The NERCRD will continue to conduct and facilitate integrated research and extension activities to enhance the social and economic well-being of rural people and their communities in the Northeast US. We will leverage and document the impact of the Center's work in the area of community capacity building, and extend knowledge acquired in these areas to colleagues and collaborators within the region. As in the last year, we will focus on three key subject matter areas, which align with the USDA/NIFA priorities as follows: entrepreneurship and job creation, including within the green economy; local and regional foods production systems, including their relationships to childhood obesity, food safety and capacity to feed the region and world; and land use and balanced use of natural resources, an area that addresses trade-offs between alternative forms of energy use and development, among other issues. The most recent data available show continued job losses between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2009 in the rural northeast and pronounced job losses in West Virginia as well as Maryland and Delaware. Population loss through out-migration remains an important issue in the region, and as rural areas lose jobs and residents, those remaining behind often desperately seek new sources of income and employment growth while dealing with adjustment costs resulting from lower population densities. Homegrown entrepreneurship promises to be one key to sustaining or even growing rural economies. Programs and activities directed at future entrepreneurs, that is, today's youth entrepreneurs, are more important than ever before. We will continue to actively identify, create and disseminate related resource materials over the upcoming year as part of our outreach thrust. Center Staff will continue to provide support to the national Youth Entrepreneurship initiative originally launched by the Center in June 2008. As a contribution to family and consumer sciences, we will collaborate with experts in assessing how factors such as the food store environment and nutrition education programs influence food choices and obesity rates. The goal of these activities is to develop and disseminate science-based knowledge about how to grow and increase the resiliency of the infrastructure required to support the food system in the Northeast US. Water (and climate change) issues, and the implications of climate change for agriculture, clearly remain as key issues in the Northeast. We are in the process of exploring with colleagues opportunities for research and outreach in this area; the Center's expected contribution will lie in conceptualizing and analyzing rural and community development consequences of such a potential ruling, and in helping to develop science-based resources for communities and practitioners affected. In addition, we will continue to be involved as partners and facilitators where appropriate to experts and educators, working on the Marcellus Shale across NY, MD, WV and we will continue to support as appropriate efforts to develop bioenergy-based products in the Northeast. The NERCRD project focuses on regional issues that also have a national impact.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/11 → 8/31/14|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $237,524.00