Newsletter March-2018
NACDEP Newsletter March Edition

In This Issue...


  1. President's Column

  2. Making it "Cooperative" Across State Lines

  3. JCEP Award for Creative Excellence

  4. Ready to Rock? Cleveland 2018

  5. Minnesota's BR&E Program

  6. Rural Housing Receiving Attention From NACDEP


  8. North Central Region Update




NACDEP Colleagues: 

Greetings and welcome to the March 2018 edition of the NACDEP newsletter.  As we continue the countdown towards this year's conference in Cleveland, I want to issue a special thanks to all of you who regularly submit items to the newsletter.  We have a great tool largely because of your efforts.  I also wish to emphasize that while we depend a lot on regional reps, committee chairs and board members for submissions, all members are welcome to make submissions.  The newsletter is not just a calendar of events or lists of awards, registration deadlines and so forth.

We welcome items describing the kinds of programs, research and outreach activities in which our members are engaged.  The current issue features diverse topics ranging from rural housing to the opioid epidemic to business retention and expansion.  If you wish to discuss ideas for sharing your efforts with the readership, tips for making effective submissions, or any other aspect of the newsletter, do not hesitate to get in touch with me by email at [email protected] or phone at 330-466-7877.  Our next call for submissions will be in late May for the June newsletter.

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD
Newsletter Editor


Presidents Column: Spring Edition

Submitted by Trudy M. Rice

As I sit at my desk to write my last President column for the NACDEP newsletter it has suddenly hit me that in less than three months we will all have the opportunity to gather together in Cleveland, Ohio for our NACDEP conference.  First I want to recognize the team from Ohio State University for their great work in putting together a fantastic program that allows us time to learn from each other across the nation as well as time to explore and learn about community development from our host city, Cleveland.  Secondly, I want to thank all of you who submitted a proposal to present in one way or another at the conference.  We look forward to learning about what is happening in states across the nation.  Please take time to register for this conference TODAY! 

All of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) organizations, including NACDEP, have been challenged to create a "propositional value statement" that communicates the importance of each professional organization.  As I have been pondering this task, I started with a piece from the newly adopted (June of 2017) role of Extension professionals working in community development: 

Statement of Extension professionals' role in community development: Community Resources & Economic Development (CRED) Extension Professionals work WITH communities to support activities that encourage broad participation and result in social, environmental, and/or economic improvement as defined by the community.

From that I identified the following components that your organization, NACDEP, provides to its members to enhance their ability to work with the communities to bring about positive change.  These include:

  • Ideas
  • Connections
  • Resources
  • Engagement
  • Recognition

As you read the newsletter this quarter you will note that it highlights many opportunities related to these components!  As a member please take advantage of these!  See you in Cleveland!

Making it "Cooperative" Across State Lines

NACDEP exists to bring Extension community development professionals together across the country. It serves as a valuable clearinghouse and meeting place for educators, agents, researchers, and administrators who have responsibilities in this arena. As our
website says: "Statement of Extension professionals role in community development: Community Resources & Economic Development (CRED) Extension Professionals work WITH communities to support activities that encourage broad participation and result in social, environmental, and/or economic improvement as defined by the community."

The University of Minnesota Extension's online Business Retention & Expansion Course  is a resource that reflects and supports this community development approach. Thanks to NACDEP, we typically have one or a few NACDEP members enrolled from other states and provinces. Last fall we were happy to have several University of Kentucky and South Dakota State University professionals in the course. It's enjoyable to have these colleagues in the course to share perspectives, research and maybe even argue with each other a bit.

Do you have a course, resource or webinar that would be of interest to fellow NACDEPers? If so, please bring it to the attention of your regional representative, Thomas Blaine or Dave Schidler, the Marketing Committee Chair.

Michael Darger, University of Minnesota Extension


One More Award: JCEP Award For Creative Excellence

If you know of someone who should be recognized for their creative community development efforts within Extension, there is an award for that.

Again this year, the Joint Council for Extension Professionals) is sponsoring the JCEP Award for Creative Excellence. The award is designed to recognize individuals or small teams and their "unique" problem-solving efforts. It seeks to honor innovative approaches used for to address emerging issues or exceptionally creative or novel methods used for existing issues. The focus is on getting results and creating a methodology that others can and would want to emulate.

Each of the seven members of JCEP will select a winner for their organization. From that group, a national winner will be selected.

Details for this year's awards process are still being finalized, but the 2017 announcement ( provides basic information about the award.

The award application is on-line at . The deadline is April 16, 2018 (the deadline listed on the announcement is for last year).

Please note that this is separate and distinct from the NACDEP Awards process, for which submissions closed March 5 and judging is currently taking place. You may apply for this award regardless of whether or not you submitted for a NACDEP honor.

For any questions, please contact me (Michael Dougherty) at [email protected] or 304-293-2559.  Also, if you do apply for this award, please let me know so that I can follow-up with JCEP after the submission process closes.

Michael Dougherty
NACDEP Recognition Committee Chair

Ready to Rock?...Its Time to Get Registered for NACDEP 2018


Ready to Rock? . . . It's time to get registered for NACDEP 2018!

It won't be long before we will be gathering in Cleveland for the 2018 NACDEP Conference. We've confirmed speakers and made finishing touches to the pre- and post-conference workshops, as well as Tuesday afternoon's mobile learning workshops. We are also pleased to report that the review of session proposals is nearly complete. Focus will soonbe on finalizing the schedule and creating the program.

What can you do? Registration is now open and the early bird rate is $450 so it is time to get registered! After April 30, the rate increases to $485. Before you register, review the selection of pre-conference workshops, post-conference workshops, and mobile learning workshops to decide which you would like to attend.

You can also make your reservations at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, our historic conference venue in downtown Cleveland

Don't forget - if you know of someone who might be interested in contributing as a sponsor, please direct them to the conference sponsorship page, or contact Greg or David if you have questions.

We couldn't be more excited about how things are coming together for our 2018 Cleveland experience and want to thank all of the planning team members and the dozens of proposal reviewers for their hard work so far. See you in Cleveland!

Submitted by Greg Davis and David Civittolo
Conference Co-chairs


More on Minnesota's BR&E Program: Resources for Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E)

Business Retention & Expansion, or BR&E, is one of the most important and prevalent activities for economic developers today. The University of Minnesota Extension invites NACDEPers to learn about the community development approach to BR&E. This includes both new and classic educational resources. Our new webinar series features quarterly webinars on research and innovation in business retention and expansion (BR&E) professional practice.  These webinars are open to everyone interested in economic development although our focus, naturally, is on Minnesota. The webinars are recorded and posted to the website.

Our BR&E course is available both online and in-person.  The next in-person session is May 23-25 on our St. Paul campus and the next online session starts in September. We've had NACDEPers and state and provincial BR&E officials join us in these courses through the years. We welcome anyone from newbies to experienced professionals to join us and we highly encourage teams to register. See the related article in this issue.

Submitted by Michael Darger

Rural Housing Receiving Attention by NACDEP Members

Housing is an issue that has garnered the attention of Extension professionals for many years. From affordability and financing to safety, design and development, applied research and Extension programming has been directed at addressing these issues in a variety of settings.

While these efforts have made impacts across the United States, housing continues to be a key factor in a community or region's vitality and, in some cases, more work needs to be done. This is especially true in the wake of the Great Recession, which had a significant impact on housing.

Recent articles in the Atlantic and City Lab highlighted the current housing crisis from two angles, the 'silent' crisis taking place in rural America and the affordability issue, which is affecting both urban and rural communities.

NACDEP members recently made critical contributions at the national, state and community level.

At the national level, NACDEP members Rachel Welborn, Associate Director of the Southern Rural Development Center, and Lynette Flage, Assistant Director of Family and Community Wellness with North Dakota State University Extension contributed as editor/author and author, respectively, to a recent book "Rural Housing and Economic Development" as part of the Routledge Advances in Regional Economics, Science and Policy series. Rachel worked alongside other current and former Regional Rural Development Center (RRDC) directors to edit this volume. (The Regional Rural Development Centers are key partners with NACDEP and a liaison from the RRDC serves as an ex officio member of the NACDEP Board of Directors). The twenty-five papers span a wide range of topics and fill critical gaps in the literature.

At the state, regional and community level, Purdue University offers one example of how NACDEP members are assisting stakeholders by contributing knowledge, data tools and capacity building towards finding and implementing solutions to address the housing crisis, especially in rural Indiana.

For example, NACDEP Members, Dr. Michael Wilcox, Community and Regional Economics Specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Melinda Grismer, a Community and Regional Development Specialist with the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), recently spent two days in Noble County facilitating focus groups on housing issues across the county.

As with many rural counties in the state of Indiana, housing is a cross-cutting issue that affects workforce availability and quality of life. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, the department and PCRD are positioning communities to identify opportunities and strategies that will help increase the supply of quality housing and meet the needs of current and potential residents who choose to live, work and play in the same area.

In support of this effort, focus groups were held December 7-8, 2017, in Albion (part of PCRD and Purdue Extension's Hometown Collaboration Initiative), Avilla, Cromwell, Kendallville, Ligonier, and Rome City. Nearly 60 participants from key sectors, such as: business and industry, economic development, education, elected officials, financial services, government, real estate and utilities joined Wilcox and Grismer for six, two-hour interactive sessions that explored a wide range of factors contributing to the challenging housing situation in rural Indiana.

"We triangulate the scale and scope of a rural housing situation by conducting intensive quantitative analyses of secondary data on the front end, using qualitative techniques to connect directly to key informants in the community through focus groups and then, finally, use survey techniques to better understand the variability across residents and employees," explained NACDEP member and project co-Principal Investigator Dr. Bo Beaulieu, Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and Professor of Agricultural Economics.

Having studied the statistical compendium that PCRD completed and participated in the focus group phase, the task force in Noble County is now working with the department and PCRD to prepare a countywide survey that will be completed by residents and employees of firms located in the county. The survey data will be considered at the firm, community and county-level by decision-makers concerned about the impact that housing is having on their businesses and communities.

"We have heard so many different stories across the county. Housing is a complex issue and addressing significant housing concerns requires a variety of strategies, there isn't a one-size fits all approach. Each community is different, we are helping each one weigh the alternatives and consequences," added Wilcox.

In addition to Noble County, the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (EIRPC, representing Fayette, Randolph, Rush, Union and Wayne Counties) and the Southern Indiana Development Commission (representing Daviess, Greene, Knox, Lawrence, and Martin Counties) are also working closely with the department and PCRD on this key economic development issue. NACDEP member, Annie Cruz-Porter, is currently executing a region-wide survey in the EIRPC region. Furthermore, these efforts build on work that PCRD launched with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, in 2016, that resulted in the development of the Rural Indiana Stats data platform and a statewide housing study.

Look for more in-depth information/report results at this year's NACDEP conference in Cleveland, OH (June 10-13, 2018)!

To learn more, please contact:

Michael D. Wilcox, Jr., PhD
Community and Regional Economics Specialist / Dept. of Agricultural Economics / Purdue University
Senior Associate / Purdue Center for Regional Development
Assistant Program Leader / Community Development / Purdue Extension
Adjunct Assistant Professor / Department of Agricultural Economics / University of Kentucky
1341 Northwestern Avenue
Schowe House
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47906
c: 865-696-2267
e: [email protected]



Submitted by Brent Elrod

Take a few minutes to check out  On this new page, The Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) highlight efforts, made in conjunction with Land-grant Universities and Cooperative Extension and other government and non-governmental partners that contribute to improving rural prosperity across the US.

The bullets link to documents describing a sampling of these investments organized under the Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Task Force Report's (ARPTF) Indicators:

Many current and past NACDEP members have contributed their expertise to these projects and initiatives at the regional and national level.  In this rendering, we help demonstrate how the community and economic development portfolio transcends political administrations and leanings.  Truth be told, the work is apolitical.  No matter the political persuasion of the local, state and national leader(s) - or that of the individual and business owner living and working in Main Street, USA, your efforts are designed to uplift, change and empower for the betterment of all.

A number of you have made efforts akin to those of the RRDCs in demonstrating how your own State/Institution's CED portfolio aligns with that of the ARPTF Report.  Purdue and Kansas State come immediately to mind.  In conjunction with your State Specialists, NACDEP members may wish to crosswalk their programs against the ARPTF Indicators - and to look for those points of intersection where programs may have tangential benefit.  Why?  As one example, USDA Rural Development will begin a series of monthly roundtable discussions on opioids on March 14.  Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett had this to say in a recent press release (emphasis added):

The opioid epidemic in rural communities is more than a public health issue.  This is a matter of rural prosperity. Opioid misuse is impacting the quality of life and economic well-being in small towns, which is why partnering with rural leaders to address this crisis is critical to the future of rural America.

Hazlett will convene the regional roundtables to bring together partners in five states - to include Cooperative Extension and Land-grant expertise - to raise awareness and better understand what support rural communities need to prevent and address opioid misuse.

The roundtables are scheduled:

  • March 14 in Pennsylvania
  • April 11 in Utah
  • May 9 in Kentucky
  • June 6 in Oklahoma
  • July 11 in Maine

For states not listed, RD state directors are charged with convening similar gatherings.  Opt in if this is a particular area of interest.  The USDA landing page for resources to help rural communities address the opioid crisis is

Two related efforts are also actively underway. 

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) is partnering with NIFA to help coordinate the Land-grant University system's response to the opioid challenge. The Extension Opioid Crisis Response Workgroup, led by Mark Skidmore, North Central Regional Rural Development Center director, has a six-month charge to make recommendations for the system.  Those with expertise and interest may contact Dr. Skidmore at [email protected].

Behavioral Health (including opioid abuse) is also one of the focus areas for eXtension Impact in 2018. Jami Dellifield, Ohio State University, and Courtney Cuthbertson, Michigan State University, are Program Fellows for the Behavioral Health Impact Collaborative. Contact Jami [email protected] and Courtney cuthbe1[email protected] if you are interested in serving or to learn more.

Whether it's a behavioral health program or a dedicated economic development activity, what may seem like disparate efforts and initiatives can be linked and layered - perhaps leading to even greater impact than those resulting from a siloed approach.  And of course, integrating research to study and attribute effects, will lead to even more targeted and effective outreach going forward. 

Have a great research question or integrated approach that could strengthen community and economic development?  Consider applying to NIFA's Agricultural Food and Research Initiative.  Other than the cherry blossoms in peak bloom, AFRI funding announcements are the next surest sign of Spring along the Potomac waterfront.

Bookmark or search so you'll be alert to FY18 offerings.

Update from the North Central Region

Submitted by Brian Raison

Registration is open for the Extension North Central Leadership Conference, April 30 - May 2, 2018 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan.  The hotel is located in the heart of MSU's campus. Early-bird registration will be $275 until midnight April 1, then $325 afterward. The hotel block is available until April 2. Conference registration begins 3 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 30 and end at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2.

This year's Conference will feature a terrific lineup of presentations contributing to this year's theme, Pure Leadership: Moving Extension Forward into the 21st Century. The Conference continues to remain true to its mission in supporting emerging and existing Extension professionals in administrative and management roles in the North Central Region.

The Conference aims to strengthen your capacity to support and encourage customer-focused programs; create a climate where you can succeed and contribute; and allow you the space to network with professionals that model a culture of excellence. More online at  


NACDEP | PO Box 866, Blairsville, GA. 30512 
706-400-0081  [email protected]