• Simple Item 5
  • Simple Item 4
  • Simple Item 6
  • Simple Item 3
  • Simple Item 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Suzette's Letter, September 30, 2016


  1. 1.Millennials’ Take on Economy

Millennials internalized the effects of the most recent recession and revealed their beliefs about the economy and jobs future in a recent poll conducted by EY, a professional services company, and the Economic Innovation Group. Nearly one-third believe their community is still in a recession and 78 percent are worried about having good-paying job opportunities, according to the poll. Hard work is an important factor to get ahead in life, say 88 percent of the 18-34 year olds, and two-thirds say having a college education is important, but just 49 percent believe the benefits of a college education will be worth the cost. More than half feel a great deal of confidence about the military and colleges and universities, but other institutions such as the government, organized religion and the news media garner far less confidence. While 78 percent consider entrepreneurs successful and 62 percent have considered starting their own business, 42 percent cite the lack of financial means as the top obstacle to launching a startup. Instead, Millennials appear to prefer to climb the corporate ladder, with 44 percent saying the best way to advance their career is by staying at one company and working their way up the ladder and another 25 percent cite moving between different companies and advancing along the way.  Only 22 percent felt that starting their own company would be the best way to advance.

  1. 2.EDA Seeks Comments on Regional Innovation Program

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) requests public comment on the overarching regulatory framework for the Regional Innovation Program. Comments should focus on the structure and implementation of the Regional Innovation Program, including Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) grants. Through the RIS program, EDA awards grants for capacity-building programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as operational support for organizations that provide essential early stage funding to startup companies. Comments should address one or more of several topics including, but not limited to:

  • Purpose and scope of the Regional Innovation Program and/or RIS program;
  • Program eligibility and matching share requirements; and,
  • RIS Application components, evaluation, and selection criteria.

Comments must be submitted by November 21. 


  1. 3.Broadband Availability and Rural Entrepreneurship

Because existing evidence points to the presence of broadband as having a positive connection to the economic health in rural areas, numerous states and the federal government have made increasing broadband in these places a top priority.  In particular, many rural areas view broadband as an important tool in attracting entrepreneurs and other creative-class employees. Although this tactic is well intentioned, new research suggests that the association between expanded rural broadband availability and the proliferation of entrepreneurship and creative-class employees may not be as strong as one might think, and that the relationship may actually be negative. Read more...


  1. 4.Tom Vilsack's Lonely Fight for a 'Forgotten' Rural America
    Sep 26, 2016 -- Details Secretary Tom Vilsack's efforts to address the opioid epidemic, the evolution of his career, and his focus on the needs of rural America.
    Source: The Washington Post


  1. 5.Committee Passes Bill to Reform the Indian Health Service

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs passed the Indian Health Service Accountability Act of 2016 which is anticipated to improve patient safety and quality of care by increasing accountability and transparency at the Indian Health Service. The committee passed this act based on feedback from tribes and the administration to address what they characterized as persistent failures by the Indian Health Service.
Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

  1. 6.State of Obesity 2016: Better Policies for a Healthier America
    Report on obesity related trends and topics. Includes data and statistics for both adults and children and provides examples of successful programs and policies across the country. Also addresses obesity and chronic disease trends in both urban and rural areas.
    Sponsoring organization: Trust for America's Health
    Date: 09/2016


  1. 7.SNAP Participation Shows Marked Decline

The number of people participating in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been declining now for several years from a high of nearly 48 million people back in 2013 to a little more than 43 million in June. That is a drop of about 4.4 million people. This downward trend is encouraging but should [...]


  1. 8.In 2015, 42.2 million people lived in food-insecure households

USDA measures food security status at the household level. Food-insecure households were, at times, unable to acquire adequate food for one or more household members due to insufficient money and other resources. Statistics on the number of persons residing in food-insecure households should be interpreted carefully. Within a food-insecure household, different household members may have been affected differently. Some members—particularly young children—may have experienced only mild effects of food insecurity or none at all, while adults were more severely affected. In 2015, 42.2 million people lived in food-insecure households. Out of these individuals, 14.6 million lived in households in the severe range of food insecurity, described as very low food security. Households with very low food security were food insecure to the extent that eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and food intake was reduced at some point during the year. The statistics for this chart are from Statistical Supplement to Household Food Security in the United States in 2015, AP-072, released on September 7, 2015.

  1. 9.American adults who eat at fast food places averaged 2.7 visits a week in 2014

Eating out accounts for a significant share of Americans’ food budgets and diets. ERS analysis of data from the Eating and Health Module of the American Time Use Survey provides a snapshot of which household types are purchasing “fast food” and how often. Fast food in the analysis includes prepared food from a deli, carry-out and delivery food, and food from a fast food restaurant. Over an average week in 2014, 58.2 percent of American adults purchased fast food and those who purchased fast food did so an average of 2.7 times. Couples with children were the most likely to purchase fast food (64.5 percent), whereas single-person households were the least likely (51.1, percent). However, single-person households had the highest average number of weekly fast food purchases. Men who purchased fast food did so an average of 3 times per week, whereas women who had purchased fast food averaged 2.5 times.

  1. 10.Median Household Income Increases First Time Since 2007

The U.S. Census Bureau announced on Tuesday that median household income increased to $56,516 in 2015, a jump of 5.2 percent from the 2014 median income of $53,718 and the first increase since 2007. However, real median household income in 2015 was 1.6 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the Great Recession, and 2.4 percent lower than the median household income peak, which occurred in 1999. Ten states (HI, KY, MT, NH, OR, RI, TN, VT, WI and WY) and the District of Columbia saw median household incomes increase by more than 5 percent, although with the margin of error it is possible that some of these states saw increases of less than 1 percent, according to data presented in Table 1 of Household Income: 2015. Only Puerto Rico saw the median household income decline from 2014 levels; ID and NJ saw increases of less than 1 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau also announced that the nation’s official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, a 1.2 percentage point decrease in the poverty rate from 2014. The decrease represents the largest annual percentage point drop in poverty since 1999. The findings are contained in Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015.

  1. 11.Communities That Work Partnership Highlights Best Practices in Matching Jobs to Skills

The Communities That Work Partnership, a national project to support industry-led workforce development efforts, has released seven case studies highlighting what it considers to be best practices for regions seeking ways to strengthen talent pipelines for local employers and improve access to quality employment for jobseekers. Launched in April 2015 by the Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative and the Economic Development Administration, with additional support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the partnership has two goals: to accelerate regional economic development through peer learning, and to document stories of how regional teams can improve links between the demand side and supply side of regional systems. Read more...

  1. 12.White House Blog: Local Foods, Local Places Empowers Creative Economic Development in Rural and Urban Communities

Local Foods, Local Places, an effort to support communities that are building local food systems, is empowering local leaders and citizens to strengthen their communities

Learn more about the Local Foods, Local Places

  1. 13.Rural America at a Glance - United States Department of Agriculture Fact Sheet

An important indicator of economic recovery is employment. After several years of stagnation, the pace of employment growth in rural areas increased in 2014. Employment gains were significantly higher over the past year compared to previous years in the recovery period, although rural employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas continue to experience population loss, higher poverty rates, and lower educational attainment than urban areas.

View Rural America at A Glance - United States Department of Agriculture Fact Sheet


  1. October is National Cooperative Month!

As part of this month’s celebration, USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is holding a series of training and informational webinars to showcase the many important ways cooperatives empower our daily lives. For the full calendar of events for Co-op Month, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/cooperative-programs, or to request special accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  1. a.

1-2:15 pm EST Speaker: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/x3d3w44ec7ex&eom  


2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Meegan Moriarty, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Todd R. Eskelsen, Schiff Hardin, LLP and Marlis Carson, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fjn0raup3sgh&eom 

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Dr. David Proctor, Rural Grocery Initiative, Kansas State University and Marnie Thompson, Fund 4 Democratic Communities

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/v92f7ysqo9k0&eom  


  1. Oct 19, 2016 Farm to School and the Role of Cooperatives – Producer and Buyer Perspectives

2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: James Barham, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Andrea Northup, USDA Food Nutrition Service, Jennie Rengert, Fifth Season Cooperative, Krista Garand, Durango School District, and Janet Fogel, Mancos School District

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/jlm99m0d6tul&eom 


2-3:15 pm EST Facilitator: Scott Cessarich, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: Jesus Lucero, USA Cooperative Youth Council, Hnin Hnin, Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, and Morgan Crawford, North American Students of Cooperation

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/57tvjzrooxe4&eom 


10:30 am-12 pm EST Facilitator: Claudette Fernandez, RBS Cooperative Programs / Community Economic Development

(Whitten Bldg - 107A) Speakers: Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Mai Nguyen, California Center for Cooperative Development, and Nikki Marin Baena, Southern Reparations Loan Fund

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/8gljluzevxt8&eom

  1. Visionaries PBS Series Documentary: September 29, 2016, 5:30-7:00 pm Eastern Time

Highlights 7 Cooperative’s Stories in U.S. and Around World

• Location: Capital Visitors Center Washington, D.C.

• NCBA - Celebrating 100 years of service

  1. Department of Labor Online Skills Repository

The Department of Labor has launched an online skills repository, www.SkillsCommons.org.  Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grantees are required to openly license any learning materials developed through the grant and share those materials through this free and open repository, creating what has become the world’s largest Open Educational Resource (OER) project featuring job-driven workforce development materials, with more resources added regularly. SkillsCommons.org now contains learning materials and program support materials for job-driven workforce development in 16 high-demand fields including sectors within manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and information technology.  All 256 TAACCCT grantees, involving nearly 700 of the nation’s 1,100 community colleges, are contributing materials.  More than 6,000 resources are already available for download, featuring curricula for both short and long-term courses leading to industry-recognized credentials.  All teaching, learning, and supporting materials on SkillsCommons.org are available under a Creative Commons license that allows others to use and adapt the materials at no cost. 

Suzette's Letter, September 9, 2016


  1. 1.Bill to Promote Investment, Economic Development in Rural Areas

Legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) would extend tax credits to job creators in rural communities and take steps to roll back regulatory hurdles to rural economic growth.

  1. 2.Affordable Care Act Gives New Farmers the Freedom to Farm

Purpose: Provides a variety of affordable insurance plans specifically for rural Americans. An estimated eight out of ten may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for coverage. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.


  1. 3.First Census-Led Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs Finds Women, Minorities Are Underrepresented

Researchers of American entrepreneurship now have a timelier socio-economic portrait of the nation’s employer-owned businesses as a result of a public-private partnership between the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, and the Kauffman Foundation. Last week, data from the first Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs were made publicly available, which provides a detailed picture of the American entrepreneur in 2014 by examining race, ethnicity, gender, and geography. A brief released by the Census Bureau notes that more than 480,000 firms with paid employees (roughly 8.9 percent) of the 5.4 million U.S. firms with paid employees in 2014 had been in business for less than two years, according to the recent Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs data. Read more...

  1. 4.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibb1tQAAWmGnEaaTK6FGZ5aaaaTK6BL1OKLnaa?m=9@tF08w&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=KZ&5=&j=xflUwfvWklqgvk-s9y80~t" target="_blank">Improving Early Literacy in PreK-3: Lessons Learned
    Increasing the number of students reading at grade level by the third grade requires a coherent pre-K through third grade pathway, effective leadership, greater collaboration among teachers, and effective use of data, a report from the McKnight Foundation finds.... //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibb1tQAAWmGnEaaTK6FGZ5aaaaTK6BL1OKLnaa?m=9@tF08w&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Ka&5=&j=xflUwfvWklqgvk-s9y80~t" target="_blank">More  »
  1. 5.Faculty Position Announcement: Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension – Community Economic Development, Department of Human Ecology, UC Davis Campus.                            

The Department of Human Ecology, internationally recognized as a premier center of excellence in research, teaching, and extension, is seeking applications for a Specialist in Cooperative Extension (CE) at the Assistant rank in the field of Community Economic Development. The mission of the Department of Human Ecology is to develop and disseminate comprehensive basic and applied knowledge regarding the human ecology of people, place, and power. A Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist is being recruited to conduct original applied research resulting in information that can be applied toward effective community economic development strategies in California and to develop an extension education and outreach program that extends information to various clientele (e.g., elected officials, community-based organizations and economic development and/or planning agencies) including under-represented groups. Applications should be submitted on-line at http://recruit.ucdavis.edu/. Additional inquiries should be directed to Clare Gupta (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  1. 6.Ten percent of all land in farms is expected to be transferred during 2015-19

The relatively advanced age of the U.S. farming population—about a third of principal farm operators in 2014 were at least age 65 compared with 12 percent of self-employed workers in nonagricultural businesses—has sparked interest in the manner in which land will be transferred to other landowners, including the next generation of farm operators. Farmland owners planned to transfer 93 million acres in the next 5 years (2015-19)—10 percent of all land in farms—through a variety of means. Landowners anticipated selling 3.8 percent of all farmland, with just 2.3 percent planned to be sold to non-relatives. A larger share of land (6.5 percent) is expected to be transferred through trusts, gifts, and wills. The share of farmland available for purchase by non-relatives during 2015-19 will likely rise above 2.3 percent as some individuals (or entities) that inherit land may choose to sell it. And, those who inherit land but don’t sell it may decide to rent it out to farm operators. In 2014, 39 percent of all farmland was rented and 61 percent was owned by farm operators.

  1. 7.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcdbb4qQAAYyG6D6a40eFGZ5aaaa40eBL13FFaaa?r=4@0534z&h=Zkolpwlseho.sorZwlu_tgZ.xpgX.jly&;i=Hr&0=&o=skgkhtvz3y9xAx9" target="_blank">Rural Students Face Barriers to College Access, Study Finds

Students from rural communities who want to attend college face unique challenges in their pursuit of higher education, a study from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcdbb4qQAAYyG6D6a40eFGZ5aaaa40eBL13FFaaa?r=4@0534z&h=Zkolpwlseho.sorZwlu_tgZ.xpgX.jly&;i=Hs&0=&o=skgkhtvz3y9xAx9" target="_self">University of Georgia finds. Conducted by Darris R. Means, an assistant professor in the university's College of Education, the study included interviews with African-American students and staff members in a rural southeastern high school regarding their views of college and college access. While many students had parents who pushed them to go to college, that encouragement was tempered by a lack of resources. For instance, students felt they did not have access to academically rigorous classes or enough time with counselors who could help with the college admission process. They also felt constrained by pressure to attend a school closer to home for family reasons or felt out of place on campuses that lacked diversity. The study also found that in addition to geographic location, race plays a role in whether a student matriculates....

  1. 8.Prevalence of food insecurity in 2015 was lower than 2014, still above level before Great Recession

In 2015, 87.3 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the year. The remaining 12.7 percent (15.8 million households) were food insecure; they had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. The percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure declined from 14.0 percent in 2014. Additionally, in 2015, 5.0 percent of U.S. households (6.3 million households) had very low food security. In this more severe range of food insecurity, the food intake of some household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year due to limited resources. The rate, or prevalence, of very low food security in 2015 declined significantly from that in 2014 (5.6 percent). The 2015 declines in food insecurity and very low food security prevalence were the largest year-to-year changes in these rates since the two rates rose in 2008.

  1. 9.White House Announces Proposed New Rule for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Immigrant entrepreneurs would be allowed to remain in the United States for an initial period of up to two years, and, conditional upon meeting certain benchmarks, could potentially stay in the country for one additional period of up to three years under a newly proposed rule by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of the International Entrepreneur Rule, which is now open for a 45-day comment period, certain international entrepreneurs would have an opportunity to start or scale their businesses in the United States. In an official blog post by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation Tom Kalil and Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship Doug Rand, the authors note that the new reform would propose clear criteria to identify those entrepreneurs with the potential to provide significant public benefit to the United States. Evaluating entrepreneurs on a case-by-case basis, the proposed rule would consider factors such as: the entrepreneur’s ownership stake (at least 15 percent) and leadership role in the startup; the growth potential of the startup; competitive research grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state, and local government agencies provided to the firm; and the investment of at least $345,000 by qualified American investors. Read more...

  1. 10.Climate change is projected to cause declines and shifts in fieldcrop acreage across U.S. regions

Climate models predict U.S. agriculture will face changes in local patterns of precipitation and temperature over the next century. These climate changes will affect crop yields, crop-water demand, water-supply availability, farmer livelihoods, and consumer welfare. Using projections of temperature and precipitation under nine different scenarios, ERS research projects that climate change will result in a decline in national fieldcrop acreage in 2080 when measured relative to a scenario that assumes continuation of reference climate conditions (precipitation and temperature patterns averaged over 2001-08). Acreage trends show substantial variability across climate change scenarios and regions. When averaged over all climate scenarios, total acreage in the Mountain States, Pacific, and Southern Plains is projected to expand, while acreage in other regions--most notably the Corn Belt and Northern Plains--declines. Over half of all fieldcrop acreage in the U.S. is found in the Corn Belt and Northern Plains, and projected declines in these regions represent 2.1 percent of their combined acreage. Irrigated acreage for all regions is projected to decline, but in some regions increases in dryland acreage offset irrigated acreage losses. The acreage response reflects projected changes in regional irrigation supply as well as differential yield impacts and shifts in relative profitability across crops and production practices under the climate change scenarios.


  1. 1.Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Webcast: The Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

If you are an employer who is trying to comply, or if you are a third party administrator or insurer with questions about the Affordable Care Act or the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, this is your chance to hear from the experts and ask questions.  Join us for this webcast.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

September 14, 2016 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET

  1. 2.Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies at Work in Illinois | Thursday, September 15, 2016 | Noon - 1pm
    Economic Development requires effective, collaborative institutions focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector. Economic Development is essential to ensuring our economic future. Actively participating in regional Economic Development Districts to create Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies is working for both rural and urban communities throughout our state.

Darrin Fleener, economic development representative from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s Chicago regional office, will provide an overview of the regional planning process. Prior to EDA, Fleener worked for 13 years with the State of Oregon’s economic development department in project management, program development, government relations, and as a rural affairs policy advisor. His professional experience includes working in both urban and rural distressed communities.  Also presenting will be Jennifer Daly, CEO of Greater Peoria Economic Development District. Daly will share Peoria’s approach to creating a regionally driven economic development process as well as outcomes that have been achieved through this new strategy. There is no cost to attend the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. Register online to attend or contact Kathie Brown (309-255-9189, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

  1. 3.CSET 8.0 New User Webinar

ICS-CERT welcomes all industrial control systems owners and operators across all sectors to join us for an introductory webinar on using the Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET®), a free Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stand-alone desktop software that guides users through a step-by-step process to assess their control system and IT network security practices against recognized standards.

September 20, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET

  1. 4.Rural Business-Cooperative Service Informational Webinars

September is “Rural Development Month” at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is holding a series of informational webinars to share success stories and best practices on how customers and partner organizations have used RBS programs and resources to support businesses in rural and Tribal communities. Customers and stakeholders interested in learning more about RBS programs—and how customers have used our financing tools to support entrepreneurship—are encouraged to participate in this opportunity to engage with diverse partner organizations, ask questions, and learn more. For additional information, or to request special accommodations, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sept. 13, 2016 Asian-American/Pacific Islanders Business Development Success Stories

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Tim O’Connell, RBS Community Economic Development

Speaker: Tin Myaing Thein, Ph.D., Pacific Gateway Center

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/b5htudhc9x51&eom  


Sept. 14, 2016 Nature+Commerce: Recreational Business Development Success Stories 2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: AngelaCallie, RBS Community Economic Development

Speaker: Rob Riley, Northern Forest Center

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/5dapkg6w1z1p&eom 


Sept. 15, 2016 El Sueño de Ser Dueño de un Negocio - The Dream to be a Business Owner

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, RBS Cooperative Programs

Speakers: John Flory and Yolanda Cotterall, Latino Economic Development Center; Reggie Knoxx and Brett Malone, California FarmLink

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3bxtviuytrzo&eom  


Sept. 16, 2016 USDA Rural Development Programs for Native American Entrepreneurs

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Tedd Buelow, USDA Rural Development

Speakers: Tedd Buelow, USDA Rural Development,

Bill Hamilton, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Small Business Development Services

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/fjlpl2av6nfs&eom 


Sept. 20, 2016 Turning a National Guard Armory Into a Business Center (tentative)

2-3:30 pm EST Facilitator: Greg Dale, RBS Community Economic Development

Speaker: Brenda Tuck, Marengo County Economic Development Authority

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/268jju8giif9&eom

Sept. 22, 2016 Stronger Economies Together: Regional Planning & Business Development 2-3:30 pm EST Success Stories

Facilitator: Hiwot Gebremariam, RBS Community Economic Development

Speakers: Larry Wright, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension;

Janice Stroud-Bickes, USDA Rural Development in Virginia, Martha Walker, Virginia Tech University Cooperative Extension; Peggy Schlechter, South Dakota State University;

Paul Johnson, Jill Rees, USDA Rual Development in Oregon, Amanda Hoey, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (tentative)

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/53wa6i1fghb4&eom 


Sept. 27, 2016 Cooperatives as a Tool for Community Solutions

1-2:30 pm EST Facilitator: Margaret Bau, USDA Rural Development, Co-op Basics


Converting existing businesses to employee ownership, Rob Brown,

Cooperative Development Institute, Maine

Turning trailer parks into resident owned communities, Diane Gasaway,

Northwest Cooperative Development Center, Washington:

From farmworkers to farm owners, John Flory,

Latino Economic Development Center, Minnesota

Home care agencies as worker co-ops, Deborah Craig,

Northwest Cooperative Development Center, Washington

When the last grocery store closes, Marnie Thompson,

Fund 4 Democratic Communities, North Carolina

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/7y7n5ugyh3ka&eom 


Sept. 29, 2016 Local Food Financing and Cooperative Business Models

2-2:30 pm EST Speaker & Facilitator: Jim Barham, USDA Rural Development

Speaker: Margaret Bau, USDA Rural Development

Webinar/Audio: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2asq8uq2rmsd&eom


Suzette's Letter, August 19, 2016


  1. New Markets Tax Credit Public Data Release: 2003-2014 Summary Report

The CDFI Fund released data collected on New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments across the nation through fiscal year 2013. The CDFI Fund requires all Community Development Entities (CDEs) that have been awarded NMTC allocations to submit an annual report detailing how they invested Qualified Equity Investment (QEI) proceeds in low-income communities.

  1. New Efforts Implemented to Combat Opioid Abuse
    Aug 12, 2016 -- Indian Health Services (IHS) has implemented a policy which will require doctors and other medical practitioners to check State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program databases before prescribing or dispensing opioids for pain treatment lasting longer than a week. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs allow prescribing and dispensing medical practitioners to track opioid abusers and prevent them from going from doctor to doctor in an attempt to acquire more opioid pain medication. This is an especially important implementation for IHS because prescription opioid misuse is more than 2% higher among the American Indian population.
  1. White House Drug Policy Director Writes Governors about Need for Trained Doctors to Provide Treatment for the Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic in their States
    Aug 12, 2016 -- The Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, wrote to all 50 state governors concerning the need for more physicians to be trained and certified to treat opioid use disorders. In order to assist states in meeting this urgent need, the Obama Administration is offering free buprenorphine trainings for providers across the county and online as Medication-Assisted Treatment is more effective at helping people achieve long-term recovery. In February 2016, 1,498 counties did not have a single medical professional who could provide buprenorphine, with the majority of the need concentrated in rural areas. President Obama is also calling on Congress to provide $1.1 billion in new funding for states to help expand access to treatment for opioid use disorders.
    Source: The White House
  1. New Study Shows Communities Can Reduce the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences
    Aug 9, 2016 -- A study commissioned by the Adverse Childhood Experiences Public-Private Initiative (APPI) of Washington State found that communities can create effective local strategies to reduce the long-term problems related to abuse, neglect, and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), as evidenced by several communities in rural Washington detailed here. ACEs trigger a stress response which can create lasting damage on a child's developing brain, as well as increasing the risk of future social, emotional, and physical health problems.
    Source: Mathematica Policy Research
  1. //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LX&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_blank">Report Calls for 'Big Bet' on Reducing Unintended Pregnancies

A philanthropic investment of $1 billion in efforts to prevent unintended pregnancies could generate an economic return of between $3.2 billion and $6.4 billion for American children and families, a report from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LY&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Bridgespan Group finds. The report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=LZ&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Billion Dollar Bets: Reducing Unintended Pregnancies (21 pages, PDF), examines how philanthropy could support a nationwide effort to improve women's access to the most effective contraceptive methods and drastically lower the number of unintended pregnancies — one of the "billion dollar bets" //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=La&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">identified in an earlier Bridgespan report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Lb&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">"Billion Dollar Bets" to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American (33 pages, PDF). According to the report, nearly 38 percent of children born in the United States each year are unplanned, and rates of unintended pregnancies and births are higher among unmarried, African-American, less educated, and/or low-income women. The report also found that women who have unplanned or unintended pregnancies are more likely to lack access to information about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Previous research has shown that unplanned children are more likely to live in poverty, drop out of high school, and/or become teen parents themselves....


  1. //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Ld&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_blank">'Giving Days' Create Long-Term Gains for Community Foundations

One-day online fundraising events known as "Giving Days" not only raise millions of dollars for local charities but also help strengthen the community foundations that organize them for the long term, a report from the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Le&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">John S. and James L. Knight Foundation finds. The report, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcibbRjQAANxFeD6aBABxFGZ5aaaaBABxBL0GVVwaa?m=9@v-0-v&m=Upjqk1gxZmj.xjwU1gz_olU.2klS.og3&;d=Lf&5=&j=xflfmo0u8tCsEtC" target="_self">Beyond the Dollars: The Long-Term Value of Giving Days for Community Foundations (26 pages, PDF), evaluated a Knight Foundation initiative launched in 2012 that helped eighteen Giving Day organizers run forty-nine events over four years and found that the events mobilized the participation of 20,297 nonprofits and engaged 367,495 donors who made more than 600,000 donations totaling some $116.3 million. The report also found that Giving Day events boosted the visibility and credibility of community foundations among donors and nonprofits and helped position them as information and data-collection hubs for their local nonprofit communities. According to the report, 48 percent of the surveyed nonprofits and donors heard about their local community foundation for the first time as a result of a Giving Day, while 36 percent of donors said they made a larger donation as a result of a Giving Day than they would have otherwise....


  1. http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/08/12/using-data-for-social-good/">Using Data for Social Good

We are entering a new era of information openness and transparency.  Open data has the potential to spur economic innovation and social transformation.   Focusing just on economic impacts, in 2013, for example, the consulting firm McKinsey estimated the possible global value of open data to be over $3 trillion per year…

  1. Changing rural demographics contributed to rising child poverty

Using data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and a modified official poverty measure, ERS researchers found that rural child poverty rose from 18.7 percent in 2003 to 22.1 percent in 2014. The bulk of this 3.4-percentage point increase—3.2 percentage points—was due to rising income inequality, and not a decline in average incomes. A portion of this increase in inequality, in turn, was driven by changing rural demographics. An increase in the number of children in the average rural family raised poverty by 0.6 percentage points, while declines in the number of adults of prime working age and in the share of household heads that were married raised rural child poverty by 0.9 and 0.7 points, respectively. A slight increase in the average age of the household head helped reduce rural child poverty by 0.5 percentage points. The most beneficial demographic change was a rise in the share of rural household heads with a college degree, which rose from 15.8 to 19.5 percent, helping to reduce child poverty by 0.9 percentage points. The net impact of all these demographic changes was to contribute 0.9 percentage points towards the increase in rural child poverty.


  1. Health Extension Toolkit
    Intended for a wide audience and designed as a tool for states to use as they collaborate to improve the quality of primary care practices as well as community health, using a model based on the agricultural Cooperative Extension Service. Includes chapters on engagement, the Health Extension model, primary care, population health, and sustainability, and features profiles on lead states Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.
    Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  1. Redemption rates of WIC benefits at large stores differs across States

In fiscal 2015, 8 million women, infants, and children under age 5 participated in USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Participants in 48 States and the District of Columbia received paper vouchers or electronic benefit cards redeemable at authorized retail stores for a set of nutrient-rich supplemental foods. WIC participants in Mississippi pick up their WIC foods at distribution centers, and prior to 2016, Vermont participants had their WIC foods delivered to their homes. Using two USDA administrative data sources, a recent ERS report found that over three-fourths of the WIC benefits redeemed in stores in fiscal 2012 were redeemed at large stores (supercenters, supermarkets, and large grocery stores), ranging from 50 percent in California to 99 percent in Nevada. Large stores accounted for 91 percent or more of WIC retail redemptions in 17 States and 81-90 percent in 13 States. Other types of stores, such as medium and small grocery stores and WIC-only stores, account for a sizable share of WIC redemptions in some States.


  1. Learn More About the Benefits of NMTCs | New Markets Tax Credits Webinar - Last Chance to Register! August 25th 1-4pm EST

To many economic development practitioners, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) offers promise as a tool to get deals done - but understanding how to use it in an actual project is often very challenging. This course takes participants through a general understanding of the program to its detailed, step-by-step application in actual deals. NDC, as the recipient of one of the nation's largest, total NMTC allocations, is at the leading edge in developing and applying the best models for this powerful economic development tool.

  1. Mapping Broadband Health in America
    Mapping tool for visualizing broadband access, demographics, and health data at the national, state, and county levels. Includes a rural filter based on the percent of the population that is rural.
    Sponsoring organization: Federal Communications Commission

Suzette's Letter, August 5, 2016


  1. 1.Social Determinants of Health for Rural People
    This topic guide has been updated with new frequently asked questions and updated statistics. It focuses on the health inequities that rural resident’s experience. Learn how income-level, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing quality, and other factors impact health. The guide is maintained by Maren Niemeier, RHIhub Information Resources Manager.
  1. 2.//foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=J3&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_blank">Foundations Combine Forces to Improve Health Care, Reduce Costs

A coalition of five national health foundations has announced the launch of a collaboration aimed at transforming care delivery for chronically ill patients with the greatest need. In an article in the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=J4&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">New England Journal of Medicine, leaders of the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KV&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Commonwealth Fund, the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KW&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Peterson Center on Healthcare, and the //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KX&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">John A. Hartford, //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KY&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Scan, and //foundationcenter.hosted.strongview.com/t/gcfbbJmQAAIxEjD6aBAGtFGZ5aaaaBAGtBL-B42eaa?p=6@y74A4&j=Xmmnnyjucjm.umtXyjw_riX.zniV.lj0&;g=KZ&2=&m=uiiijrxx5w~vBv7" target="_self">Robert Wood Johnson foundations said their organizations would contribute resources in an effort to meet three urgent goals: help health system leaders and other stakeholders develop a deep understanding of the population of chronically ill patients and their needs; identify effective ways to deliver higher-quality, integrated care at a lower cost to that population; and accelerate the spread of those approaches across the country. In their article, the foundation leaders argued that their target population merits heightened attention both because it has complex and costly health and social care needs and because it is disproportionately affected by poor quality care. What's more, the need is urgent, they argue, because the number of such patients, many of them older adults, is growing....

  1. 3.Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study

Counting Values presents a set of financial and operational performance benchmarks for food hubs. This study aims to establish the basis for comparing results across a business sector that is both new and multipurpose.

  1. 4.HUD Publishes the Renewable Energy Toolkit for Affordable Housing

This toolkit enable recipients of HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) grants to integrate renewable energies into their affordable housing development programs under HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). Integration of renewable energy into affordable housing is important because it maintains affordability through reduced energy costs, which can facilitate improved operations and maintenance.

  1. Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
    Examines the characteristics of families eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) who receive WIC benefits compared to those who do not. Includes information on rural versus urban families participating in WIC. Identifies nonparticipating WIC-eligible families that could be targeted for outreach.
    Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
    Date: 2016
    1. 6.Food acquisition locations differ by household income and SNAP participation

Understanding where U.S. households acquire food, what they acquire, and what they pay is essential to identifying which food and nutrition policies might improve diet quality. USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) provides a complete picture of these key aspects during a 7-day period in 2012 by including both food at home and food away from home acquisitions. Higher-income households are more likely to visit large grocery stores (88 versus 83 percent) and small or specialty food stores (20 versus 14-15 percent) than households that participate in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and lower-income non-SNAP households. SNAP households are more likely to report an acquisition in the ‘all other stores’ category compared with both non-SNAP groups (51 versus 39-41 percent), which includes convenience stores, gas stations, and pharmacies. Considering food away from home, SNAP households are least likely to visit restaurants/other eating places when compared to lower-income non-SNAP and higher-income households. In addition, a larger share of SNAP households obtain food from schools (20 percent) than lower-income non-SNAP households (12 percent) and higher-income households (14 percent). Finally, higher-income households are twice as likely to get food from work than the other two groups, which is not surprising given their greater employment rates. The data for this chart can be found in the ERS report, Where Households Get Food in a Typical Week: Findings from USDA’s FoodAPS, released on July 27, 2016.


  1. 1.What Works? Strategies to Improve Rural Health
    A guide for rural community health improvement. Explains how to find strategies that are likely to be effective. Identifies interventions related to health behaviors, healthcare access and quality, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.
    Sponsoring organization: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
    Date: 07/2016
  1. 2.EPA Round-Table Discussion for Environmental Justice Communities on the Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

The U.S. EPA is providing a round-table discussion for Environmental Justice Communities as an opportunity to share information, find common ground, work collaboratively with community groups, and acknowledge stakeholders perspectives on a variety of topics about the Presidents Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan.

Event Details: You must register to attend this event. Register Here.

Who Should Attend: Environmental Justice Communities and Organizations

When: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time: 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CDT)

Location: EPA Region 5 -- Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, Lake Michigan Room (77 West Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604)

Cost: FREE (There is Limited Seating Available. First Come, First Served)

  1. 3.Announcing OBLR's "Leveraging for Brownfields Revitalization" Webinar Series

The Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization (OBLR) is proud to announce a webinar series focusing on tools and best practices for assisting communities in successfully leveraging resources for brownfields revitalization. Individual webinars will provide useful information for communities on how to establish effective strategies to build support for revitalization projects, and how to use existing resources to attract additional funding for critical community revitalization projects. The "Meet the Funders" webinars in the series will highlight funding resources and technical assistance available from specific federal agencies or from philanthropic organizations.



Our FB Feed