CRD- December 2006
Conference Call
Friday December 1, 2006

Attending were:

Ntam Baharanyi, Tuskegee University
Alan Barefield, SRDC/Mississippi State University
Bo Beaulieu, SRDC
Henry Findlay, Tuskegee University
Steve Isaacs, University of Kentucky
Emily Shaw, SRDC
Greg Taylor, Texas Cooperative Extension
Sandra Harris Thompson, Florida A&M University
Deborah Tootle, University of Arkansas
Louis Whitesides, South Carolina State University
Michael Wilcox, University of Tennessee
Tony Windham, University of Arkansas

PLC Update - Tony Windham

The PLC committee held their mid-year meeting via Centra on November 30 in place of their traditional face-to-face meeting in Atlanta. The discussion revolved around the 2007 meeting in Louisville, KY. A subcommittee has been formed to develop the agenda. Though a theme was discussed, nothing has been finalized. There was also discussion regarding the eXtension agreement and everyone had lots of questions. More information regarding this agreement will be forthcoming to those involved with eXtension.
Emily congratulated the group on being the only committee to have all its items in following the August meeting (membership updates, August minutes, 2006-07 annual work plan).

NACDEP Update - Deborah Tootle

Details for the third annual meeting to be held April 16-19 in Philadelphia can be found online at Deborah encouraged everyone to vote for officers before the elections end December 7.

eXtension Update - Alan Barefield

The eXtension Entrepreneurship Community of Practice just finished a meeting (November 28-30) in Jacksonville. The CoP is working to develop online curriculum for clientele out in the field. The targeted clientele are divided into two groups of people: (1) those who own their own business and the people that support them and (2) community leaders that support entrepreneurship. The CoP has made a lot of progress, but there is a lot more to go. They will be working to develop regional Communities of Interest, which will involve people that will provide feedback to the design team as they develop and implement strategies. The CoP will be calling upon state program leaders to supply names for these CoIs, in addition to a survey that will be distributed by each of the RRDCs. They are planning the launch of the entrepreneurship site on eXtension in September 2007. Right now most of the FAQs are up and running, and other items such as information briefs, lessons, modules, etc. are being worked on by Bo's team.

Deborah informed everyone that the group will be presenting in back to back sessions at NACDEP. They hope to engage the audience and bring more people on board to this process.

The group submitted the Year 2 proposal in October; they will find out in December if its been funded though they feel strongly it will be. Bo made a presentation to the SRDC Board about this project at the November meeting.

On a related topic, Bo has been working with others to complete a report highlighting the outcomes of the nine entrepreneurship listening sessions in the South. Final editing is now in process, and he hopes to have the report ready to distribute at NACDEP.

SRDC Update - Bo Beaulieu

Strategic Plan and New Priorities

Following each state's roundtables, the regional convening for the SRDC's strategic planning effort was held October 24-25 in Atlanta. The list of priorities that evolved from this meeting then went to Technical and Operational Advisory Committee for final manipulation. Deborah commented on how well the group functioned in this process. The TOAC meeting produced the three new priorities for the Center for the next 3-5 years:

  1. Fostering civic minded communities (public deliberation, leadership friendly communities, etc.)
  2. Building economically vibrant communities (entrepreneurship for people, firms and communities; value-added agriculture; BR&E; e-commerce; regional alliances and clustering, etc.)
  3. Expanding opportunities for distressed and low-wealth communities (poverty, education, health, housing, economy, etc.; asset building; food assistance; community preparedness and disaster preparedness)

The SRDC's Board of Directors unanimously approved the strategic plan during their November meeting. Additionally, there was interest in developing a new multi-state training program and specifically resurrecting the Community Development Institute. The training program would involve a multi-year plan of training programs that build on the priorities of the Center. Additionally there is interest in working with the NCRCRD around the national "Foundation of Practice" report

Tony and Deborah reported that the strategic planning process has been very helpful for their own planning purposes. Bo offered to make the compiled elements of our strategic planning, as was presented at the RRDC meeting in Nebraska in November, available electronically. It can be accessed at ***


Bo reported that the E-Commerce training is scheduled tentatively for June 4-6, 2007, at the Lied Conference Center in Nebraska City, NE. Bo and his staff will review the dates due to the conflict Steve Isaacs raised about overlapping with the National Value-Added Conference in Lexington.

The hope is for the Center to pay for all onsite costs for participants (they would only have to pay their way there/travel). We will cover the costs of registration, lodging, meals, etc. The new curricula from the E-Commerce Project will be showcased at the training.

Greg inquired as to whom target audience is. Extension specialists or some specific case county agents are, though states will decide whom they want to send. There is talk of capping attendance at 50 individuals, and it will be nationally attended.

  The advisory committee will release the new RFP in early 2007.

Other Entrepreneurship News

The RRDC directors met with representatives from the Center for Rural Affairs in Washington in October to discuss Farm Bill language that would create a SARE like structure for entrepreneurship. It proposes a regional advisory council to invest resources in research related to entrepreneurship. Funds to the tune of $5 million per region would be funneled through the RRDCs. This project may need endorsement as it moves through the system.

RRDC Meeting in Nebraska

At the November RRDC meeting, the directors met jointly with a representative from RUPRI's Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to discuss a collaborative effort with the National Coalition for Rural Entrepreneurship. The goal is to meld initiatives so that there is more coordinated work between the two entities.

Bo announced that John Allen will be stepping down as director of the WRDC. He will stay on this year then will go to a 25% appointment next year.

Bonnie Teater Award

The Bonnie Teater Award will be released in January, and the deadline for submission will be the end of February. It will again be a lifetime achievement award. The committee, in addition to SRDC staff, is made up of Mike Woods, Claudette Smith (North Carolina A&T University), and Ntam Baharanyi.

Other Business

Ntam reminded everyone of the PAWC Conference, which will take place December 3-5 at Tuskegee, and encouraged greater participation in coming years.

Michael reminded everyone that CSREES will be accepting wording for the rural development portion of the NRI Integrated Priorities 2008 RFP through December 7. This is a great opportunity. Michael resent the information to the group via email.

Next Call:

The next call will be on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 9 am Central