Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Community Resources

Our next GoodGreens meeting is next Thursday, April 27th, from 10:00 to 12:00 PM Central Time in FNS’ offices on the 20th floor at 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, or via call-in (to listen) and Live Meeting (to see presentations). Please see below for a final meeting agenda, instructions on how to attend, and information about May's meeting, June's meeting (which will focus on soil health), grants & funding, resources, news, events, and other opportunities. 


If you’re attending in person, please be aware that we are in a federal building and you’ll need to pass through security. After passing through security, head to the third bank of elevators on the left and proceed to the 20th floor. Once you arrive on the 20th floor, look for GoodGreens signs.

If you have any questions, please email Alan Shannon or call 312-353-1044. We look forward to hearing from our speakers and talking with many of you! 


April 27th Meeting Agenda and
Attendance Options

10:00 - 12:00 PM Central Time

Welcome and Introductions


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.


Victor Strausbaugh, Allofeed, will share information about Allofeed, a free smartphone app that connects users to vendors at farmers markets via a delivery service. The app was used by 60 vendors at seven Central Ohio farmers markets in 2016.     


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 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. 


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. 


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

Vicky Reeves,  Organic Valley co-op, will share information about the FAFO grant program (now accepting applications)..


Attending Remotely 

For those participating remotely, call-in and LiveMeeting/Webinar information is below. 

Call-in information is the same for both.

Call-in Information:

  • Number: 1-888-844-9904
  • Passcode: 7734875

Live Meeting/Webinar Information:

  • First Time Users: To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting
  • Download and install the Microsoft Live Meeting Client here
  • Click Join the meeting
  • Launch.rtc should download. Click it. Live Meeting Client should start.
  • If prompted for Meeting ID and Entry Code, they are: 
    Meeting ID: GGApril
    No Entry Code 

If you still cannot enter the meeting, contact support

Notice: Microsoft Office Live Meeting can be used to record meetings. By participating in this meeting, you agree that your communications may be monitored or recorded at any time during the meeting.


News, Resources, Grants and More... 

(click on the links below to see more)

Upcoming Meeting Agendas


Resources, Tools, & Technical Assistance

Grants & Funding

Data, Statistics, & Reports

Food Waste


Employment Opportunities


Community Economic Development (CED) Matters – Funding, Publications, Events and Learning (4/19))



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 Program, Business 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.


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.


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.


First Nations is Accepting “Nourishing Native Children: Feeding Our Future” Grant Applications

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has launched a new grant program called “Nourishing Native Children: Feeding Our Future” thanks to generous funding provided by the Walmart Foundation. The effort will provide grants to Native American communities interested in expanding nutrition resources for existing programs that serve American Indian children ages 6-14. First Nations plans to award up to 10 grants of up to $15,000 each to continue or expand existing nutrition efforts. The deadline for all online grant applications is May 5, 2017. The grant period will commence June 1, 2017, and end January 31, 2018. There will be two informational webinars for interested applicants. Although these are optional, it is recommended that applicants tune in to one or both of them:

Ø  April 19, 2017, at 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time (which is 10 a.m. Pacific / Noon Central / 1 p.m. Eastern). REGISTER HERE:

Ø  April 25, 2017, at 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (which is Noon Pacific / 2 p.m. Central / 3 p.m. Eastern). REGISTER HERE:


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs

(GEAR UP)-State and Partnership Grants -- $49 million to support academic and support services for eligible low-income students to help them obtain a high school diploma and prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.  Eligible: states or partnerships of one or more school districts and one or more institutions of higher education.  Deadline: State Grants-April 24; Partnership Grants-April 19.


National Professional Development Grant Competition

$20 million to support educators of English Learner students.  Eligible: institutions of higher education or public or private entities with relevant experience and capacity in collaboration with states or districts.  Deadline: April 24.


Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter Schools Program-Grants to State Entities

$157 million to support opening and preparing new charter schools and replicating or expanding high-quality charter schools.  Eligible: state entities in states with a statute authorizing charter schools.  Deadline: May 11.


Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter Schools Program-Grants for Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities

$16 million to support methods of assisting charter schools to address the cost of acquiring, constructing, and renovating facilities by enhancing the availability of loans and bond financing.  Eligible: public or private non-profit entities.  Deadline: May 11.


Assistance for Arts Education Programs-Professional Development for Arts Educators Grants

$7.1 million to support the implementation of high-quality professional development programs for arts educators and other instructional staff of schools in which 50% or more of students are from low-income families.  Eligible: districts, in partnership with public and private entities.  Deadline: May 30.


The Brookdale Foundation Group

The Brookdale Foundation Group has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the creation or expansion of supportive services to grandparents and other relatives raising children. Up to 15 programs will be selected to receive a seed grant of $15,000 ($10,000 and $5,000 respectively), contingent upon progress made during year one and potential for continuity in the future. Deadline: 6/5/2017.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is offering six grants of $60,000 to support teams building healthy, child-centered communities through its Raising Places initiative. Raising Places catalyzes local momentum for cross-sector collaboration, engaging diverse partners to build healthier communities where all children and their families can thrive. Deadlines: the full application is released as of 4/3/2017 and will be due 5/5/2017.


The United Fresh Start Foundation (UFSF)

UFSF is providing grant opportunities to organizations interested in increasing children's access to fresh fruits and vegetables outside of school. UFSF is looking for creative methods to get fresh produce to children during the summer months, after school, and on the weekends. Deadline: 4/20/2017. Learn more about the initiative here and download the application here.


Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation, And Military Times

Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation, And Military Times are offering $200,000 in grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers and/or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, veterans, and their families. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Grants of up to $50,000 are provided. Deadline: 5/2/2017.


Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

CNCS is offering funding to Indian Tribes for programs that are designed to strengthen tribal communities and solve local problems through service and volunteering. Deadline: Letter of Intent (optional) 4/19/2017; application 5/10/2017.


The Center for American Indian Health

The Center for American Indian Health is offering a Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship. The Scholarship offers financial support for American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities that are interested in attending the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health’s Summer and Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Deadline to apply: 5/1/2017.


Rural LISC

Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC provides permanent and construction to permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities, in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing.


The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation

The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation offers Neighborhood Planning and Neighborhood Implementation grants to support long-term, resident-driven neighborhood revitalization in low-income communities in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Neighborhood Planning grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 for those in the process of creating a comprehensive revitalization plan for a neighborhood. Neighborhood Implementation grants cover program costs to support comprehensive community development projects that target specific neighborhoods, ranging from $100,000 to $750,000 for single grantees and $100,000 to $1.25 million for collaborations disbursed over five years. Deadlines: Planning grant applications are due 9/1/2017; Implementation grants are due 4/7/2017 for the spring cycle, and 10/20/2017 for the fall cycle.


Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation is accepting applications for the Bush Prize for Community Innovation. Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to community-based organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota with a track record of making great ideas happen. Deadline: 4/27/2017.


The Singing for Change Charitable Foundation

The Singing for Change Charitable Foundation is dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations that inspire personal growth, community integration, and the enhanced awareness that collectively people can bring about positive social change. The Foundation provides grants to progressive, community-based nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the root causes of social or environmental problems. The Foundation primarily provides grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for projects that serve children and families, the environment, and disenfranchised groups. Priority is given to inclusive, grassroots organizations that rely strongly on volunteer efforts, where Foundation support makes a significant difference. Deadline: letters of interest by 5/1/2017.


Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is offering grants to help Delta communities create jobs and improve infrastructure. Geographic coverage: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Deadline: 5/31/2017.


Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship
Financial support for American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities who are interested in attending the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health’s Summer and Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 1, 2017
Sponsor: Center for American Indian Health


Grants to Tribal Governments to Exercise Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ)
Grant support and technical assistance to tribes for planning, developing, and implementing changes in tribal criminal justice systems necessary to exercise Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ). The focus is on new programs providing coordination between tribal criminal justice systems and victim service providers to ensure victim safety and offender accountability.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Optional): Apr 19, 2017
Application Deadline: May 3, 2017
Sponsors: Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice


Targeted Capacity Expansion: Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations at High-Risk for HIV/AIDS
Awards funding to increase engagement in care for racial and ethnic minority individuals with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders Grantees will work to reduce the negative impact of behavioral health problems, while increasing access to behavioral healthcare, creating healthcare linkages, and improving treatment retention.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 3, 2017
Sponsors: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Community Based Model of Public Health Nursing Case Management Services
Funding to establish a community-based model of public health nursing case management service in order to improve specific behavioral health outcomes of an identified high risk group of patients.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 15, 2017
Sponsors: Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Strategies to Increase Delivery of Guideline-Based Care to Populations with Health Disparities (R01)
Awards funding for innovative, multi-level studies to test systems, infrastructures, and strategies that will accelerate the adoption of guideline-based recommendations into clinical care relevant to heart, lung, blood diseases, and sleep disorders. Vulnerable populations include medically underserved individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, low income groups, and rural-dwelling patients.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Optional): May 21, 2017
Application Deadline: Jun 21, 2017
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health



Strong foundations: the economic future of kids and communities
Why would the Federal Reserve System, an institution that most of us only think about in terms of interest rates and monetary policy, care about a child's education or the environment he or she grows up in? Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said it all: "Ensuring that all of our kids have 'strong foundations' will help build a similarly strong foundation for the U.S. economy." See what the Fed is doing to help families and communities build these strong foundations here.


Counting secondary operators triples the number of female operators

Females comprised nearly 14 percent of U.S. principal operators—the individual most responsible for the day-to-day decisions on the farm (or ranch)—in 2012. Considering additional, secondary operators as well as principal operators, however, gives a more complete picture of the involvement of females in farming. Including secondary operators more than triples the count of female farmers—from about 288,300 to nearly 970,000—and increases their share of farm operators to almost 31 percent. Including secondary operators has less of an effect on the number of male farmers, increasing their count by 21 percent, from about 1.8 to 2.2 million. Female secondary operators tend to be less involved in farming than female primary operators. About 33 percent of female secondary operators report farming as their major occupation, compared with 43 percent of female primary operators. Roughly 40 percent of secondary female operators work off-farm at least 200 days per year, slightly higher than the corresponding 35-percent estimate for female principal operators.


State economic development efforts shifting

Traditional economic development efforts at the state level are undergoing increasing scrutiny as budgets are being constrained. Two new studies show a shift in focus away from traditional approaches of tax incentives and reliance on major employers, to broader strategies relying more on the private sector and human capital. A report released by the Delaware Economic Development Working Group recommends shifting many of the core responsibilities of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) to a new nonprofit. And a report focused on Indiana details the decline in footloose jobs in the state despite local government investments in business attraction, indicating a reevaluation of public policy is needed, the authors contend.


Multinationals, deindustrialization, and regional economic development

Much has been written – both here and elsewhere – about the role of trade and automation in declining U.S. manufacturing employment. Recently released preliminary research published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies finds U.S. multinationals were responsible for a disproportionate share of manufacturing employment declines from 1993 to 2011. These results underscore the challenges facing economic development in deindustrializing regions, particularly those reliant on the branch plant economy.


Imports of fresh and processed vegetables make up an increasing share of domestic consumption
Trade plays a vital part in both fresh and processed vegetable markets, one that has increased over time. The United States imports a larger amount of fresh and processed vegetables than it exports. This is in contrast with U.S. agricultural trade as a whole, which consistently runs a trade surplus (exports exceed imports). In 2000, fresh and processed vegetable imports represented 12 percent of domestic use each. By 2016, the import share of domestic use had increased to over 30 percent for fresh vegetables and 22 percent for processed vegetables. The export market for vegetables has grown at a slower pace. Processed vegetable exports doubled between 2000 and 2016 from 7 to 14 percent of domestic use, while fresh vegetables decreased from 7 percent in 2000 to 6 in 2016. Growth in vegetable and other food commodity imports has been driven by expanding domestic demand and reduced trade costs like shipping and tariffs. Consumer preferences for year-round availability of seasonal foods and for vegetables not commonly grown domestically have also played a role in rising import shares. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers are predominantly supplied by imports, while cauliflower has the largest export share.


Number of new food and beverage products rebounded in 2016

Introducing “new” products—new package sizes, new flavors, new packaging, and truly new products—is one way that food and beverage companies try to woo consumers and increase sales. After 2 years of declining numbers of product introductions, 21,435 new foods and beverages made their debut on U.S. retail shelves in 2016—the largest annual number of product introductions since 2007. The number of new nonfood grocery items (beauty and personal care; health and hygiene; pet food and merchandise; and paper and cleaning products) increased in 2016 as well. During the Great Recession of 2008-09, consumers sought familiar products and avoided impulse buying. To appeal to bargain-seeking customers who wanted to simplify their shopping trips as well as purchase familiar products, retailers devoted less shelf space to new products. The number of new food and beverage products in U.S. retail outlets, as tracked by Mintel’s Global New Product Database, fell from 22,142 in 2007 to 15,637 in 2009. The number of new foods and beverages rose again in 2010, while new nonfood grocery items continued their downward trend until 2016.


Ford Foundation Commits $1 Billion to Mission-Related Investing

The Ford Foundation has announced plans to commit up to $1 billion of its $12 billion endowment over ten years to mission-related investing — the largest commitment to MRIs by a private foundation to date.

Ford will carve out the funds gradually from its existing investment portfolio and deploy them over time to investments designed to deliver concrete social returns as well as attractive financial returns. Initial investments will focus on areas where the foundation has prior experience and sees both significant investment opportunity and alignment with its mission to reduce poverty and injustice — starting with affordable housing in the United States and access to financial services in emerging markets.


Potential for High-Impact Philanthropy Untapped in South, Study Finds

Communities in the Deep South receive less philanthropic support than those in other parts of the United States, and only a small fraction of those funds supports policy reform or community organizing, a report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and Grantmakers for Southern Progress finds.

The first in a series of reports about opportunities for philanthropy to improve the lives of underserved communities in the South, As the South Grows: On Fertile Soil (17 pages, PDF) found that, between 2010 and 2014, grantmaking by a thousand of the country's largest foundations averaged $41 per capita in the Alabama Black Belt and Mississippi Delta, compared with a national average of $451. And of the $55 million in total grantmaking to those two regions, only 16 percent was designated for community empowerment strategies. In the decades since the civil rights movement, national foundation interest in the rural South has waxed and waned, and foundations based in the region have focused on funding direct service work instead of systemic change strategies....


Rural education levels are improving, but still lag urban areas

Compared with rural (nonmetro) areas, urban (metro) areas have historically had a higher share of adults with bachelor’s, postgraduate, and professional degrees. Between 2000 and 2015, the share of urban adults with at least a bachelor’s degree grew from 26 to 33 percent, while in rural areas the share grew from 15 to 19 percent. This gap may be due to the higher pay offered in urban areas to workers with college degrees. Rural areas have improved in terms of high school completion: The share of rural adults with less than a high school diploma dropped to 15 percent in 2015, close to the share for urban adults (13 percent). The share of adults with an associate’s degree and some college, no degree were also similar in rural and urban areas.


SNAP participation and per person benefits both fell in 2016

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the cornerstone of USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs, accounting for 69 percent of all Federal food and nutrition assistance spending in fiscal 2016. An average 44.2 million people per month participated in the program in fiscal 2016, 3 percent fewer than the previous fiscal year and the third consecutive year of declining participation. Fiscal 2016’s caseload was the fewest SNAP participants since fiscal 2010 and 7 percent less than the 47.6 million participants per month in fiscal 2013. The decrease in 2016 was likely due in part to the country’s continued economic growth as well as the reinstatement in many States of the time limit—3 months of SNAP benefits within any 3-year period—on participation for able-bodied adults without dependents. Per person benefits averaged $125.51 per month in fiscal 2016, 1 percent less than the previous fiscal year and 6 percent less than the historical high of $133.85 set in fiscal 2011.


Impact Investments in Creative Economy Poised for Growth, Study Finds

A focus on providing impact investments in the creative economy could help stabilize vulnerable communities and attract quality jobs to struggling regions of the country, a report from the Calvert Foundation and Upstart Co-Lab finds. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the report, Creative Places & Businesses: Catalyzing Growth in Communities (55 pages, PDF), found that while impact investment in the creative economy to date has occurred largely under the radar, the opportunity to generate financial gain and social impact through art, culture, design, and innovation has never been greater. The study identified twenty-six projects in fourteen states with to tal project costs of $1.54 billion seeking impact investment capital between 2017 and 2022, including $338 million in debt financing provided by community development financial institutions and community lenders and $1.13 billion in impact and conventional equity, tax credits, and similar subsidies. Wealth advisors also confirmed to researchers that impact investors are eager to invest in the arts, creative businesses, and so-called creative places — which it defines as multi-tenant affordable real estate projects targeting creatives and benefiting their neighbors....


Schools serve a variety of locally-produced foods daily or more than weekly

Frequent use of local foods in school meals can bolster the market for local agricultural producers and increase student awareness and interest in healthier foods. In school year 2011-12, more than one in five U.S. school districts (22 percent) served at least one locally-sourced food item daily or weekly. The most popular local food categories were milk (offered daily or more than weekly by 15.4 percent of school districts), fruit (offered by 14.5 percent of districts), and vegetables (offered by 12.2 percent of districts). Locally-produced baked goods, meat, and eggs were also served frequently by some districts. A recent ERS report examined characteristics of school districts that frequently serve local foods. Districts more likely to serve local foods daily tended to be larger, in the Northeast, in urban areas, and in States where residents had higher rates of college completion.


Decline in farm share of U.S. food dollar mirrors drop in farm commodity prices

On average, U.S. farmers received 15.6 cents for farm commodity sales from each dollar spent on domestically-produced food in 2015, down from 17.2 cents in 2014. Known as the farm share, this amount is at its lowest level since 2006, and coincides with a steep drop in 2015 average prices received by U.S. farmers, as measured by the Producer Price Index for farm products. ERS uses input-output analysis to calculate the farm and marketing shares from a typical food dollar, including food purchased at grocery stores and at restaurants, coffee shops, and other eating out places. 2015 was the fourth consecutive year that the farm share has declined, but the 2015 decline was substantially more than in the three previous years. The drop in farm share also coincides with four consecutive years of increases in the share of food dollars paying for services provided by the foodservice industry. Since farmers receive a smaller share from eating out dollars, due to the added costs for preparing and serving meals, more food-away-from-home spending will also drive down the farm share.


NY launches tuition-free college education for New Yorkers

On April 8, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Excelsior Scholarship program will be included in the state’s FY 2018 budget, after having been approved by the legislature. In its first year, the state will commit $163 million to provide tuition-free options for New Yorkers from ‘middle-class’ families at the state’s public institutions of higher education. Under the Excelsior Scholarship program, students can attend any of the colleges or universities that comprise the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems. After completing their degree, the scholarship requires that recipients must work or live in the state after graduation for the same number of years that they receive support.



Rural Gateway Peer-to-Peer Conference Call: Rural Economic Development and Infrastructure: A Discussion of Best Practices

The Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development (ORHED) invites you to take part in our next Peer-to-Peer conference call. Scheduled for April 19, 2017, this call will offer participants the opportunity to learn about available funding opportunities through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) for economic development and infrastructure activities.


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


Newsletters and email from which we gather this information include:

Foundation Center RFP Service

Health Listserv

Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine

Rural LISC e-newsletter

National Association for Development Organizations (NADO)


Orton Family Foundation


Making a Big Impact with Local Philanthropy 

When most of us think of philanthropy, we think big—big dollars, big foundations, big projects. But philanthropy also happens in small, but impactful ways.

The concept was well summed up by Ed Aller, a florist from McComb, Ohio, who was a beneficiary of small town philanthropy: “We’re small enough to know people, but yet we're big enough to get things done.”

In this blog post we highlight three examples of local philanthropy that made a difference in Community Heart & Soul® towns.

  • McComb, Ohio, came together in a big way to help a local florist with medical expenses. 
  • Gardiner, Maine, residents got their green thumbs doing great things to beautify the town.

Galesburg, Illinois, firefighters took the lead rebuilding a park gazebo and building community pride.


Video:  Heart & Soul in Their Own Words

Bonnie Pooley, a retired English teacher from Maine, describes the Mahoosuc Heart & Soul project. The Heart & Soul team was working on its “checkout line” speech. Gabe Perkins, executive director of the nonprofit Mahoosuc Pathways, who is also on the team, looks on. Developing a checkout line speech is one of the steps in spreading the word about a Community Heart & Soul project.
Watch the video »


Free Talk: How Community Philanthropy = Vibrant Towns

Think philanthropy is just for the wealthy? Think again. Small cities and towns are finding that all residents can be philanthropists. On this call you’ll hear about effective strategies for encouraging a culture of local philanthropy that builds community vibrancy and prosperity.
--Lisa Duran, executive director, Grassroots Grantmakers
--Don Macke, co-founder and director of entrepreneurial communities, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
--Thom Harnett, mayor, Gardiner, Maine.

Heart & Soul Talks: Community-driven Philanthropy: How Involving Residents = Vibrant Towns, Thursday, April 20, 3-4 p.m. (Eastern)
Register now! »

(If you can't attend the live event, sign up and we will send you the talk recording!)



Economic Development for the Next Generation

Hear Zachary Mannheimer on how creative placemaking creates vibrant, attractive communities with viable business models, enthusiastic investors, and dynamic programs with an eye towards attracting and retaining the younger generation. This 60-minute webinar recorded March 23 is co-hosted with the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™.

Creative Placemaking: Economic Development for the Next Generation, Zachary Mannheimer, Principal Community Planner, McClure Engineering Company.
Watch now»


HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Webinar

A Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series is offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Mental Health Promotion Branch, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress, and Special Programs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The next webinar is “Providing Culturally and Linguistically Competent Behavioral Health Services to Diverse Populations in Rural Communities,” May 17, 2017, 3:00 to 4:30 PM EDT. Other topics in the series are: “Responding to Natural Disasters in Rural Communities,” June 21, 2017, 3:00 to 4:30 PM EDT; and “A Focus on Suicide Prevention in Rural Communities,” August 16, 2017, 3:00 to 4:30 PM EDT.


Economic Development for the Next Generation

Hear Zachary Mannheimer on how creative placemaking creates vibrant, attractive communities with viable business models, enthusiastic investors, and dynamic programs with an eye towards attracting and retaining the younger generation. This 60-minute webinar recorded March 23 is co-hosted with the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™.


What Works in Improving Americans' Financial Capability

Learn more about how Federal agencies are working together to discover and advance best practices, partner with the private sector to improve the personal financial infrastructure for the U.S. and help more people progress toward financial success.

Click here for more information and registration.

When: April 25, 2017     2:00pm - 3:30pm


Roberts Rules of Order for Boards
Join this webinar to learn the basics of Roberts Rules of Order for parliamentary procedure, and understand the relevant pieces of this procedure for governing nonprofit board meetings. Click here for more information and registration.
When: May 5, 2017      11:00am - 1:00pm

Understanding the Fundraising Cycle

This one-hour webinar will explore the circular, ongoing nature of fundraising. Elements of the fundraising cycle explore in this webinar include: donor identification, qualification, planning, cultivation, solicitation, negotiation, closure, acknowledgement, and stewardship.
Click here for more information and registration.
When: May 31, 2017      1:30pm - 2:30pm 


Bringing Life Downtown After Hours: Arts, Shopping, Culture After 5

Being open evening hours is not just a matter of extending store hours. It is more like opening a whole different store with different customers. Becky McCray and Deb Brown be sharing ideas and examples from real small towns. Deb will share from her experience as a Chamber of Commerce director, and Becky will share from her perspective as a business owner in a small town. More information...

When: Webinar continually available. 


Alece Montez-Griego Named to Funders' Network Board

Orton's Director of Programs Alece Montez-Griego was named to Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities board of directors at the organization's annual meeting in March. In 2013, Alece completed the Funders’ Network PLACES fellowship and serves on the PLACES Advisory Board. 

The Funders’ Network is a mission-driven network that helps grantmakers across North America advance strategies to create fair, prosperous and sustainable regions and communities that offer everyone the chance for a good life. The organization believes that the suite of tools available to funders―investing, grantmaking, collaborating, convening, facilitating, and more―uniquely position them to lead the movement for smarter growth policies and practices that benefit both places and people.


Retiring the CommunityMatters Sites

The CommunityMatters® web site and social media sites will be phased out at the end of April.

CommunityMatters was created as a place for communities to learn more about strengthening place and inspiring change. At the time, the Orton Family Foundation was developing Community Heart & Soul®, a community development model for small cities and towns.

Today, Community Heart & Soul is being implemented in towns across the country, and the spirit of CommunityMatters is embodied in the resident-driven model. We will continue to use #CommunityMatters as our main hashtag for Community Heart & Soul.

Call recordings from CommunityMatters calls can still be found in the Orton call archive

We wish to thank our partners in this project who share our devotion to strong, healthy, and economically vibrant towns:  
Deliberative Democracy Consortium
Grassroots Grantmakers
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
New America Foundation
Project for Public Spaces
Strong Towns 

We look forward to keeping the conversation going on our Orton Family Foundation web and social media sites. 

Visit web site»


Choctaw Nation Opportunities

Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing License

The Choctaw Nation is excited to announce that hunting and fishing license will now be available for all Choctaw citizens residing within Oklahoma regardless of age or if they are a current Oklahoma lifetime license holder.

For more information or to access the online application you can click here.  


Federal, State, and Nonprofit Opportunities

Farm Business Management and Benchmark Competitive Grants Program

The Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grants Program provides funds to (1) improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers; and (2) establish and maintain a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. More information...

Application Deadline: April 17, 2017


Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program 

The purpose of this program is to establish an Extension presence and support Extension outreach on Federally Recognized Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions of Federally-Recognized Tribes. This program seeks to continue the Land Grants mission of inclusion - providing education and research-based knowledge to those who might not otherwise receive it. More information...
Application Deadline: April 26, 2017


Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program

This program helps improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping non-profit corporations or higher education institutions in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through cooperative development. More information...

Application Deadline: May 26, 2017


Economic Development Assistance Programs 

The Economic Development Administration's (EDA's) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. More information... 

Application Deadline: Rolling


Rural & Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance 

The rural program provides technical assistance for small communities of less than 50,000 people. The focus of the program is economic development: helping small and emerging businesses and stimulating economic development through new and improved public transportation.
The tribal program is designed to help Native American tribes enhance economic growth and development by improving transportation services. Technical assistance is limited to planning and may support transit service improvements and expansion, system start-up, facility development, development of marketing plans and materials, transportation coordination, training and other public transit problem solving activities.
For more information and to register, click here. 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Rolling
Source: Community Transportation Association of America


Homegrown By Heroes

The Homegrown By Heroes label is a key differentiation for farmer veteran products in competitive markets. The HBH label gives farmer veterans the point-of-sale visibility they need to be successful in the marketplace. The HBH label also affords consumers a tangible way to support veterans while providing an avenue to share the veteran's story. More information...

Dates: Annually renewable

Location: Nationwide


Helpful Tools and Internship Opportunities

Hoeven Delivers Congressional Response to 2017 State of Indian Nations Address 

February 13, 2017 -- U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, delivered the Congressional Response to the 2017 State of Indian Nations address given by the National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby. In his remarks, Chairman Hoeven highlighted his legislative priorities for the committee, including jobs and economic development, health care, energy, housing, public safety, and veterans. He also emphasized the need to continue working in a bipartisan manner to advance safety, security and opportunity in Indian Country. Read more... 


Training Opportunities

Standards for Excellence

Standards for Excellence 2.0 includes expanded and enhanced benchmarks for nonprofit best practices, including 79 benchmarks for best practices; new sample policies in social media and information technologies all nonprofits need to know; and improved information on outcome based measurements and logic models to prove mission impact.

MuskogeeApril 18-19, 2017  


Fundraising Summits

The Fundraising Summit provides nonprofit professionals an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge about fundraising in a short, 6-hour setting. Fundraising experts present in quick succession their knowledge about best practices on the many topics every nonprofit professional needs to know. Participants will learn insider-tips for applying for grants, tried-and-true tactics for making bold asks, and flawless management for annual fundraising plans.

Ponca City - May 11, 2017


Funders Forums 

We all want to know the secrets to receiving funding from foundations and corporations. The Center's Funders Forum can help! This will consist of a morning session, networking lunch, and after-lunch session where the dynamic panel of corporate and foundation employees will offer you tips and share their expertise.
Oklahoma City - May 16, 2017
Tulsa - May 30, 2017 


Preparing for a Financial Audit 

Having an annual financial audit is a best practice as defined by the Standards for Excellence Institute, and requires significant work from the entire organization. This three-hour workshop will help participants understand the administrative responsibilities of a financial audit, from the perspective of an audit team. 

Tulsa - May 18, 2017 

Oklahoma CityJune 8, 2017  


2017 Brownfields and Sustainable Community Building Workshop

This workshop will focus on the resources available to assist with planning your redevelopment, and where to focus resources to ensure success when applying for grants. Registration check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the workshop will run from about 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be served.

StillwaterMay 23, 2017


Other Opportunities

Congressional Art Competition for Oklahoma High School Students 

Students submit artwork to their elected representative's office, and panelists select winners from each district. Winning works are exhibited at the U.S. Capitol, and winners have the opportunity to be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. More information...
The instructions for your entries are available through your representative's link below.
1st District - Congressman Jim Bridenstine
2nd District - Congressman Markwayne Mullin
3rd District - Congressman Frank Lucas
4th District - Congressman Tom Cole
5th District - Congressman Steve Russell

Economic Evaluation of Tribal Food System Initiatives

Click here to access the information!
Where: Cafeteria at Choctaw Nation Council House Complex in Tuskahoma

When: April 20, 2017     8:30am - 4:30pm

Runnerclick Accepting Submissions for Scholarship Program

Runnerclick feels that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and remaining active in sports as well as other outdoor activities can be beneficial in building a strong mind and good character sportsmanship. The Runnerclick scholarship is awarded to three winners with an amount of $2,000. More information...

Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: April 20, 2017


Oklahoma State University Medical Summer Camp "Operation Orange"

Spend a day in the life of a medical student at Operation Orange, a summer camp for high school students interested in a career in medicine.

Dates and locations vary through the month of June.

Click here to access the flyer.


Fifth and Eighth-Grade Teachers Encouraged to Apply for Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute Fellowships

While at Colonial Williamsburg -- the world's largest living history museum -- Oklahoma teachers meet character interpreters of 18th-century people and are immersed in early American history through hands-on activities and reenactments of historic events. More information...
Application Deadline for 5th Grade Teachers: June 8-14, 2017
Application Deadline for 8th Grade Teachers: June 15-21, 2017


American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Scholarship

Established to provide American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students with financial assistance to earn a degree or certificate in the hospitality, tourism, recreation, culinary arts or related fields.  AIANTA will award three (3) individuals who have met all scholarship application criteria. AIANTA would like to encourage Indigenous students to build their careers in the tourism industry while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy. Access the application here! 

Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Semester: July 28, 2017
Application Deadline for Spring 2018 Semester: December 1, 2017 





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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