 10/15/2014 (pre-applications). Click here for application guidelines.  


U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION is offering grants to nonprofits for their “Safe Places to Play” grant program. This program provides grants to organizations to build or enhance a field space in their community. Funds may be used for synthetic turf, lighting, irrigation, and installation of sport courts. Deadline to apply: Letter of Intent 9/24/2014; application 10/1/2014. Click here for application guidelines.


Verizon Foundation Grants - Application deadline: Oct 10, 2014
Awards grants to nonprofit organizations that use innovate technologies to reduce health disparities for women, children, and seniors. Also funds STEM education and energy projects.
Sponsor: Verizon Foundation


Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program - Application deadline: Oct 14, 2014
Grants to support community-based child health projects that improve the health status of mothers, infants, children, and adolescents by increasing their access to health services.
Sponsor: Maternal and Child Health


LOWE’S CHARITABLE AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION is accepting applications for Toolbox for Education Grants. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded in support of projects that have a permanent impact on a K-12 school community, such as a facility enhancement or landscaping/clean-up effort. Deadline: 10/15/2014. Click here to visit the website and review funding guidelines.


THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION is offering capacity building grants to nonprofit organizations whose missions are focused on the improvement and responsible use of public land sites throughout the nation. Grants of up to $5,000 are provided to increase organizational effectiveness so that grantees can better conserve public lands. Deadline: 10/30/2014. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the program and the online application process.


THE DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY will award funding to rural counties and parishes within the Delta region (Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kentucky) for the purposes of direct technical support and assistance needed to develop a connected workforce development system at the local level. Deadline: 11/4/2014. For application guidelines and more information, click here.  


Middle and High School Students Invited to Apply for Prudential Spirit of Community Awards - DEADLINE: November 4, 2014

The awards honor middle and high school students who volunteered at home or abroad in the previous year with a cash gift of $1,000, a silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.; national honorees will receive $5,000 in cash plus a $5,000 grant for the charitable organization of their choice....


USDA is offering grants to nonprofits through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides financial and technical assistance to recipients in developing their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. DEADLINE: 11/12/2014. Click here for application guidelines.  


Florida Power & Light Offers Teacher Grants for Energy-Related Classroom Projects - DEADLINE: November 15, 2014

A total of $50,000 in grants of up to $1,000 per grant is available to public, private, and charter school teachers in FPL's service territory for classroom projects focused on any form of energy education....


A Blade of Grass Invites Letters of Interest for Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art - DEADLINE: November 24, 2014 (Letters of Intent)

ABOG fellowships support individual artists and artist collectives working on projects that promote art as a catalyst for social change in a specific community or communities....


USDA Announces $200 Million to Promote Innovation in SNAP Employment and Training Programs – DEADLINE: November 24, 2014

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that up to $200 million in competitive grants is available for state SNAP agencies to design and conduct employment and training (E&T) pilot projects to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants find jobs and increase their earnings. A portion of these funds will be used to fund an independent evaluation of the E&T pilots. The solicitation for the evaluation contract was also released today.

Grant applications are due Nov. 24, 2014. All 53 state agencies currently administering SNAP are eligible to apply (including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands). Awards will be announced in February 2015. The Request for Applications is available on and on the FNS website. The grants will fund a performance period of three years and USDA expects projects to be operational by Oct. 1, 2015. Proposals to evaluate the impact of the pilots are due Oct. 1, 2014.

News Release                  Link to RFA                       Link to Evaluation Solicitation


AAUW Accepting Applications for Community Action Grants - DEADLINE: January 15, 2015

Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women....


Udemy Accepting Applications for Online Courses That Benefit Society - DEADLINE: Rolling

Grants of $2,500 will be awarded to nonprofits and NGOs to support the creation of online courses that provide social benefit....


ING Unsung Heroes Program Invites K-12 Educators to Apply for 2015 Class Project Awards - DEADLINE: April 30, 2015

Each year, one hundred educators are selected to receive awards of $2,000 to help fund innovative classroom projects and have a chance to receive an additional $25,000....


FINRA INVESTOR EDUCATION FOUNDATION offers funding to nonprofits, and state and public colleges and universities for projects that advance understanding of the relationships among financial literacy, financial capability, and financial well-being. Deadline: A Project Concept Form may be submitted at any time. Grants of $50,000 to $100,000 are available. Visit the Foundation’s website here for application guidelines and more information.


Rural Health IT Workforce Loan Fund
Geographic Coverage: Specific counties of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee
Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Loans for health care providers in underserved communities to successfully adopt and utilize a Health IT system. Sponsor: Delta Regional Authority


Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG) - Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Offers loans and grants to assist in the economic development of rural areas, including funds for healthcare facilities and equipment; telecommunications networks; and job creation projects.
Sponsor: USDA Rural Development




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"


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