Friday, October 16, 2015

FW: Publications, Funding, Learning, Events, Tools

From our colleagues at USDA Rural Development; there’s an emphasis this week on economic mobility and community resources (e.g., affordable housing, health care, and other infrastructure).


From: Proctor, Christopher - RD - Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, October 16, 2015 1:34 PM
Subject: Publications, Funding, Learning, Events, Tools



Housing Policy Levers to Promote Economic Mobility

Federal, state, and local policies that provide access to safe, affordable housing can play an essential role in improving the economic well-being of low-income households, a report from the Urban Institute and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation finds. Read the report here.


Beyond Financial Aid: How Colleges Can Strengthen the Financial Stability of Low-Income Students and Improve Student Outcome

Colleges and universities can improve the academic and life outcomes of low-income students by building a broad, integrated financial support system, a report from the Lumina Foundation suggests. Read the report here.


Turnaround Arts Initiative Final Evaluation Report

Implementing high-quality integrated arts education programming into high-poverty, chronically underperforming schools can enhance school-wide reform efforts, an evaluation of a public-private partnership launched by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2012 suggests. Read the report here.


Engaging Philanthropy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward

Philanthropic organizations should play a direct role in implementing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals by collaborating with UN agencies, civil society organizations, governments, and businesses, a report from the SDG Philanthropy Platform urges. Read the report here.


Obesity Rates Will Soar by 2025 if Governments Fail to Take Action, Says Report. Medical News Today, 10/1/15. Thirteen percent of people worldwide are affected by obesity, the US having the greatest number of severely obese people. Unless more governments take action like introducing strict regulations of marketing unhealthy foods to children and ensuring healthy foods access in schools and communities, the global obesity rate will rise another 4% in just ten years.


Nation’s Ag Co-ops Set Records for Income and Revenue. USDA Release, 10/7/15. A new USDA report shows that the nation’s farmer, rancher, and fishery cooperatives earned a record $6.5 billion in net income and generated $246.7 billion in total revenue last year. This is an increase of 16.5%, compared to a .4% increase in 2013. The co-ops grossing highest in revenue come from Minnesota, Missouri, and Illinois.


A Cross-Sectional Study on Health Differences Between Rural and Non-Rural U.S. Counties Using the County Health Rankings
Examines the rural and urban differences in health and healthcare within the U.S. using data accessed from the 2013 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. Vital health factors evaluated include mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.


The Difference Between What Poor People and Everyone Else Eats. MyAJC, 10/1/15. Researchers at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity reviewed 25 studies and found that while the nearly 50 million Americans on SNAP are eating as many calories and consuming just as much soda as those without SNAP, those on SNAP are eating significantly less healthy, receiving scores of about 50/100 compared to 58/100 from those without SNAP.  


National Advisory Committee Tackles Delivery System Reform, Child Poverty

From September 9-11, 2015, rural experts gathered in rural Minnesota for the 78th Meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS). This group serves as a voice for rural health and human services and is tasked with gathering input at the local, grassroots level and taking what they learn to make recommendations to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.


How ‘Dry’ Are Food Deserts?
Oct 13, 2015 -- Discusses the impact of access to healthy foods on the health of people living in food deserts, particularly those from low-income, low-food-access communities. Provides differing opinions on the causes of poor health for people living in these communities.
Source: The Daily Yonder


MedPAC Discusses Policy Options to Preserve Emergency Care in Rural Areas
Oct 9, 2015 -- A recent MedPAC public meeting included discussion on policy options aimed to preserve access to emergency care in rural communities, including a 24/7 emergency department model and a 24/7 ambulance service model.


Bill Aims to Recruit Doctors at VA Clinics
Oct 2, 2015 -- Describes a proposed bill, the Veterans Access to Care Act, which would designate Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities as health professional shortage areas, thus allowing the VA to offer financial incentives to healthcare professionals who agree to work in a shortage area for at least two years.


Health Resources and Services Administration Strategic Plan, FY 2016 - FY 2018
Identifies five goals that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will focus on in order to address healthcare access and service delivery issues. Includes information on HRSA's work related to rural health.
Sponsoring organization: Health Resources and Services Administration


How to Finance Transition to Renewable Energy

The question of how to finance a global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is the most critical and difficult issue in the upcoming United Nations climate negotiations, according to EcoWatch.




School Food Support Initiative Purpose: Program support from three prominent school food experts for five school districts that want to build healthier meal programs and improve health of community’s children. Eligibility: All schools participating in National School Lunch Program and committing to focus on scratch cooking. Schools should serve 3000 to 12000 students and be located within 20 miles of a Life Time destination or Whole Foods Market. Funding: Up to $600,000 for five schools. Deadline: October 30, 2015.


USDA Seeks Applications for $16.8M in Grants to Empower SNAP Participants to Make Healthy Eating Choices (aka Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant (FINI)) Purpose: Funds local, state and national organization efforts that enable SNAP participants to better afford healthy foods. Eligibility: Please see link. Funding: $16.8M in grants. Deadline: Webinar for applicants, October 14, 2:00pm. Applications due December 16, 2015. The November GoodGreens meeting will focus on FINI, including speakers representing Midwest FINI grantees from 2015.


Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grants Purpose: Fund research and education projects for farmers, ranchers, extension agens, nonprofits, students, and communities. Eligibility: Researchers, academics, nonprofits, producers. Funding: Varies by U.S. region. Deadline: Varies by region.


Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) AmeriCorps State and National Grants FY 2016

AmeriCorps has been an important part of advancing Administration priorities, including the Promise Zones. AmeriCorps has announced a funding opportunity that may be of interest to your organization or community.

Intent to Apply: A notification of intent to apply is REQUIRED and is due Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 5:00 PM EST.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 5:00 PM EST.

A separate Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity for Indian Tribes for either fully operational or planning grants will be released later in the Fall with an application deadline of Spring 2016.

Please visit the Corporation for National and Community Service website for details.


U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Community Food Projects Grant Program

The 2016 USDA Community Food Projects Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) has been released, with $8.4 million in grant funding available. Applications are due Monday, November 30, 2015 at 5:00 PM EST. The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is providing free one-on-one technical assistance and resources to organizations interested in applying for the Community Food Projects Grant Program through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. View the Community Food Projects Grant Application.


HHS Announces $685 Million to Support Clinicians Delivering High Quality, Patient-centered Care
Sep 29, 2015 -- Announces the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, a $685 million federal investment designed to support healthcare organizations by helping equip them with the tools to improve quality of care, increase patients' access to information, and reduce costs. This includes funding for the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium to provide education and training for rural providers who may want to transition into Accountable Care Organizations.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


Improving Healthcare Systems Research Grants
Offers funding to research the comparative effectiveness of innovative features of healthcare systems (e.g. use of innovative technology, deployment of personnel, incentives, organizational policies) that affect quality, outcomes, and/or efficiency of care. Studies that examine effects on certain populations, including low-income and rural populations, will receive priority.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Required): Nov 12, 2015
Application Deadline: Feb 16, 2016
Sponsor: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute


Solid Waste Management Grant Program
Offers funds to organizations to provide technical assistance that will reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas, and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Dec 31, 2015
Sponsor: USDA Rural Development


Water and Waste Disposal Technical Assistance and Training Grants
Grants for organizations that assist communities with water or wastewater operations through technical assistance and/or training.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Dec 31, 2015
Sponsor: USDA Rural Development


Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program
Provides loan repayment programs for health professions educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian health programs.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Aug 12, 2016
Sponsor: Indian Health Service




Consortial Leadership to Scale and Sustain Innovation

Scaling change. Short- and long-term impact. Indicators of success. Dissemination. Effect. Sustainability.  Foundation officers frequently utter these phrases. In most cases, these words reflect a heartfelt concern for change in the desired area, and, to be sure, big bucks often are put behind such efforts. Still, scaling and sustaining innovation in colleges and universities is challenging work. Consortial leadership can make it easier, yet, as we have found, it is often overlooked and underestimated as a change strategy.


Systems Thinking for Social Change

What makes a good old-fashioned mystery so much fun? In part, the enjoyment lies in the opportunity to gather clues along the way and figure out who committed the crime and why. In his book Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results, systems thinking pioneer David Peter Stroh, a founding partner of Bridgeway Partners and director of, draws a parallel between efforts to solve seemingly intractable social problems and the mystery stories many of us love. Instead of asking "Who done it?" however, Stroh suggests that those working to bring about social change should ask, "Why have we not been able to solve the complex social problems that plague us in spite of our best intentions and efforts?"


Women in Agriculture USDA Fact Sheets detail the important contributions that women have made in agriculture across the U.S. To continue building the next generation of women in agriculture, the USDA has established a women in agriculture mentoring network. Email or follow the hashtag #womeninag.



DOE Loan Program Support for Distributed Energy Projects

The US Department of Energy, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Stern Brothers, The Willdan Group and are pleased to announce the upcoming webinar, DOE Loan Program Support for Distributed Energy Projects, taking place on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 1:00pm Eastern Time.


Food Waste: Current and Emerging Solutions

Hosted by the Institute of Medicine, is a webinar reviewing food waste issues like major contributors; the health, environmental, social, and economic impacts of food waste; and emerging strategies to reduce food waste. The webinar will include speakers from the Natural Resources Defense Council, ConAgra Foods, Wal-Mart, and the USDA. The webinar is October 20, 2015, at 1pm ET. Register at the link.


U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Farm to School Program

Thursday, October 29, 11:00 AM EDT: Join Deborah Kane, Director of the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), Office of Community Food Systems, for a review of the USDA Farm to School Program’s accomplishments and to discuss what lies ahead. Topics will include a review of new farm to school resources, preliminary results and plans for the second USDA Farm to School Census, and several new areas of emphasis, including farm to summer, farm to preschool, and incorporating traditional foods into child nutrition programs.

No registration required. To join, on Thursday, October 29 at 11:00 AM EDT:

Access webinar

Dial 1-800-988-0278 with participant passcode 1271320 for audio

This webinar will be recorded and made publicly available on the FNS Webinars and Videos webpage.


Beyond Beauty: The Opportunities and Challenges of Cosmetically Imperfect Produce

Thursday, October 22
3:30 - 4:45pm ET (12:30 - 1:45 PT)

Free! Register Now

JoAnne Berkenkamp at Tomorrow’s Table and The Real Food Challenge have been exploring the market - from farmer to processor to college foodservice - of produce that is healthful and delicious, if a little imperfect.  Looking at "imperfects" from the farmer's perspective, this first phase of their research explores realities on the farm and in the marketplace for fruit and veggies that go beyond beauty.


USDA-ARS Online Tool to help growers select the right cover crop.

The new chart combines information from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and includes more than 50 cover crop species that can help reduce soil erosion, increase organic matter, and control weeds.


Updated Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Compass Map shows federal investments in local food across the country and includes data on farmers markets and food hubs.  Zoom in on a city or town to see how communities are using federal resources for local food expansion. 


Newsletters and email from which we gather this information include:

v  Foundation Center RFP Service -  To subscribe visit:

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,  

v  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter:

v  Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful.

v  Rural LISC e-newsletter -

v  National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) –

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

v  Orton Family Foundation – email sign-up -



Christopher Proctor

USDA Rural Development

1400 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20250 | 202-619-1739

“Committed to the future of rural communities.”


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