Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Community Resources

Good Greens

March 23rd Meeting Agenda and Attendance Options

10:00 - 12:00 PM Central Time

During the second hour of this meeting, we'll focus on grains. 
Three speakers (Ellen, Andrea, and Anders) will share information about their work 
related to local and regional grain production, processing, and distribution. 


First Hour: Local Food Models

Welcome and Introductions

Melissa Flynn, Executive Director of Chicago's Green City Market. Green City Market is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating a local and regional healthy food system in Chicago through farmers markets, educational programs, and increased access for food insecure residents. Melissa brings over ten years of experience in small business and nonprofit development guided by strong values of sustainability and community.

Sam Koentopp, Program Manager at The Kitchen Community (TKC), will share information about TKC's work building and operate Learning Gardens in schools across the country. Learning Gardens are engaging outdoor classrooms that connect kids to real food, increase academic achievement, and drive community engagement. Through its more than 330 Learning Gardens, more than one-third of them in Chicago, TKC impacts 165,000 children a day. The Kitchen Community provides resources and technical assistance to schools in order to assure Learning Gardens are thriving and productive spaces where teachers feel empowered and excited to teach.

Cheryal Lee Hills, Executive Director, Region Five Development Commission, will share information about her organization's economic development work in rural Central Minnesota. Working collaboratively with local businesses, health care, university extension, and government, the organization has developed several programs and supported regional food networks through peer exchanges and advocacy. One of the organization's programs, Choose Health, worked with a local health care system and CSA to provide 175 low-income families access to healthy foods. Sprout Growers and Markets Marketplace is a new 20,000 square foot food hub, kitchen, and indoor winter marketplace for local growers and low-income artists. Sprout has connected products from local growers to seven school districts, four hospital systems, and other food outlets. Its 2016 revenue is expected to exceed the 2015 revenue by 48%. Additionally, Region Five is also developing a mobile food market that accepts SNAP/EBT and delivers to nursing homes and child care centers.     

Second Hour: Local and Regional Grain Production, Processing, 
and Distribution, and Updates from Network Members

Anders Gurda, Program Manager for the Organic Grain Resources and Information Network (OGRAIN) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present about USDA-funded education and resource development program. Through on-farm events, engaging workshops facilitated mentoring, and the creation of educational materials, OGRAIN works to remove stumbling blocks for beginning farmers interested in growing organic grains and facilitates a smooth transition to organic grain production.

 Ellen King, Owner of Hewn Bakery, and Andrea Hazzard, Owner of Hazzard-Free Farms, will discuss their business model. Hewn Bakery works with a Hazzard-Free Farms to incorporate heritage varieties of wheat into breads and other artisanal products. 

Sharing by member organizations of recent news/developments (All).

  • Tim Magner and Tatum Evans, Nature's Farm Camp.

Attending Remotely

Call-in Information:

Live Meeting/Webinar Information:

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April 27th Meeting Agenda

10:00 - 12:00 PM Central Time

Grace Gershuny, Author, Organic Revolutionary: A Memoir of the Movement for Real Food, Planetary Healing & Human Liberation, will share information about her experiences in the organic movement, including helping to write the USDA's National Organic Program regulations. Visit this link to read more about her work.


Patrick Porter, Executive Director, Stir the Pot, will share information about his organization which works to alleviate hunger in Chicago's most vulnerable neighborhoods by distributing community-grown produce to those in need.


Cheryl Graffagnino, Healthy Food Access Program Manager, City of Columbus and Franklin County Local Food Action Plan, and a representative from County Planning and Economic Development will share information about their efforts to form the Columbus City/Franklin County (OH) Local Food Action Plan. The plan was announced in November, 2016, and outlined steps that the collaborators, including: local city and regional government, universities, organizations, funders, schools, and farmers markets, would take to boost the local economy, reduce food waste, and improve healthy food access.


Adam Montri, Co-owner and Managing Member, Ten Hens Farm, will share information about the Southeast Michigan Seasonal High Tunnel Education Initiative, a project of Southeast Michigan's Sustainable Resources Alliance (SRA). This partnership project between SRA, Keep Growing Detroit, and Ten Hens Farm works through funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide workshops and technical assistance to local producers to install and successfully manage high tunnels, which extend the growing season and availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables in seven counties in southeast Michigan.  

5. Nick Nichols, Author, will share information about his book, "I'm Hungry, I'm Hungry, I'm Hungry, Too". The book tells the story of three children who suffer from hunger in different ways, and empowers student readers to discuss the topic, brainstorm solutions to end hunger in their community, and make good decisions about nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyles. The book was recently read by students in the School District of La Crosse, WI, at an event led by the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse


News, Resources, Grants and More...

·        Events/Opportunities

·        Resources, Tools, & Technical Assistance

·        Grants & Funding

·        Data, Statistics, & Reports

·        Food Waste

·        News

·        Employment Opportunities


Community Economic Development (CED) Matters – Funding, Publications, Events and Learning (3/17)


  Strategic Economic and Community Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is excited to share a new Rural Development funding opportunity authorized by Section 6025 of the 2014 Farm Bill. This new authority entitled Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) prioritizes projects that support the implementation of multi-jurisdictional plans under the Community Facilities Program, Water and Waste Disposal ProgramBusiness and Industry Loan Guarantee Program, and Rural Business Development Grant Program. Under this provision, up to 10 percent of each programs annual appropriations can be set aside and made available to eligible SECD applicants. Many communities already working together to develop multi-jurisdictional plans with the help of strategic partners including non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, university extensions, regional authorities, coalitions of counties/towns and federal agencies. The goal of SECD is to promote collaboration in rural communities and across Rural Development agencies and programs. Communities are incentivized to align resources, develop long-term community and economic growth strategies and engage federal, state and local partners. By promoting this regional focus USDA resources can be more effectively utilized and have a larger impact on rural capacity building and wealth creation.


 Upward Bound Math and Science Program

The U.S. Department of Education is offering grants to nonprofit groups and public agencies through the Upward Bound Math and Science Program. Grants will be awarded for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college and, ultimately, careers in math and science. Deadline: 3/22/2017.


Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $8.8 million in funding to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program promotes and strengthens HSI programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation's food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences work force. Deadline to apply: 3/22/2017.


Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation

The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation is seeking grant applications from nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and faith-based organizations for programs that deliver patient- and family-centered approaches that challenge conventional strategies, improve health outcomes, lower costs, and enhance the patient and family caregiver experience. The goal of the Hillman Innovations in Care Program, an initiative of the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation, is to advance leading-edge, nursing-driven models of care that will improve the health and healthcare of vulnerable populations. Two grants of up to $600,000 are awarded each year. Deadline: 3/20/2017 for an initial application; invited full proposals will be due 7/10/2017.


 HHS Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma

The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to support the development and/or expansion of local implementation and community infrastructures that integrate treatment and services for substance use, co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, permanent housing, and other critical services. Deadline: 4/25/2017.


 Infinite Hero Foundation

The Infinite Hero Foundation provides grants of $25,000 to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations offering effective programs or treatments at no cost to active duty service members or veterans for service-related mental and physical injuries. Grants must be applied directly to program costs and cannot be used for fundraising or administrative overhead. Deadline: letters of interest are due 3/31/2017; invited grant applications must be submitted by 6/30/2017.


 Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC Community Facilities Loan Program

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) offers a Community Facilities Loan Program to help develop and improve essential community facilities in the rural West. This program offers short-term loans for early property acquisition and predevelopment, interim construction costs and long-term permanent financing. Applicable facilities include public and nonprofit office buildings, treatment centers, emergency and transitional housing, assisted living, human services, public safety, child care, education, and cultural facilities. Many other project types are eligible. RCAC gives priority to loan applications for projects that incorporate significant green methods and materials. Deadline:  ongoing.


Charles A. Frueauff Foundation

Charles A. Frueauff Foundation will award grants in the areas of education, human services, health, and hospitals. Specific project initiatives include food and hunger, economic development, daycare programs, hospital and healthcare agencies, health screenings, health education, AIDS/HIV prevention and education, and equipment for healthcare facilities. Grants are available in 27 states. Deadline: 3/15/2017.


The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum has opened the second annual National High School Design Competition "Good for All." Applicants are encouraged to respond to the question: What would you design to improve a community's access to healthy, fresh foods? The competition is open to all teenagers' ages 13 through 19 years old who are in 9th through 12th grades anywhere in the U.S. Deadline: 3/20/2017.


The Sparkplug Foundation

The Sparkplug Foundation is offering grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In Education and Teaching, the Foundation funds projects that deal with "the whole student" and with learning as a community activity. Through Grassroots Organizing, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/10/2017; letters of intent are due 4/17/2017; and the deadline for final applications is 5/5/2017.


USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program (RBDG) To Provide Technical Assistance for Rural Transportation Systems

Qualified National Nonprofit organizations serving rural areas are invited to apply for this opportunity. Assistance provided to Rural Areas under the program has historically included the provision of on-site Technical Assistance to local and regional governments, public transit agencies, and related Nonprofit and for-profit organizations in Rural Areas; the development of training materials; and the provision of necessary training assistance to local officials and agencies in Rural Areas. Deadline: March 31, 2017


CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program

The Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program opened the fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding round for the CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program.  The CDFI Program offers grants to qualified CDFIs for financial assistance and technical assistance to improve low-income communities through economic development, affordable housing and other community development financial services. Through the NACA Program, the CDFI Fund encourages the creation and strengthening of CDFIs that primarily serve Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities). Deadline for both: 4/28/2017.


USDA Seeks Project Proposals to Protect and Restore Critical Wetlands

Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $15 million in technical and financial assistance to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Restored wetlands improve water quality downstream and improve wildlife habitat, while also providing flood prevention and recreational benefits to communities. Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP​), part of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), a Farm Bill conservation program. The partnership is administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the leading federal agency for wetland conservation on private lands. Through WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.

Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program: Tribal Transit Program 
Funding to support planning, capital, and operating assistance for tribal public transit services. Among other things, this funding supports partnerships working to expand access to health, medical, and social service providers.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Mar 20, 2017 
Sponsor: Federal Transit Administration


Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (Exploratory/Developmental - R21) 
Awards funding for exploratory or developmental research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children, including rural, low-income, geographically isolated children.
Geographic Coverage: 
Application Deadline: 
Jun 16, 2017 
National Institutes of Health 


Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (Research Project - R01) 
Awards funding for discrete research projects that target the reduction of health disparities among children, including rural, low-income, geographically isolated children.
Geographic Coverage: 
Application Deadline: 
Jun 16, 2017 
National Institutes of Health


Department of Commerce's FY2017 Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grant Opportunity

The FY2017 Economic Development Assistance Programs funding announcement was recently released. EDA provides strategic investments on a competitive merit basis to support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investment in economically distressed areas of the United States. Under this federal funding announcement, EDA solicits applications from applicants in order to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA's Public Works and EAA programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.


Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program 
Provides scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in a health professions program.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Mar 28, 2017 
Sponsor: Indian Health Service 


 Indian Health Service Pre-Graduate Scholarship Program 
Provides scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students to enroll in courses leading to a bachelor's degree in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-podiatry or pre-optometry.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Mar 28, 2017 
Sponsor: Indian Health Service 


Indian Health Service Preparatory Scholarship 
Provides scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students who are enrolled in undergraduate or preparatory courses in preparation for entry to health profession schools.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Mar 28, 2017 
Sponsor: Indian Health Service 


Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program 
This program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Mar 31, 2017 
Sponsor: USDA Rural Utilities Service


USDA Announces $27 Million in Grants Available to Support the Local Food Sector

USDA's Agricultural Marking Service (AMS) has announced the request for applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, which includes Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grants, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).  These programs and other resources across USDA are helping to revitalize rural America by supporting local and regional food stakeholders. The grant applications for FSMIP, FMPP and LFPP must be submitted electronically through  by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, March 27, 2017


American Indian/Alaska Native Health Equity Initiative 
Grants to support the development and implementation of evidence-based models and/or promising practices to help address historical and generational trauma existing in AI/AN communities with the goal of increasing resiliency and protective factors within AI/AN youth.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Apr 3, 2017 
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health


Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program 
Funding for states, tribes, and local governments to plan, implement or expand a criminal justice and mental health collaboration program.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Apr 4, 2017 
Sponsors: Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice


Minority Youth Violence Prevention II (MYVP II): Integrating Social Determinants of Health and Community Policing Approaches 
Grants to identify innovative approaches to significantly reduce the prevalence and impact of youth violence among racial and ethnic minority and/or disadvantaged at-risk youth. MYVP II will support interventions tailored to at-risk racial and ethnic minority and/or disadvantaged youth (ages 12-18 years) and requires coordinated, multi-discipline approaches that should address public health, education, and public safety concerns; disparities in access to public health services; social determinants of health; and risk and protective factors.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Apr 4, 2017 
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health 


Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) 
Funding to develop Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) projects that support volunteers 55 years and older in serving specific local and community needs in communities that do not currently have RSVP programs.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Letter of Intent (Optional): Mar 7, 2017 
Application Deadline: Apr 4, 2017 
Sponsor: Corporation for National and Community Service 


Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program 
Grants to city, county, and state governments to expand opioid abuse prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery.
Geographic Coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Apr 25, 2017 
Sponsors: Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice


NEA Foundation Invites Applications for Learning and Leadership Grants

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to support the professional development of public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education....

POSTED: February 4, 2017

DEADLINE: June 1, 2017



Public and private sectors specialize in different areas of agricultural research

Both the public and private sectors fund agricultural research and development (R&D), but focus on different areas. The private sector specializes in areas where R&D results in improved commercial products and services, particularly food and feed manufacturing as well as farm machinery and engineering. The public sector, in contrast, conducts most of the R&D on areas that have social value, but do not result in easily sold products. These areas include environment and natural resources and human nutrition and food safety. The public and private sectors conduct significant research on plant systems and crop protection as well as on animal systems and animal health. However, a closer inspection reveals that each sector invests in these areas differently. Much of the private R&D on plant and animal systems aims at new commercial products like agricultural pesticides and veterinary pharmaceuticals. In contrast, public R&D focuses on topics like improving field practices and studying pest populations, animal pathogens, and soil attributes.


A declining share of SNAP households contain children

In fiscal 2015, USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided 22.5 million low-income U.S. households with monthly benefits to supplement their resources for buying food. Of these households, 42.7 percent had children, 20.2 percent had a nonelderly member receiving disability benefits, and 19.6 percent contained an elderly person. The share of SNAP households with children is down from 54.7 percent in 2003, while the shares of SNAP households with an elderly member or a nonelderly member receiving Federal or State disability benefits have remained relatively constant. The fall in the share of SNAP households with children may reflect the increase in participation of households without children due to the tough economic times that accompanied the 2007-09 recession and policy changes that allowed more non-child households to be eligible for SNAP.


Innovations solving higher education challenges

In a world where disruptive innovation can change an entire industry, higher education has remained largely unaffected, according to a recent paper from The Christensen Institute. Innovations in higher education traditionally have centered on changes that allowed the industry to remain competitive and meet new challenges by pushing forward along established trajectories, such as building new buildings or adding new majors. But with technological changes moving deeper into the higher education field, traditional institutions are facing a greater challenge. As those institutions face rising tuition costs, declining state support and affordability issues due to weak wage growth, their business model is vulnerable to threats from larger disruptions. How they choose to respond may determine their future success.


Million-dollar farms accounted for over half of production in 2015

Agricultural production has been shifting to larger farms for many years. Farms with over $1 million in gross cash farm income (GCFI) accounted for half of the value of U.S. farm production in 2015, up from about a third in 1991. Most million-dollar farms (90 percent) are family farms; only 10 percent are nonfamily farms. Larger million-dollar farms (over $5 million in GCFI) nearly doubled their share of production between 1991 and 2015. Smaller million-dollar farms (GCFI between $1 million and $4,999,999) increased their share from 19 percent to 29 percent. This marks a shift in the share of production from small farms (GCFI under $350,000). Small farms accounted for 46 percent of production in 1991; by 2015, they accounted for less than 25 percent. Farmers who take advantage of ongoing innovations to expand their operations can reduce costs and raise profits because they can spread their investments over more acres.

 A positive ROI for Regional Innovation Strategies

Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) funding is showing signs of a positive return on investment, according to recently published results by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA). RIS, an initiative within EDA's Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OIE), supports innovation-based and cluster-focused activities that seek to spur job creation and economic growth. In just two years, RIS awardees have leveraged $1.30 for every federal dollar requested and created nearly 1,000 jobs, according to the EDA.



Leveraging I-Corps for your region's innovation economy

How prepared are your initiatives to exploit the I-Corps opportunity and integrate successful outcomes into your innovation strategy? Join SSTI and a panel of practitioners from Columbia University and TechGROWTH Ohio for an honest and interactive discussion about the program's potential, its early impacts and ideas for how best to leverage I-Corps to achieve even greater economic outcomes in your region. Wednesday, March 22, 3:45 p.m. EDT


Community colleges as drivers of entrepreneurship

Regional innovation economies thrive when a variety of institutions promote entrepreneurship. This joint webinar between SSTI and NACCE will focus on Iowa's approach to regional innovation, which incorporates the state, industry, universities and community colleges as key partners for a thorough approach to entrepreneurial development. Join us to learn about the Hawkeye state and to discuss tools you can apply to your own region or institution. Thursday, April 20, 3 p.m. EDT


For more CED-related content please subscribe to the following:

Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development

Cooperative Reports, Publications, and Statistics

Rural Cooperative Magazine

Placed Based Initiatives & Regional Programs

Community Economic Development





Associate Professor and Community Development Specialist

Department of Agricultural Economics

Oklahoma State University

323 Agricultural Hall

Stillwater, OK 74078-6025


405-744-8210 – fax

Find grants and professional development resources on my blog

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