John McKissick, University of Georgia
Warren McCord, Auburn University
Clark Garland, University of Tennessee
Mike Woods, Oklahoma State University
Virgil Culver, Mississippi State University
Greg Taylor, Texas A&M University
Bonnie Teater, Southern Rural Development Center
Bo Beaulieu, Southern Rural Development Center
Sally Maggard, USDA CSREES
Larry Arrington, University of Florida
Ernie Hughes, Southern University
Deborah Tootle, Louisiana State University
Rick Maurer, University of Kentucky
Gae Broadwater, Kentucky State University
Hank Cothran, University of Florida
Charles Sheppherd, Alcorn State University
Carmen Gonzales, University of Puerto Rico
Brian Calhoun, Virginia Tech University
Ed Jones, North Carolina State University
Tony Windham, University of Arkansas
Alfred Wade, Prairie View A&M University
Joe McGilberry, Mississippi State University
Alan Barefield, SRDC & Mississippi State University
Alan Barefield (Chair) opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. We began by making introductions and state reports. Bonnie Teater asked that all state reports be sent to her. Alan requested help in taking notes as we no longer have a secretary. Advisor Reports:Larry Arrington and Alfred Wade provided the advisor reports. Larry reported that the Directors support expansion of CRD efforts. Support from the Directors should be enhanced with (a) our active participation in the Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project (CECP) and (b) development of a certification process for CD (CRD) Agents. Alfred gave a report from the Association of Extension Administrators. They are pleased with the progress we are making in identifying competencies. The CD area is keeping up with the other programming areas.CSREES Report:Sally Maggard, the National Program Leader, made the CSREES report.PLC Report:Ed Jones provided the PLC report. Our charges from PLC are to have revisions to our work plan completed and to them by 5:00 Tuesday, August, 26. PLC action items also need to be in by this time.SRDC Report:Bo Beaulieu gave the SRDC report, beginning with a brief description of the Regional Rural Development Centers annual report to legislators. Other items include:
SARE/SRDC Sustainable Community Innovation Grants. These grants constitute a joint effort by SARE (Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research Education Program) and SRDC to strengthen the linkages between the agricultural sector and rural community development. Other Regional Centers are following suit. Southern SARE is beginning to put major funding into larger community initiatives.Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI). Bo handed out copies of the Year 1 Report to the Ford Foundation. This initiative was originally funded for two years. In the second year, Ford asked SRDC to put together a Year 3 and 4 proposal.Pew Partnership. SRDC has become a national partner of the Pew Partnership. SRDC organized a Leadership Plenty team, sending Gay Broadwater and Hank Cothran as team members. The team will modify Leadership Plenty to fit our particular needs and strengths.The Southern Growth Policies Board (SGPB) is also a national partner and we will work with them. Every year, SGPB has a different theme. This year it is leadership. Policy Issues for the 21st Century. SRDC is rethinking/repackaging this policy series, perhaps by looking at workforce issues and education. The policy series will change over time, as different issues and themes emerge. CD program leaders should think about writing pieces and submitting them to SRDC for publication in this series.E-Commerce. Last year SRDC received authorization for funding and will be receiving this funding shortly. Funding will be allocated to two or three major efforts in Mississippi, New Mexico and Nebraska. These states played key roles in the e-commerce efforts. They will use some of the funding for training in e-commerce and efforts will be targeted to small and micro businesses.
Foundation for the MidSouth . Bo, Bonnie Teater and Alan Barefield met with the CES Directors of Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi to begin a process for support from some of the national rural funders (i.e., Sam Walton, Ford, Kellogg, Hurst). Basically, the national rural funders do not have a high opinion of the Land-Grant universities. SRDC argued that the groups they work with are responsive to critical issues. The Foundation for the Mid South has accepted the challenge and will provide some funding for the Master Farmers program in these three states. This process may be a model for other states to follow. SRDC can manage the grants and allow the universities to subcontract with them. SRDC doesn't have to charge the high overhead that universities charge and to which foundations object.
State Reports:John McKissick (University of Georgia)
- Determining hiring scheme for filling positions
- Under restructuring; will find out more this week
Warren McCord (Auburn University)
- Budget shortfallIncentive retirements will cause the loss of 70 peopleLosing McCord, Harry Strawn, and workforce development personSeptember 8 referendum on $1.2 billion tax increase package; this will probably failIf it fails, there will be tremendous cuts in state agenciesSearching for 3 assistant directors/program leaders: CRD/FCS, 4-H, ANRRestructuring has lead to a modified Mississippi model with a network of expert agents
- County coordinator will be responsible for CRDThese coordinators must be trained and will be evaluated on their CRD performance
- Sixteen core disciplines for expert agents
Clark Garland (University of Tennessee)
- Area farm management specialists doing business management work in a maintenance modeResource development emphasis is on water qualityHave received salary adjustments; this will probably end with the resignation of the presidentKentucky-Tennessee Institute for Sustainable Development - Plans are well underway for the second Institute patterned after the successful 2002 Institute in Jabez, KY. It will be held April 13-15 and October 19-21, 2004 at Paris Landing State Park, TNTennessee's Envirothon Challenge - The Envirothon has been described as an environmental Olympics. Teams of three to five high school students learn about five natural resource areas and compete in solving real world problems. In addition to learning about an array of environmental issues, participants learn about effectively working in teams. Extension faculty prepare study material and conduct challenges at both the regional and the state levels. More than 600 high school students and their teacher-coaches participate annually, learning bout and applying knowledge of natural resource issues while developing leadership capabilities.Forestry field days - A team of Agricultural Extension Service agents in middle Tennessee conducted Forestry Field Days to increase the use of best management practices (BMPs) in forest management and timber harvest. The program emphasizes BMPs that generate economic benefits while reducing soil erosion that degrades water quality. Based on participant surveys, projected savings totaled $443,000 or about $42.55 per acre. Increased incomes and improved water quality both create community benefits.Introduction to Stream Restoration and Storm Water BMP Workshops - The Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service collaborated in planning and conducting an Introduction to Stream Restoration workshop and Storm Water BMP Academy with Extension educators, federal agencies and state organizations from North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama as well as Tennessee. The workshops were held in Huntsville, AL. The stream workshop had 48 participants and the storm water activity had 28 participants. The audience was diverse and included individuals ranging from private businesses to non-project groups to local, state and federal agencies. Evaluations from both workshops were all highly positive, citing the information provided as practical, useful and necessary for improved natural resource management. Two multi-state stream restoration workshops are planned for Tennessee, building on the partnerships and experiences of these programs.
- State Rural Development Committee - The Committee continues to give leadership to rural development and provides a forum for communications and collaboration among member agencies. Hickman County received the annual committee award in 2003 for their successful efforts to create a new fairgrounds and community pavilion. Lewis County was selected as a pilot area for targeted assistance. Efforts to date include a youth entrepreneurship workshop, an adult leadership development program, and the development of a strategic plan. The committee is committed to a five year effort in Lewis County.
Mike Woods (Oklahoma State University)
- Early retirements are being encouragedRestructuring occurring at the University levelRestructuring and refocus is likely at the Division of Agriculture levelContinued strong interest and support for community and economic development at the division levelJoe Williams is heading initiative that includes leadership development
- Joyce Williams (Human Resource person) is focusing on community development
Virgil Culver (Mississippi State University)
- Continued optimism over Extension restructuringThere are currently spots for four area Enterprise and Community Resource Development agents. There is currently one vacancy that should be announced soon.New staff has been hired - Joe Jordan (Food and Fiber Center), Paige Manning (Community Resource Development), Chance McDavid (Community Resource Development), and Garen Evans (Community Resource Development)Vacancy for Associate Director and Ag and Natural Resources State Program Leader
- Legislature has proposed pay raises, but there is a budget shortfall
Greg Taylor (Texas A&M University)
- Title change from State Program Leader to Associate Director for Community ProgramsRedesignations of district directors' positions; these positions are now focused on administration instead of programsRegional program director positions have been created and filledConnection between county and state programs must be strengthenedNeed to have a method to recognize CRD work and accomplishmentsHave had budgetary problems, Extension has had a 5% cut. This is relatively small compared to the Experiment Station and the rest of the UniversityWill lose about 10% of Extension workforce to early retirement or Reduction-In-ForceTry to maintain strong programming focus
- Established rural development agent in far west Texas funded from County Commissioners' Court
Bonnie Teater (Southern Rural Development Center)
- Curriculum position for e-commerce grant will be announced soon
Larry Arrington (University of Florida)
- Advertising for Teaching/Extension split community development specialistEconomic development agent in the panhandleBudget cut this year and probably next year as wellCounty support keeps growing
- Problem is how to move to regional agents and not lose county money
Ernie Hughes (Southern University)
- Established Ag Center as the 5th campusSmall staff at Southern, so developing partnerships is imperative
- A main partnership is with faith-based organizations
- Budget is always a concernNational Congress for Community and Economic Development to develop study for LouisianaResource manual for Community Development Corporations being developedWorking with advisory committees
- Community development remains the hottest growth area in Extension
Deborah Tootle (Louisiana State University)
- Designated as the State Program Leader for Community and Economic DevelopmentRestructuring and merging research and extension functionsState clientele has told them that there is a need for economic development programmingNetwork of area agents has been formed and positions have been filled
- Agents must have masters degree
- Must complete 15 hours of Community Economic Development academic work
- Natural resource initiative - work with farmers and landowners to find alternative land usesMulti-state work with Mississippi and Arkansas
- Looking for director for Rural Development Center
Rick Maurer (University of Kentucky)Gae Broadwater (Kentucky State University)
- New communities project
- Community Entrepreneurship projectGrassroots entrepreneurs, education providers involved
- Program originally developed by Tony Smith
- Working with Cabinet of Economic Development on Business Retention and Expansion programsCounties are working on Economic Development plans with volunteersNext round of KY/TN Institute for Sustainable Development to be held in April and October, 2004Working with Pew Center for Civic Engagement on Leadership PlentyOrganizational capacity is being stretched across the boardContinued visible and active Women in Agriculture program - currently organizing as 501(c)3Doing community mapping using handhelds through GIS
- 1890 Association of Extension Administrators adult leadership website
Hank Cothran (University of Florida)
- Teaching/extension community development specialist position openMassive panhandle develop due to paper companies developing timberland holdings - Who is going to dictate the future of small, rural panhandle communities in the wake of high dollar development
- Water wars are underway in the form of proposals to take water from North Florida to South Florida
Charles Shepphard (Alcorn State University)
- Budget shortfallsNew administrator (Dalton McAfee)Vacancy for economic development specialistWorking closely with Mississippi Minority Business AllianceFamily Assessment tool to improve the quality of life for limited resource and minority families
- Involved in the 1890 leadership development program
Carmen Gonzales (University of Puerto Rico)
- Carmen has been the community development program leader for one yearDifferent types of problems than are occurring in the mainlandGovernment policies have identified 686 "special communities" that have needsNeed Spanish publications and websitesChallenges
- Large numbers of people in small spacesDrinking water quality a problem - need basic trainingLot of issues regarding environmental impactHuge demand for land for multiple uses
- How do low-income communities defend themselves
- Downtown areas are becoming vacant ghost townsLarge chain stores such as WalMart, Home Depot are moving in and putting small businesses out of businessCoffee is #3 industry - weak link is lack of workers
- Developed course to training farm workers so they can stay in farming by being trained to work in different types of agricultural enterprises
- Courses include citrus, starchy crops, coffee, hydroponics
- Strong relationship between Extension and Labor Department because Extension is helping to keep the farmers farming
Brian Calhoun (Virginia Tech University)
- Community Initiatives directorCommunity Initiatives focus has been added to FCSVirginia base programs
- 4-HFamily and Community ScienceFood, Nutrition and Health
- Ag and Natural Resources
- Skeletal staff situation in CICommunity Initiatives is not a program area; it is included in all program areasWorking with Economic Development Assistance Centers and other outreach centersHiring 6 community initiatives specialistsThese specialists will serve as brokers of the university's resources
- Development local Community Development Academies
Ed Jones (North Carolina State University)
- No major restructuringNetworking with other organizations is a priorityMajor effort in non-profits - new non-profit center located at North Carolina State UniversityVariety of projects with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - building partnerships to do community educationCounty Extension Director has organized a community development institute for local citizens
- Had 3% budget cut
Tony Windham (University of Arkansas)
- Community Development has been merged with Agricultural EconomicsTony is providing administrative supportBudget problems are coming$800 - $900 million needed to solve school inequity and inadequacy problemsEarly retirement program in progress - will lose 25 positionsArkansas Procurement Assistance Center - center that helps business secure contracts with the government
- Looking for a new director for this center
- Tri State effort
- Delta Regional Authority grant was unsuccessful
- MS, AR, and LA meeting to discuss where to go from here
- Want to get involved in public policy education - wants to deal with issues in voter referendums
Alfred Wade (Prairie View A&M University)
- Providing leadership for Community and Economic DevelopmentHired 2 agents to work specifically in CED
- All agents have CED responsibilities
Joe McGilberry (Mississippi State University)
- Can't separate program areas; Extension Services must work as one unitHas spent more time talking with farmers about community development issues than anything elseNeed community infrastructure to support agricultural businesses
- Examining how Mississippi State can be a more engaged university
CRED Regional and National Efforts:Southern CRED Conference. Virgil Culver handed out a preliminary plan for New Beginnings - New Horizons, the 2004 Southern Region Community Development Educators Conference. The conference will be held May 19-21 in Tampa, FL. The planning team is building the conference around topical areas that reflect Southern CRED focus areas. We identified leaders for each of these topical areas and each leader will assemble a team or committee to organize and build sessions. Team leaders and preliminary issues associated with each topic are as follows:
Leadership and Civic Engagement--Deborah Tootle (community change and development, social capital, assets, diversity, public issues education, visioning, participatory decision making, leadership skills, developing and implementing community action plans)Economic Development Strategies--Mike Woods (community economic analysis, tourism, downtown development, home-based and micro enterprise development, e-commerce, BR&E)Education and Workforce Development-Carmen Gonzalez (youth and adult workforce preparation, service learning, changing labor force, debt and income management, etc.) Natural Resources / Environment-Ed Jones (tax base changes, growth management, impact analysis, watershed planning, property rights, agricultural land preservation,decision making, etc)Community Services-Ernie Hughes (health, housing, transportation, schools, water, public safety, etc). Decision Making Tools--Bo Beaulieu (leadership, visioning, conflict resolution, strategic planning, asset mapping, public issues education, community design, collaboration etc).
Local Government-Notie Lansford (managing public resources, leadership information and data, multi-community collaboration, service provision, etc.)
The next steps are (1) to identify any missing issues that would go into each of these 7 categories and then (2) identify individuals to serve on a Track Team. Virgil urged everyone to make serious efforts to get directors and program directors to the conference.National CRED Base Team. Greg Taylor reported that under ECOP restructuring, there are no more base teams. However, they will be recognized as long as they want to work together. National CRED Association. Greg Taylor began the discussion of the development of a professional CRD association, the need for which comes from the field. Information about the association will be sent to State Directors and will be promoted at Galaxy. Bonnie Teater went over the activities for Galaxy.Southern CRED Certification. Bo Beaulieu handed out a draft of the Southern Region Community Development Educator Certification Program (see handout). The major questions that emerged in the discussion concerned (1) issues relating to testing and/or other methods of qualification, (2) whether certification will have an effect on salaries, and (3) whether there is a need for certification given the other organizations providing economic developer certification. The group agreed that this certification is unique to CD educators and is needed. We will have to get the Directors to endorse the further development of this process. CECP Curriculum/E-Extension:
Alan Barefield and Gae Broadwater began the discussion on CECP (Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project) curriculum, competency areas and their relationships to e-extension. We reviewed the draft of the competency areas that Alan had assembled and realized that most of us were not clear on what was expected in this process. CECP at this point is designed to be an educational tool for CES faculty and is not meant for public consumption (as is E-Extension). At some point both of these media will be merged. We need to elect someone from the group to the CECP Steering Committee. However, we decided to table this discussion until Tuesday which would give everyone some time to read through the CECP Guidebook and develop a better understanding of CECP.
Bo Beaulieu, Bonnie Teater and Hank Cothran reported briefly on the upcoming Business Skills Training (September 2003), Southern Institute for Rural Development (sponsored by USDA, September 2003), and the National Tourism Conference (September 2004).
SRDC handed out a report from their survey on the training needs in the Southern region and we discussed different formats for program delivery. We agreed that "bundling" similar courses would probably be the most efficient means of program delivery. We identified three "bundles" or tracts and teams to develop the curricula and delivery method (including the possibility of pre-work) for each track. The tracks and team members (the first name listed is the team leader) are as follows:
Civic Engagement - Deborah Tootle, Greg Taylor, Gae Broadwater and Bo Beaulieu. We are organizing this track for Spring 2004.
Economic Diversity (Business) - Mike Woods, Virgil Culver, Ernie Hughes, Alan Barefield, John McKissick. We are organizing this track for Fall 2004.
Decision Making Tools - Bo Beaulieu, Hank Cothran, Rick Maurer, Deborah Tootle, Alan Barefield, Charles Shepphard. We are organizing this track for Spring 2005.
Joint Meeting with ANR Program Leaders:
Bill Cook, from Mississippi State provided a program on GIS and why it is important. The Southern Region will be offering GIS training at some point, both as a tool within the Decision Making Tools bundle, and as a stand-alone training. CD and ANR discussed the value of GIS in our work (applicable to multiple subject and concept areas, as well as interdisciplinary work). Ed Jones discussed the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) and Sally Maggard talked about how Homeland Security is becoming a top priority for funding in CSREES. Ed Jones also talked about the animal recovery and disaster program at North Carolina (for farm and companion animals).
Meeting with PSD on Certification Guidelines:
Bo Beaulieu introduced the draft of SRDCE Certification Program. Program and Staff Development raised the following issues: substitution of courses, grandfathering in of courses (no more than 5 years ago and a grade of B or better), whether this certification program would be open to those outside of CES (at this time, no), whether SRDC would put together a list of courses or guidelines for courses that would automatically be approved, relevance of the certification, and how this certification would be "branded" (i.e., MsState and SRDC or LSU and SRDC)
Continuation of CRD Meeting:
Alan Barefield reported that SRDC needs to update on-line information. Bonnie Teater asked that we send in updates for the consortia.
Continuation of CECP Discussion. We discussed what modules we need to develop for CECP. One of the important issues that we need to address is about what type of support (technical and financial) that we will have to do this. Ron Brown said they are not yet sure; the CECP Steering Committee will have to discuss this. He suggested we put new curricula on-line. However, Greg Taylor reminded us that we have some curricula that need to go up now. We decided the easiest way to develop our modules is to get each of our curriculum bundle teams (track teams) to develop the appropriate modules for each track. We will go ahead, develop and post two modules within the decision making tools track: asset mapping (Bo Beaulieu) and survey design (Deborah Tootle with Glenn Israel and Mike Woods).
Work Plan Development:
We put together the 2002 work plan and assigned responsibilities and time frames for each task:
- Develop CECP module on community asset mapping (Bo Beaulieu - March 2004) and survey design (Deborah Tootle and Mike Woods - March 2004).
- Organize planning teams and develop materials for training in economic diversity (Mike Woods - Spring 2004).
- Organize planning teams and develop materials for training in civic engagement and leadership (Deborah Tootle - Spring 2004).
- Organize planning teams and develop materials for training in community decision making tools (Bo Beaulieu - Fall 2004).
- Develop and implement CDE certification program (SRDC - May 2004).
- Perform central role in establishing professional CES CD society (Committee - Dec 2003).
- Refine CECP competencies (Committee - August 2004).
- Update SRDC Rural Development Consortium membership (Committee and Bonnie Teater - Dec 2003).
- Update SRDC website Land-Grant resources (Committee and Emily Shaw - ongoing)
- Strengthen and expand partnerships with entities involved in rural development (SRDC and committee - ongoing).
- Revise national training for BR and E (RRDCs, Hank Cothran and team - June 2003).
- Expand leadership training curricula (Bo Beaulieu and others on Leadership Plenty - March 03).
The Committee met to write up these information and action items. For future reference, action items are those items we want PLC or DC to address.
New officers for 2003-2004. The nominations committee (Greg Taylor, Mike Woods and Rick Maurer) nominated Hank Cothran as Chair, Charles Shepphard as Vice chair and Deborah Tootle as Secretary. The Committee accepted all nominations by acclamation.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Conference Call Dates:
Conference calls are the last working day of alternate months and for 2003-2004 are as follows: October 31, January 30, March 31, May (meet at conference) and July 30.
Charles Shepphard and Ed Jones gave the PLC report. In answer to one of our questions, having a meeting does not require approval. It should be expressed as an information item as opposed to an action item.
There was much discussion about the certification process in PLC. Some of the concerns reflected the tendency for other substantive areas to develop a similar process and whether or not PLC should endorse the program before it is completed. Charles and Ed argued (1) that CD needs a certification process more than the other areas because CD educators come from diverse backgrounds rather than a single disciplinary area and (2) we are just asking PLC to endorse the process of developing a program for certification. The Directors are interested in the certification program and the issue passed PLC and will go on to the DC. Ed was elected Vice Chair of PLC. Gloria Mosby is Chair.
PLC discussed CECP and the support needed by each Committee. Communications and Information Technology decided to split into two groups and PLC approved.
This is Warren McCord's last meeting. Greg Taylor asked Warren if he would write a history of the Committee, which began in 1968. Warren will try to do this, but it will depend on what information he can find. No one knows where the historical minutes are as they have passed around from state to state. Although it would be interesting to have a history of the Committee, Warren encouraged us to be looking forward, not backwards. Warren summed up our progress over the last few years in this statement "Our ship has come in, but the money's at the airport."
Bo Beaulieu spoke about the SRDC Technical Advisory Committee and asked if there are any other substantive areas they need to be pursuing? The Committee recommended that SRDC start looking at the wildland-urban interface, entrepreneurial infrastructure and the increasing Hispanic population.
The meeting was adjourned.
UPDATE AND LIAISON REPORT
Southern PLC-CRD Meeting
CSREES Administrator's Report to the Partnership
Colien Hefferan, CSREES Administrator, presented her Summer 2003 Report to the Partnership at the July Joint COPS (AHS) meeting in New Jersey. Highlights of her report follow, with additional background information. (See CSREES website for the full report at http://www.reeusda.gov.)
Emphasis in recent years has been on aligning CSREES with the USDA Strategic
Plan (the USDA website version is not the most current) and the President's
The new USDA Strategic Plan centers around 5 elements:
Expanding agricultural markets and reducing trade barriers;
- expanding economic opportunities in rural America;
- reducing food-borne illness incidents, agricultural pests and disease;
- improving food's nutritional value and promoting healthy choices;
- improving natural resource management.
The President's Management Agenda (PMA) includes four Initiatives:
- Improve Human Capital Management- efficient, high-performing, diverse, competitively sourced workforce aligned with mission priorities and working cooperatively with USDA partners and the private sector
- Improve Financial Management- enhance internal controls, data integrity, management information, and program and policy improvements
- Expand Electronic Government - implement business processes and information technology needed to make services available electronically
- Establish Budget and Performance Integration- link budget decisions and program priorities more closely with program performance, and recognize the full cost of programs.
Priority Areas for New '05 Money
CSREES, in line REE mission area priorities, has identified for program development. It integrates budget with performance goals. ECS staff is developing a presentation for the CSREES Executive Council on how its existing portfolio of programs relates to the areas. They are:
- Homeland Security
- Nutrition - Obesity
- Higher Education - minority serving institutions
- Research on:
- Emerging infectious diseases and invasive species
- Emerging issues in food safety
- Air quality
Competitive Programs 5-year Plan
Competitive Programs staff developed a 5-year draft plan to link all CSREES competitive programs around strategic issues identified by the agency. These strategic issues are:
- Genomics and Future Food and Fiber Production and Quality
- Natural Resources and Environmental Quality
- Obesity, Human Nutrition and Food Science
- Agricultural Opportunity & Rural Prosperity
- Agricultural Security
NRI Supplemental Funding RFA
A request for applications (RFA) for $30 million in supplemental funding under the National Research Initiative (NRI) competitive grants program was announced (applications due by 5:00 pm EST July 30). The Administrator explained in a recent CSREES Update that these programs build on a foundation of ongoing research addressing key issues of national and regional importance to agriculture, forestry, human nutrition, and related sciences. Five new programs were targeted:
- functional genomics;
- human nutrition and obesity;
- air quality;
- animal and plant biosecurity;
- training for agricultural homeland security.
NRI changes in Markets & Trade and Rural Development
CSREES has decided to change the "floor" and "ceiling" funding levels for these two programs in the NRI. For the funding cycle ending December 2003, the floor is raised to $300,000 and a ceiling is set at $500,000. Pat Hipple, program director for these grants, notes that the budget for the programs remains the same. Therefore, fewer but larger grants will be allocated. Priority will go to multi-institution and multi-disciplinary proposals. The website has not been updated to reflect these funding levels. For more information, contact: National Program Leader / Patricia Hipple / 202-401-2185 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Data reporting and database establishment
CSREES is also developing major operation functions that will consolidate data collection and database management. This includes developing a "CRIS"like code system to capture Extension activities and formula fund impacts.
USDA Agencies and National Rural Funders Collaborative Sign Statement of Cooperation
On June 10, 2003, four USDA agencies and the National Rural Funders Collaborative (NRFC) signed a Statement of Cooperation to announce their intent to work together on behalf of rural families and communities. Held in Washington, D.C. at USDA, the signing launches a unique public-private partnership between the philanthropic community and federal agencies. Over the past twelve months, partners to the agreement worked to identify ways to link programs, research, education, and outreach activities at the local, state, and national levels. The resulting collaborations, launched at the June 10 event, will expand resources available to rural Americans and support comprehensive, locally-led community and economic development initiatives.
Signing the agreement for the USDA agencies were Luis Luna, Deputy Administrator, USDA/Rural Development - Office of Community Development; Jose Acevedo, Deputy Chief for Programs, NRCS; Rita Stevens, Assistant Director, Cooperative Forestry on behalf of Director Larry Payne; Dan Kugler and Alma Hobbs, CSREES. Signing for the National Rural Funders Collaborative were Jim Richardson, NRFC Executive Director, and Shari Berenbach, Executive Director, Calvert Social Investment Foundation, Rick Foster, Vice President, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was also present for the signing.
The NRFC is a ten-year initiative supported by over a dozen private foundations including the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundation, Calvert Social Investment Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fannie Mae Foundation, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, F.B. Heron Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, W.K. KelloggFoundation, and Lumina Foundation for Education. The NRFC and the USDA partners share the goals of expanding opportunity and improving the quality of life for rural citizens.