Newsletter December 2018
NACDEP Newsletter December Edition

In This Issue...


  1. A Message from your President

  2. 2018-19 Board

  3. Committees looking for Volunteers

  4. 2019 NACDEP Conference


  6. NACDEP NIFA Listens

  7. Ballot Issue Education

  8. Short Course Offered

  9. Minnesota's Rural Resident Recruitment

  10. Small Steps

  11. NACDEP Elections

  12. NACDEP Awards

  13. PILD Conference

  14. NACDEP Membership Renewals

NACDEP Mission and Vision

NACDEP is an organization dedicated to improving the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals.

Advocating community and economic development programming, while educating and recognizing Extension professionals who develop successful programs and expand resources to strengthen communities.



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NACDEP Colleagues:

I hope everyone has had a productive and satisfying 2018.  As we get set to close out the year, we have a newsletter that is just loaded with a lot of great information about what NACDEP members are doing and what they are planning for 2019.  As newsletter editor, I want to thank all of you for your contributions to the newsletter.  As one member remarked to me at the 2018 conference, it is a wonderful tool that we have for keeping everyone informed and on the same page as to events and trends within the organization.  Happy reading!

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD

Newsletter Editor

 A message from the President

Submitted by David Civittolo

2018 NACDEP Board Retreat


In early December, the board met face to face for its annual retreat.

The retreat was held in Asheville, North Carolina, the location of the 2019 NACDEP Conference. As part of the retreat activities, the board went on mobile learning workshops that could be offered at our 2019 conference. Although it was too cold to go whitewater rafting, be assured that you will be able to raft down the French Broad river in June!!

Offsite mobile learning workshops included visiting an Ecovillage, touring the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and a walking tour of Downtown Asheville.

The 2019 Conference planning team has developed great mobile learning workshops and will now enhance them based on the feedback from the NACDEP Board.

After all the fun of the tours and meeting the great conference planning committee members, the rest of the two days were devoted to the business of NACDEP.

The Board spent some time learning about the origin of NACDEP (do you know the year and location of the first NACDEP Conference?  The answer at the end of this article, followed by a thoughtful and fruitful dialogue about our finances).

Once there was a comfort level with the finances, a general discussion of how we do the work of NACDEP took place. As we discussed many concepts and ideas, the final day of the retreat was devoted to creating identifiable action items for the board to focus on and report to the membership in June.

Now the answer: the first ever NACDEP Conference was held in February 2005 in Las Vegas. Did you attend?

As the holiday season is upon us, I want to wish all of you a joyous holiday season.

David Civittolo

[email protected]


Meet the 2018-2019 NACDEP Board

Submitted by David Civittolo, NACDEP President

If you have any questions about NACDEP, please use the contact information below to reach any of the 2018-19 NACDEP Board members.


David Civittolo

Ohio State University

[email protected]

Past President

Trudy Rice

Kansas State University

[email protected]

President Elect

Susan Kelly

NC State University

[email protected]


Michael Dougherty

West Virginia University

[email protected]


Nancy Bowen Ellzey

Ohio State University

[email protected] 

1994/FALCON Rep

Yvonedda ("Henry") Thompson

Chief Dull Knife College

[email protected]

1890 Representative

Adam Hodges

West Virginia State University

[email protected]

North Central Representative

Brian Raison

Ohio State University

[email protected]

Northeast Representative

Mary Peabody

University of Vermont

[email protected] 

Southern Representative

Amanda Philyaw Perez

University of Arkansas

[email protected]

Western Representative

Laura Ryser

Washington State University

[email protected]

Executive Director

Ricky Atkins

The Association Source

[email protected]


Committees (Still) Looking for Volunteers

If you are interested in joining a NACDEP committee, it is not too late. Below are the committees, what they are responsible for and the chairperson.  Please reach out to the chairperson to learn more about the respective committee.

Committee name

Committee Chair

Committee Chair Email



Daniel Eades

[email protected]


Serve in an advisory capacity to the NACDEP Board on financial matters


Melinda Grismer

[email protected]


Responsible for guiding communications with the NACDEP membership and outside the association including the website, social media pages, & NACDEP newsletter


Rebekka Dudensing

[email protected] 

Charged with identifying opportunities to increase members' and other extension professionals' engagement with NACDEP and to maintain and grow membership

Member Services

John Phillips

[email protected]


Charged with keeping the organization responsive to its members, both in terms of organizational focus and products delivered to members throughout the year


Rachel Welborn/ Carroll Welte

[email protected]

[email protected]


Responsible for the NACDEP awards process.


Notie Lansford

[email protected]


Develop strategies for raising funds with the primary goal of advancing NACDEP through an
endowment for sustainability

Come to Asheville for Tools, Insights and Connections

Submitted by Susan Kelly and Susan Jakes, Conference Co-Chairs

"We want everyone to leave with new tools, insights and connections with each other and with Asheville". This is an often-spoken mantra at the planning sessions of the 2019 Conference Host Committee. Expect our fourteenth annual gathering to surprise, equip and delight you! 

Save the date. June 9 - 12, 2019 are the official dates of the conference but plan to come, bring your family and stay before and after the conference to enjoy the mountains, lakes, waterfalls and cool summer air. We are planning 10 mobile learning workshops that are unique and educational and we will provide additional information for you for visiting the Biltmore Estate or other attractions in future articles.

And speaking of tours. We have walking tours of downtown Asheville and the River Arts District, hiking Kitsuma Peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway, white water rafting the French Broad River, intentional living at Earthaven Ecovillage, hops hopping at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, farm tours of Franny's Farm and Addison Farms Vineyard, dirty dancing at Lake Lure/Chimney Rock, and inspiring creativity at the internationally renown Penland School of Crafts. Stay tuned for more info in early 2019!

Share your expertise. Our Call for Proposals is out now and the deadline is January 14, 2019 on the FastTrack system.  Please share this with friends and colleagues as we welcome community partners as well as other association members as presenters.

Register and make reservations early. The Asheville Regional Airport has limited flights each day so you may also consider flying into Charlotte and renting a car. At the Renaissance Asheville parking is free and plentiful! This is good news for those of you driving in as well. Speaking of the Renaissance, it is recently renovated and very posh! The indoor junior Olympic pool, large fitness room, and many other amenities are outstanding and the location is right in the middle of funky, eclectic downtown Asheville. Registration will be available in early February.

Help us build the buzz. Pay attention to our social media for news of our exciting speakers, tours and photos such as that great French Toast Stout at Wicked Weed Brewery! We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Group and have a NACDEP2019 Facebook Group. NACDEP Comm Comm and the Conference Publicity Committee have a great marketing campaign planned and we are depending on you to share, like and use #NACDEP2019

Give us a shout if you have question! [email protected] and [email protected]




Submitted by Brent Elrod

Thanks to all who provided input - online and in person - to NIFA Listens. Recommendations regarding NIFA investments in social sciences, including community, resource, and economic development, came in from nearly every region. Transcripts from the four in-person sessions can be reviewed at The feedback, along with the online surveys, will now be compiled to help ensure the strategic positioning and relevancy of NIFA's investments in advancing agricultural research, extension, and education in Fiscal Year 2020 and beyond. 

In the near term, NIFA continues operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on December 7. The House and Senate are working on an extension of the CR to December 21. To avoid a partial government shutdown at that time (which would include USDA), Congress and the administration must agree on a FY19 budget by that date. 

In addition, the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee will release text the week of 10 December detailing the negotiated agreement. The bill is undergoing a budget analysis, with an anticipated vote before the 115th Congress concludes session. Any mandated and discretionary programs under NIFA's purview that are included in the Farm Bill would then need to be competed before the end of FY19. 

About that proposed relocation of NIFA and ERS, according to Politico: [USDA Secretary Sonny] Perdue said on 4 December that under an "aggressive timeline," the department plans to announce the research agencies' new location by the end of the first quarter next year. But he hedged his remarks, adding that "we want to do it right rather than fast." 

With the budget and farm bill machinations afoot, it promises to be an eventful holiday season here in DC. The potential agency site location reveal is sure to bring an extra dose of excitement to the New Year. 

My wish for NACDEP in 2019 is continued growth and excellence in fulfilling its mission to improve "the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals. My wish for each of you is good health, a wellspring of joy, and the satisfaction that comes with living a life well lived. Happy Holidays!



Submitted by Amanda Perez

NACDEP members responded to a request by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to collect input from stakeholders regarding research, extension, and education priorities in food and agriculture.

NACDEP members (n=13) answered questions related to priorities in food and agriculture through the lenses of community development. While we recognize that the following summary may not be reflective of the breadth of NACDEP members, we do acknowledge the value of the input provided by those that chose to respond to the questionnaire. This summary provides a general overview of the major themes from the respondents. Due to the data collection method and sample size, these data have limited utility. However, there is value in providing feedback to NIFA in an effort to guide future decision making and funding opportunities that could support the work of NACDEP members.

NACDEP recognizes the need to train Extension (state and county specialists) to equip them with the tools to respond to the growing demand for supporting diversified farm and agricultural systems such as new entry farmers, diversified production, value-added processing, business development in changing markets, and understanding value-chains and community food systems change with a particular focus on rural-urban linkages and community development efforts. Further, there is a need to focus research, education, and extension programming on how to sustainably produce food (soil health, water quality, environmental contamination, plant health, nutrient density) in response to environmental contaminants (less hazardous chemical uses) and climate change (adaptation for production). The importance of this work is compounded by the ever increasing need to support agriculture that contributes to farms that can remain viable and to improved community health outcomes.

NACDEP would like to see more support for training Extension state and county level specialists on the current knowledge base related to agriculture and community food systems development before working on other advances in technology. States need resources to offer training to Extension staff that can then be offered directly to their clientele interested in diversified agricultural practices and community food systems development. Research will be needed to improve the nutrient density of foods, to address growing pressures from pests and diseases with less hazardous chemical controls and moving toward more automation to address labor and costs issues. Climate change will pose significant challenges to agriculture in the coming decades and technology will need to adapt to these changes.

NACDEP represents the field of community development Extension Professionals that work with communities to support activities that encourage broad participation and result in social, environmental, and/or economic improvement as defined by the community. NACDEP recognizes the ever growing concern of communities related to sustainability and climate change. There is a need for research, education, and extension programming that addresses those topics. Further, communities are demanding support for fostering the growth of diversified farming systems and food value-chains that move these agricultural goods. These foods should be accessible to all and contribute to environmental and public health. This work may be best supported by combining the strengths of the social science, natural resources, and agricultural disciplines.


Highlighting Program Success in the South - Ballot Issue Education


An important area in community development is citizen engagement and political literacy. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has lead a program to educate voters since 2004 about statewide ballot measures with increasing participation each year. The goal of the Arkansas Ballot Issue Education Program is to expose voters to the existence of ballot issues and to provide them with a neutral source of research-based information that will assist them in making an informed decision on the statewide laws that impact many residents' daily lives. 

In 2018, the program included the publication of a voter guide detailing each of the five ballot measures, a monthly newsletter updating readers on court challenges and other ballot news, short videos on each of the issues, display boards across the state, news releases and social media messaging shared by all 75 county Extension offices (#ARballot). The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture printed 32,000 voter guides, which were distributed in every county. The program coordinator is currently analyzing demographics and knowledge gain data collected between September and November. Extension's ballot issue website had more than 330,000 views during that period and that pdfs of the voter guide were downloaded more than 25,000 times.

For more information about the program, contact Kristin Higgins at [email protected] or 501-671-2160. You can check out the ballot materials online at

Short Course Offered

Submitted by  Lori Rothstein

Do you want to launch your year with more presence and intention? Register for the free positive psychology short course on Bringing Presence to Community. Starting on January 9, you'll have an opportunity to stretch yourself with daily learning activities, engage in a closed Facebook group to increase your connections and share your perspectives, challenge yourself with daily points to integrate positive psychology strategies into your life, and meet with mindful learning partners to explore ways you can bring these ideas to your work and your community.   

Who should sign up? Community leaders, community development professionals, parents, teachers, elected officials, and you! 

Course duration: January 9-February 6, 2019

This short course is hosted by University of Minnesota Extension, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and eXtension. Learn more and register at:



Minnesota's Rural Resident Recruitment Initiatives

Submitted by Joyce Hoetling

With NIFA funding, the University of Minnesota's Extension Center for Community Vitality has conducted focused interviews with rural resident recruitment initiatives across Minnesota. This is a prelude to a larger study that will incorporate surveys and focus groups of new residents.  The article below describes Minnesota's rural resident recruitment initiatives and what they've learned. 


Small Steps Lead to Good Stuff

Submitted by Melinda Grismer, Chair Com-Com Committee

NACDEP friends, I have three important questions for you: - Are you following NACDEP ( on Facebook? If not, get over there ASAP and click "Follow." Good things will happen!

- How about Twitter - do you follow NACDEP? Get on it, right away...more good things.

- Would you like to reach a broader audience with you blog posts, podcasts, new factsheets, or other digital media? If so (and who wouldn't), please send the link and few words description to Becky at [email protected]. We will be posting links to the good work you are doing on the NACDEP Facebook page and Twitter feed. And look for some fun info about our 2019 conference in Asheville, NC.



NACDEP Elections

This is a reminder to cast your vote to select the 2019-2020 NACDEP Board of Directors. .

The NACDEP Elections are open until December 28 - and there are multiple candidates for several offices! The list of candidates is below. An email with an election link was sent on November 28. Follow the link at the end of that email to vote. The ballot contains a link to the biographical statements for the candidates.

If you have any questions regarding the voting process - or need a replacement link to vote -email Ricky Atkins at [email protected]

2019 NACDEP Elections Slate These offices are voted on by all members:

President Elect (2) - Tony Michael and Adam Hodges Secretary (2) - Michael Dougherty and Crystal Tyler Mackey Treasurer (1) - Nancy Bowen-Ellzey

These offices are voted on only by those who are from those regions/institutions:

1890s Representative (3) - B. Joy Moten Thomas, Michele Eley, and Sandra Thompson North Central Representative (2) - Brian Raison and Nadine Sigle Western Region Representative (1) - Katie Hoffman.


2019 NACDEP Awards Nominations

Submitted by Carol Welte

It's soon to be a Happy New Year and time to be thinking about nominating yourself or colleagues for a 2019 NACDEP award. The awards process will "go live" in mid-January. Members will have until early March to nominate individuals and teams for honors. The process for nominating potential honorees and developing award applications will be online at

Be sure to read all award application guidelines (eligibility, evaluation criteria and application requirements) and follow submission guidelines. Listed below are the awards categories.

NEW! The NACDEP Award for Creative Excellence Sponsored by JCEP (Individual or Team) recognizes an individual or team that demonstrates creative excellence that is adopted by others, advancing the work of community development in innovative ways. For the purposes of this award, innovation is an approach to emerging issues or addressing existing issues in exceptionally creative or novel ways that get results, and that others want to emulate.

The Diversity Award (Individual and Team) recognizes members who have developed an outstanding effort or program that ensures meaningful diversity and inclusiveness.

The Educational Technology Award (Individual or Team) honors members for their use of technology in delivering, managing, expanding, or promoting community development work.

The Educational Materials Award (Individual or Team) recognizes members who have who have developed outstanding materials that educate through credible, accurate, concise information.

The Innovation and Creativity Award (Individual and Team) honors members who have developed an outstanding effort integrating innovation and creativity into a program design or implementation that demonstrates effectiveness.

The Excellence in Community Development Work Award (Individual and Team) recognizes members for outstanding programs in any aspect of community development work or for program accomplishments relative to scholarly and creative activities, teaching or research effectiveness that shows evidence or collaboration with others who help meet community development needs.

The Cross-Program Award (Individual or Team) honors members for excellence in Extension work that combines or integrates Community Resources and Economic Development activities with work in other programmatic areas.

The Excellence in Teamwork Award (Team only) recognizes a team for outstanding programming or projects conducted that demonstrates effective performance and significant results (impact) at the community, region, state, or multi-state level. It is a team only award.

The NACDEP Distinguished National Service Award honors a member who is actively involved in service to NACDEP and contributed significantly to the organization for at least three (3) years. It is an individual only award.

The NACDEP Distinguished Career Award recognizes a member who has been actively engaged in Extension community development programs and who has served more than seven (7) years in the field. It is an individual only award.

To get an idea of the kinds of programs that received awards in 2018, visit

To nominate someone, some team, or even yourself for an honor this year, go to for updates and application link, which will be live by mid-January. Awards will be presented during the annual conference in Asheville in June.

If you have questions about the awards or the awards process, contact co-chairs of the NACDEP Recognition Committee, Rachel Welborn, [email protected]  (662) 325-5885 or Carroll Welte, [email protected]
(402) 374-2929.


2019 PILD Conference

Join us in Arlington, VA for the 2019 Public Issues Leadership Development Conference! Happening April 14th-17th, PILD is a great conference for advancing professional development, working across program areas and strengthening skills for working with those in public leadership. Early bird registration opens January 2nd, 2019. For more information, visit or contact Rebecca Sero ([email protected]) or Rachel Welborn ([email protected]), your NACDEP representatives to PILD. We hope to see you there!


Renew Your NACDEP Membership Today!


Dear NACDEP Members:

Happy Holidays from NACDEP!  As thoughts shift from the successes of 2018 to your hopes and plans for the coming year, it's never too early to start planning.  One important step in maintaining the momentum you created in 2018 is to renew your NACDEP membership for 2019 by February 1. 

Your continued NACDEP membership will ensure that you stay connected to the best practitioners in the field, keep abreast of emerging topics of interest, and are on the inside track for participating in the annual conference.  Renew your membership now at the annual rate of $75 and stay connected and engaged!  Your 2018 membership benefits expire on February 1, 2019, and you will be dropped from most correspondence at that time.  Click on the link below to renew:

NACDEP Membership Application/Renewal

Along with your dues renewal, NACDEP is raising funds with the primary goal of advancing the Association through an endowment for sustainability, sponsorships for visibility and connectivity, and providing scholarships for accessibility. consider making a donation for 2019 Click Here to donate today!

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