The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development conducts and facilitates integrated research and extension activities to enhance the social and economic well-being of rural people and their communities in the Northeast US. The project will focus on three key regional issue areas that also have a national impact: entrepreneurship and job creation; local and regional foods production systems; and land use and balanced use of natural resources. As rural areas throughout the Northeast continue to lose jobs and residents, those remaining behind often desperately seek new sources of income and employment growth. The most recent (October 2009) statistics reveal very high unemployment rates across rural counties in the region. Only a handful of counties have rates below five percent and these are largely home to a land grant university. Homegrown entrepreneurship promises to be one key to sustaining rural economies (Goetz 2008; Henderson and Weiler 2010). Even more important will be programs and activities directed at future entrepreneurs, that is, today's young entrepreneurs. A number of our research efforts in this area shed light on the underlying county-level employment and migration dynamics, and the insights gained from this research can produce policy recommendations that have the potential to moderate drastic population loss patterns in the future. We will continue to actively identify, create and disseminate related resource materials over the upcoming year as part of our outreach thrust. In the rapidly expanding area of local and regional food, we will carry out research and analysis that promises to provide important knowledge about how to sustain and grow the infrastructure required to expand the food system in the Northeast US. Through strategic partnerships of experts in the region we are poised to generate the science-based resources and other training materials that our stakeholders require to make balanced and informed decisions about the many opportunities associated with local and regional food systems. We will continue to collaborate with various partners on an ARC-funded water quality project that will measure economic values of water supplies in the Appalachian Region as well as costs and benefits of alternative water use strategies. Over the next year The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development will continue to serve in its primary capacity of convening experts and educators in the region with the specific goals of improving flows and exchanges of information; enhancing the capacity of the land grant system to engage effectively the pressing problems facing communities while eliminating duplication of effort and programs and; of increasing importance, forming teams around critical emerging issues to develop grant proposals that will lead to increased flows of resources into the region. One particularly important new dissemination tool we will use is that of webinars.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/10 → 8/31/13|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $312,256.00