Newsletter Spring 2020

NACDEP Newsletter


Spring  Edition



2020 Spring NACDEP Newsletter

NACDEP Colleagues, 

Greetings and welcome to the Spring 2020 NACDEP newsletter.  I want to give you an update on our newsletter publication schedule and procedures.  The newsletter is published four times a year: January, April, July and October.  Think of the Spring edition as the pre-conference newsletter and the Summer edition as the post conference newsletter.  Of course, we will publish non-conference related materials in each of those editions, but if you have information about the conference pre and post, remember those are the two dates you might want to consider.

We usually like to get the newsletter out by about the tenth of each month when it is published, with the exception of January.  Members of the communications committee and I have agreed that we will issue two calls for submissions to each newsletter.  So look for a call to come out around March 20-25, June 20-25, September 20-25 and January 2-6.  Each initial call will be followed by reminder about a week later.  The deadlines will be around April 3, July 3, October 3 and January 14.  We look to have the newsletter on-line around April 8, July 8, October 8 and January 20.  Remember, some of the dates listed here are closely related to national holidays such as Martin Luther King Day and Independence Day.  These holidays, among other considerations that may occur, account for the fact that I am only giving you approximate dates here.

In the meantime, if you have questions or comments about the newsletter, feel free to email me or contact me by phone at 330-466-7877.  It is a great privilege for me to serve as your newsletter editor, and I want to thank all of you for helping to make it such a useful part of NACDEP.

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD

NACDEP Newsletter Editor


Submitted by Susan Kelly, NACDEP President

As you read this newsletter I hope that you and your loved ones and friends are healthy and safe. By now, you are hopefully adjusting to the new world of exclusively online meetings. The NACDEP Board has also been busy adjusting to our new COVID-19 normal, as we make plans to pivot from our planned, face-to-face conference in New Hampshire to a virtual format.

It has been disappointing to think about not gathering together in New Hampshire, but as this crisis has evolved I have found that my perspective has changed.  I am looking at NACDEP now as the organization that is not only for networking and friendships, but also critical component to helping our colleagues evolve with the changes that are to come.

Now, it is more important than ever to provide professional development to our NACDEP members regardless of the delivery method. As our country moves through this health crisis, those of us involved in Community Development Extension have an opportunity to play a vital role in helping businesses, individuals and communities pick up the pieces, adapt and thrive.

Please look for an announcement in the coming days to help you register for our Virtual NACDEP Conference 2020!. We plan to hold this event June 1 - 2, 2020, on an easy-to-use platform, including many of the elements  planned by the 2020 Host Conference Committee. There will be exciting general sessions, breakout sessions, awards announcements and more. The registration fee will be $105 for members and $195 for non-members (includes a complimentary annual membership for non-members).

If you are like me, your perspective on life and what is truly important has changed with this pandemic. Our home life, our relationships and our work life  are coming more clearly into focus-and into balance. What a great time to help our employers and our communities look at what Extension can provide in a new way, too! Be sure to stay involved with NACDEP to learn and to share new ideas and best practices that you can carry back to your community. As an organization that strives to be resilient, we promise to deliver!

A Business Retention moment if there ever was one.

Submitted by Michael Darger

This is likely to be the biggest moment for business retention in our careers.  We wish the best to you in this stressful time of trying to keep businesses and the jobs and economic benefits that flow from them.

Business Retention and Expansion courses are once again scheduled this fall through the University of Minnesota Extension at Many NACDEP'ers have enjoyed this course before, and we even have some in the online session right now (Illinois and North Carolina). There are now at least five BRE courses available in North America, but this is the only one designed by NACDEP'ers with both community and economic development aspects. 

An online course starts September 23,, and the in-person course will be held October 22-23 on the St. Paul campus, For more information contact Michael Darger, [email protected], or John Bennett, [email protected] or

NACDEP Webinar, April 15.

Submitted by Michael Dougherty

The NACDEP Member Services Committee will be holding a webinar entitled, "Demographic Trends - Consequences for Community Development" on April 15 at 3 p.m. EDT (UTC -4). (That's 2 p.m. CDT, 1 p.m. MDT, and 12 noon PDT and MST). Don Albrecht, the director of the Western Rural Development Center, will be presenting.    The topic is timely as the 2020 Census is currently underway and this decennial snapshot will tell us much about what is happening (and where things stand) in the country. Don has been director of the center since 2008. He has researched and written extensively on the issues confronting the communities and residents of rural America. Among the issues explored are natural resource concerns, economic restructuring, demographic trends, poverty, inequality, and education.

To join the webinar:

  • The Zoom Link is:
  • The One tap Mobile Link is: +16699009128,,165615104# US (San Jose) OR +16465588656,,165615104# US (New York)

  • The Dial in Numbers are: +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) OR +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) OR Find your local number:

  •  The Meeting ID is: 165 615 104

    This is the second quarterly webinar sponsored by the Member Services Committee. The first was "Shifting from Debate to Dialogue:  Let's Talk," presented by Rachel Welborn, the associate director of the Southern Rural Development Center in January. The webinar and its associated PowerPoint presentation can be viewed on the NACDEP website:

Two for you!

Submitted by Lori Rothstein  

We've created a special Two for You series on stress to help people during this time.

Feeling overwhelmed? Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment. The Two for You Stress Series by Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme of University of Minnesota Extension brings you tangible practices you can do today to improve your wellbeing.

Based on positive psychology research, the Stress Series (episodes 4.4-4.9) is designed to help you live and lead with intention, especially in times of stress. Episodes in this series include:

4.4 Introduction

4.5 Stress and Resilience

4.6 Stress and Strangers

4.7 Stress and Focus

4.8 Stress and Isolation

4.9 Stress and Energy  


Utah State Extension's Rural Online Initiative (ROI) and COVID-19 2 Things

Submitted by Emy Swadley

Utah State University Extension is uniquely responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through an innovative program that has been in delivery since 2018: the Rural Online Initiative (ROI).
Virtual town hall meetings, a podcast show, utilization of communication platforms such as Slack and Zoom, email newsletters, and Instagram are just some of the ways the ROI program is working to attract new participants and engage with existing ones.

Join us at the annual NACDEP conference to learn how this hybrid model is implemented by the ROI program where specialized recommendations will be provided for effective public communication in Extension.
In the meantime, check out our Facebook page:

The Rural Online Initiative: Remote Work Strategies for Success

Submitted by Amanda D. Ali, Paul Hill, Emy Swadley, Lendel K. Narine, Utah State University

Utah State University Extension is in a unique position to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic through an innovative program, the Rural Online Initiative (ROI). The ROI certifies participants on remote work skills and recommends the following strategies for remote work success: (a) create a professional workspace, (b) get familiar with various online communication channels (e.g. Slack, Zoom, Webex), (c) create a workflow plan using a project management tool, (d) identify work priorities, (e) track time spent on tasks, and (f) choose appropriate ways to connect with team members. For more information on remote work, please visit and join us at NACDEP 2020.

Get Connected, Join the NACDEP LinkedIn Group

Submitted by Gwynn Stewart Community Development Educator, The Ohio State University


Looking for engagement with community development professionals across Extension? The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals
(NACDEP) is an organization dedicated to improving the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals.

One tool that NACDEP uses toward fulfilling its member-focused mission is the LinkedIn NACDEP Group. The forum provides an option for members to network, post updates, have quality interactions, share successes, best practices, programming ideas and more. A LinkedIn Group is the perfect place to grow your professional Extension-specific community development online community.

Let LinkedIn help you connect to professionals within your own university and with Extension colleagues across the nation. You can join the NACDEP LinkedIn at

Already a member? Consider sharing program updates, posting comments, adding professional development resources and creative programming ideas with the members of the NACDEP LinkedIn group. As with any organization or group, the value is found in the quality of member involvement and interactions. See you all soon on the LinkedIn NACEP Group page!




NACDEP Needs You! And Your Financial Support

Submitted by Peggy Schlechter

"Advocating community and economic development programming, while educating and recognizing Extension professionals who develop successful programs and expand resources to strengthen communities."  Does that sound important to you? I hope so, because that is the vision of NACDEP. And while the vision of NACDEP tells us how our organization aspires to help us in our professional role, the organization is made up of people (all of us) who provide resources to make it happen for each other.

In 2012, I applied for and received a registration scholarship to attend my first NACDEP conference in Park City, Utah. Not only was it an amazing conference in a beautiful location; I was able to connect with so many people who had similar interests, challenges and opportunities. Since then I have attended 7 NACDEP conferences, presented sessions at 6 of them, served on committees and chaired a committee.

All the efforts I have put into NACDEP have been greatly rewarded. I have met colleagues that I communicate with throughout the year, have participated in multi-state projects, learned more about Community Development than I could have imagined, and had lots of fun. Let's face it, our conferences are held in some place that I may have never had the opportunity to visit. Through NACDEP, I have become a much more knowledgeable Community Development professional.

So why am I telling you this?  Because it is possible that without receiving the scholarship, I would not have had the funds to attend that conference in Park City, I may have never become involved in NACDEP and never had the opportunities in which I have been able to participate to contribute to my profession.

When you are asked to provide some funds, or a silent auction item, or participate in any other fundraiser, please carefully consider that opportunity. If we all work together to financially support NACDEP, we strengthen our organization and help ensure that it will be a lasting force with a strong future.



Life Lessons Learned from 4-H and FFA

Submitted by Gwynn Stewart




Employee Ownership Roadshow Tours the Minnesota and Wisconsin Border

Submitted by Michael Darger, Community Economic Specialist. The University of Minnesota

With very fortunate timing right before the Pandemic took over in March, a roadshow toured the border region of Minnesota & Wisconsin. Retaining Rural Business through Employee Ownership was an eight-stop roadshow ranging from Duluth to the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (Hayward, WI), through the Twin Cities, and south to Viroqua, Wisconsin. With a small grant from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, the project partners are doing education and research on the important opportunity of retaining businesses through conversion to employee owned cooperatives.

Retaining the businesses of retiring baby boomers (and other exiting owners) is a key opportunity, particularly for rural communities, which often are aging faster than urban and suburban places. According to one source, the majority of small businesses in the USA are owned by people older than 50. For many rural places the ability to retain their existing businesses is their best bet for continued economic opportunity. Selling to employees means that an outside buyer, or a family heir who moved away, does not need to be persuaded to invest in the community. Although businesses cannot be expected to last forever, an employee cooperative seems much less likely to relocate or disinvest in the business. This common sense thought is a researchable question for business retention & expansion (BRE) best practices.

Despite the apparent advantage of employee ownership, very few companies in the U.S. are owned by employees. Between worker cooperatives (~460 nationally) and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs, ~6,700), there are fewer than 7,500 employee owned companies in the U.S. When compared to the approximate 6,000,000 firms in the country, including 2,000,000 firms that employ 4+ employees, employee ownership is only about 1-3% of firms depending on which denominator is selected. If one considers the wealth building and economic democracy aspects of employee ownership, as well as the BRE aspect, there is a great deal of opportunity to convert businesses to employee ownership, particularly employee cooperative conversions.

Almost 100 people attended the roadshow including economic developers, business support professionals (SBDC, SBA, USDA RD, bankers, et al), Extension pros, business owners, and even a few prospective employee owners. The vast majority of attendees had never considered employee ownership and very few had even heard of employee co-ops. The project team is curating resources and planning a few educational webinars. The results of the project will be shared in a NCRCRD webinar this fall. Meanwhile, info. about this employee ownership project is available here:


American Citizen Planner Program Registration Open and Webinar Planned

Submitted by Michael Dougherty

The American Citizen Planner (ACP) program is now accepting registrations for its two courses and the national examination. The program is a collaboration between the Land Use Planning Community of Practice, the eXtension Foundation and NACDEP.

The ACP program provides training in core competencies for volunteer public planning officials. The online training program is designed to help those serving on planning commissions as well as other citizen volunteers interested in land use planning understand the roles and responsibilities of public officials, community residents and developers and understand the tools and processes planners used to implement comprehensive plans. The program features two courses of ACP 101 (Planning) and ACP 201 (Zoning) with 28 units (up to one hour each) of online content detailing core planning theories, tools, and legal aspects that shape community plans.

Participants who complete both the ACP 101 and ACP 201 courses can take the ACP Exam to earn the Master Citizen Planner credential.

For general information about the program, visit the webpage: . To register for the national American Citizen Planner program, please visit: .


 Informational Webinar on ACP

Submitted by Michael Dougherty

The Land Use Planning Community of Practice will hold a free webinar on Tuesday, May 12 at 3 p.m. EDT (UTC -4) to provide an overview of the program.  It will be taught by Kara Salazar, AICP, PCED, LEED AP NC of Purdue University and Wayne Beyea, JD, AICP, of Michigan State University.  The two have been instrumental in the creation of the ACP curriculum and making the program available nationally. To register for the webinar, visit:

The official launch of this program culminates a several-year effort by the Community of Practice to provide an easily accessible training for lay planning officials across the country.

"The American Citizen Planner builds on 15 years of online training experience for thousands of local planning officials," said Wayne Beyea, a board member of the Land Use Planning Community of Planning who has been involved in this effort for over a decade. "It is the most comprehensive online training program available in the nation.  There are over a million elected and appointed planning officials nationwide who make important decisions every day.  The ACP core competency training coupled with the ACP exam is a proven resource resulting in measurable community development impacts as reported by past participants."

"NACDEP is pleased to partner with the Land Use Community of Practice and provide some service to the group through our fiscal management," said NACDEP president Susan Kelly. "We have many common interests and common members, so we are excited to strengthen our ties with this group."

States also have the option of creating their own educational programs as part of this program by working with eXtension.  Presently, Michigan has its own state version and Indiana has plans to launch their state version this year.

For more information, contact Wayne Beyea, JD, AICP, Senior Specialist, Urban & Regional Planning, Michigan State University, School of Planning, Design and Construction, 552 W. Circle Drive, Room 203E, East Lansing, MI 48824. Email: [email protected]



Purdue Extension to offer Beginner's Guide to Grant Writing Train-the-Trainer 

Submitted by Kris Parker

Are you interested in adopting the award-winning Beginner's Guide to Grant Writing program for your state? Purdue Extension will offer a Train-the-Trainer on August 27-28 in Indianapolis. Save the date! We will also host a short workshop and overview at the virtual 2020 NACDEP Conference. 

Purdue Extension has enjoyed a long track-record in Indiana of helping communities large and small to leverage dollars to fund a wide range of projects that improve the quality of life through this program. By providing this valuable workshop to a broad range of local organizations, Extension has also strengthened our own relationships with funders, local government, and nonprofits who can help us fulfill our mission in many ways.

The Train-the-trainer is designed for educators and specialists across all program areas who have some experience writing and/or reviewing grant proposals, who have experience teaching and facilitating participatory workshops, and who are excited to plan and lead a pilot workshop in their state. Participants will learn how to teach the session as well as receive tools and support to build a successful statewide program.

Please share this opportunity with your colleagues, Program Leaders, Regional Directors, or specific individuals who might be interested, if this might be a good fit for your state's Extension programming. We welcome any questions you might have about the program or the Train-the-Trainer. Contact Kris Parker at [email protected] or 219-242-9377.




Journal of Extension Editorial Leadership Opportunities

Submitted by Jamie Rae Walker

The Extension Journal Inc. (EJI) board of directors will implement a new editorial structure for the Journal of Extension (JOE), the official refereed journal for Extension professionals. The purposes of this change are to continue to enhance the scholarly and editorial strengths of the journal and to facilitate efficient editorial processes. The editorial structure will comprise the following positions: Editor in Chief, Senior Editor, Associate Senior Editor, Associate Editors. To establish the new structure, EJI invites applicants for the positions of Senior Editor, Associate Senior Editor, and Associate Editors.

JOE's mission includes commitments both to improving the effectiveness of Extension professionals and other adult educators by expanding and updating their research and knowledge base and to assisting authors in developing their scholarly publishing skills. Successful applicants will contribute substantially to enhancing their colleagues' professional development, enriching the culture of publishing across Extension, and ensuring that JOE is a premier venue in which professionals and students can publish intellectual, creative work that advances the theory and practice of Extension.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: MAY 31, 2020 To learn more about the open positions and application process for each please visit: