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Starting Up: What Women Need to Know to Start a Business

July 25, 2016
Starting  Up: What Women Need to Know to Start a Business All entrepreneurs welcome! August 23  |  8:30 – 12:30am  |  Grand Island, NE Edith Abbott Memorial Library 211 N Washington St. Grand Island, NE Register by Aug. 17: Email …

Starting  Up: What Women Need to Know to Start a Business

All entrepreneurs welcome!

August 23  |  8:30 – 12:30am  |  Grand Island, NE

Edith Abbott Memorial Library
211 N Washington St.
Grand Island, NE

Register by Aug. 17:
Email Monica Braun monicab@cfra.org

Presented by:
REAP-Women’s Business Center, the US Small Business Administration and the FDIC

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NCRCRD Webinar: Assessment of Tribal Natural Resources Needs & Services

June 30, 2016
Assessment of Tribal Natural Resources Needs and Services: Transforming Governance, Management, and Sovereignty in the Upper Great Lakes Jubin Cheruvelil, Michigan State University July 18, 2016 | 3:00 PM Eastern Time http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd About the webinar: Tribal communities are the stewards …

Assessment of Tribal Natural Resources Needs and Services: Transforming Governance, Management, and Sovereignty in the Upper Great Lakes

Jubin Cheruvelil, Michigan State University
July 18, 2016 | 3:00 PM Eastern Time

http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd

About the webinar:

Tribal communities are the stewards of vast rural areas in the Upper Great Lakes. Communities are responsible for the management of Tribal owned lands and the co-management of vast ceded and treatied territories. They face considerable challenges given the dependence on the natural and land resources juxtaposed with rapid environmental and economic changes taking place. Very little effort has been made to assess rural Tribal needs for resource management and governance. In order to understand these challenges, I employed interviews, inter-tribal surveys, and periodical and policy analysis to assess these roadblocks.

The alignment with federal standards also presents mismatches between Tribal and federal standards, regulations, and values of the environment. A better understanding of these mismatches and road blocks can provide a better road map for sovereign approaches that serves both short and long-term natural resources and community wellbeing in the Upper Great Lakes rural communities.

Presented by: Jubin J. Cheruvelil, Ph.D., Dr. Cheruvelil is an anthropologist and behavioral ecologist who studies role and relationships of Indigenous and marginalized communities and the use of natural resources and landscapes. Specifically, he is interested in the linkages between governance, livelihoods, and community well-being. He employs decision-making and critical theories, and mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) in his research. His overall research program explores three key themes 1) indigenous resource commons and policy, 2) Indigenous knowledge, behavior and well-being and 3) Indigenous landscape history and change.

Registration: There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar.

To join the webinar go to http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd, “enter as a guest” is by default already chosen. Type your name into the text box provided, and click on “Enter Room”. You are now in the meeting room for the webinar.

To facilitate Q&A’s, participants submit questions/comments via the Chat Function in Adobe Connect.

The webinar will be recorded and archived at http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/chronological_archive.

 To receive these announcements directly, or to correct errors in our distribution list, please email soliz@anr.msu.edu.

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
Michigan State University
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture
446 W. Circle Drive, Room 66
East Lansing, MI 48824
517.355.3373

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Young Leaders can Share talents with State

June 27, 2016
June 24, 2016 | Original Post Last year’s Civic Health Index for Nebraska showed that millennials — people around age 30 and younger — are the least likely to volunteer, register to vote and show up to the polls, or contact …

June 24, 2016 | Original Post

Last year’s Civic Health Index for Nebraska showed that millennials — people around age 30 and younger — are the least likely to volunteer, register to vote and show up to the polls, or contact public officials. The first-ever study of its type in Nebraska revealed that, as a state, we need to get our younger Nebraskans civically engaged.

Nebraska’s towns and cities thrive when their residents ask, “How can I help?”

The Civic Health Index report raised a red flag, but it also amplified the fact that young Nebraskans possess a wealth of untapped potential to powerfully strengthen their communities. How? By joining organizations that address basic community needs. Church groups, athletic leagues and chambers of commerce are great outlets for young people to put their strong backs and new ideas to work.

Young people have a slew of opportunities to boost the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors, grow our state’s economy and retain residents.

The University of Nebraska’s recently launched Rural Futures Institute understands and appreciates the potential effect civically involved millennial can have on the state, and for that reason, the institute is organizing a leadership summit for fall through the Connecting Young Nebraskans statewide network. CYN is building a network of 550-plus engaged young Nebraska professionals and is continuing to develop new relationships across the state.

The fall leadership event — 2016 Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit — will unfold under the theme, “Creating Life Balance!” The event will be Oct. 28 in York’s Holtus Convention Center. Keynoter Lisa Gunderson is certified to deliver reality-based leadership programs to audiences of all professional levels.

Gunderson will be just one of the engaging speakers who participants will hear. The summit also will offer interactive breakout sessions that will include Senior Gallup Researcher Shane Lopez presenting on the science of hope.

On the evening of Oct. 27, the day before the summit kicks off, mentalist and entertainer Arthur Fratelli will help early arrivals break the ice and begin networking for sessions on the following day.

For millennials looking for ideas and encouragement to be involved, the CYN event offers a lot of promise. Best of all, it’s geared to the people who, sooner than they realize, will be leading Nebraska into the future.

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Marketing Rural Nebraska To New Residents

June 10, 2016
Marketing Rural Nebraska To New Residents by Ariana Brocious, NET News Many Nebraska small towns have been shrinking. A new effort combines modern marketing with old-fashioned community discussions to help reverse that trend. For years, rural communities have been getting …

Marketing Rural Nebraska To New Residents

by Ariana Brocious, NET News

Many Nebraska small towns have been shrinking. A new effort combines modern marketing with old-fashioned community discussions to help reverse that trend.

“Even to maintain your size you need new faces, new people in the community,” said Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension specialist in Scottsbluff. “So we just haven’t kept up pace with bringing those new faces in.”

But not all counties saw losses. A few years ago, Burkhart-Kriesel studied 11 counties in Nebraska’s panhandle to find out what draws people to – and keeps them in – rural communities. Many people may want to move to – or back to – rural towns—for jobs, family and quality of life.

Burkhart-Kriesel said new residents are critical to grow and maintain vibrant communities. But she found one of the main ways new residents scope out potential places—through town web sites—may inadvertently be turning them away.

“When they would go to actually use the website as sort of a filter of where they might relocate, a lot of new residents couldn’t find the information they needed. So that got us thinking in terms of marketing, there’s some real concrete things communities can do,” Burkhart-Kriesel said.

Based on that panhandle research, Burkhart-Kriesel and others developed an extension program called Marketing Hometown America. Seven communities in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska tested it in 2014.

“Marketing Hometown America is really about the community taking a look at itself and saying, what do we look like to new residents? And can we really showcase what we have to offer in this community a little better to that new resident who might be looking to relocate,” Burkhart-Kriesel said.

The extension program trains local residents to lead small discussions among community members, talking about what strengths their community has and how they could better highlight those. After several discussions, the various small groups share their findings with one another and decide on ways they can act. Ben Dutton, an extension educator in Red Willow County, is leading the effort in Nebraska’s southwest corner.

Community members gather at the Marketing Hometown America kick-off event in McCook. (Photo by Ariana Brocious, NET News)

“Ultimately what comes out of it is this laundry list of things that are good things in the community and then things that we might be able to improve, or things we’d like to have that might attract new people,” Dutton said.

From that list communities decide among themselves who will take on the projects—volunteers, city council, private business, or others. Dutton said they strive to involve more than the “usual suspects.”

“There are a lot of different groups that aren’t typically involved in community conversations. And so they’re not used to being asked,” Dutton said. “But most of the time they do really want to be a part of it, they just didn’t know how to get connected before.”

Neligh, a town of about 1500 in northeast Nebraska, was one of the Marketing Hometown America pilot communities. Neligh Economic Development Director Greg Ptacek said a strength of the program was its ability to include diverse perspectives.

“It wasn’t just the same 10 people that show up to every town hall meeting. It was 60 people who might not have normally given their input in a town hall meeting that actually allowed us to change some of the perceptions around Neligh,” Ptacek said. The main result of their program was a town rebranding effort focusing on Neligh’s high quality of life.

“Our brand had been previously just the drive-in and just the Neligh Mill. And what came out of this Marketing Hometown America, and what we found incredibly valuable, is that Neligh is a lot more,” Ptacek said.

That led to the creation of a series of videos (like the one above) on the town’s website that showcase what it has to offer. Ptacek said newcomers have told him the videos helped them decide to move there.

UNL Extension has funds to continue the program in other Nebraska communities, including Red Cloud, Broken Bow and McCook. At the McCook kickoff event a couple weeks ago, facilitators like Clark Bates were enthusiastic about the effort.

“I think there are a lot of things McCook has going for it that people don’t know about, even people who live in McCook and I would like to see this project bring some of those things to light,” Bates said.

McCook Economic Development Corporation Director Kirk Dixon said the program will help the town identify its assets.

“We want to understand what we do that’s so great that we don’t want to lose, and we want to figure out a way to creatively sustain that,” Dixon said. As someone who recently moved to McCook full-time from Washington D.C., Dixon understands the appeal of safe, economically and culturally strong rural communities to outsiders. And he said the timing couldn’t be better, because local leadership in McCook is ready for this kind of effort.

“It’s just uncanny how everyone seems to be lined up right now ready for growth, ready for change, and wanting to team together to do that,” Dixon said.

Creighton college student Peyton Stagemeyer grew up in McCook. At the kickoff event, he said he was recruited to join a discussion group focused on younger residents.

“I already love McCook and I always do my own kind of marketing down at Creighton cause people always ask me where I’m from,” Stagemeyer said. He’s in town for the summer working for his dad’s business, but not sure yet if he’ll move back after graduation.

“There’s not always like, a whole lot to do. Coming from Omaha, I guess you kind of notice that,” Stagemeyer said.

Young people commonly leave rural communities to pursue education, jobs and life experiences elsewhere. But recent USDA and census data found that more 30-year-olds are moving back to rural towns, often looking to raise their families in small towns. That, combined with recent increase in birth rates and economic growth, has dramatically slowed overall rural depopulation for the first time in five years.

Original Story Here »

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Analysis: Internet Access — An Incomplete Promise

June 3, 2016
Analysis: Internet Access — An Incomplete Promise By Frederick L. Pilot  |  Original Post on The Daily Yonder  |  June 1, 2016  |  Print article The U.S. has failed to deliver on universal high-speed, wired Internet service. The consequences for America’s …

Analysis: Internet Access — An Incomplete Promise

By Frederick L. Pilot  |  Original Post on The Daily Yonder  |  June 1, 2016  |  Print article

The U.S. has failed to deliver on universal high-speed, wired Internet service. The consequences for America’s disconnected are a litany of troubles: economic decline population loss, less access to education, and poorer quality medical care. History is likely to judge us harshly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is excerpted from a the report “Service Unavailable: America’s Telecommunications Crisis.”

The lack of broadband is a roadblock in the way of telemedicine for smaller communities.

The lack of broadband is a roadblock in the way of telemedicine for smaller communities.

A prime example of the highly detailed irregularity of landline Internet infrastructure is the case of Jesse Walser, who lives about 20 miles outside of Syracuse, New York, in the town of Pompey. With Time Warner Cable lines about a third of a mile down the road from his house, Walser nevertheless was told by the company that he’d have to pay more than $20,000 to connect his home its network.

Walser and many other Americans are victims of arbitrary redlining by incumbent telephone and cable companies. It’s difficult to make a credible argument that living a third of a mile from existing infrastructure puts a customer in the middle of nowhere, making it too expensive to extend service. Walser’s experience of living close to existing telecommunications infrastructure but not being able to get service is not unique. This situation has existed unchanged throughout much of the United States over the past decade and isn’t likely to change anytime soon without an aggressive plan to address this infrastructure deficit.

With their homes and small businesses lacking access to robust fiber Internet service, many American small business operators try to get by with mobile wireless service not intended to support businesses. Larry Korte is an example, trying to run his consulting business in Churchville, Virginia, on 4G cellular service. But since the service is essentially metered Internet, where users pay overage charges for exceeding bandwidth limits, Korte finds the service expensive and a poor value. “I go to the [cell phone provider] and say, ‘Well, we need 300 gigabytes a month. That would probably do it.’” Korte said. “They laugh at it, and tell me to go to the cable company.” But like many residents in Augusta County, Virginia, Korte’s home is unserved for cable.

Tennessee State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) wants to get better Internet access to about 800 homes in his district. He notes that Charter, Comcast, and AT&T told him that “it’s not profitable” to serve homes in that district, which covers parts of Hamilton and Bradley counties in southeast Tennessee. Some premises in southern Bradley County are less than a mile from Chattanooga’s municipal fiber service, leaving them with dial-up service and a slow connection speed. That leaves nursery operator Joyce Coltrin, like many unserved Americans, reliant on her smartphone for Internet access. “It’s very hard to use an iPhone for business,” said Coltrin, who heads a group of 160 households who call themselves “citizens striving to be part of the 21st century.”

Joanne Hovis, CEO of the national Coalition for Local Internet Choice, notes that mobile wireless Internet service provides just a fraction of what fiber can deliver with respect to speed, reliability, and capacity. “Because of data caps and usage-based pricing, it’s also very, very expensive for anyone who uses a lot of bandwidth, such as families who home-school and therefore require lots of online video,” Hovis complains. She adds that those who argue that people don’t need fiber infrastructure because they have DSL or wireless service “is like saying that the nation doesn’t need the Interstate highway system because we have the Santa Fe Trail.”

Regions Suffer Disparate Internet Infrastructure 

There are many communities in Virginia—largely in the central and southwest regions—where less than 55 percent of households have Internet connections. “We have some that are well-connected, we have some that are not so well connected,” said Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. Given the lack of Internet access at home for many students, schools are opening after regular hours to fill the gap, Jackson said.

Internet infrastructure deficiencies also hurt higher education in Virginia. Rebecca Scheckler, an instructor at Radford University’s School of Nursing, notes her students who live in Pulaski County are required to take online courses, and those who work from home have limited Internet access. “We live in an underserved medical area,” Scheckler says. “I’ve had to advise well-qualified candidates to not go into the [nursing] program because they don’t have good Internet access.” In some regions, like California’s north coast, Internet cafes provide Internet access to consumers who cannot purchase it at home because no service is offered. Michael Nicholls, cochairman of Access Sonoma Broadband, supported the FCC’s adoption of regulations in early 2015 that subjects Internet service to the universal service mandate that has been in place for telephone service for decades.

Internet telecommunications is increasingly seen as being as vital to a region’s economic viability as other utilities, such electrical power. As knowledge work becomes more geographically independent, knowledge workers will need advanced telecommunications infrastructure at their doorsteps… That means fiber-optic connections offering symmetric upload and download speeds and scalability for future growth that is generally not offered by incumbent telco and cable companies.

America’s spotty, disparate Internet access is affecting where people choose to live—as well as where they choose not to live. In Door County, Wisconsin, [a peninsula in Lake Michigan] for example, it’s estimated that between 35 and 50 percent of residential premises have limited Internet access, and another 25 percent have no access. Door County Broadband CEO Kevin Voss says the lack of reliable Internet service makes the county an undesirable locale for people considering moving there.

A study by Broadband Communities magazine revealed a correlation between population trends and the robustness of telecommunications services. One of the publication’s editors, Steven Ross, conducted the research. He notes that the study’s findings correlate to a recent U.S. Commerce Department study that found for the first time in U.S. history, most rural counties lost population between 2010 and 2012.  (EDITOR’S NOTE: Rural population stabilized in the most recent report from the USDA Economic Research Service, which covered 2010 to 2015.)

The study suggests that U.S. settlement and land use patterns could strongly be influenced by the deployment of more robust telecommunications infrastructure in less populous areas of the nation—especially given the fact that much of today’s information and knowledge-based economic activity can take place most anywhere that infrastructure is available. This would balance out the distribution of economic activity that tends to concentrate in high-cost metro areas across a wider swath of the nation and help boost economic development in relatively less populated regions.

Deficient Internet telecommunications infrastructure in these areas of the nation lowers the ability of people to work remotely for distant employers and clients, of school children to access digital learning materials online, and of medical care professionals to interact with and monitor patients via telemedicine. Internet telecommunications is increasingly seen as being as vital to a region’s economic viability as other utilities, such electrical power. As knowledge work becomes more geographically independent, knowledge workers will need advanced telecommunications infrastructure at their doorsteps that can support videoconferencing and other interactive applications. That means fiber-optic connections offering symmetric upload and download speeds and scalability for future growth that is generally not offered by incumbent telco and cable companies.

In 2014, the Federation of State Medical Boards adopted a model policy designed to guide state medical boards in regulating the delivery of medical services remotely via telemedicine. That policy drew protest over its requirement that doctors and patients cannot rely exclusively on lower bandwidth applications such as texting, e-mail, and voice communications and instead must utilize higher bandwidth secure Internet videoconferencing. Opponents of the policy complained that the requirement wouldn’t be practical given Internet infrastructure gaps that don’t allow reliable video connections to patients in their homes.

The adverse impact of Internet access disparities on telemedicine was highlighted during an April 2015 hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Todd Rytting, chief technology officer of Panasonic of North America, testified that while providing Internet-based heartmonitoring services for elderly residents of the New York City area, his company found several places where there was no wired broadband, Wi-Fi, or strong mobile signals available. The SmartCare monitoring service significantly reduced the numbers of heart patients who had to return to the hospital, but “the biggest problem we faced was the lack of broadband to some of our citizens,” Rytting said. Some potential users of the service couldn’t get a broadband connection in “downtown New York City,” he added.

Telecom Infrastructure at an Inflection Point 

In 2015, the United States is at an uncomfortable inflection point where the line extensions of telephone and cable TV services to Internet service have gone about as far as they can within their business models, leaving millions of American homes and businesses without modern Internet service and no immediate prospect of getting it.

Driving much of the discomfort is the lack of a successor to these business models that cannot achieve universal Internet service in the new century in a timely manner. The legacy providers have also reached the limits of their “triple play” business models—offering bundles of Internet data, TV video, and voice service—due to the high costs of TV programming. This provides them little incentive to bring fiber connections to about a quarter of the nation’s homes and small businesses that have remained unserved by modern Internet infrastructure for nearly more than a decade and stuck with dial-up and satellite and, where available, fixed terrestrial wireless service.

The problem has worsened in the past decade as telephone companies have concentrated their infrastructure investments on mobile wireless services while all but ignoring their deteriorating landline cable plants. Much of the landline cable plants are in such poor condition that they can’t deliver any Internet connectivity or can do so only marginally at sluggish speeds.

One strategy for the telephone companies going forward is to sell off portions of their copper cable network assets to smaller players, such as AT&T and Verizon have done. However, in portions of these companies’ service territories where the decades-old copper cable plant is in poor condition and a fully depreciated asset, it’s questionable what value any buyer would see in such a deal. Consequently, these companies have put those assets into runoff mode while milking a declining residual cash flow from a shrinking legacy landline phone services customer base and those stuck with slow, firstgeneration DSL at serviceable premises.

History is likely to judge the United States very harshly in how it met its Internet telecommunications infrastructure challenge. If the nation and its leadership had engaged in proper planning and budgeting a generation ago for the construction of ubiquitous fiber to all American premises, by now, the nation would be fully fibered and reaping the complete promise and value of the Internet.

Instead, the previous two decades were squandered on inaction.

Fred Pilot is from California and writes the Eldo Telecom blog, which covers broadband accessibility and policy.

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2016 RFI Competitive Awards

June 1, 2016
TEACHING AND ENGAGEMENT Proposals selected to receive funding include: Facilitating the Implementation of Social Media Plans for Small Businesses & Local Non-Profits through Service Learning at UNK Sherri Harms (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) partnering with the Economic …

TEACHING AND ENGAGEMENT

Proposals selected to receive funding include:

Facilitating the Implementation of Social Media Plans for Small Businesses
& Local Non-Profits through Service Learning at UNK

Sherri Harms (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) partnering with the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, Nebraska.
Many rural Nebraska small businesses and non-profit organizations do not have the expertise or resources to implement social media plans, which can limit their organizational reach. This project will implement a service learning component to an existing course, where students work with organizations to develop and implement social media plans, in partnership with the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County.

 

Art at Cedar Point

Karen Kunc (PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) partnering with the Ogallala Public School District, Nebraska Game and Parks, Lake McConaughy Visitor/Water Interpretive Center, Nebraska Art Teachers Association and the Petrified Wood Art Museum in Ogallala, Nebraska.
Art at Cedar Point is a transdisciplinary program which blends art and science through undergraduate field courses and artist residencies at Cedar Point Biological Station in western Nebraska. This innovative project will allow students to experience the unique ecosystems and communities of rural western Nebraska and showcase the potential for artists working in rural areas by developing the only Artist in Residence program in the region. 

 

Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI): Youth Are Rural Health Program (YouRhealth)

Kim Matthews (PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) partnering with Lexington High School, Sheldon Art Museum, UNK, UNMC College of Nursing, Lexington Regional Health Center and DHHS.
YouRhealth is a new innovative and bold initiative that creates a learning community that includes civic engagement by transforming Lexington High School’s (LHS) freshman health course into a rigorous visual literacy/critical thinking/community engagement environment. This project will implement the YouRhealth program that teaches freshman high school students to be community health educators by developing and presenting multimedia public health campaigns to their family and friends, as well as provide NU students civic engagement opportunities in a predominately minority community.

 

Understanding Hispanics and Sense of Community in Rural Nebraska

Athena Ramos (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) partnering with Platte County (Columbus) and Colfax County (Schuyler).
A mixed methods research study will be conducted within two Nebraska counties to better understand the assets and the challenges associated with being Hispanic/Latino in rural Nebraska. This project addresses community concerns that were identified during the 2015 East Central District comprehensive community health needs assessment. Six focus groups (three in each county) and a survey of at least 100 Hispanic/Latino individuals from each community will be conducted. A bilingual community report will be developed with community partners that includes actionable recommendations.

 

CEEM Project: A New Community Engagement Education Model

Kim Wilson (PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) partnering with Nebraska Extension, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and various community partners including the Willa Cather Foundation, City of Red Cloud, Chamber of Commerce, and others.
Many semester-long service learning (SL) projects realize immediate impact on community partners and SL students, yet has not translated into long-term community impact. It is felt the short timeframe of the fifteen-week semester coupled with the partner’s limited capacity and infrastructure to act on recommendations diminishes long-term impact. This two-year process will evaluate the ability to strengthen partnerships and develop capacity for the region’s residents by going beyond the semester timeframe and including an expanded team that includes Nebraska Extension and community and professional experts and also extends the project timeframe over multiple years with participation of multiple studios of students.
 

RESEARCH AND ENGAGEMENT

Proposals selected to receive funding include:

Identifying the Interrelationships Between Social Determinants, Self-identity, and Public Health in Minority Rural Communities: Photovoice + Random Spatial Sampling Survey

Kirk Dombrowski (PI), Minority Health Disparities Initiative, Departments of Sociology, Nutrition & Health Sciences, Communications, Psychology and Sheldon Art Museum at UNL, partnering with DHHS and Two Rivers Public Health Department
The HealthVoiceVision transdisciplinary team will combine participatory research with traditional random spatial sampling survey to better understand minority health disparities in rural communities. The research results will translate into interventions, tools and data that communities can use to understand and address minority health disparities.

 

Enhancing Nebraska’s Ecotourism Industry

Richard Edwards (PI), Center for Great Plains Studies, with UNL, UNK, UNO, College of Law, Calamus Outfitters, and international connection with Namibia
Private-lands nature-based tourism can provide many benefits to stressed rural areas. This project will focus on international best practices in Namibia that can help Nebraska’s emerging ecotourism industry grow into world leaders in private-lands ecotourism.

 

Rural Prosperity Research Project

Chuck Hibberd (PI), Nebraska Extension, ALEC, NHRI, and College of Architecture at UNL, partnering with UNO, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Heartland Center for Leadership Development, Nebraska Community Foundation, and the Aspen Institute
This collaborative will build the capacity of a cohort of rural communities to effectively create conditions for a more prosperous future by: increasing economic opportunities through business creation; building up community assets that support a high quality of life; and attracting and keeping people to achieve demographic renewal. This project applies a systems approach designed to achieve systemic change.

 

Raising Awareness of Health Professionals Education Among Rural Nebraska Latino Youth

Patrik Johansson (PI), UNMC College of Public Health, with UNK, Nebraska Area Health Education Center (AHEC), and partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Central Community College, Doane College, Grand Island Latino Leadership Group, Grand Island Senior High, St. Francis Hospital, and DHHS
Health professions shortages represent a challenge to the sustainability of rural communities. While there are insufficient rural health professionals in general, Latinos are virtually absent from this workforce. This study will develop strategies to raise awareness of health professions education among rural Nebraska Latino high school and college students, resulting in increased numbers of Latino youth who pursue health professions.

 

SPECIAL PROJECTS

The RFI is also funding the following special project:

Collaborative Capacity Building in Rural Nebraska Schools via Technology

Amanda Witte (PI), and Susan Sheridan (co-PI) University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) partnering with rural schools and educators, and the Nebraska Department of Education.
There are long-standing barriers to services in rural communities including insufficient mental health services, cultural differences, and stigma that make access to treatment options for mental and behavioral issues a challenge for students in rural areas. This project will develop and evaluate highly accessible, effective and sustainable solutions for rural schools and families to increase access to mental health supports, address rural students’ mental and behavioral health challenges, and bolster academic success.
 
 
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Webinar: Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty

May 18, 2016
Webinar: Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-2014   Webinar Details: Date: Monday, May 23, 2016 Time: 1:00 PM EDT Duration: 1 hour Host(s): Thomas Hertz, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA Description: Rural child poverty fell during the 1990s, but trended upward from 2003 …

Webinar: Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-2014

 

Webinar Details:may16_feature_hertz_photo

Date: Monday, May 23, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Thomas Hertz, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA

Description:

Rural child poverty fell during the 1990s, but trended upward from 2003 to 2012, rising during the economic expansion of 2003-07, the recession of 2007-2009, and in the first few years of economic recovery. The share of rural children living in poverty peaked in 2012 at 26.7 percent, the highest rate since at least 1968. The rural child poverty rate has since declined, but it remains significantly higher than in 2003.

ERS economist Thomas Hertz will present findings from his recent report co-authored by ERS geographer Tracey Farrigan, Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-2014, on the causes of rising rural child poverty since 2003. Their analysis seeks to explain the relative importance of changes in average rural incomes, changes in income inequality, and changes in rural demographics.

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Federal Reserve/USDA Rural Housing Conference

May 4, 2016
The Federal Reserve Board will host a policy forum, The Future of Rural Communities: Implications for Housing, on May 10, 2016, to be held in Washington, D.C. Participants across the country are invited to join the event via live-stream. The forum will …

The Federal Reserve Board will host a policy forum, The Future of Rural Communities: Implications for Housing, on May 10, 2016, to be held in Washington, D.C. Participants across the country are invited to join the event via live-stream.

The forum will explore:

  • Changing demographic and economic trends that are exacerbating existing housing and community development policy misalignments in rural communities
  • Promising models for addressing community needs resulting from collaboration between policymakers and practitioners
  • The unanswered research and policy questions that could contribute to developing evidence-based policy uniquely targeted to the needs of rural communities.

The forum will be hosted by the Federal Reserve Board in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development with critical thought leadership and support provided by NeighborWorks America and the Housing Assistance Council.

Related Link: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/conferences/ruralconf.htm

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USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities

April 29, 2016
Lincoln, Neb., April 26 2016 – USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Community Connect is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and helps to fund broadband deployment into …

Lincoln, Neb., April 26 2016 – USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Community Connect is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and helps to fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to provide service.

USDA plans to award up to $11.7 million in grants through the Community Connect grant program. The grants fund broadband infrastructure to help foster economic growth by delivering connectivity to the global marketplace. The grants also fund broadband for community centers and public institutions.

USDA has invested $160 million in more than 240 projects to bring broadband to unserved rural communities since the Community Connect Program was created in 2002.

The minimum grant is $100,000 for FY 2016. The maximum award is $3 million. USDA announced new rules in 2013 to better target Community Connect grants to areas where they are needed the most. To view the rules, go to https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-18/pdf/2016-08931.pdf

Prior Community Connect grants cannot be renewed. However, existing Community Connect awardees may submit applications for new projects, which USDA will evaluate as new applications.

For more information on how to apply for grants, see page 22567 of the April 18, 2016 Federal Register.

In Nebraska contact Roger Meeks at (402) 416-4936 or roger.meeks@wdc.usda.gov.

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UNMC, ECDHD join forces in effort to prevent smoking

April 18, 2016
COLUMBUS — What do different medical professions such as dentistry, radiography and nursing have in common? The unfortunate answer is tobacco. When the University of Nebraska Medical Center and East Central District Health Department were deciding on a subject for an …
Courtesy photo Representatives of East Central District Health Department and the University of Nebraska Medical Center pose for a photo. The two health care providers are partnering on a research project focused on tobacco use.

Courtesy photo
Representatives of East Central District Health Department and the University of Nebraska Medical Center pose for a photo. The two health care providers are partnering on a research project focused on tobacco use.

COLUMBUS — What do different medical professions such as dentistry, radiography and nursing have in common? The unfortunate answer is tobacco.

When the University of Nebraska Medical Center and East Central District Health Department were deciding on a subject for an interdisciplinary research project, ECDHD executive director Rebecca Rayman said one of the reasons they ultimately chose tobacco and smoking prevention is because it applies to many medical disciplines and many of the health issues ECDHD treats.

“When this opportunity came to us, we looked at what are the major causes in the community for population mortality. The big two are heart disease and cancer, both of which are related to smoking and tobacco use,” Rayman said. “Then we looked at what if we could reduce smoking. We’d save millions of dollars and improve quality of life.”

The three UNMC students have seen the effects of tobacco in their rotations at rural hospitals.

Erica Boyd, a dentistry student, has done a rotation at ECDHD before. She’s seen the consequences of tobacco use and the lack of access to medical care in rural areas firsthand.

“What I found stunning is how far some people from the country will let their cancers get before coming to the doctor,” she said. “It’s hard to wrap my head around how they won’t come in until they’re not able to eat or breathe.”

Nursing student Paula Schaefer seconded that based on her experiences.

“We’ll see people coming into the hospital that their disease has progressed to an extensive level. Whether it’s cancer or cardiovascular disease, whether it’s respiratory disease, it magnifies it when they’re from a rural setting, and they’re less able to or less likely to seek medical treatment until it gets to a certain threshold where they have to,” Schaefer said. “And there’s many diseases that if you reach that tipping point, you’re on the way down and there are limited things we can do as interventions.”

Even though Tori Bailey, a radiography student from Norfolk, may not come into direct contact with patients, she sees the effects tobacco has.

“I do a lot of chest X-rays. You’ll get (the patients) coming in, and they’ll be coughing and everything and its COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Their lungs just look terrible,” Bailey said. “You’ll see the radiograph, and it’s just like, ‘Wow.’ You can tell how much it’s affecting their body.”

For their three-week public health rotation at ECDHD, Bailey, Boyd and Schaefer are researching smoking prevention measures, what legislation has been passed and what has been effective.

Next semester’s group of UNMC students will conduct community-based research to help ECDHD and its affiliated health organizations develop strong, research-based legislation to reduce tobacco use in Nebraska.

“These three students will have the potential to have the biggest impact on the health of Nebraskans than any single physician if this project leads to legislation that reduces tobacco use,” Rayman said. “It’s a health issue, it’s an economic issue and a family issue.”

The project also indirectly addresses two other important medical issues. First is the difficulty rural communities have attracting medical professionals, even in a larger city like Columbus.

Patrik Johansson is director of the Rural Health Education Network at UNMC, which collaborates on rotations in rural clinics and facilities.

“Part of it is providing students the opportunity to work in a rural setting, which will hopefully raise awareness of opportunities and careers in rural care,” Johansson said.

Boyd said the walk-in dental clinic at ECDHD is always full because of the scarcity of dentists in surrounding areas. She just completed a rotation at a private dental practice in a town smaller than Columbus.

“The need is just much higher,” she said. “He’s booked out six months in advance.”

The project is also meant to encourage collaboration between different medical disciplines and counter the siloing that occurs when disciplines don’t communicate with one other.

“Everyone has unique gifts that come to the table. They’re trained in a specific path, but when you’re only using your path, you might miss something that they would be able to pick up,” Schaefer said. “It becomes a dynamic interchange. And the patient or the person you’re serving is the one who wins on that because they’re going to have the latest evidence and the best information instead of someone just guessing.”

“Anytime you pull in multiple perspective, multiple schools of thought or even multiple colleges of thought, it’s going to be beneficial to a project,” Boyd said.

The students will complete their three-week project next week, when they’ll give a presentation on their research.

By Christina Lieffring | Apr 16, 2016
Original Post »

This research project is one of the Rural Futures Institute’s 2015 Teaching & Engagement funded projects. Patrick Johansson is the principal investigator and the proposal is titled “Rural Interprofessional UNMC Student Rotations.” 

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Kate Likens selected as ambassador for Agriculture Future of America

April 15, 2016
Kate Likens, a sophomore agriculture education major from Swanton, has been selected as a campus ambassador for Agriculture Future of America. Likens is one of just 15 campus ambassadors in the United States selected through a competitive application process to …

Kate Likens, a sophomore agriculture education major from Swanton, has been selected as a campus ambassador for Agriculture Future of America. Likens is one of just 15 campus ambassadors in the United States selected through a competitive application process to serve as AFA’s student voice and represent peers on a national level. In addition to serving as a liaison between AFA, their respective campuses and AFA corporate partners, the ambassadors will assist the student advisory team in delivering the 2016 AFA Leaders Conference Nov. 3-6 in Kansas City. Agriculture Future of America is a professional development organization for collegiate leaders and young professionals, providing leader development, intern support and scholarships.

Likens is an Engler Entrepreneurs student and soon-to-be RFI summer intern.

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New Position: Communications and Public Relations Director

April 14, 2016
The Communications and Public Relations Director is responsible for developing, implementing and leading effective internal and external communications strategies for the Rural Futures Institute that communicate the vision and work of the institute both domestically and internationally, including support for …

The Communications and Public Relations Director is responsible for developing, implementing and leading effective internal and external communications strategies for the Rural Futures Institute that communicate the vision and work of the institute both domestically and internationally, including support for efforts to influence a more positive narrative regarding rural people and places. The Director works with the Executive Team, Central Administration, other NU Institutes and others in the RFI in developing strategy and will have the opportunity to shape and build the brand and reputation of the RFI both domestically and internationally by using print, digital and a wide variety of other platforms. Because the RFI is a university-wide institute, the Director must build and maintain close collaborative relationships with administrators, communications staff and faculty on all four campuses of the University as well as in Central Administration. The Communications and Public Relations Director is also responsible for managing the communications and marketing team.

Apply Today!

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Helping Small Towns Succeed

April 14, 2016
Engaging Leaders. Building Communities. Sustaining Success. 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Heartland Center for Leadership Development October 11-13, 2016 Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming     Connie Reimers-Hild, Associate Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute at the University …

Engaging Leaders. Building Communities. Sustaining Success.

30th Anniversary Celebration of the
Heartland Center for Leadership Development

October 11-13, 2016
Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
 


 

Connie copyConnie Reimers-Hild, Associate Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, is one of nine featured presenters at the annual institute in October.  Connie’s session is entitled “The Future of Leadership.”  

While many are struggling to keep up with the rapid rate of change, future-focused leaders are growing their communities by blending technology with the human experience.  Leaders who utilize emerging technologies and use an inclusive approach to leadership while creating meaningful experiences, will innovate community engagement in ways not yet imagined.  This presentation will provide practical information on megatrends designed to help rural people and places change the conversation from one focused on challenges to a dialogue filled with endless opportunities.

Follow Connie’s blog as well as her Twitter feed @askdrconnie.

Registration

Register today to receive the Early Bird rate of $295, a $100 discount, offered to the first 50 paid registrants.  Your conference registration fee covers the opening reception, lunch on Wednesday, breaks on Wednesday and Thursday and all of your learning and networking materials. Click on the link below for registration.

Lodging

Snow King Resort is offering our participants a preferred rate of $139 per night. This rate is valid through September 10 or until the reserved room block has filled. On-site Resort features include a restaurant serving local cuisine, spa and fitness facility and an outdoor swimming pool.  For visitors who want to visit nearby natural amenities, Grand Teton National Park is just a short drive north of the town of Jackson and Yellowstone National Park is about three hours away.  Click here to reserve your lodging.

Get more information »

Register Now!

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Rural Futures Institute Establishes New Partnership: Kaskie to lead the RFI Fellows Program

April 13, 2016
April 13, 2016 — The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to welcome Shawn Kaskie and Aliese Hoffman to the RFI Team.  Kaskie will lead efforts in developing and expanding the RFI Fellows Program. He will …

April 13, 2016 — The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to welcome Shawn Kaskie and Aliese Hoffman to the RFI Team.  Kaskie will lead efforts in developing and expanding the RFI Fellows Program. He will be assisted by Aliese Hoffman, administrative specialist.

In the new partnership Kaskie will hold joint positions with the RFI and the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Center for Rural Research and Development (CRRD) in the College of Business and Technology. Shawn is a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer, and a former Gallup Entrepreneurship Acceleration System Guide, a business retention and expansion consultant, and NxLevel entrepreneurship instructor.

Hoffman will also have a shared RFI/CRRD position and will assist Kaskie as program assistant for the development of the Fellows program.  Hoffman is a Red Cloud native and UNK graduate.

“Kaskie will join the RFI team with the goal of launching and growing a RFI Fellows Program“ said Chuck Schroeder, executive director of the Rural Futures Institute.

Kaskie has a Master’s degree in regional planning and undergraduate majors in public administration, sociology, and psychology from Hastings College.  He has experience in providing community economic development and market research.

“We are very excited to welcome Shawn and Aliese to the RFI team and look forward to developing even closer working relationships between the four University of Nebraska campuses as well as community and organizational partners as the RFI Fellows program evolves” said Connie Reimers-Hild, associate director of the Rural Futures Institute.  The Memorandum of Understanding between the RFI and the University of Nebraska at Kearney is the first for the Institute.

“Shawn will be in a position to advance the agendas of both the RFI Fellows Program and the Center for Rural Research and Development on the UNK campus. This is a collaboration of tremendous potential that is emerging at exactly the right time and in a most effective way” said Charles Bicak, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at UNK.

The Rural Futures Institute is one of four interdisciplinary institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the system. The institute, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.

For more information about the Rural Futures Institute, visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu. For the latest information follow Rural Futures on Twitter at twitter.com/rural_futures or Facebook at facebook.com/ruralfutures.

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Klein joins NU’s Rural Futures Institute team

April 8, 2016
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to welcome Theresa Klein as executive associate to the RFI Team. She will work directly with the executive team to drive progress in all areas of the Institute …

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to welcome Theresa Klein as executive associate to the RFI Team. She will work directly with the executive team to drive progress in all areas of the Institute in pursuit of its bold objective of being a world-class center for exploring and impacting all things rural.

Klein resides on a small farm west of Wahoo, Neb., and has grassroots leadership experience and perspective that adds another rural dimension to the RFI’s executive team. She joins the team from her previous role as development director for Bishop Neumann High School in Wahoo, Neb.

Klein has been engaged in a wide variety of community leadership roles including: Wahoo Chamber of Commerce, Teammates Board, Public Library Foundation and Friends of Saunders County 4-H and Extension Foundation. She currently serves on the Saunders County Ag Society and is a trustee of the Saunders Medical Center.

Klein’s previous experience includes serving as the public relations and communications coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, followed by joining the University of Nebraska Foundation where she served as director of communications for 11 years. Klein is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and studied animal science and ag economics.

“Klein has a strong working knowledge of rural areas which will provide valuable insight when working with the RFI team to create synergies and to provide feedback from the community perspective,” said Chuck Schroeder, executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. “We are very excited to welcome Theresa. Her background, along with her ability to connect to people, is a great fit for our team.”

The Rural Futures Institute is one of four interdisciplinary institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the system. The institute, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.

For more information about the Rural Futures Institute, visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu. For the latest information follow Rural Futures on Twitter at twitter.com/rural_futures or Facebook at facebook.com/ruralfutures.

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Addressing Rural Healthcare Disparities

April 4, 2016
Addressing Rural Healthcare Disparities Using Behavioral Economic Insights Nonmetropolitan residents, those living outside central urbanized areas greater than 50,000 in population, are one of the largest medically underserved populations in the United States. Twenty percent of the U.S. population lives …

Addressing Rural Healthcare Disparities
Using Behavioral Economic Insights

Nonmetropolitan residents, those living outside central urbanized areas greater than 50,000 in population, are one of the largest medically underserved populations in the United States. Twenty percent of the U.S. population lives in nonmetropolitan areas, yet only nine percent of primary care providers are practicing in such areas (Rosenblatt and Hart 2000, 348). In addition to a geographic imbalance of healthcare practitioners, nonmetropolitan residents suffer from higher rates of chronic diseases and disability, report higher levels of obesity, are older on average, and are more likely to report being in fair or poor health than their metropolitan counterparts (Ricketts 2000, 640 and USDA ERS 2009, 43).

In response to this rural healthcare disparity, federal and state programs have been established to incentivize healthcare providers to practice in geographic regions that have been identified as having a shortage of primary care, dental, and mental healthcare providers. These geographic areas are called Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA), and over 60 million Americans live in a shortage area for primary care. Nationally, over half of these HPSA designations are in nonmetropolitan counties, while in Nebraska, over 85 percent of these designations are in nonmetropolitan counties (U.S. DHHS 2016) [1]. Additionally, the State of Nebraska designates counties as state-designated shortage areas to further identify healthcare provider needs within the state.

Being designated a shortage area makes these areas eligible to benefit from programs that incentivize providers to practice in such areas. In Nebraska, two incentive programs are administered from state funds, 1) the Nebraska Student Loan Program (SLP), and 2) the Nebraska Loan Repayment Program (LRP). Under the SLP, the state awards forgivable student loans to medical, physician assistant, dental, and graduate-level mental health students who agree to practice one year in a state-designated shortage area for every year they accept the forgivable loan. Under the LRP, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, occupational and physical therapists, and mental healthcare providers receive funds to pay back student loans for three years once they begin to practice in a shortage area. Both programs require the participants to practice in a state-designated shortage area for a certain period of time in exchange for the financial incentive (NE DHHS 2015). A table summarizing the differences between the programs is provided below.

 

table

 

Although both programs exist to alleviate the rural healthcare disparity, the programs have important differences in the structure and timing of the healthcare provider’s decision to commit to serve in a state-designated shortage area in return for the incentive, which may influence their effectiveness. Additionally, the SLP has implemented changes in the administration of the program over time: in 1998, participants began receiving semi-annual letters reminding them of their practice obligation to the State of Nebraska until their obligation was completed; in 2007, the cost of defaulting on the obligation was changed from 24 percent simple interest to 150 percent principal + 8 percent simple interest. In the LRP, the cost of default has remained constant at 125 percent[2] of funds received.

Initial analysis suggests that the effectiveness of the two programs in recruiting healthcare providers into nonmetropolitan shortage areas differs significantly. Since its inception, nearly 45 percent of SLP participants have failed to complete their practice obligation, compared to only eight percent of LRP participants. However, the SLP default rate has decreased over time, suggesting that the administrative and financial changes mentioned above have positively influenced the completion rate.

This difference in completion rate, given the structural differences of the programs, may be explained, in part, by a behavioral economic concept known as projection bias. Projection bias refers to an individual’s tendency to exaggerate the degree to which their future preferences reflect their current preferences (Loewenstein, O’Donoghue, and Rabin 2003, 1210). One common manifestation of projection bias is grocery shopping while hungry. In a state of hunger, an individual is likely to purchase more food and a greater amount of unhealthy options that their future, satiated self may not prefer. Hungry shoppers act as if their future taste for food will reflect such hunger (Loewenstein, O’Donoghue, and Rabin 2003, 1215).

In these incentive programs, the differences in timing of the decision to participate in a program, thereby obligating oneself to practice in a state-designated shortage area, may lead to a higher probability of projection bias in the SLP compared to the LRP. In the SLP, individuals receive the incentive while in training, and by participating in the program, agree to practice in a nonmetropolitan, medically underserved area. In this scenario, an individual is predicting their future preferences years in advance (up to seven years in the case of a medical student), compared to LRP participants, who receive the incentive once they are practicing, and make their decision to participate in the last year or two of training. New experiences or maturation can lead to discovery of or changes in preferences, while an individual’s background—e.g., whether that person has lived in a rural area before or not—may also affect prediction of future preferences. Both changes and lack of experiences may make it more difficult for SLP participants to accurately predict their true future practice preferences, resulting in SLP participants being more likely to exhibit projection bias.

Additionally, projection bias may be influenced by the participants’ perception of how binding their decision to participate is. Early on in the SLP, there was no follow-up or reminder of their service obligation during the course of the participant’s education and training. Under this condition, an individual may not have perceived that receiving the incentive binds them to actually fulfill their service obligation. As participants began to be reminded of their service obligation, participants likely viewed their decision to participate as more consequential, and spent greater time considering their future practice preferences because predicting incorrectly would result in potentially significant loss of utility. Research shows that prompting individuals to think more carefully about future preferences reduces bias (Loewenstein et al. 2003, 1213), and it is probable that individuals are more likely to devote more cognitive resources to decisions that have greater consequences for their future selves. Thus, the greater cognitive effort put into considering future preferences, and how such preferences might change over the course of professional school, is expected to decrease projection bias among participants. Those who spend less time contemplating their future preferences may naïvely assume that their current preferences accurately represent their future ones, choose to participate in the SLP, and end up defaulting if changes in their practice preferences occur.

The high buyout rate of the SLP suggests that projection bias may reduce the effectiveness of this program. The differences in completion rate, coupled with structural differences between and within programs, suggest that there is reason to believe a particular design of incentive programs may be more useful in recruiting healthcare providers to practice in medical shortage areas. Other factors may also contribute to projection bias. For instance, individual differences, such as growing up in a rural location, should help some decision makers more accurately predict their future preferences. Apart from other potential sources of projection bias, studying the efficacy of program design can provide useful insights in addressing rural healthcare disparities. By identifying what factors contribute to the highest probability of completion, similar state and federal rural health incentive programs can adapt policies to positively influence the success rate of recruiting healthcare providers to serve populations in high need.

[1] Healthcare facilities in metropolitan areas may also be designated a Health Professional Shortage Area or state-designated shortage area and may be eligible to receive state and federal funds.

[2] Default cost in the LRP has changed from 125% since 2015, but does not affect the sample of the proposed research.


PDF

Jordyn Bader
M.S. candidate
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
jbader@nebraska.edu

Christopher Gustafson
Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
cgustafson6@unl.edu

References

Citations Loewenstein, George, Ted O’Donoghue, and Matthew Rabin. 2003. “Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(4), 1209–1248.

NE Department of Health and Human Services. “Nebraska Rural Health Advisory Commission’s Annual Report and Rural Health Recommendations.” December 2015. Accessed on March 8, 2016. .

Ricketts, Thomas. 2000. “The Changing Nature of Rural Health Care.” Annual Review of Public Health 21: 639–657.

Rosenblatt, Roger and L. Gary Hart. 2000. “Physicians and Rural America.” Western Journal of Medicine 173, no. 5 (November): 348–351.

United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. “Health Status and Health Care Access of Farm and Rural Populations.” Carol Jones, Timothy Parker, Mary Ahearn, Ashok K. Mishra, and Jayachandran Variyam, Bulletin No. (EIB-57). August 2009, 72.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2016. “Designated Health Professional Shortage Areas Statistics.” HRSA Data Warehouse. Last modified January 1, 2016. Accessed on March 8, 2016. Report generated at http://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/topics/shortageAreas.aspx.

 

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Small Giants Conference

April 1, 2016
Small Giants Conference | Feb. 17, 2016 | Lincoln, NE A conference centered on the business and community principles of “Small Giants” has applications for rural business people and farm and ranch owner-operators. Visit www.angus.media to continue watching this special …

Small Giants Conference | Feb. 17, 2016 | Lincoln, NE

A conference centered on the business and community principles of “Small Giants” has applications for rural business people and farm and ranch owner-operators. Visit www.angus.media to continue watching this special episode of The Angus Report, brought to you by our friends at the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Meet some of rural America’s “Small Giants,” including Garden City Coop in Garden City, Kan., and the enthusiastic next generation of community business leaders.
The future of rural America is bright thanks to entrepreneurial-minded young people — and a few practiced core values that can make all the difference in developing a thriving business.
Why do some rural areas thrive while others decline? We talk about Small Giant leadership principles with Chuck Schroeder, executive director of the Rural Futures Institute, and how communities can create a vision for economic growth.
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Aspects and Impacts of the Syrian Crisis

March 24, 2016
Water Scarcity, Human Security and Democratization Aspects and Impacts of the Syrian Crisis April 19 | Nebraska Innovation Campus As a result of the civil conflict, threats to water and food security in Syria and surrounding nations are a daily …

Water Scarcity, Human Security and Democratization

Aspects and Impacts of the Syrian Crisis

April 19 | Nebraska Innovation Campus

As a result of the civil conflict, threats to water and food security in Syria and surrounding nations are a daily reality. Join us for a one-day conference where we will learn from international experts about the refugee crisis and the ripple of humanitarian concerns.

“Water Scarcity, Human Security and Democratization: 
Aspects and Impacts of the Syrian Crisis”

Tuesday, April 19
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nebraska Innovation Campus – Conference Center
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Event highlights:

  • Keynote addresses and a panel discussion with experts on water issues in the Middle East, including governmental and nongovernmental agencies and academics
  • A conversation with University of Nebraska students about their recent trip to Jordan
  • The screening of Salam Neighbor, a documentary about Syrian refugees in Jordan.

The conference is free and open to the public. To attend, please register by April 11.

Learn more about the conference »

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Webinar: Cultivating Entrepreneurs in Rural Communities

March 18, 2016
Innovative Approaches to Strengthen Rural Entrepreneurship Discussions of innovation, venture capital and other tech-based economic development topics often focus on metro areas, but rural communities throughout the country are developing novel approaches to TBED. Two of these organizations – the …

Innovative Approaches to Strengthen Rural Entrepreneurship

Discussions of innovation, venture capital and other tech-based economic development topics often focus on metro areas, but rural communities throughout the country are developing novel approaches to TBED. Two of these organizations – the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota and Business Oregon – will join SSTI on a special webinar discussing how TBED can achieve prosperity in non-metro regions.

To learn more about TBED efforts, join us for this month’s webinar: Cultivating Entrepreneurs in Rural Communities.

Cultivating Entrepreneurs in Rural Communities

Wednesday, March 23 at 3:00 P.M. ET
Register Today »

Date: Wednesday, March 23
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 P.M. ET
Location: Online — Gather your colleagues around the conference table or from the comforts of home
Cost: $49 member, $69 non-members

Enacting a successful tech-based economic development strategy poses unique challenges in rural areas. Yet, with educational attainment rates lower and poverty rates higher than metro areas, there are clear motivations for striving to improve rural prosperity. During this month’s Inspiring Thought webinar, SSTI will host a conversation with some of the country’s successful and innovative rural TBED programs.

Presenters:

  • Bruce Gjovig, Entrepreneur Coach & Director of the Center for Innovation, University of North Dakota
  • Heather Stafford, Assistant Director Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Business Oregon
  • Catherine Renault (moderator), Principal and Owner, Innovation Policyworks LLC
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Lincoln Envirorun

March 18, 2016
Lincoln Envirorun March 30, 2015 Join with your colleagues-at-large on a fun four-mile run. Enjoy the scenery on the trails surrounding Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC), and network with other environmentally-minded people. The fun run is followed by the monthly Speaker …

Lincoln Envirorun

March 30, 2015

Join with your colleagues-at-large on a fun four-mile run. Enjoy the scenery on the trails surrounding Nebraska Innovation Campus (NIC), and network with other environmentally-minded people. The fun run is followed by the monthly Speaker Series.

Details:

5:30 p.m. – Envirorunners will meet at Nebraska Innovation Campus, Food Innovation Center (1901 North 21st Street, Room 111, Lincoln); there will be a place to store bags during the fun run. There is free parking in the lot across from the entrance.

6:30 p.m. – Anyone is welcome! Envirorun will return to NIC for a presentation from Rachael Herpel, Daugherty Water for Food Institute Assistant Director.

We look forward to seeing you Wednesday, March 30. Happy trails and happy networking, envirorunners!

Download Flyer »

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Shoemaker’s Article Accepted by Michigan Law Review

March 18, 2016
Professor Jessica Shoemaker’s recent article, Complexity’s Shadow: American Indian Property, Sovereignty, and the Future, has been accepted by the Michigan Law Review. The article offers a comprehensive approach to analyzing the modern American Indian land tenure system and explores particularly how the …

Professor Jessica Shoemaker’s recent article, Complexity’s Shadow: American Indian Property, Sovereignty, and the Future, has been accepted by the Michigan Law Review. The article offers a comprehensive approach to analyzing the modern American Indian land tenure system and explores particularly how the recent pattern of hyper-categorizing property and sovereignty interests into ever-more granular and interacting jurisdictional variables has exacerbated development and self-governance challenges in Indian Country.

Shoemaker presented, “The Complexity Problem in American Indian Land Tenure,” at the AALS Property Section breakfast on January 7, 2016, and “Beyond Consolidation: Rethinking Property and Sovereignty in Indian Country,” at the University of Arizona annual Tribal Lands Conference on January 25, 2016.

Shoemaker was also quoted discussing the dispute the Omaha Tribe is bringing before the Supreme Court. Listen here: http://bit.ly/1niV8Gp

 

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Research & Engagement Applications Due Tomorrow!

March 14, 2016
Research & Engagement Applications for the RFI Competitive Awards are due Tuesday, March 14th. Learn More »

Research & Engagement Applications for the RFI Competitive Awards are due Tuesday, March 14th. Learn More »

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Community Development Week 2016…celebrate Nebraska communities success

March 7, 2016
MARCH 7, 2016 (LINCOLN, NEB.)–Mark your calendar to celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Community Development (CD) Week, March 28-April 2, 2016. Community development efforts across Nebraska will focus on this year’s theme of “42 Years Building Strong Communities.” The National …

MARCH 7, 2016 (LINCOLN, NEB.)–Mark your calendar to celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Community Development (CD) Week, March 28-April 2, 2016.

Community development efforts across Nebraska will focus on this year’s theme of “42 Years Building Strong Communities.”

The National Community Development Association initiated National CD Week in 1986 to remind Congress of the importance of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. In Nebraska, federal, state and local organizations have formed partnerships to support community development activities in recognition of CD Week.

Communities are invited to celebrate CD Week by hosting a variety of activities locally. Suggested activities include holding a proclamation signing by local officials, hosting a community appreciation dinner, working with downtown business owners to promote downtown and area businesses, and/or writing letters to congressional representatives to share achievements and express opinions about the resources and programs that help make community development projects possible.

In Nebraska, the Governor’s Showcase Community Award recognizes a community that has demonstrated an exceptional capacity during the past five to ten years to identify community development goals and strategies; combine federal, state and local resources to achieve those goals; and accomplish major projects with positive impacts on the community. The Governor’s Showcase Community Award will be announced at a special proclamation signing and awards ceremony during CD Week at the State Capitol in Lincoln.

For more information about CD Week, or the Showcase Community Award, visit www.neded.org/community-development-week, or contact Rebecca Schademann, CD Week Coordinator at 800-426-6505, (402) 471-3172, or e-mail rebecca.schademann@nebraska.gov

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Business Innovation Conference 2016

March 7, 2016
When: April 20th | 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Where: Hastings, NE | The Lark – 809 W 2nd St Who: You, Your Team, Your Ideas! What: Join us for a day of inspiring motivation for turning your creativity into innovation …

When: April 20th | 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Hastings, NE | The Lark – 809 W 2nd St

Who: You, Your Team, Your Ideas!

What: Join us for a day of inspiring motivation for turning your creativity into innovation in the workplace. Learn how to create a culture of ideas and motion.

This conference will motivate, inspire and energize! It will be packed with useful information delivered in a fun, concise, mindful way.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Keck, UNL Raikes School of Computer Science

Register at Procodeevents.com »
Registration only $80 | Student Rate $50 | Discounted Rate for groups of 5 or more!
includes lunch & refreshments

Download Printable Flyer »

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Experience the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process

March 7, 2016
Experience the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process, ECAP for short!  Monday, April 11 in Fremont, Dodge County Extension Office, 1206 W 23rd Street -or- Thursday, April 21 in North Platte, Lincoln County Extension Office, 348 West State Farm Road, North Platte …

Experience the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process,
ECAP for short!

 Monday, April 11 in Fremont, Dodge County Extension Office, 1206 W 23rd Street
-or-
Thursday, April 21 in North Platte, Lincoln County Extension Office, 348 West State Farm Road, North Platte

City and county leaders, non-profit board members, professionals and others involved in community and economic development, who desire to make communities better places to live and work, are invited to experience the Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process. That’s ECAP for short!

The experience starts at 9:30 a.m.; the fun wraps up by 4:30 in the afternoon. To participate complete the registration form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z25FK7P by noon Thursday, April 6th.

ECAP is a unique community engagement process proven to get people creating new and exciting possibilities for a brighter future. The ECAP approach is built around eight characteristics deemed critical for retaining and attracting people.

An Ashland resident said, “I was new to the community when the ECAP process began, and I frankly can’t imagine a better way to get to know a community in a hurry. I feel a sense of connection to and investment that it might have taken me months or years to achieve without this process.”

While the eight characteristics aren’t necessarily new or different, successful communities manage them with new and different approaches – approaches that require risk-taking and challenge the status quo…approaches deemed as being out-of-the-box…or ENTREPRENEURIAL!!

Come and join Nebraska Extension and EXPERIENCE ECAP! Learn what it takes to bring ECAP to your community and how to lead the ECAP charge. The ECAP experience comes without a fee thanks to grant funding provided by the Rural Futures Institute. For more information about Nebraska Extension’s new Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process, ECAP for short, contact:

Charlotte Narjes (402) 472-1724 | cnarjes1@unl.edu

Jessica Jones (402) 335-3669 | jjones12@unl.edu

Carroll Welte (402) 374-2954 | cwelte1@unl.edu

Download Printable Flyer »

 

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Gov. Ricketts Announces First Annual Governor’s Summit on Economic Development

March 7, 2016
February 23, 2016 The first annual summit will be held on July 12th in Lincoln LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Governor’s Office and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) will host a first-of-its-kind “Governor’s Summit on Economic …

“The summit will bring together Nebraskans who are dedicated to growing our state,” said Governor Ricketts.  “This event will provide an annual opportunity for Nebraska’s business and economic development community members to carry on a conversation about how to attract new businesses, retain existing ones, and create good-paying jobs for the next generation.”

This year, the Governor’s Summit will focus on the results of a study by SRI International regarding the state’s existing economic development programs.  SRI is a nonprofit, independent research center hired earlier this year to update and expand upon the Battelle Report, a similar study written for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development in October 2010.  SRI’s study will be finalized in conjunction with the summit.

“The state is continuously evaluating Nebraska’s business climate in areas that include taxes, regulatory issues, transportation, access to markets, supply chain, roads and infrastructure, and more,” said DED Director Courtney Dentlinger.  “We expect that SRI’s research results will help us break these areas down even further and find ways to streamline and perfect delivery systems, and target specific legislation that improves and expands on existing laws.”

At the summit, SRI will conduct several sessions focusing on findings from their study as related to the state’s target industries, housing and community development, and workforce and talent.  SRI will also offer an analysis of the state’s innovation ecosystem.

Lunch and keynote speaker Julie Curtin, executive vice president and partner at Development Counsellors International, will speak about how communities across Nebraska can build and implement talent attraction campaigns to attract and retain skilled talent.

“As Nebraska’s economy continues to prosper and diversify, making it one of the most stable in the country, there is a growing need for communities across the state to position not only available jobs, but the availability of a desirable lifestyle, great schools, rich and diverse cultural assets, and in many Nebraska communities—a cool, hip, millennial vibe that is attractive to so many in that targeted, skilled talent pool,” said Julie Curtin.

For more information on the Governor’s Summit, Nebraskans can contact Lori Shaal at 402-471-3780 or lori.shaal@nebraska.gov.  Registration information will become available in the coming weeks.

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AIM & GROW Nebraska present MarkeTech

February 23, 2016
  April 26 & 27, 2016 | Kearney, NE Holiday Inn Conference Center MarkeTech is more than a conference. It’s cutting edge training, valuable networking, and a technology showcase. Be inspired, be engaged, and work hands on with today’s most …

MarketLogo-614x166

 

April 26 & 27, 2016 | Kearney, NE Holiday Inn Conference Center

MarkeTech is more than a conference. It’s cutting edge training, valuable networking, and a technology showcase. Be inspired, be engaged, and work hands on with today’s most innovative tools.

MarkeTech provides organizations with tools and ideas advancing their businesses through collaboration between marketing and technology.

Nebraska is a hard-working entrepreneurial state, and that hard work pays off. At MarkeTech 2016, we will feature speakers from many of our well-known successful businesses across the state. They will give us a look at the entrepreneurial spirit and what it takes to be successful in today’s digital landscape.

Register Today: http://marketechconference.org

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Nebraska Broadband Today!

February 16, 2016
May 24, 2016 | Cornhusker Marriott | Lincoln, Nebraska Showcase broadband availability in Nebraska and promote its use. Help community leaders better understand broadband, funding sources, and how to work with providers. Encourage interest in broadband and technology-based careers. Have you …

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May 24, 2016 | Cornhusker Marriott | Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Showcase broadband availability in Nebraska and promote its use.
  • Help community leaders better understand broadband, funding sources, and how to work with providers.
  • Encourage interest in broadband and technology-based careers.

Have you wanted to understand more how to help your community/accountability region adapt broadband technologies or enhance broadband availability?  This upcoming conference will be a good opportunity to meet many providers that are working to improve broadband availability as well as ideas on what your community can do. More Information »

Scholarships

The Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska is offering scholarships to attend the Nebraska Broadband Today Conference.  Scholarships will be awarded to individuals living in rural communities who are interested in finding solutions to bring broadband to their community and ideas on how to use broadband technologies to increase economic vitality.

Scholarships will cover the cost of registration.  Travel costs will be awarded dependent on funding availability.  To apply, complete the application at this link.   For scholarship questions, please contact Charlotte Narjes @ 402-472-1724.

Apply by May 10, 2016. 

Scholarship Recipients will be notified by May 13, 2016.

The conference is convened by the Nebraska Telecommunications Association in collaboration with the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. 

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Governor’s Ag Conference

February 15, 2016
A Message from Governor Ricketts I’d like to invite you to the 28th annual Nebraska Governor’s Ag Conference, a key event for the state’s agricultural community. Agriculture is Nebraska’s largest industry representing nearly a quarter of the state’s economy. That …

govaglogo

A Message from Governor Ricketts

I’d like to invite you to the 28th annual Nebraska Governor’s Ag Conference, a key event for the state’s agricultural community.

Agriculture is Nebraska’s largest industry representing nearly a quarter of the state’s economy. That makes agriculture’s success important to all of us and provides a reason to gather together for a meaningful conversation about the future.

Along with a line-up of great speakers, the Governor’s Ag Conference gives people a chance to network with colleagues, share ideas and concerns and learn more about the future of agriculture.

I look forward to seeing you in Kearney.

Registration Information

Printable Registration Form – Print this form and mail it along with your conference registration fee

Online Registration – Click here for instructions, and a link, for the online payment portal.

Hotel Information – Holiday Inn, phone: 308-237-5971. Ask for the Governor’s Ag Conference Rate of $92.95/night.

Conference Agenda – Download a PDF of the Conference Agenda.

Governor’s Ag Conference is coordinated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and is co-sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America.

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Infotec 2016 is March 21!

February 15, 2016
Join leaders from across the region at Infotec 2016 to celebrate technology, business, and innovation on March 21, 2016. This one day conference is a great chance for you and your team to make connections with top IT influencers, find a fresh perspective, …

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Join leaders from across the region at Infotec 2016 to celebrate technology, business, and innovation on March 21, 2016. This one day conference is a great chance for you and your team to make connections with top IT influencers, find a fresh perspective, and be inspired by many insightful leaders in the industry. Registration is open now at www.infotec.org.
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Parents Salute Six NCTA Faculty Members

February 15, 2016
CURTIS, Neb. — Parents taking note of the influence and guidance provided to their sons and daughters while away at college recently recognized six faculty from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Parent Association awarded certificates of …
ParentAward2016

Dr. Ron Rosati, NCTA dean, top row, second right, announced recipients of the 2016 Parent’s Association awards are, from left, Jo Bek, Tee Bush, Mary Rittenhouse, Judy Bowmaster-Cole, Brad Ramsdale and Joanna Hergenreder.

CURTIS, Neb. — Parents taking note of the influence and guidance provided to their sons and daughters while away at college recently recognized six faculty from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Parent Association awarded certificates of merit to Jo Bek, Tee Bush, Judy Bowmaster-Cole, Joanna Hergenreder, Brad Ramsdale, Ph.D., and Mary Rittenhouse.

Two weeks ago, several of the instructors were able to attend the presentation in Lincoln where NCTA Dean Ron Rosati introduced the NCTA recipients. Representatives of the Parent Association presented the awards.

“These deserving individuals were recognized for the positive impact they make each day in the lives of NCTA students,” Rosati said. “The caring, compassion and educational leadership consistently demonstrated by NCTA faculty has not gone unnoticed by students and their families.”

Between semesters, parents of University students are asked to nominate members of the faculty or campus staff who have made a significant difference in their son’s or daughter’s life.

NCTA’s 2016 recipients include:

Teri Jo Bek, Curtis, professor, animal science, 37 years, 5 months

Tee Bush, Curtis, assistant professor, mathematics/horticulture, 5 years, 6 months

Judy Bowmaster-Cole, Curtis, assistant professor, veterinary technology, 23 years, 6 months,

Joanna Hergenreder, Curtis, assistant professor, animal science and Ranch Horse Team coach, 3 years, 7, months.

Dr. Brad Ramsdale, Farnam, associate professor, agronomy division chair, 5 years, 5 months.

Mary Rittenhouse, Curtis, assistant professor, agribusiness management systems chair, 8 months (previously at UNK)

“We pride ourselves in outstanding student/faculty relationships amid the academic endeavors here at NCTA so it is especially nice for our staff’s contributions to be noted by parents,” Rosati said.

— Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

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Connecting Young Nebraskans Announces 2016 Summit Location

February 15, 2016
LINCOLN, Neb. – Young leaders from across the state will gather to network and build skills at the 2016 Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit. The community of York has been selected out of seven community proposals to host the event. The …

LINCOLN, Neb. – Young leaders from across the state will gather to network and build skills at the 2016 Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit. The community of York has been selected out of seven community proposals to host the event. The summit is scheduled for Oct. 27-28 at the Holthus Convention Center. Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) is a statewide network designed to connect, empower and retain young Nebraskans. CYN strives to enhance opportunities for individuals to impact their communities through networking and learning experiences. The network is a dynamic and diverse group of 640 peers with a passion for making a difference, a willingness to learn and the desire to build important relationships to help shape the future of Nebraska.

Volunteers from across the state work together with CYN network coordinators Kayla Schnuelle and Jordyn Bader, graduate assistant, both of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, to strategize and develop the summit. This year will be the fifth CYN Summit with the goal to energize, develop and retain talented individuals in our communities.

“The energy and enthusiasm is contagious and I’m proud to have the opportunity to work with exceptional individuals from both the host community team in York and the CYN steering team,” says Kayla Schnuelle, CYN network coordinator.

The communities that applied for the summit were Alliance, Broken Bow, Columbus, Norfolk, Ord, West Point and York.

“This has been the best set of applications that we have received,” said Schnuelle. “It is incredible how diverse the community planning teams were this year and how much energy the applications exuded.”

In the application for the summit, York shared many ideas which will bring fresh ideas to the agenda.

“The summit bid has brought new excitement to the city of York and the chamber team.  We are truly looking forward to welcoming the CYN participants and leaders to our community,” says Rhonda Veleba Main Street Coordinator and member of the Host Community Planning Team, York, Neb.

Stay up-to-date with the latest information on the 2016 Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit by visiting cyn.nebraska.edu and following the network on Twitter and Facebook.

Generous support for the 2016 summit is provided in part by the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska along with various business and community partnerships. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities may contact Kayla Schnuelle at kschnuelle@nebraska.edu or 402.472.2935.

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2016 Water for Food Global Conference

February 10, 2016
Water for Food Global Conference will focus on public-private partnerships to achieve water, food security Registration is open now for the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference organized by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of …

Water for Food Global Conference will focus on public-private partnerships to achieve water, food security

Registration is open now for the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference organized by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska. The conference will be held April 24-26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. A discount of $100 is available to those who register on or before March 18. Conference details, including how to register, are available at http://waterforfood.nebraska.edu/wff2016/.

The conference brings together experts from around the world to discuss advances in science, technology and policy to help address one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century: how to achieve greater food security with less pressure on water resources.

This year’s theme is “Catalytic Collaborations: Building Public-Private Partnerships for Water and Food Security,” focusing on the powerful impact that can be achieved through public-private partnerships (PPPs) in water for food research, technology and project development.

The conference features a mix of plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, side events and workshops representing different voices in PPPs. There will also be various special events to facilitate networking among participants, including a workshop on smallholder irrigation in Africa co-convened with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and KickStart; the world premiere of “Thirsty Land,” a documentary feature film; a student poster competition; photography competition and exhibit; farm-to-table dinner and closing reception with live music.

 

Session topics:

  • Irrigation research and technology for smallholder farmers, including remote sensing and apps that help farmers target water usage to maximize yields
  • Agricultural solutions in both crop development and management; and livestock
  • Information technology to improve water and agricultural productivity
  • Food processing advancements to reduce water use in the food and beverage sector
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change on water and food security and public health
  • The rapidly-growing agricultural entrepreneurship ecosystem and its role in PPPs

 

Plenary speakers:

  • Hank Bounds, president, University of Nebraska
  • Melissa Ho, managing director, Africa at Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Martin Fisher, co-founder and CEO, KickStart
  • Patricia Mulroy, senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institute and former general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District
  • Jeff Raikes, co-founder, Raikes Foundation and Water for Food Institute board chair
  • Executive director-designate, Water for Food Institute
  • Sally Rockey, executive director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research – Closing Keynote and Heuermann Lecture

 

Registration fees:

  • Early registration runs through March 18: $450
  • Regular registration runs March 19 to April 15: $550
  • Registration for university faculty and staff: $250

 

The previous conference in Seattle, Washington attracted more than 250 practitioners, scholars, farmers and thought leaders from 23 countries. This year, the conference will return to Nebraska.

Roberto Lenton, founding executive director of the Water for Food Institute, said the international event is a key part of the institute’s efforts to provide educational outreach and facilitate partnerships beyond Nebraska.

“We look forward to holding the conference at Nebraska Innovation Campus for the first time, as well as hearing perspectives from speakers from around the globe who represent important facets of public-private partnerships, including those from NGOs, governmental groups, philanthropy, industry and academia,” he said. “The event provides an excellent forum to bring together diverse voices and to help catalyze change.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest information on the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference by visiting http://waterforfood.nebraska.edu/wff2016/ and following the institute on TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

Generous support for the 2016 conference is provided by the Robert. B. Daugherty Foundation, the University of Nebraska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Syngenta. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities may contact Rachael Herpel at rherpel@nebraska.edu or (+1) 402.472.4977.

 

2016 Water for Food Global Conference Video

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2016 Housing Innovation Marketplace Conference Brochure

February 9, 2016
2016 Housing Innovation Marketplace conference brochure is available! The conference brochure is now available for download at  www.nifa.org or you can click here to view it immediately.  Check out the agenda for all our fantastic session topics! Continuing education credits are pending from …

2016 Housing Innovation Marketplace conference brochure is available!

The conference brochure is now available for download at  www.nifa.org or you can click here to view it immediately.  Check out the agenda for all our fantastic session topics!

Continuing education credits are pending from the Nebraska Real Estate Commission, the State of Nebraska Board of Public Accountancy, and the Nebraska Judicial Branch.  Continuing education credits are available for the Nebraska Board of Mental Health Practice.

Register before February 14th to get the $125 registration fee AND don’t forget to post a selfie on either our Twitter (@NIFAHousing) or Facebook (NIFAHousing) page to receive an additional $25 discount!

RESERVE your room!  NIFA has secured a block of rooms at a discounted rate available until 2/29/16.

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Big Rural Brainstorm

February 5, 2016
Here it is, the third BIG RURAL BRAINSTORM! There’s so much happening in Kansas right now, and we’re all a part of it. Come to the best “un-conference” in the state to meet other Great Kansans and talk about the …

Here it is, the third
BIG RURAL BRAINSTORM!

There’s so much happening in Kansas right now, and we’re all a part of it. Come to the best “un-conference” in the state to meet other Great Kansans and talk about the things we can do to sustain and grow our communities. If you are working hard for your community, this is for you. If you don’t know where to start, this is for you. If you want to interact in a positive way with other Kansans and leave with a plan for action, this is for you! We can ALL make a difference!

WHEN:  Monday, March 7, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
(Registration starts at 9 a.m.)

WHERE: Meridian Event Center, 216 N. Meridian Road, Newton.  Located at  I-135 and Broadway.

COST:  $50.

Register Here »

WOULD YOU HELP UNDERWRITE THIS RURAL EFFORT?

An anonymous Kansan has pledged to match sponsorships up to $5,000 in order to help keep expenses low for all who attend. This Kansan believes in fostering civic engagement among all Kansans, and wants to help make a difference. Will you help us reach this goal? We will recognize you incredible folks and your commitment to sponsoring this collective brilliance. There’s a place on the registration page to designate your sponsorship. Thank you so much!

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 

  • Anyone who lives or works in rural communities and wants to be part of a solution.  Small communities are valued here! 
  • PowerUps!  21-39s who are rural by choice or have an affection for rural.
  • Anyone who wants to make a difference, but maybe doesn’t know where to begin to make positive change in their community.
  • Risk takers! People willing to try new things and engage in new ways. Maybe even take part in public service or by serving on a board of a local organization.
  • Good rural advocate thinkers, people who can see the big picture.  
  • All ages passionate about rural living. 

The exciting thing is the prospect of having people from every aspect (health, education, government, volunteers, etc.) of rural life here, sharing ideas.  The mix of perspectives will help us think more creatively.  

You might pass on this if you just want to give advice or tell about your program.  This is about listening, shaping answers that are meaningful to a specific situation, and thinking with innovation. 

 

WHAT WILL WE DO AND TALK ABOUT?

A questionnaire on the registration form will help generate topics and the direction of planning.

The focus of this year’s BRB is civic engagement – what it means and what it looks like. What does civic engagement look like in 2016 in Kansas? What should it look like? And how can we make it happen?

We will spend time thinking about what we can do to make good, positive change in our communities. If you are the busiest person you know, this will be a time to take a breath and think about how you can make your actions better. If you have no idea who to call, where to start, or what to do, but a deep desire to do something, you’ll have time to figure that out!

The day will consist of many small groups of discussion.  We’ll shape and reshape the groups, hear from people, plan together. The goal is to lead to ACTION!

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Tree Care Workshops

February 5, 2016
Tree Care Workshops, Registration Now Open Developed specifically for public works employees, landscape managers, tree board volunteers, arborists, nursery and green industry professionals and landscape enthusiasts, these workshops cover emerging issues in tree and landscape care. Register Now Workshop Topics …

tree_care_workshops

Tree Care Workshops, Registration Now Open

Developed specifically for public works employees, landscape managers, tree board volunteers, arborists, nursery and green industry professionals and landscape enthusiasts, these workshops cover emerging issues in tree and landscape care.

Register Now

Workshop Topics Include:

  • Tree Inventories
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Planting with a Purpose
  • Trees and the Four Seasons
  • Adapted Trees vs. Tree-adapted environments

Locations and Dates:

  • Scottsbluff, March 1
  • North Platte, March 2
  • Ord, March 3
  • south Sioux City, March 10
  • Hastings, March 22
  • Lincoln, March 23
  • Bellevue, March 24

View Workshop Brochure

Participants can earn CEUs from the International Society of Arboriculture and Nebraska Arborist Association.

The Tree Care Workshops are presented by the Nebraska Forest Service and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.

 

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2016 Nebraska Affordable Housing Program Guidelines

February 5, 2016
The 2016 Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund Program Chapters have been posted to the website below.  Please review before the workshops, so you can come with questions. http://www.neded.org/community/grants/documentslibrary-a-forms/trust-fund  

The 2016 Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund Program Chapters have been posted to the website below.  Please review before the workshops, so you can come with questions.

http://www.neded.org/community/grants/documentslibrary-a-forms/trust-fund

 

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Civic Health Summit 2016

February 5, 2016
Register to save your (FREE) spot today! Civic health is something we all own together. Join with other Nebraskans to bridge generational, cultural, and geographic gaps through civic action. April 2, 2016 | 10am – 4pm University of Nebraska–Lincoln, City …

civic_health_summit

Register to save your (FREE) spot today!

Civic health is something we all own together. Join with other Nebraskans to bridge generational, cultural, and geographic gaps through civic action.

April 2, 2016 | 10am – 4pm

University of Nebraska–Lincoln, City Union | 1400 R St. Lincoln, NE 68508

What to Expect:

  • Create plans for increased civic action in your community
  • Collaborate with other Nebraska community leaders
  • Talks and training from speakers Mike Stout and Peter Kageyama
  • Present your own ideas for a chance to win micro-grants
  • Learn about current civic health work in Nebraska
  • Free lunch and more!

Stay tuned for updates and invite your friends to the event on Facebook!

For more information, check out the 2015 Nebraska Civic Health Index or contact Kelsey Arends kelsey.arends@nereform.org or (402) 904-5191.

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Small-Town America Primed to beat Silicon Valley in Innovation

February 4, 2016
Here’s how small-town America is primed to beat Silicon Valley in Innovation Robert Scoble January 27, 2016 As Rackspace’s Futurist I’m known as one of Silicon Valley’s top tech influencers. I didn’t say that, Ivy did. So, when I say Silicon …

Here’s how small-town America is primed to beat Silicon Valley in Innovation

Robert Scoble
January 27, 2016

As Rackspace’s Futurist I’m known as one of Silicon Valley’s top tech influencers. I didn’t say that, Ivy did.

So, when I say Silicon Valley is being beaten, and is at risk of losing more companies to small towns, here’s why. In the past week I’ve visited three of those towns, Urbana, and Champaign Illinois and Blacksburg, Virginia.

You might not know, but YouTube, Tesla, PayPal, Mozilla started in Urbana/Champaign at University of Illinois there, and Blacksburg is home to many of the leading thinkers of autonomous vehicles, and others, thanks to being the home of Virginia Tech.

Yes, Silicon Valley has traditionally come to places like this and convinced innovators and companies to come to San Francisco area to build their technologies. Heck, just this week Apple grabbed a computer science professor out of Blacksburg to work on its AR/VR efforts.

I’m seeing signs that the flow of talent from small town America to Silicon Valley is reversing, though, and wanted to understand it.

One huge reason? Housing costs. Everyone loved taunting me with their homes with big yards that cost a few hundred thousand compared to more than a million back home.

But it goes further than just housing costs. After all, that gap has always been there as far as I can remember.

No, now they are winning people and company because way of life is much more friendly to families and, small town leaders have worked to fill in a “livability gap.” Things like having nice bars, music events, and restaurants for entrepreneurs to hang out in after a long day working. Things like high speed internet. In Virginia they have gigabit wifi in some areas.

Here, let’s take a look at some of the companies and innovators I visited who are doing amazing work.

  1. Michael Fleming is running TORC Robotics, where he’s building self-driving tractors and cars (works for a bunch of brands) in Blacksburg, Virginia. Why? He told me it comes back to the talent he finds at Virginia Tech, where his team came in third in the DARPA challenge back in 2007. Heck, just look across the street at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, where Google and others test out their self driving cars on its “smart road.” Video tour here.
  2. Frasca is building new kinds of flight simulators for commercial pilots and military in Champaign, Illinois. I got a video tour here.
  3. John Deere has its R&D lab in Champaign, Illinois, where it’s developing new technologies for farmers. Here, take a video tour with meWhile we are talking about farming, visit Agrible with me, which is growing virtual crops to tell farmers what to do in their fields next to have better crop outcomes.
  4. Followmyvote.com is in Blacksburg, Virginia. Here’s my video visit. Why? They are seeing a good community of people who are pushing Blockchain technology (right next door is Bitshares, a new crypto currency).
  5. Aeroprobe is building a new kind of additive manufacturing (think huge 3D printer for metals) along with building new kinds of wind speed sensors for drones. Video tour here.
  6. Steve Lavalle, VR pioneer (his team built the sensor systems in Oculus Rift) moved back to Illinois and is running a VR lab at the University there. Visit that lab with me.
  7. Wolfram Research continues to develop interesting new technologies from software for mathematicians to an engine that lets people do research on the Internet in ways that Google hasn’t yet enabled. Visit their headquarters in Illinois.
  8. Visit Yahoo’s R&D lab with me in Champaign Illinois and understand why it kept this sizable lab in Illinois instead of moving it to Silicon Valley.
  9. Visit a group of startups housed in Enterprise Works, part of the research park in Champaign, Illinois. You’ll see everything from battery innovators to new kinds of software to run police departments. Come along on this quick paced tour of about 10 companies. Part IPart II.
  10. See where famous video game “Saints Row” is developed, at the headquarters of Volition, come on a video tour with me.

Other influences:

  1. Virginia Tech has a crazy $15 million VR building.
  2. Pixo builds mobile apps and other technologies for other companies in Illinois and its founders sit down with me and talk to me about why the local community is gaining strength.
  3. The world’s biggest/fastest computer is in Champaign, Illinois. Here follow me through the Petascale Computing Facility.

If you watch even a few of these videos you’ll see just how high quality these companies and innovators are and why I believe these small communities are primed to see rapid growth over the next decade as both new kinds of startups and bigger companies decide to move more people to these kinds of communities due to the very high costs in Silicon Valley.

I came away so impressed by what I saw over last week. Hope you are too.

View original post here »

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Nebraska Main Street Network Webinar

February 4, 2016
“Simple Building Improvements for (Almost) No Money” Many property owners and tenants, especially in small towns want to improve their property, but they simply can’t afford to do an expensive total rehabilitation. Learn how even very small budget projects can …

“Simple Building Improvements for (Almost) No Money”

Many property owners and tenants, especially in small towns want to improve their property, but they simply can’t afford to do an expensive total rehabilitation. Learn how even very small budget projects can have a big visual impact on a building and help create the important positive momentum for your Main Street program.

PRESENTER:  Tim Reinders, Design Specialist, Main Street Iowa/Iowa Downtown Resource Center

DATE:  Monday, February 22, 2016

TIME: 11:30am to 1:00pm Central Time

 

HOST LOCATIONS 

  • Lincoln at theSoutheast Community College Entrepreneurship Center (285 S. 68th Street Place, Room 211). RSVP to Elizabeth Chase, Nebraska Main Street Network office at 402-499-3703 orechase@windstream.net
  • Wayne at the Wayne Area Economic Development/Chamber/Main Street office (108 W. 3rd Street).  RSVP to Irene Fletcher, Main Street Wayne at 402-375-2240 or ifletcher@wayneworks.org
  • Beatrice at the Beatrice Carnegie Building/Beatrice Chamber (218 N 5th Street) upstairs conference room. RSVP to Michael Sothan, Main Street Beatrice at 402-223-3244 or msothan@mainstreetbeatrice.org
  • Plattsmouth at the Plattsmouth Library (401 Avenue A).  RSVP to Charles Jones, Plattsmouth Main Street Association at 402-408-3727 or plattsmainst@gmail.com
  • Neligh at the Neligh Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Office (105 East 2nd Street). RSVP to Lauren Sheridan-Simonsen, Neligh Chamber of Commerce at 402-887-4447 or lauren@neligh.org
  • York location TBA. RSVP to Rhonda Veleba, York Area Chamber of Commerce at 402-362-5531 orrhondav@yorkchamber.org
  • Hastings at the Chamber of Commerce (301 S. Burlington). RSVP to Tiffany Crouse, Downtown Center Association at 402-310-9179 or downtownhastings@gmail.com

NOTE:  Each site has a different policy re: lunch so please consult with each site host. Some of the sites will provide lunch for a fee, others are BYO brown bag lunch.

 

TUITION

MEMBERS:  Tuition is $5 per person for Nebraska Main Street Network Member attendees from designated Main Street, Co-op Partner, Associate Member and Rural Associate Member communities.

NON-MEMBERS: Tuition is $10 for non-members

 

QUESTIONS

If you have questions about this webinar, please contact the Nebraska Main Street Network 402-499-3703 orechase@windstream.net

The Nebraska Main Street Network inspires downtown revitalization through education and is an accredited coordinating program of the National Main Street Center. Designated Main Street communities in Nebraska include: Beatrice, Falls City, Fremont, Grand Island, Plattsmouth, Sidney and Wayne.  Associate and Rural Associate Members include: Bassett, Hastings, Lexington, McCook, Minden, Milford, Neligh, Schuyler, Taylorand York. Co-Op Partners include Farmer’s Cooperative (Dorchester) and Frontier Cooperative (Brainard).  State Agency Partners include the Nebraska Department of Roads, Nebraska State Historical Society, Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture.

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NCTA at Curtis Named in Top 150

February 3, 2016
Curtis, Neb. – The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis has been named as a Top 150 two-year institution by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “NCTA is proud to be selected for this prestigious honor which recognizes the …
NCTA Ag Hall

NCTA Ag Hall

Curtis, Neb. – The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis has been named as a Top 150 two-year institution by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.

“NCTA is proud to be selected for this prestigious honor which recognizes the college’s statewide mission with the University of Nebraska system for an affordable, quality education,” said Ron Rosati, NCTA dean. “We educate skilled, career-ready graduates in agriculture.”

The nomination enables NCTA to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and up to $1 million in prize funding and scholarships.

High achievement and performance criteria in four areas are evaluated:  student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students.

NCTA has a strong record of facilitating student success. The graduation rate is 46 percent, and the retention rate is 66 percent, both well above the state average for two-year institutions and community colleges, Rosati said. 

A full list of the selected colleges and details on the selection process are available at www.aspenprize.org.  Information about NCTA can be found at http://ncta.unl.edu or by calling 1-800-3-CURTIS.

Download a PDF of this Press Release 

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Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative

January 28, 2016
Gov. Ricketts Announces 2016 Application Process for the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative DED will accept applications until April 8th LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) is accepting applications for the next …

Gov. Ricketts Announces 2016 Application Process for the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative

DED will accept applications until April 8th

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) is accepting applications for the next round of Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) grants, a program that introduces young Nebraskans to potential careers in the manufacturing and technology sectors.  DYTI was proposed by the Governor as a part of his budget a year ago in January and approved by the Legislature in early 2015.

“The Developing Youth Talent Initiative is connecting our young people with potential career options in the manufacturing and information technology fields,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Expanding educational opportunities and creating more and better paying jobs are two of my administration’s top priorities.  Working together, we will continue to open new horizons for young Nebraskans looking for a career track with good-paying jobs.”

Over 60 percent of high school students indicate that the greatest influence on their future careers is their own experiences and interests.  Research by the National Association of Manufacturers shows more than 50 percent of students believe that career and technical education offerings improved their grade point averages, and consequently those who are engaged in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) and activities are nearly 50 percent more like to pursue a technical career.

“Nebraska must continue to offer our students more opportunities to experience manufacturing and IT and develop a familiarity with the industries,” said DED Director Courtney Dentlinger. “ The Developing Youth Talent Initiative is one way we are engaging more companies in school career and technical education programs.”

 

About the Developing Youth Talent Initiative

Through this initiative, DED is providing financial assistance of up to $125,000 each to two eligible businesses in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.  Businesses that qualify for DYTI are those in the manufacturing sector or businesses in need of high-skill information technology (IT) professionals.  At least one business selected for a grant must be in a county with a population less than 100,000.  Grants through DYTI are provided to private sector for-profit entities.  An internal DED committee makes recommendations to the Governor for final approval.

DYTI grant recipients partner with schools to engage students to participate in hands-on career exploration and relevant workplace learning opportunities.  The programs reach students beginning in the seventh and eighth grades and demonstrate sustainability and measurable impact.  Interest and participation in the program by students may be initial metrics, but measures may also include tracking of course-taking patterns through high school, possible work experiences provided by businesses after initial exposure, and tracking of post-secondary plans.

In 2015, the Governor proposed the initiative to respond to rapid innovations in the manufacturing and information technology sectors.  Next generation workers in these industries are requiring advanced skill sets and knowledge to help companies compete in the global economy.  This innovative initiative is starting to help develop a youth talent pipeline to meet such workforce demands.
In 2015, two Nebraska businesses received grants: Hollman Media, LLC in Kearney and Flowserve Corporation in Hastings.

How to Apply for DYTI Grants this Year

To apply for the grant, businesses should visit: http://www.neded.org/business/talent-a-innovation-initiative/nebraska-developing-youth-talent-initiative.

Applications are due electronically by 5:00pm, April 8, 2016 to linda.black@nebraska.gov.

Businesses with questions should contact Linda Black atlinda.black@nebraska.gov or 308-991-2986.

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Shoestring Evaluation Webinar

January 22, 2016
Shoestring Evaluation Webinar: New Hampshire’s Experience Measuring CRED Impacts with Limited Resources February 2nd | 2:00 p.m. Central Many Extension organizations struggle to capture the impacts of CRED-related work Reasons include lack of a formal CRED program to which impacts …

Shoestring Evaluation Webinar: New Hampshire’s Experience Measuring CRED Impacts with Limited Resources

February 2nd | 2:00 p.m. Central

Many Extension organizations struggle to capture the impacts of CRED-related work Reasons include lack of a formal CRED program to which impacts can be aggregated disperse programming within CRED, lack of staff capacity to conduct evaluation, and lack of evaluation expertise to draws from (e.g. Evaluation Specialist). This session will highlight how a small CRED program in New Hampshire has been able to develop its evaluation capacity over time in spite of the challenges listed above.

To learn more about the National CRD Impact Initiative: http://rrdc.info/crd_indicators2.html

Webinar link:  https://msues.adobeconnect.com/_a828402417/srdc/

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Rural Futures Institute’s Schroeder speaks to Cozad Rotary Club

January 22, 2016
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 8:00 am Kevin Zelaya, Lexington Clipper-Herald COZAD, Neb. – Founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute Chuck Schroeder was the guest speaker at the Cozad Rotary Club’s noon meeting on Tuesday. The Cozad Rotary Club …

Lyle Davis, president of the Cozad Rotary Club, left, talks to Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute Chuck Schroeder, right after a talk Schroeder gave on Tuesday. Schroeder is an innovator in promoting and challenging rural communities to address their pressing issues. Photo by Kevin Zelaya.

Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 8:00 am

Kevin Zelaya, Lexington Clipper-Herald

COZAD, Neb. – Founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute Chuck Schroeder was the guest speaker at the Cozad Rotary Club’s noon meeting on Tuesday.

The Cozad Rotary Club met at the Cozad Grand Generation Center. Lyle Davis, the president of the Rotary Club, said each member is charged with providing a presentation on a rotating basis. Rotary Club Member John Grinde, who introduced Schroeder, said he was thankful for the help of Cozad Community Schools Superintendent Joel Applegate who invited Schroeder.

Grinde described Schroeder as a native of Palisade, a 30-year farmer/rancher who was also a cattle roper.

“I’m in Cozad on purpose. I have a love for DawsonCounty, for the dedication you have demonstrated for your community,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder has a long track record in various parts of agriculture. He has served as the CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and also served as president of the National Cowboy and WesternHeritageMuseum in Oklahoma City, Okla.

After serving as the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and within the University of Nebraska Foundation, Schroeder became motivated to affect change at the local level among rural communities in Nebraska.

Years of planning and collaboration between himself, former NU President J.B Millican and vice chancellor for the Institute Agriculture and Natural Resources laid the foundation for what would become the Rural Futures Institute, a university-wide initiation within NU. The RFI was launched in the fall of 2012 after gaining approval from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

The RFI’s mission was to be a world-pioneer in helping rural communities tackle their challenges, he said.

Schroeder talked about a recent research study that found that many successful and thriving rural communities all had six common traits.

The first two traits were having leadership that matters and a hopeful vision backed by grit, Schroeder said.

Communities like Eustis who refused to accept a United States Department of Agriculture study in the mid-1980s that said rural farms far from major roads would die off had leadership that mattered, he said.

Traits three and four were taking deliberate efforts to invite people to leadership posts who might not otherwise participate and not letting fear be a barrier to embracing change.

The last two traits were a willingness to invest in the community and having strong social networks, he said.

The RFI was all about building partnerships with government agencies, businesses, colleges and most importantly rural communities, Schroeder said.

“Howard Buffet, son of Warren, said we built this country from rural up. This (the work of RFI) is the most important thing being done today,” Schroeder said.

RFI has started 31 projects with more than 110 countries, 17 universities/colleges, 23 organizations and 12 government agencies, he said.

Notable projects started last year addressed: career development in rural communities, leadership in diverse communities and rural rotations for students in rural hospitals.

One innovative program started by RFI in 2013 is the Rural Community Serviceship Program. This program provides a nine-week internship for high-caliber college students to participate in a locally identified community improvement project at three or four rural communities with help from university staff.

“Students are given training in project management and strength based leadership through Gallup. At the end of each summer I usually get a call from community mentors who say they loved their students and ask for them to come back next year,” Schroeder said.

Students with the Rural Community Serviceship Program have created an entrepreneurship program for middle school students in Seward and have created a marketing program for the Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud.

Two other trend-setting programs pioneered by RFI are an informal network connecting young working professionals who live outside of Lincoln and Omaha called the Connecting Young Nebraskans and the creation of Rural Opportunity Fairs.

The rural opportunity fairs gather rural community representatives in need of young talent with young workers looking to work in rural areas.

For more information about programs offered through the Rural Futures Institute, visit http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/.

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USDA Announces Funding for Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants

January 19, 2016
Lincoln, NE January 19, 2016 – Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah announced on January 12, 2016 that USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is soliciting applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grants for FY 2016. Eligible applicants include …

Lincoln, NE January 19, 2016 – Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah announced on January 12, 2016 that USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is soliciting applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grants for FY 2016.

Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications, including:  most State and local governmental entities, Federally-recognized Tribes, Non-profits, For-profit businesses, and a consortia of eligible entities.

The Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) outlines that applications are due March 14, 2016.

There is a minimum grant amount of $50,000 and a maximum grant amount of $500,000 for eligible applicants. The grants, which are awarded through a competitive process, may be used to fund telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies which extend educational and medical applications into rural areas.

A few of the prior Nebraska recipients include:

  • Educational Service Unit (ESU) 2 in Fremont received $283,248 to improve educational opportunities for high school students and community members by offering distance education courses through an interactive videoconferencing system.
  • ESU #10 of Kearney received $126,989 to create a telecommunications infrastructure that supports distance learning for individuals residing in rural, isolated communities. Key project tenets included establishing a robust, cost-effective, reliable telecommunications infrastructure to support proposed distance learning activities; developing curriculum and classes in the areas of Elementary, Middle School and High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); and increasing access to courses and curriculum not currently available at their sites.  The project also provides for access to advanced placement vocational training courses in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as foreign language.
  • A Telemedicine recipient, CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney, received $155,041 to further expand the number of project partners and the type of services available through the Midwest Telehealth Network.

Details on how to apply can be found online at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants and on page 1388 of the January 12, 2016 Federal Register. USDA will publish on its website the total amount of DLT funding available for FY 2016.

For more information in Nebraska contact General Field Representative Roger Meeks at (402) 416-4936 or roger.meeks@wdc.usda.gov.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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Buffett Institute Launches New Program to Support Early Childhood Research at the University of Nebraska

January 19, 2016
BUFFETT INSTITUTE LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAM TO SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA Doctoral Students Eligible to Receive Annual Awards of $25,000 for Multidisciplinary Research Omaha, Neb. — A new fellowship program announced today by the Buffett Early …

BUFFETT INSTITUTE LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAM TO SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Doctoral Students Eligible to Receive Annual Awards of $25,000 for Multidisciplinary Research

Omaha, Neb. — A new fellowship program announced today by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska will provide financial support and mentoring for advanced doctoral students within the university system.

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute Graduate Scholars program will award 1- and 2-year grants—each worth up to $25,000 annually—to a maximum of four doctoral students every year. The program is designed to foster the growth of diverse, exceptional graduate students conducting research about young children and their families, with particular attention to children placed at risk as a consequence of poverty and social and environmental circumstances.

The Buffett Institute Graduate Scholars program is the first financial support program for doctoral students who have reached Ph.D. candidacy at the University of Nebraska that focuses on young children and their development.

“The University of Nebraska has made a remarkable commitment on an interdisciplinary level to advancing research on young children, and the Buffett Institute believes strongly in strengthening those efforts,” said Samuel J. Meisels, founding executive director of the Buffett Institute. “We look forward to supporting and collaborating with talented doctoral students and faculty on the campuses.”

Meisels said the Buffett Institute Graduate Scholars program is intended to reach across traditional higher education boundaries, supporting high-quality research from diverse fields that impact young children, including health, education, social work, music, art, the neurosciences, and others. Multi-disciplinary research and practice—particularly from disciplines not typically associated with the field of early childhood education—and new methodologies will be encouraged.

The Buffett Graduate Scholars will work with their faculty mentors on a dissertation that represents an in-depth exploration of early childhood issues. The Institute will create opportunities for graduate students and mentors to communicate, network, and collaborate with one another.

Letters of intent from applicants are due March 15, 2016, and full applications must be submitted by April 15, 2016. Announcement of the inaugural award winners will be made by the end of June 2016. To view the Buffett Institute Graduate Scholars Request for Proposal, visit http://buffettinstitute.nebraska.edu/.

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NCRCRD Webinars

January 12, 2016
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development periodically sponsors or facilitates webinars to help connect rural development researchers and Extension professionals with each other and with stakeholder groups. The NCRCRD sponsored webinars are free and there is no registration.  All …

The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development periodically sponsors or facilitates webinars to help connect rural development researchers and Extension professionals with each other and with stakeholder groups. The NCRCRD sponsored webinars are free and there is no registration.  All webinars are scheduled for Eastern Time.

To participate in the webinars go to: http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd – log in as a Guest and Enter Room.

 

Building Community Capacity Through Strategic Planning

February 9, 2016  |  2:00 PM Eastern Time

To evaluate the extent to which Extension’s strategic planning practices vary across and within states, researchers from University of Illinois Extension and Ohio State University Extension conducted a series of investigative procedures to determine how, and with what groups, strategic planning is currently being executed; what procedures or components of procedures are being used, and if they are being used similarly throughout Extension; how outcomes are being measured; how data are collected, documented and shared; what materials are being used to facilitate strategic planning; and how to strengthen Extension’s role in empowering communities and organizations through strategic planning processes. Join us to learn what is happening and discuss ideas and directions for “what should be next” in strategic planning tools.

Anne H. Silvis, University of Illinois Extension, serves as Assistant Dean and Program Leader for Community and Economic Development. Anne’s work focuses on program development, planning, and helping communities and organizations manage conflict.

Becky Nesbitt, Ohio State University Extension, serves as an Assistant Professor and Educator in Community Development. Becky works with a variety of community organizations, elected officials, nonprofits, and businesses to help develop strategies to build capacity, improve effectiveness, and envision sustainability through organizational and leadership development.

 

Tribal Community Development Projects in the Great Lakes Regions

February 25, 2016  |  1:00 PM Eastern Time

Learn how Extension can do a better job in working with their Native communities and as concerned citizen’s involve the population in a more meaningful and creative way? This initiative provided three levels of training on community development; analysis, planning, and implementation. 

  • Lessons learned
  • Across state relationship
  • Next steps-report back to tribes and findings
  • Implementation in communities
  • How we are evaluating implementation from training perspective and our own implementation

Emily Proctor, MSW, BASW, earned her degrees from the Michigan State University- School of Social Work.  She is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Harbor Springs, MI, and serves as a Tribal Extension Educator, Greening Michigan Institute for Michigan Tribal Communities, with her home office located in Emmet County, Michigan State University Extension.  As the Tribal Extension  Educator her projects include the development and delivery of educational programs in the areas of Tribal Governance, Gerontology, Diversity, and youth leadership.  She currently is a board member of the Michigan Indian Education Council.  She has also worked as a Child Protective Services Worker, as an associate Child welfare commissioner and was elected for the third time to be the Speaker of the Annual Community for her Tribal Nation. She enjoys making quilts as a way to contribute to her community.

Dawn Newman, MA, BS, joined University of Minnesota Extension as the regional director serving Northwest Minnesota in 2004. As a liaison for American Indian and Tribal Partnerships and Co-Chair of the American Indian Task Force, Dawn has helped to bring Extension volunteer and family programs to Minnesota’s American Indian Tribes. A trained facilitator, Dawn has convened community groups to identify needs for undeserved audiences through listening sessions, focus groups, appreciative inquiry, focused conversations and dialogues.

Brian Gauthier, BS earned his degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. After graduation he came home to Lac du Flambeau where currently he serves as the Community, Natural Resources, and Economic Development Educator and Department Head for the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation. Brian also is the coordinator of Cooperative Extension’s Native American Taskforce covering. Brian’s programming focuses on natural resource education, organizational development and community planning. He is currently leading a strategic planning initiative for the Lac du Flambeau Tribe.

 

Visit http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/webinars for more information.

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Global Teacher Fellowship Program

January 12, 2016
Applications for Rural Trust’s 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program are due January 30, 2016 The application deadline is quickly approaching!   Up to 25 fellowships will be awarded in 2016 to support the professional and personal development of rural teachers. The awards (up …

RTGF-LOGO-2011Applications for Rural Trust’s 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program are due January 30, 2016

The application deadline is quickly approaching!

 

Up to 25 fellowships will be awarded in 2016 to support the professional and personal development of rural teachers. The awards (up to $5,000 for individual teachers and $10,000 for a team of two or more teachers) support teachers’ participation in self-designed summer learning experiences and a two-day place-based learning institute in the fall.

This fellowship is a stand-alone grant not meant to supplement other grant funds for larger projects.

Teachers are encouraged to center their learning in an international travel and study experience, out of which they develop interdisciplinary, place-based learning curricula aligned with their specific state and local content standards.

Eligibility: Any K–12 teacher working full-time and teaching at least 60% time in a rural community can apply for the fellowship. Counselors, media specialists and other school personnel working in a teaching setting for at least 60% of their paid work time may also apply. Each applicant much have 4 years teaching experience by the fellowship start date.

The Rural Trust defines a rural community by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) locale codes: 32 (Town, Distant); 33 (Town, Remote); 41 (Rural, Fringe); 42 (Rural, Distant); or 43 (Rural, Remote). If your school is listed in one of these locale codes, you are eligible to apply. If your school or district is REAP eligible, you may also apply. For more details on eligibility,see the FAQs page.
 
 

Visit the Rural Trust’s Global Teacher Fellowship website at
www.globalteacherfellowship.ruraledu.org
for additional details and application information.

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Nebraska Rural Leadership Program

January 7, 2016
Recruitment for Leadership Development Program The University of Nebraska-Omaha would like to invite you to participate in an exciting new virtual leadership development program. The Rural Futures Institute has sponsored this program in rural Nebraska to extend leadership development for …

Recruitment for Leadership Development Program

The University of Nebraska-Omaha would like to invite you to participate in an exciting new virtual leadership development program. The Rural Futures Institute has sponsored this program in rural Nebraska to extend leadership development for emerging leaders in rural government, business, and civic organizations by collaborating with each other across the state. As a result, the University of Nebraska can offer you this exciting program at no charge to you.

Goals of Nebraska Rural Leadership Program

  1. Develop creative problem solving skills and interactional skills by sharing best practices across current and emerging rural leaders.
  2. Create a virtual platform for you to connect and collaborate with other leaders facing similar challenges across Nebraska. You will work in virtual teams on cases that have been developed for this program to deliberate, ask questions, share experiences and personal expertise to help build well-rounded leadership skills and gain greater confidence in taking on a leadership role.

Benefits for Participating

  1. Extend your professional network with other leaders in Nebraska.
  2. Develop leadership skills and increase your confidence to tackle the problems facing your community.
  3. Attend an end-of-program conference in Central Nebraska to meet other leaders and share your experiences with the Rural Future Institute.
  4. Earn a certificate of complete from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s College of Business Administration.

Requirements

  1. The program is targeted toward leaders who are relatively new to leadership positions. We are seeking those who have held few leadership positions and have had limited experience (up to 5 years) in leadership positions.
  2. The development program begins in December 2015 (alternative starting dates until February 2016 are available) and is 6 months long, finishing by August 2016.
  3. This will not be time intensive. You will spend about 3 hours per month dedicated to this program. Participation includes group discussions, readings, small assignments, and surveys.
  4. The time spent in this program is flexible and will be based on your own availability and schedule. We do, however, ask that you are able to commit to the entire six-month duration.

 

If you would like to sign up for this leadership development program, please send an email with your name, phone number and indicating your interest to Eric Scheller at escheller@unomaha.edu. We thank you in advance for your time and participation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the study Principal Investigator, Dr. Roni Reiter-Palmon at rreiter-palmon@unomaha.edu.

Best regards,
The RFI project team

University project personnel:
Roni Reiter-Palmon
Eric Scheller

Project sponsored by:
The University of Nebraska-Omaha
College of Arts and Sciences
Office of Academic and Student Affairs
Rural Futures Institute
Nebraska Extension

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The Great Plains: In Focus Webinar Series

December 17, 2015
The Great Plains: In Focus Webinar Series Starting January 13, 2016, the Rural Business Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio – Institute for Economic Development is teaming up with the University of Nebraska, Sam Houston State University …

The Great Plains: In Focus Webinar Series

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Starting January 13, 2016, the Rural Business Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio – Institute for Economic Development is teaming up with the University of Nebraska, Sam Houston State University and the University of Minnesota to bring you a quality rural webinar series.

This no-cost webinar series will focus on positive trends impacting the Great Plains states from Minnesota to Texas and places in-between. This monthly series will be offered to local elected officials, economic development specialists, housing agencies, and others engaged in rural development practices. These webinars are educational in focus and will lead up to the Minnesota Symposium on Small Towns June 8-9, 2016 and the Texas Rural Challenge on June 9-10, 2016.

Save the Dates

All webinar times are Noon – 1pm Central.

January 13 – Welcome: Rewriting the Rural Narrative

It seems the rural story has already been told. Small towns keep getting smaller.  Churches, schools, clinics, businesses, and now post offices, have closed their doors as the lucky few migrate out to the big cities. This deficit framework dominates how we discuss and envision our rural communities. However, the story of rural America since 1970 is rich and diverse, with positive trends occurring under the radar. Learn how these important positive changes have been occurring across the rural landscape that require us to rewrite the narrative of rural community change.

February 24 – Brain Gain of the Newcomers to Rural America

The population of rural America has changed significantly during the past 40 years, which is commonly referred to as the rural rebound. Nationally, the rural population has increased by 11% since 1970. While retirement and recreational counties account for the bulk of this population growth, the story of rural population change is interesting and nuanced – especially when we consider that 40% of all people move to a new home in any five year span. Since 1970 there have been newcomers aged 30-49 moving into small towns, which positively impacts our social and economic structures. At the same time, there is a new urbanity found across the rural landscape that changes how we look at urban-rural interactions. The next 15-20 years appears to be a great opportunity for American small towns, as a once tight housing supply begins to open up through the changing residential preferences of the retiring baby boomer generation. Overall, as we look to the future, the implications of these changes are positive ones for all of our small towns and open country places.

March 2 – Leadership Demands in Rural America

How many people do we need to run our small towns? How many leaders are available?  These simple, but related, questions are seldom (if ever) asked. There is an expectation that public offices and community organizations will be able to find enough people to serve year after year. These leadership demands of community can be compared to the number of residents (supply) available to serve in a community. This “social organizational infrastructure” is a critical component of rural communities and must be maintained. On one hand a large number of community organizations can reflect a healthy diversity of social options for residents. On the other hand it is a challenge for organizations that depend on the finite talent, time, volunteers, and financial resources of these residents to survive. The changing patterns of social involvement, and the impact this has on current community groups, will also be discussed.

April 6 – Baby Boomers and the Rural Housing Supply

The discussion around workforce housing shortages is a narrow view of a complex continuum of residential housing dynamics. The baby boomer generation recently began expressing their residential preferences across America and the implications for rural communities can be profound. As rural communities have a greater proportion of those in this demographic group, we must explore the supply challenges, as well as the demand opportunities, this trend presents for small towns and rural places over the next 20 years.

May 4 – Rural Entrepreneurship and the Quest for an Empowered Rural Economy

Community support of entrepreneurial talent and interest among rural youth and adults has become a popular strategy for economic development. So, what constitutes entrepreneurial activity in a rural setting and how do we track entrepreneurial numbers and outcomes? How are self-employment and proprietorships understood in the context of a “1099 economy?” The answer goes beyond simply counting businesses. In this session we will consider the concept of rural entrepreneurship and examine the data resources that contribute to our understanding of entrepreneurship in the economy of the Great Plains.  We will also examine the ways that entrepreneurs support unique, differentiable local economies, and how local culture, history, and leadership can impact local entrepreneurial success – positively or negatively.  Finally, we will examine some simple strategies for supporting local entrepreneurship in rural areas in which anyone can take part.

June 1 – Great Plains Opinions and Attitudes

How one measures success in rural development is generally seen as being quite straight-forward. If job and population numbers increase, then development must be occurring. But, if the goal of development goes beyond growth to enhance quality of life for rural people and places, then public opinion should logically be part of the equation. What do rural residents see as important indicators of their community’s success? What development strategies do they see as being important? How are the community level changes that occur with the success of traditional development models received by the people who live in those places? Both Nebraska and Texas have polled rural residents on these and other questions that are relevant to understanding rural development and, in this session, we will consider the results of those polls.

Registration

Please RSVP via this link: http://z.umn.edu/greatplainswebinar

Virtual seating is limited and registration will close on January 8. Links to webinars will be provided the day before each session.

Program Presenters

 

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Webinar: Facilitating Rural Dev. in the greater Great Lakes Region

December 14, 2015
Facilitating Rural Development in the greater Great Lakes Region: Development of a regional collaborative to support sustainable hops production January 14, 2016 | 12:00 PM Eastern Time | http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd About the Webinar This webinar will provide an overview of the formation …

Facilitating Rural Development in the greater Great Lakes Region:

Development of a regional collaborative to support sustainable hops production

January 14, 2016 | 12:00 PM Eastern Time | http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd

About the Webinar

This webinar will provide an overview of the formation of the Great Lakes Hops Working Group, a collaborative consisting of hop educators and researchers working in the Midwest and Canada under similar climatic conditions. The GLHWG and key stakeholders convened and participated in a facilitated needs assessment to identify areas where hop grower resources are needed and formed expertise teams to address identified needs.  The GLHWG continues to share hop resources through monthly conference calls, regional conferences, and multiple collaborative grant-funded projects to improve hop production across the North Central and North Eastern United States. 

Presenter

Dr. Rob Sirrine, Michigan State University Extension.  Dr. Sirrine is a Community Food Systems Educator with MSU Extension. He provides statewide leadership for hops research, education, and outreach.

Registration 

There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar.

To join the webinar go to http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd, “enter as a guest” is by default already chosen. Type your name into the text box provided, and click on “Enter Room”. You are now in the meeting room for the webinar.

To facilitate Q&A’s, participants submit questions/comments via the Chat Function in Adobe Connect.

The webinar will be recorded and archived at http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/chronological_archive.

To receive these announcements directly, or to correct errors in our distribution list, please email soliz@anr.msu.edu.

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2016 Research & Engagement Request for Proposals

December 14, 2015
Rural Futures Institute Competitive Awards Program 2016 Research & Engagement Proposals All proposals must be electronically uploaded as a single PDF document to http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016REaward Proposal deadline: March 15, 2016, 4:00 PM CST Award notification: June 15, 2016 Starting date: July 1, 2016 Download R&E RFP Submit R&E …

Rural Futures Institute Competitive Awards Program
2016 Research & Engagement Proposals


All proposals must be electronically uploaded as a single PDF document to http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016REaward

Proposal deadline: March 15, 2016, 4:00 PM CST
Award notification: June 15, 2016
Starting date: July 1, 2016

Download R&E RFP Submit R&E Proposal

Download PDF Version »

Scope: Up to four awards will be made with $100,000 maximum per award. The project time period will not exceed 24 months.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact Kim Peterson at kpeterson@nebraska.edu or call 402-472-9287.


 I. BACKGROUND 

The University of Nebraska is committed to establishing a transformative Rural Futures Institute (RFI) The RFI vision, mission and core values are the fundamental underpinnings for this request for proposals.

Vision
The RFI will be a locally, nationally and internationally recognized leader focused on increasing community capacity as well as the confidence of rural people to address their challenges and opportunities, resulting in resilient and sustainable rural futures. 

Mission
Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, the Rural Futures Institute mobilizes the diverse resources of the University of Nebraska and its partners to support rural communities and regions in building upon their unique strengths and assets to achieve their desired futures. 

Core Values
The work commissioned and supported by the RFI must be guided by the Institute’s core values: Bold, Transdisciplinary, Innovative, Agile, Collaborative, and Reflective

 II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 

The purpose of the RFI Competitive Awards Program is to foster the development of research and engagement work that addresses critical challenges and opportunities facing rural areas. These awards are to function as “seed grants” that are designed to lay the foundation for grant requests to funding sources external to the University of Nebraska or sustainable funding through other mechanisms such as fees and contracts.

Although all of the core values underpin this Competitive Awards Program, successful proposals must explicitly address transdisciplinary and collaborative considerations both internal and external to the University. Transdisciplinary research uses a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach. Additionally, if the RFI is to be successful, it must create an environment in which deep and meaningful collaborative partnerships are the norm: across campuses; across departments and disciplines; and with external stakeholders such as other non-University campuses, communities, state and local government, trade associations, civic groups and the philanthropic community. These collaborative partnerships are the essence of engaged research or “engagement.” Engaged research establishes reciprocal relationships of mutual respect and understanding. The mindset and attitude must be one of doing research “with the community”, rather than doing research “for the community” or “to the community.” Finally, proposals are expected to be innovative and bold in their proposed action, partnerships and outcomes.

It is important to note that the issues facing rural areas include economic considerations but not to the exclusion of other equally important considerations. Basic human services such as health care and education present both challenges and opportunities to rural people and places. Even broader considerations are the natural environment and the civic, cultural, design and artistic aspect of human and community development that cannot easily be counted and measured, nor justified only in terms of economic returns. This competitive awards program encourages proposals in which progress and viability are defined by the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental considerations.

III. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS 

  • University faculty and staff as well as Nebraska community members and non-NU higher education faculty/staff are welcome to apply, however, either the Principal Investigator (PI) or a co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) must be affiliated with NU and take responsibility for administering the award funds.
  • Collaboration with partners external to the University of Nebraska is strongly encouraged.
  • An individual may serve as the PI for only one proposal but may serve as a (co-PI) on one or more proposals.

IV. REVIEW PROCESS 

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel that will include both academic and non-academic representation. This panel will prioritize applications for funding based upon the criteria provided in Sections V and IX of this RFP. Final approval of proposals to be funded will be made by the Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute.

V. SELECTION CRITERIA 

  1. Potential to result in contributions to and measurable outcomes consistent with the RFI vision and mission.
  2. Compatibility with the RFI core values, especially transdisciplinary, collaborative, innovative and bold considerations.
  3. Potential to increase competitiveness for future external funding that is consistent with the vision and mission of the RFI.
  4. Matching funds are not required but may increase the likelihood a proposal will be selected for funding.

VI. EXPECTATIONS 

Those proposals ultimately funded will have certain expectations of the PI and the key personnel including the following:

  • Participation in a working group composed of RFI grant recipients. It is anticipated this group will meet at least once per academic year to share ‘best practices’ and lessons learned around innovative and creative processes and strategies unique to the research and engagement work undertaken.
  • Recipients are expected to demonstrate sharing their insights and findings at a variety of appropriate venues including conferences, such as the Rural Futures Conference, and refereed publications.
  • Recipients are expected to actively pursue external funding sources and submit a proposal for external funding within 24 months following the initial RFI award. Failure to do so may disqualify the applicant from future RFI funding competitions.
  • A final report is required and due to the RFI no later than one month following the conclusion of the project.

VII. FUNDING LIMITATIONS 

Funds may be used for wages and salaries of faculty and staff (provided the award is not used to generate salary savings), graduate and undergraduate students and other key personnel; as well as operating expenses such as databases, supplies and travel that are directly related to the project. Funds may not be used for any of the following purposes:

  • Indirect costs
  • To replace current funding*;
  • Remodeling, renovation or construction;
  • Recruitment or start-up packages for new hires; and
  • Items for purposes not exclusive to the project, such as desktop or laptop computers, printers, software and related accessories and general office supplies.

* In general, RFI funding cannot be used to replace current salary funding. Exceptions can be made if the salary savings are needed to backfill positions that allow the PI or other team members to meet current program commitments. Summer salary or positions funded with “soft” dollars are allowed. Exceptions should be explained in the Budget Justification section.

VIII. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS AND APPLICATION FORMAT: 

The entire proposal must be submitted as a single PDF document. Please use single spacing and Times New Roman (or similar) 11-point font with one-inch margins on the title page, abstract and narrative. The proposal, including the required administrative approval form, must be received via email at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016REaward by 4 p.m. (Central time) on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

Each completed proposal will include the following eight components in order: 

  1. Title Page Information (entered online, required for submission) 
    • Project Title
    • Total RFI Funding Requested ($)
    • Principal Investigator (name, title, affiliation, telephone, email)
    • Co-Principal Investigator(s) (name, title, affiliation, telephone, email)
    • Other Partners (if applicable)
  2. Research and Engagement Proposal: Administrative Approval Form – signed (1 page) (See A-1)
    The person who signs this form should be the PI or co-PI from the University of Nebraska who will administer the award funds. Include his/her campus address as well as the PI or co-PI signature. It also requires signatures of the appropriate campus administrators, verifying submission approval.
  3. Abstract (1/2 page – abstract on separate page from project narrative)
    Summarize the purpose, importance, expected outcomes and key activities/milestones of the proposal.
  4. Project Narrative: (6-page maximum)
    1. The project narrative is limited to six single-spaced pages, using Times New Roman (or similar) 11-point font and one-inch margins
    2. The project narrative should include the following:
      • Context/Justification: Provide the background/rationale for the project, including why the topic/scope is critical to the future of rural areas, and its linkage to the RFI’s vision and mission. What is the underlying need, problem or opportunity that the proposal addresses? How does the project consider the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental considerations?
      • Ultimate Long-Term Impact (one sentence): If the objectives of this proposal are successfully completed, what could potentially be different ten years from now in rural areas of Nebraska and beyond?
      • Project Objective(s): What specific objective(s) will be reached at the end of the grant period?
      • Methodology and Time Line: Explain the methodology and associated time line of the methodological steps that will be undertaken to insure that the project objectives are met in a timely and successful fashion. Explicitly address how the tools, results, applications, findings, innovations or processes will be shared with both the academic and non-academic communities, including rural people and places.
      • Partnerships: What new University partnerships will be established through this project with: (a) organizations, institutions and agencies external to NU, and (b) specific communities? What are the roles and responsibilities of each partner? What groundwork has already been laid and what else will be needed to insure that these partnerships function effectively? Will these partnerships be sustained beyond the award’s lifetime?
      • Project Success: What does success look like and how will it be measured?
      • Beyond the Project: If this project proposal is successful, what might be the next logical steps and subsequent opportunities, including other funding opportunities?
      • Identifying and Managing Adversity: Obstacles and barriers are often encountered in the implementation and execution of new projects. What do you anticipate will be the most challenging aspect of executing your proposal and what are some steps that can be taken to minimize this challenge or are there alternative ways of moving the project forward if the obstacle is insurmountable?Note: References cited in the Context/Justification section are included in the 6-page limit.
  5. Budget Table(s) (1 or 2 pages) and Budget Justification (1 page)
    Budget detail must be provided in the attached budget table(s) for Year One and, if applicable, Year Two. The budget tables (A2a and A2b) must be accompanied by a budget justification (no more than one page) which explains expenditures in each budget category. Budget lines for Year 1 and Year 2 may be combined in the budget justification narrative.
  6. Biographical Sketch or Vitae of PI and Key Personnel (2 pages per person)
    Not to exceed two pages per person.
  7. Letters of Commitment
    If the success of the proposal is linked to agencies, organizations or institutions external to the University of Nebraska, include letters of commitment from the relevant agencies, organizations or institutions. The letters should specify clearly what the role and nature of the commitment is. NOTE: these are NOT letters of support in which external stakeholders indicate their support for the proposal. The latter type of letter is not to be included.
  8. Waiver of Access to Reviewer’s Assessment – signed (1 page)
    The Principal Investigator (PI) submitting the proposal is required to sign the attached form (see A-3) on behalf of the team, waiving all access to the assessment of reviewers. A proposal without a completed waiver form will be returned. After funding decisions are made, anonymous reviewer comments will be forwarded to the principal investigator.

IX. CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION 

Following is the list of criteria by which the research proposals will be evaluated (see A-4):

  • Transdisciplinary, collaborative, innovative and bold (20 points)
  • The context/justification (15 points)
  • Short-term considerations/meeting project objectives (20 points)
  • Long-term considerations (10 points)
  • Project administration (20 points)
  • Budget considerations (15 points)

X. SUBMISSION DATE 

Proposals, including administrative approval signatures, must be received as a single PDF at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016REaward by 4 p.m. (Central time) on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Proposals received after this deadline will be returned to the applicant without review.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact Kim Peterson at kpeterson@nebraska.edu or call 402-472-9287.

XI. POST AWARD MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 

Principal investigators will be required to submit project reports on behalf of their teams to the Rural Futures Institute. Reports will be required every six months and final reports will be required 30 days after the end of the project.

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2016 Teaching & Engagement Request for Proposals

December 14, 2015
Rural Futures Institute Competitive Awards Program 2016 Teaching & Engagement Development Awards Request for Proposals All proposals must be electronically uploaded as a single PDF document to http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016TEaward Proposal deadline: March 1, 2016, 4:00 PM CST Award notification: June 1, 2016 …

Rural Futures Institute Competitive Awards Program
2016 Teaching & Engagement Development Awards
Request for Proposals


All proposals must be electronically uploaded as a single PDF document to http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016TEaward

Proposal deadline: March 1, 2016, 4:00 PM CST
Award notification: June 1, 2016
Starting date: July 1, 2016

Download T&E RFP Submit T&E Proposal

Scope: Up to five awards will be made with $20,000 maximum per award. The project time period will not exceed 24 months. Each program/project/course must be delivered twice during the two years.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact Kim Peterson kpeterson@nebraska.edu or call 402-472-9287.


 I. BACKGROUND 

The University of Nebraska is committed to establishing a transformative Rural Futures Institute (RFI). The RFI vision, mission and core values are the fundamental underpinnings for this request for proposals.

Vision
The RFI will be a locally, nationally and internationally recognized leader focused on increasing community capacity as well as the hope and confidence of rural people to address their challenges and opportunities, resulting in resilient and sustainable futures. 

Mission
Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, the RFI mobilizes the diverse resources of the University of Nebraska and its partners to support rural communities and regions in building upon their unique strengths and assets to achieve their desired futures. 

Core Values
The work commissioned and supported by the RFI must be guided by the Institute’s core values: Bold Transdisciplinary Innovative Agile Collaborative and Reflective

 II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 

The purpose of the RFI Teaching & Engagement Competitive Awards Program is to foster the development of civic engagement in both students and community partners. Inherent to the vision, mission, and core values of the RFI, the awards program particularly encourages rural community members in partnership with higher education institutions to seek funding that results in college students involvement in providing services to help meet the community’s needs. Faculty and staff seeking funding should ensure that any civic engagement or service learning endeavor integrates meaningful student service experiences into the curriculum and, in the case of service learning, builds curriculum-based reflection activities to enhance student learning. The RFI will assist in identifying potential partners, if asked.

Project proposals must focus on involving students in one or more of the following areas:

  1. Civic Engagement
    Implement civic engagement efforts into new or existing programs to develop RFI core values in both communities and partnering campuses. For example, involving partners in recruitment/retention programs; creating learning communities that include civic engagement in the design; establishing diversity initiatives that explicitly link active and collaborative community-based teaching and learning with the academic success of underrepresented students or internship programs in rural communities. Community partners are particularly encouraged to seek, in conjunction with participating campuses or institutions of higher education, funding for the civic engagement portion of the teaching and learning award funding.
  2. Undergraduate and Graduate Service Learning
    Applicants must enhance curriculum by designing new course(s) or revising an existing course(s) with a partner agency to include a service learning component. Service learning is a transformational pedagogy that integrates service in the community with academic study. Faculty, in partnership with community representatives, design service learning projects based on two main objectives:

  3. Undergraduate and Graduate Student Community-based Research
    Applicants must develop and initiate a community-based research project focused on advancing the field of civic engagement through service learning by addressing a community identified need/issue.

III. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS 

  • University faculty and staff as well as Nebraska community members and non-NU higher education faculty/staff are welcome to apply, however, either the Principal Investigator (PI) or a co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) must be affiliated with NU and take responsibility for administering the grant funds.
  • Collaboration with partners external to the University of Nebraska is strongly encouraged.
  • An individual may serve as the PI for only one proposal but may serve as a (co-PI) on one or more proposals.

IV. REVIEW PROCESS 

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel that will include representation from the University of Nebraska’s four campuses who have expertise in service learning, civic engagement, and a clear understanding of the vision, mission and core values of the RFI. The panel will prioritize applications for funding based upon the selection criteria provided in Section V of this RFP. Final selections will be made by the RFI Executive Director.

V. SELECTION CRITERIA 

  1. Potential to result in contributions to and measurable outcomes consistent with the RFI vision and mission.
  2. Compatibility with the RFI core values, especially reflective and collaborative.
  3. Potential for student learning, addressing rural community needs/issues, advancing the field of civic engagement, and advancing professional development of the applicants.
  4. Potential for establishing and sustaining the program/project/course(s) to continue after the grant period.
  5. Matching funds are not required but may increase the likelihood of funding success. 

VI. EXPECTATIONS 

Those proposals ultimately funded will have certain expectations of the PI and the key personnel including the following:

  • Recipients are expected to participate in a working group composed of the RFI Teaching & Engagement award recipients. It is anticipated that group will gather at least once a year to share ‘best practices’ around innovative and creative processes and strategies unique to engaged teaching.
  • Recipients are expected to conduct their program/project/course during both years of the project.
  • Recipients are expected to demonstrate impact by sharing their research at a number of venues including conferences, such as the Rural Futures Conference, and in refereed publications.
  • A final report is required and due to the RFI no later than one month following the conclusion of funding.

VII. FUNDING LIMITATIONS 

Funds may be used for wages and salaries of faculty and staff (provided the award is not used to generate salary savings), graduate and undergraduate students and other key personnel, as well as operating expenses such as databases, supplies and travel that are directly related to the project. Funds may not be used for any of the following purposes:

  • To replace current funding;
  • Remodeling, renovation or construction;
  • Recruitment or start-up packages for new hires; and
  • Items for purposes not exclusive to the project, such as desktop or laptop computers, iPads, printers, software and related accessories and general office supplies.

VIII. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS AND APPLICATION FORMAT: 

Go to http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/2016TEaward to:

  • Enter title page information using the online form
  • Upload proposal information as a single PDF document

Title Page Information: (entered online, required for submission) 

  1. Title
  2. Total Request Amount ($)
  3. Principal Investigator
    • Name
    • Affiliation
    • Telephone
    • Email
  4. Co-Principal Investigator(s)
    • Name
    • Affiliation
    • Telephone
    • Email
  5. Other Partners (if applicable)

Proposal Information: (upload as a single PDF document)

  1. Project Description: (three pages)
    • The project description is limited to three single-spaced pages, using Times New Roman (or similar) 11-point font and one-inch borders in a PDF format.
    • The project description should describe the proposed program/project/course(s) as it relates to one or more of the following three focus areas, clearly addressing the issues listed in the area below that will be the focus of the project. The plan must include a project timeline.
      1. Undergraduate and Graduate Service Learning 
        • Include a course description and learning outcomes.
        • Provide a clear rationale for why and how service learning should be integrated into the course(s).
        • Describe the reflection activities that clearly link the service experience with the learning objectives of the course.
        • Provide evidence for the sustainability of the course after the grant period ends.
      2. Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research 
        • Describe the community-based project.
        • Describe how the project integrates with teaching and professional service.
        • Describe student roles in the project and the reflective activities structured to link the service experience with the learning.
        • Provide evidence for project sustainability.
        • Describe how the results will be communicated.
      3. Civic Engagement 
        • Include a description of the engagement program and expected outcomes (recruitment/retention rates, diversity focused learning objectives, etc.).
        • Provide a clear rationale for why and how the engagement activities are integrated into the program.
        • Provide evidence for the sustainability of the program after the grant period ends.
    • List the project’s long-term and short-term goals related to:
      • Student learning;
      • Furthering institutional and departmental goals toward institutionalization of civic engagement and service learning;
      • Addressing community needs/issues;
      • Advancing the field of civic engagement and service learning as the pedagogy of engagement; and
      • Community partnerships including the role of community representatives in the design and implementation of the program/project/course(s).Note: References cited in Project Description are included in the three-page limit and should conform to an accepted journal format.
  2. Project Budget: (one page)
    Provide a one-page budget in which personnel and operating expenditures are identified and explained.
  3. Biographical Materials: (two pages per person)
    Provide up to a two-page biographical sketch/vitae for each key personnel.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact Kim Peterson kpeterson@nebraska.edu or call 402-472-9287.

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Webinar: Fostering Cross Disciplinary Research on Energy Development

December 8, 2015
Fostering Cross Disciplinary Research on Energy Development Thursday, December 10, 2015 – 12:00 PM Eastern Time About the Webinar Funded by the National Science Foundation and led by a cross-disciplinary committee of faculty from research institutions across North America, the Energy …

Fostering Cross Disciplinary Research on Energy Development

Thursday, December 10, 2015 – 12:00 PM Eastern Time

About the Webinar

Funded by the National Science Foundation and led by a cross-disciplinary committee of faculty from research institutions across North America, the Energy Impacts Research Coordination Network seeks to overcome topical, disciplinary, and geographic silos in order to facilitate breakthroughs in understanding the social and community impacts of energy development. This webinar will provide an introduction to the 3-year project, outlining the rationale, goals, and major project objectives, as well as solicit ideas and feedback from webinar participants on ways to increase cross-disciplinary social science research on energy.

Presenters

Dr. Jeffrey B. Jacquet is an assistant professor in the department of Sociology and Rural Studies at South Dakota State University.  Dr. Jacquet has performed social and economic impact analyses of unconventional oil and gas development since 2005, and has performed sociological analysis of energy development in areas across the U.S, and has worked with a number of universities and Extension agencies.  Current research projects include measuring the migration intentions of rural residents and understanding ownership structures of large scale wind energy. He attained his PhD from Cornell University in 2012.

Dr. Julia Haggerty is a human geographer focused on interactions between natural resource use and the social and economic well-being of rural communities. She is a faculty member in Montana State University’s Earth Science Department and holds a joint appointment with the Montana Institute on Ecosystems. Prior to joining the Earth Sciences Department in the fall of 2013, she worked for five years as a policy analyst for the regional non-profit research group Headwaters Economics. Haggerty’s current research projects include a USDA NIFA-funded project on community economies and energy development, a project on community resilience and wildlife restoration on Fort Peck Reservation, and research on ranchland ownership dynamics in the Northern Great Plains.

Anne Junod is a PhD student studying Sociology at South Dakota State University.  Anne is interested in the impacts of community perceptions of and responses to social and environmental changes and her research interests include rural sociology, environmental sociology, and migration.  Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Anne worked in public advocacy on the issues of immigration, child abuse, and homelessness.

Registration

There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar.

To join the webinar go to http://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd, “enter as a guest” is by default already chosen. Type your name into the text box provided, and click on “Enter Room”. You are now in the meeting room for the webinar.

To facilitate Q&A’s, participants submit questions/comments via the Chat Function in Adobe Connect.

The webinar will be recorded and archived at http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/chronological_archive.

To receive these announcements directly, or to correct errors in our distribution list, please email soliz@anr.msu.edu.

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Becoming a Small Giant

December 7, 2015
Becoming a Small Giant February 17, 2016 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Nebraska Champions Club | Lincoln, NE Join a discussion about the ideas discovered in the book “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingham. Please read before attending. Headliners Paul Spiegelman, Chief …

Becoming a Small Giant

February 17, 2016 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Nebraska Champions Club | Lincoln, NE

Join a discussion about the ideas discovered in the book “Small Giants” by Bo Burlingham. Please read before attending.

Headliners

Paul Spiegelman, Chief Culture Officer, Stericycle
Tom Walter, Founder, Tasty Catering

Why Attend?

  1. Connect with other values driven business leaders
  2. Learn what it means to be a great (not just big) company
  3. Participate with inspirational and acclaimed business leaders

More Information »

Event Flyer »

Register Online »

 

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Webinar: Health Insurance in the Agricultural Sector

December 7, 2015
C-FARE-NCRCRD Webinar: Health Insurance in the Agricultural Sector December 11 at 12 PM ET The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act altered incentives for how individuals and employers engage in the health care market. Two researchers will discuss how …

C-FARE-NCRCRD Webinar: Health Insurance in the Agricultural Sector

December 11 at 12 PM ET

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act altered incentives for how individuals and employers engage in the health care market. Two researchers will discuss how health insurance availability and coverage impacts farm households and  farmer, rancher, extension workers, and technical assistant decisions. Participants will hear how health insurance influences farmers’ decisions to invest, expand and grow their enterprises; contributes to workforce vitality; and impacts farm enterprises given insurance market variability across states. Some review of the impact of the law on the structure of agriculture will be discussed. This is an interactive webinar so participants will be able to raise issues and ask questions.

  • Moderator: Scott Loveridge, Professor Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics Michigan State University and Director, NCRCRD
  • Shoshanah Inwood, Rural Sociologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont.
  • Mary Ahearn, Senior Economist, Retired from USDA ERS; Editor of Choices Magazine for the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association; Vice-Chair for the Council on Food, Agriculture, and Resource Economics.

Register Online »

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AGRI/ECO-TOURISM WORKSHOP

December 7, 2015
AGRI/ECO-TOURISM WORKSHOP February 22-24, 2016 | Grand Island, Nebraska SHARE YOUR STORY – 11th ANNUAL WORKSHOP & RESOURCE MARKETPLACE This year the annual MarketPlace Nebraska is merging with the Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop to create a stronger networking opportunity. In previous years, the MarketPlace …

AGRI/ECO-TOURISM WORKSHOP

February 22-24, 2016 | Grand Island, Nebraska

SHARE YOUR STORY – 11th ANNUAL WORKSHOP & RESOURCE MARKETPLACE

This year the annual MarketPlace Nebraska is merging with the Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop to create a stronger networking opportunity. In previous years, the MarketPlace Nebraska was hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs to energize and connect entrepreneurs, small business owners, service providers and communities. The 2016 Nebraska Agri/Eco-Tourism workshop will provide those people and more, including, community leaders, landowners, farmers and ranchers, with information on how to establish, finance, market and grow businesses based on agri/eco-tourism and small business partnerships. Participants will come away with fresh marketing ideas, greater financial opportunity and numerous new contacts.

The workshop will kick off with educational B2B tours on Monday. Tuesday’s sessions and events will be at the Raising Nebraska Exhibit in the Nebraska Building on the State Fairgrounds, where all types of breakout sessions will take place, giving folks a chance to learn from a variety of industry professionals and gather information from the Resource MarketPlace. Tuesday night, the Taste and Feel of Nebraska event will give attendees the opportunity to network while sampling local products. Explore the potential for cross-marketing partnerships with others! The workshop will wrap-up with Wednesday sessions at the Grand Theatre in downtown Grand Island.

If you would like to have an exhibit booth or space to showcase your Nebraska foods, beverages, or local made products, contact Karen Kollars at 308-249-3220 or Karen.kollars@nebraska.gov.

Click here for more information »

Download Brochure »

REGISTRATION

Register online or Download Registration Form.

The workshop registration fee covers materials, the Taste & Feel of Nebraska event, meals and breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday. It does not include lodging or the Monday B2B Tours and meal. Your workshop name badge will be your ticket to all functions. Registration fees are listed on the registration form. You may also register online with a credit card at http:/industry.visitnebraska.com. A 5.5% processing fee is required for all online payments.

LODGING

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Midtown Holiday Inn (2503 S. Locust St.) in Grand Island until January 31, 2016. Call 308-384-1330 and ask for the Nebraska Agri/Eco-Tourism block to secure your special room rate of $87.95 (plus tax).

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Urban Forest Connections Webinar Series

December 7, 2015
Remove and Repurpose: Increasing the value of urban wood Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:15pm ET Urban wood utilization is a smart use of local resources that can add revenue to an urban forestry program. Many municipalities are encountering an …

Remove and Repurpose: Increasing the value of urban wood

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:15pm ET

Urban wood utilization is a smart use of local resources that can add revenue to an urban forestry program. Many municipalities are encountering an increase in urban tree removals as invasive pests infiltrate their urban forests. Others are simply wondering if there’s a better way to use their urban wood “waste” and avoid a drain on the budget for tree removal. In this webinar, our speakers will share tips and lessons learned to help you start or expand your urban wood use program. Steve Bratkovich will provide a brief overview of urban wood utilization. He will also introduce the concept of industrial clusters, which can be used as a template to get you started or increase the success of your existing program. Dave Gamstetter will share Cincinnati’s experience in developing its Urban Timber program, including how it overcame several challenges. Established in 2007 as a response to the discovery of emerald ash borer in Cincinnati, the Urban Timber program repurposes sustainably harvested municipal logs into affordable, high quality products.

This webinar is open to all. Your RSVP is appreciated, but not required. We are seeking 1.0 CEU with the International Society of Arboriculture. Check our website for updates and to watch recordings of previous webinars.

Contact the Urban Forest Technology & Science Delivery Team at urban@fs.fed.us with questions, feedback, requests for special accommodations, speaker suggestions, or to be added to the mailing list. Please feel free to forward this announcement to interested parties.

Please use the information below to connect to the webinar:

  1. FIRST TIME USERS: MAKE SURE YOU CAN CONNECT
    If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before, test your connection before the webinar. Go to: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
  1. CONNECT TO THE WEBINAR ON YOUR SYSTEM
    Go to: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/ucf/
  1. AUDIO
    Broadcast audio through your computer or use the information below to connect via telephone conferencing:
    Toll-free: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
    Participant code: 0210033
    International dial-in numbers
  1. TROUBLESHOOTING
    Unable to join the meeting? Call Adobe Connect at 1-800-422-3623.
    Need help with telephone conferencing? Call AT&T Connect Support at 1-888-796-6118. 

Please Note: All webinars will be recorded.

www.fs.fed.us/research/urban-webinars/

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Innovation In Pedagogy and Technology Symposium

December 4, 2015
Mark your calendars for May 10, 2016, when the University of Nebraska Innovation in Pedagogy and Technology Symposium takes place in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. Sponsored by University of Nebraska Information Technology (UNIT) and University of Nebraska Online Worldwide, this essential event brings together the thinkers …

Mark your calendars for May 10, 2016, when the University of Nebraska Innovation in Pedagogy and Technology Symposium takes place in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska.

Sponsored by University of Nebraska Information Technology (UNIT) and University of Nebraska Online Worldwide, this essential event brings together the thinkers and doers who are shaping online and distance education at the University of Nebraska. Through this experience, you will:  

  • Learn from nationally recognized leaders in distance education
  • Share pragmatic insights with colleagues and explore how to implement at the University of Nebraska
  • Expose yourself to new ideas and opportunities to network and collaborate

Attendance is open to the NU community.

Submit your speaking proposal: Share your road-tested insights and strategies in online education. Speaking proposals will be accepted through January 29, 2016.

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Green Infrastructure Webcast Series

November 24, 2015
Ahead of the Curve — Implementing Green Infrastructure in Rural and Growing Communities Tuesday, December 8, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST | 12:00 – 1:30 pm CST EPA’s Green Infrastructure program will host a webcast on Dec. 8, 2015 from …

Ahead of the Curve — Implementing Green Infrastructure in Rural and Growing Communities

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST | 12:00 – 1:30 pm CST

EPA’s Green Infrastructure program will host a webcast on Dec. 8, 2015 from 1-2:30 PM EST titled “Ahead of the Curve – Implementing Green Infrastructure in Rural and Growing Communities.” Green infrastructure is often framed as an approach to improving communities and addressing water quality in large urban areas, where high concentrations of impervious surfaces can result in large volumes of stormwater runoff. However, green infrastructure can also provide multiple benefits for small, growing communities and those in rural areas. This webcast will showcase two such communities, Monona, Iowa and Clarkesville, Georgia, that are ahead of the curve in using green infrastructure to address some of their stormwater management challenges. Rural communities and small MS4s in particular will want to tune in to learn how to replicate these projects at home.

Learn More »
Register »
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Enhance Health Network to join Nebraska Innovation Campus

November 19, 2015
Later this year, Enhance Health Network will join the Nebraska Innovation Campus team, according to a UNL news release. The network, formerly known as RPN LLC, is a for-profit partnership corporation formed by nine Nebraska-based health care systems. The group …

Later this year, Enhance Health Network will join the Nebraska Innovation Campus team, according to a UNL news release.

The network, formerly known as RPN LLC, is a for-profit partnership corporation formed by nine Nebraska-based health care systems. The group of health care providers delivers patient-centered, value-based health care through shared services and clinical integration, according to a the UNL news release.

This sect of the NIC will provide “learning and demonstration laboratory opportunities for students, interns, startups and other academic and industry endeavors.” The network is already collaborating with the university’s Rural Futures Institute to address rural health issues.

“We expect this to be an important partnership for effective health care delivery in many communities serving rural constituents,” said Chuck Schroeder, executive director of the Rural Futures Institute, in the news release.

Michael Hein, the company’s president and CEO, said the network plans to be an active participant at Innovation Campus and will work to create funded research opportunities and to build a creative environment with the collaborations among the company and community members, which hopefully result in solutions to various health care challenges like providing services in under-served areas of Nebraska.

“NIC will accelerate our ability to deliver innovative health care solutions to our member communities and surrounding regions,” he said in the news release.

Dan Duncan, executive director of Nebraska Innovation Campus, said he’s looking forward to Enhance Health Network joining NIC.

“Their decision is further validation that our business plan is producing results and creating value for all Nebraskans,” Duncan said.

Posted November 11, 2015 by The Daily Nebraskan

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Kearney Hub: Rural Futures Institute Executive Director Speaks on Hope for Rural Communities

November 5, 2015
Written By Amanda Push Hub Staff Writer KEARNEY — The Rural Futures Institute has no small goals, Executive Director Chuck Schroeder told Noon Rotary Club members Monday. Its goals are big: being an internationally recognized leader in building the capacity …

KEARNEY — The Rural Futures Institute has no small goals, Executive Director Chuck Schroeder told Noon Rotary Club members Monday.

Its goals are big: being an internationally recognized leader in building the capacity and confidence of rural communities, he said.

“We’re talking about being the best in the world in Nebraska and addressing one of the most wicked problems facing the world today,” Schroeder said.

He explained that bringing about the success of rural communities is vital and how the institute plans to do it to counteract the wicked problem of rural stagnation.

“Rural matters,” said Schroeder. “Rural matters economically. It matters socially. It matters culturally. It matter environmentally to not only states like Nebraska but to the United States and the planet on which we live.”

Schroeder said six factors, researched by Lindsey Hastings of Nebraska Human Resources Institute, define a successful rural community. Hastings observed how rural communities moved leadership from one generation to another.

The six factors are:

  • Leadership that matters: Leaders in a community must actively say: “We’re not fine with where we are. Here’s where we’d like to go; let’s figure out the steps that will take us there.”
  • Hopeful vision backed by grit.
  • Deliberate efforts to invite others into leadership roles, including people who might not otherwise participate.
  • Not letting fear be a barrier.
  • Willingness to invest in community.
  • Strong social networks.

Success, Schroeder said, can only be built if there is a foundation of hope.

“When we talk about hope in this context, we’re not talking about ‘Keep a smile on your face and walk on the sunny side,” Schroeder said. “This isn’t a happy attitude deal. There is real science behind the hope that I am talking about.”

A keynote speaker at a recent RFI conference, Shane Lopez, Gallup senior scientist in residence and research director of the Clifton Strengths Institute, presented several principles of hope: people must believe that the future will be better than the present, that they have power to have an influence and that there are many paths to success but none are without obstacles.

In following those many paths to success, RFI works by three key principles.

First, RFI plans to help rural communities and regions by working with communities on issues they have already identified.

Second, the institute is addressing these issues by connecting partners, campuses and communities. It is working on 31 projects across 17 colleges and universities, 23 organizations, 12 government agencies, two companies and 113 communities.

These projects reach into areas such as economic development, leadership and civic engagement, community planning and marketing, health care, and the justice system.

The final principle is to strengthen intergenerational leadership and engagement in rural areas through programs such as Connecting Young Nebraskans and Rural Serviceship Program

“One thing we do know is it’s not the size of the population, not the proximity to the interstate or the economic mix in the community that matters,” Schroeder said. “What matters is leadership. It never fails. RFI is not in the business of trying to save every rural community in Nebraska, the country or the world. That cannot be done. We are in the business of finding those communities where there is a small cadre of leaders who have a sense of where they want to go and issues they want to address.

“When we can draw some resources around helping them, we know we can make a difference.”

Read More

Conference Panels at NCTA

November 5, 2015
Dr. Scott Mickelsen, associate dean at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, introduced presenters and moderated several local sessions at the 2015 Rural Futures Conference held Oct. 22 on the NCTA campus and at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln. A …

EntrePanelDr. Scott Mickelsen, associate dean at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, introduced presenters and moderated several local sessions at the 2015 Rural Futures Conference held Oct. 22 on the NCTA campus and at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln.

A panel of rural entrepreneurs included, from left, Mickelsen, Ken Rahjes, Elwood, owner of Authentic Ag, Inc., and editor of electronic news organization AgView.net,; Sarah Pinet, goat dairy owner and national award-winning cheesemaker of Victory Hill Farm, Scottsbluff; and Barry Fox, co-owner of several enterprises at Broken Bow, including Kinkaider Brewing Company, Diamond Express Car Wash, and Cobblestone Hotel and Suites.  The panel discussed positive aspects and challenges of starting a small business and energizing others in rural areas.

HStrio.editDr. Scott Mickelsen also hosted a discussion on agricultural workforce development with representatives of three high schools associated with NCTA’s dual credit programs. They included, from left, Dustin Favinger, counselor at Cozad Public Schools, Cindy Burton, counselor with Cambridge Public Schools, and Dean Tickle, superintendent with Elm Creek Public Schools.

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Research News: Research Fair, NU FEWS & More

November 3, 2015
Latest Research News is ready to read online Click the link below and start enjoying this issue of Research News from UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development. Read the full newsletter online » Research Fair is Nov. 10-11 The fall UNL Research …

Latest Research News is ready to read online

Click the link below and start enjoying this issue of Research News from UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development.
Read the full newsletter online »

Research Fair is Nov. 10-11

The fall UNL Research Fair Nov. 10-11 features sessions on enhancing research collaborations and competitiveness, information on state economic development programs and the grand opening events for the new regional Research Data Center, along with celebrations of faculty and postdoc achievements. Full Article »

NU FEWS aims to engage faculty campuswide

Generating new ideas and identifying interdisciplinary research teams focused on research at the intersection of food, energy and water systems is the goal of NU FEWS, a new campuswide initiative. Full Article »

Research Fair offers opportunities to celebrate, share ideas

November is suddenly upon us and with it comes my favorite week of the year fall UNL Research Fair week. Our Fall Research Fair starts Nov. 10 with the Faculty Recognition Breakfast, where I have the pleasure of bragging about your accomplishments. Following the breakfast we have two days of topics and speakers that offer something for everyone. Full Article »

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Webinar: Characterizing Food Retail in Rural Northeast Michigan

November 3, 2015
The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (based in Omaha, NE) have been conducting research into rural food access issues in Northeast Michigan (lower peninsula).  The area of the study is approximately 15 …

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (based in Omaha, NE) have been conducting research into rural food access issues in Northeast Michigan (lower peninsula).  The area of the study is approximately 15 counties and runs  from Clare north on Highway 127 to the Mackinac Bridge, with the southern boundary running from Clare east to Tawas City.   We are finishing the report for this project soon.

We are planning a webinar on Tuesday November 24th from 2-3 pm EST to share a summary of our findings:

Characterizing food retail in rural northeast Michigan: Opportunities to improve healthy food access 

Courtney Pinard with the Gretchen Swanson Center in Omaha Nebraska, Chris Bardenhagen (MSU CSUS graduate student) and myself will be presenting and responding to questions. We will have the report completed and available through a website link by the time of the webinar.

If you are interested in participating in this webinar please RSVP at the link below.  We will be using Zoom technology for the webinar and will send you more information to connect to the webinar after you have RSVP’d.

RSVP Here »

 

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CIRD Issues Request for Proposals

November 3, 2015
Funding and Design Assistance Available for Rural Communities Citizen’s Institute on Rural DesignTM Issue Request for Proposals Tuesday, October 27, 2015 View PDF New York, NY— The Citizens’ Institute on Rural DesignTM (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural …

Funding and Design Assistance Available for Rural Communities

Citizen’s Institute on Rural DesignTM Issue Request for Proposals

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

View PDF

New York, NY— The Citizens’ Institute on Rural DesignTM (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural DesignTM is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation. CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.

CIRD offers annual competitive funding to six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-ahalf day community development and design workshop. With assistance from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops are intended to bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government agencies to develop actionable solutions to the communities’ pressing development challenges. The communities will receive additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources on www.rural-design.org.

Design and development challenges include but are not limited to the following: Main Street revitalization, managing and shaping community growth, the design of community-supportive transportation systems, preservation of natural and historic landscapes and buildings, protecting working agricultural lands, and maximizing the role of arts and culture as an economic driver for local and regional economies. Since 1991 CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets today in order to build better places to live, work, and play in the future.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday January 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm EST.

Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend (that must be matched one-to-one) in addition to in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is posted on the CIRD website: www.rural-design.org/request-for-proposals. Selected communities will be announced in March of 2016 and workshops will be held during the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017. CIRD staff will also offer two pre-application assistance webinars to answer questions and guide interested applicants in assembling their proposals. The first is scheduled for Tuesday November 10th, and the second will take place on Thursday, December 10th. Both calls will begin at 3:00 pm EST and last approximately one hour. Participation in each call is free but registration is required. To register visit: www.rural-design.org/application-assistance

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to www.arts.gov/50th to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary calendar.

ABOUT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE – RURAL DEVELOPMENT

USDA Rural Development administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Visit the USDA at www.rd.usda.gov.

ABOUT PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES, INC.

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design, and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Founded in 1975, PPS has completed projects in over 2,500 communities and all 50 US states. PPS has become an internationally recognized center for resources, tools, and inspiration about placemaking. Visit PPS at www.pps.org

ABOUT THE ORTON FAMILY FOUNDATION

With its Community Heart & Soul™ method, the Orton Family Foundation empowers people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural and economic vibrancy of communities. The Foundation assists the residents of small cities and towns in the use of the Community Heart & Soul™ method, a barn-raising approach to community planning and development that invites residents to shape the future of their communities in ways that uphold the unique character of each place. For more information visit www.orton.org.

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Scottsbluff Star Herald: Ricketts speaks on Impact of Rural Communitites

October 28, 2015
Ricketts Speaks on Impact of Rural Communities Source: starherald.com Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Written By: Maggy Lehmicke, Nebraska News Service   LINCOLN — Governor Pete Ricketts told several hundred people attending the Rural Futures Institute conference on Friday about the importance …

Ricketts Speaks on Impact of Rural Communities

Source: starherald.com
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Written By: Maggy Lehmicke, Nebraska News Service

 

LINCOLN — Governor Pete Ricketts told several hundred people attending the Rural Futures Institute conference on Friday about the importance of rural communities for Nebraska’s economic growth.

“Agriculture is our largest industry,” Ricketts said. “We grow things and we make things. That’s what we do.”

According to Ricketts, 25 percent of Nebraska’s economy is agriculture.

“If you look at the last recession in 2008, Nebraska weathered that quite well compared to other states,” he said. “That was in large part because agriculture had done so well.”

Ricketts said agriculture is what is going to drive future economic growth in Nebraska. Because people are demanding a higher standard of living, he said, Nebraska’s agriculture industry is experiencing growth.

“We are ideally situated, right here in Nebraska, to be able to take advantage of that trend,” he said.

There is a growing focus on quality of life, Ricketts said. This involves access to healthcare, shopping, restaurants and well-paying jobs. He said finding solutions to the challenge of providing those things requires local communities to work with the state to develop local solutions.

The focus on higher quality of life means there is a need to create more jobs in rural communities, Ricketts said. With manufacturing being the second largest industry in Nebraska, he said there needs to be a focus on how to develop that workforce.

“Manufacturing allows us to create jobs all across our state, not just in Lincoln and Omaha,” Ricketts said. “Great Nebraska companies are creating jobs in our small towns and rural communities.”

Ricketts said the economic growth of the state is drawing young people in, but there still needs to be more education about the importance of agriculture throughout the state.

“We’ve got to do a better job of educating our urban consumers about where food comes from,” he said. “Even here in Lincoln we’ve got a lot of people that take it for granted.”

Ricketts said humanizing the face of agriculture is not just important on a local level, but on a national and international level as well.

“In Europe, the perception is we’re all big corporate farms,” he said. However, between 97 and 99 percent of Nebraska farms are family owned, he said.

To expand opportunities and grow Nebraska’s economy, Ricketts said we have to shift our eyes abroad.

“Ninety-nine percent of the world’s consumers lie outside our borders,” he said.

Today, Japan is the third largest trading partner and largest direct foreign investor in the state, Ricketts said. Approximately 20 percent of Nebraska’s beef exports and 50 percent of pork exports go to Japan, he said.

“Japanese diets are changing,” he said. “The opportunity to expand is huge.”

Ricketts said China currently blocks beef exports from Nebraska. Building a relationship with China would mean helping with China’s food security and opening doors for Nebraska manufacturers to sell in Chinese markets and to Chinese producers, he said.

“If you think about those rising standards of living, those are going to be in Asia,” Ricketts said. “We’ve got to do a better job of presenting ourselves to the rest of the world.”

Ricketts said looking at Nebraska’s future means looking at the rest of the world.

“We’ve got to continue to be innovative because the world will change,” he said. “But the opportunities are limitless.”

Read More

The Grand Island Independent: Hope for Rural Communities

October 28, 2015
Rural Futures Institute Executive Director Speaks on Hope for Rural Communities Source: theindependent.com Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015  Written By: Amanda Push, Hub Staff Writer   KEARNEY — The Rural Futures Institute has no small goals, Executive Director Chuck Schroeder told Noon …

Rural Futures Institute Executive Director Speaks on Hope for Rural Communities

Source: theindependent.com
Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 

 

KEARNEY — The Rural Futures Institute has no small goals, Executive Director Chuck Schroeder told Noon Rotary Club members Monday.

Its goals are big: being an internationally recognized leader in building the capacity and confidence of rural communities, he said.

“We’re talking about being the best in the world in Nebraska and addressing one of the most wicked problems facing the world today,” Schroeder said.

He explained that bringing about the success of rural communities is vital and how the institute plans to do it to counteract the wicked problem of rural stagnation.

“Rural matters,” said Schroeder. “Rural matters economically. It matters socially. It matters culturally. It matter environmentally to not only states like Nebraska but to the United States and the planet on which we live.”

Schroeder said six factors, researched by Lindsey Hastings of Nebraska Human Resources Institute, define a successful rural community. Hastings observed how rural communities moved leadership from one generation to another.

The six factors are:

– Leadership that matters: Leaders in a community must actively say: “We’re not fine with where we are. Here’s where we’d like to go; let’s figure out the steps that will take us there.”

– Hopeful vision backed by grit.

– Deliberate efforts to invite others into leadership roles, including people who might not otherwise participate.

– Not letting fear be a barrier.

– Willingness to invest in community.

– Strong social networks.

Success, Schroeder said, can only be built if there is a foundation of hope.

“When we talk about hope in this context, we’re not talking about ‘Keep a smile on your face and walk on the sunny side,” Schroeder said. “This isn’t a happy attitude deal. There is real science behind the hope that I am talking about.”

A keynote speaker at a recent RFI conference, Shane Lopez, Gallup senior scientist in residence and research director of the Clifton Strengths Institute, presented several principles of hope: people must believe that the future will be better than the present, that they have power to have an influence and that there are many paths to success but none are without obstacles.

In following those many paths to success, RFI works by three key principles.

First, RFI plans to help rural communities and regions by working with communities on issues they have already identified.

Second, the institute is addressing these issues by connecting partners, campuses and communities. It is working on 31 projects across 17 colleges and universities, 23 organizations, 12 government agencies, two companies and 113 communities.

These projects reach into areas such as economic development, leadership and civic engagement, community planning and marketing, health care, and the justice system.

The final principle is to strengthen intergenerational leadership and engagement in rural areas through programs such as Connecting Young Nebraskans and Rural Serviceship Program

“One thing we do know is it’s not the size of the population, not the proximity to the interstate or the economic mix in the community that matters,” Schroeder said. “What matters is leadership. It never fails. RFI is not in the business of trying to save every rural community in Nebraska, the country or the world. That cannot be done. We are in the business of finding those communities where there is a small cadre of leaders who have a sense of where they want to go and issues they want to address.

“When we can draw some resources around helping them, we know we can make a difference.”

Read More

Rural Futures Conference in the News

October 27, 2015
Ingredients for Success for Rural Nebraska » Omaha World-Herald 2 Howard Buffetts talk about hunger, gender at Rural Futures Conference » Omaha World-Herald Buffetts speak at Rural Futures Conference, tell Small Communities to Find Hope, Solutions » The Republic Hope and Vision for …
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2015-16 Heuermann Series to kick off with Buffetts

October 16, 2015
How every person can play an important role in solutions to local, national and global challenges will be the focus of the first Heuermann series event of the 2015-2016 season on Oct. 21. Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett …

How every person can play an important role in solutions to local, national and global challenges will be the focus of the first Heuermann series event of the 2015-2016 season on Oct. 21.

Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett will take part in a discussion moderated by Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president, IANR Harlan vice chancellor and interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will be at 5 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus auditorium, 2021 Transformation Drive.

The Buffetts will discuss how to find solutions to some of the most challenging problems facing society. Together, they co-authored the New York Times bestseller “40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World,” which examines global agriculture, hunger and food systems challenges.

Howard G. Buffett is chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a private charitable foundation working to catalyze transformational change in the most impoverished areas of the world. He oversees three foundation-operated research farms in Illinois, Arizona and South Africa; a family farm in central Illinois; and farms with his son in Nebraska. Buffett serves as the undersheriff in Macon County, Illinois. He has traveled to 139 countries and authored eight books on conservation, wildlife and the human condition. He serves on the corporate boards of Berkshire Hathaway, Lindsay Corporation and the Coca-Cola Company. In 2005, the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications recognized Buffett’s contributions to journalism with the Will Owen Jones Distinguished Journalist of the Year Award.

Howard W. Buffett is a lecturer at UNL and Columbia University, where he teaches on topics related to international and public affairs, philanthropy, and food and agricultural policy. He also serves on the Board of Counselors for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Buffett resides in Omaha, where he operates a 400-acre farm enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Stewardship Program.

The discussion is in conjunction with the third national Rural Futures Conference, hosted by the Rural Futures Institute. The conference presents opportunities for people to work together to build hope and develop a vision for invigorating rural communities. In addition to Nebraska Innovation Campus, the conference will take place at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. For more information and to register, visit http://rfc.nebraska.edu.

The Heuermann Lectures are made possible through a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips. The Heuermanns are longtime university supporters with strong commitment to Nebraska’s production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people.

The lectures focus on providing and sustaining enough food, natural resources and renewable energy for the world’s people, and on securing the sustainability of rural communities where the vital work of producing food and renewable energy occurs. Lectures stream live at http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu and are archived at that site soon after the event. They also air on NET2 World at a later date.

Posted in General, Ag news on Friday, October 9, 2015.

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Students Find Opportunities in Rural Communities

October 2, 2015
Written by: Gillian Klucas When Tanner Nelson left his tiny hometown of Bertrand in south central Nebraska for Lincoln and a college degree, he didn’t believe anyone raised in a city would embrace rural life as he did. Now a …

Written by: Gillian Klucas

When Tanner Nelson left his tiny hometown of Bertrand in south central Nebraska for Lincoln and a college degree, he didn’t believe anyone raised in a city would embrace rural life as he did.

Now a senior at the University of Nebraska−Lincoln, he’s convinced rural communities are on the verge of a comeback as young people discover the numerous opportunities available in rural America and a lifestyle that allows room to grow.

After decades of decline as farms consolidated and people moved away, rural communities throughout the Midwest are making their communities more attractive to young people like Nelson, who are eager to make an outsized difference.

“I love rural Nebraska,” Nelson said. “I believe rural communities are the future of Nebraska, and I think you’ll start to see a reverse trend. I’ve found a lot of people in Lincoln who would love to live in the country. People are moving back.”

Tom Field, director of UNL’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, said the change is evident. “When you talk to rural leaders, there are communities doing things that you just wouldn’t predict could happen,” he said.

He cites Ord, Nebraska, as one town with strong leadership development, high levels of civic engagement and blooming entrepreneurship. “Their advantage is the fact that they, as a community, decided they were going to be something special,” he said.

Nelson said he plans to return to a small town and start his own business. He’ll find a place that actively supports local businesses and where he can get enthusiastic about becoming involved as a community member.

For Brianna Meyer, a nursing student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Kearney, working in a small town will give her a greater opportunity to shine and grow. At a larger corporation, young employees start at the bottom and work their way up, she said. Working in a smaller organization or business, provides more opportunities to take on and explore a variety of responsibilities.

“In a small community, if you can show that you can be professional and you’re serious about your job, they’re going to throw more things your way,” she said. “If you really want to make a difference, you’re more likely to be able to do it in a small community.”

The ability to one day raise a family in a safe, friendly environment like the one she grew up in in Wolbach, Nebraska, is also on her mind, she added.

Alyssa Dye, a recent UNL graduate, didn’t plan to go back to small-town life after leaving Alliance, Nebraska. Her dreams were global, seeking to make a difference through international development. But after spending a summer in Neligh, Nebraska, for an internship through the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, she’s completely sold on pursuing a career that includes rural development. A small town would expand her options, not limit them, she said.

Technology is opening new possibilities. Communities with a reliable digital infrastructure can support an office doing business anywhere in the world.

“I totally believe that rural communities are incubators of innovation and entrepreneurship,” Dye said. “Now I understand the leadership role that I can play in a rural community and being invested in that community. You can have a business in a rural town, but still have a global impact no matter where the physical office is.”

But finding just the right town can be difficult.

University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute recognized the need to connect students with rural communities and businesses. Taking a cue from traditional career fairs, the institute is hosting the first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair October 21st, at UNL’s East Campus Union. Towns actively seeking young talent and organizations with jobs in rural communities will be there to talk with students and showcase what they have to offer.

Greg Ptacek, Neligh’s director of economic development, said he’ll be there. “The fair is a chance to get in front of students and say, ‘There is opportunity for you in rural Nebraska and here’s why we have a great quality of life.’”

“We’re saying, ‘We have the jobs available, and we need you.’”

Information regarding the upcoming Rural Opportunities Fair is available at: rfc.nebraska.edu/opportunities

 

 

 

 

 

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Rural Communities Embrace Young Talent

October 2, 2015
Written by: Gillian Klucas When Greg Ptacek answered the phone recently, he found himself talking to a young lawyer looking for a small town in which to build his career. He’d heard good things about Neligh, a town of 1,500 …

Written by: Gillian Klucas

When Greg Ptacek answered the phone recently, he found himself talking to a young lawyer looking for a small town in which to build his career. He’d heard good things about Neligh, a town of 1,500 people in northwestern Nebraska.

It’s the kind of conversation the town’s economic development director is having more often these days, a sign that Neligh’s efforts to entice new residents are paying off.

“That stems from the progressive nature of the community and a relationship with the Rural Futures Institute,” Ptacek said. “We’re getting access to a lot of high caliber students.”

The Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, established in 2012, works to revitalize rural areas in Nebraska and beyond. Ptacek said he values the events, programs and other support RFI provides rural communities like Neligh that actively seek to invigorate their community and reverse a decades-long trend of losing populations as farms consolidated and families decamped.

RFI sponsors networking events and conferences, connects students with rural towns, and supports rural-based research and extension programs that, for example, help communities develop marketing strategies and promote healthy habits.

Nicole Sedlacek, executive director of Holt County Economic Development, admits she was skeptical when RFI first opened its doors. “In the beginning, I thought it was just a lot of talking heads coming from Lincoln,” she said. “Now I feel like they are really making it a true resource that rural communities want to work with.”

Holt County hosted two RFI-sponsored interns in 2015, who worked with the local high school to help develop an alumni retention program. Sedlacek said she was impressed by the quality of the college interns, but the program’s value went beyond the work product. “We want to create communities that young people want to live in, and so being able to hear from them about what things communities can do to attract young students gave us new perspectives.”

She said she’s also excited about the upcoming Rural Futures Conference, and especially the Rural Opportunities Fair, where community representatives can meet students interested in establishing their futures in a rural place. The fair will be held October 21st, ahead of the Rural Futures Conference to be held October 21-23, both in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“Economic development for so long was all about chasing smokestacks and manufacturing jobs,” Sedlacek said. “It’s really about chasing the people. The fair gives us an opportunity to showcase our community and reach out to a number of students.”

Kristina Foth said Valley County, in central Nebraska, wouldn’t miss it. For her, the benefits of RFI’s programs extend beyond the institute itself. It’s also about plugging into a group of likeminded communities.

“Being engaged with the Rural Futures Institute has allowed us to create this dynamic and insightful network among communities and among community developers and leaders throughout our state,” said Foth, assistant chamber director of Valley County Economic Development and the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce. “Sharing ideas and passions and knowledge has been very valuable for us in Valley County.”

Neligh’s Ptacek agrees. The town has taken advantage of several RFI-sponsored programs, including Marketing Hometown America, a development process that led to a community-driven marketing strategy. Neligh followed up by hosting two college interns to help implement the ideas. The videos the students created have been seen nearly 10,000 times in 52 countries.

Marketing to outsiders also reinforces to residents that their community has value, which generates its own energy, enthusiasm and ideas, Ptacek said.

“RFI is a great organization, but you get out of it what you put in,” he added. “It isn’t going to come in and save your community, but they’re going to be a great partner and help you along the way.”

Information regarding the upcoming Rural Opportunities Fair and the Rural Futures Conference is available at: rfc.nebraska.edu.

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Rural Opportunities Fair to connect students, rural communities

September 23, 2015
University of Nebraska students will have a unique opportunity to connect with representatives of nearly 40 communities, companies and organizations at the first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair, to be held Oct. 21 in Lincoln as a special kickoff to the Rural …

University of Nebraska students will have a unique opportunity to connect with representatives of nearly 40 communities, companies and organizations at the first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair, to be held Oct. 21 in Lincoln as a special kickoff to the Rural Futures Conference.

The Rural Opportunities Fair will allow students to explore internship and job possibilities with community and business representatives who are looking to recruit young talent, as well as leadership, social and entrepreneurial opportunities that exist for students throughout rural Nebraska. The fair goes from noon to 2 p.m. in the Nebraska East Union on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. It is hosted by the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute. All NU students interested in living and working in a rural community are invited to attend the fair at no cost.

“There is a huge disconnect between what youth have been told about rural Nebraska and the actual opportunities that exist,” said Greg Ptacek, economic development director of the City of Neligh, which will be represented at the fair. “Hopefully, the one-on-one conversations will spark a change in attitude toward rural as a viable life option for this next generation.”

 Companies and organizations that will be represented at the fair include the Central Nebraska Economic Development District, Department of Rural Health, Intern Nebraska, Nebraska State Bar Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fields where internship or job opportunities will be available include agribusiness, agronomy, community planning, education, engineering, entrepreneurship, accounting and finance, healthcare, information technology, marketing and communications, natural resources, veterinary and animal sciences and others.

 “We hope to try and attract a younger, revitalized workforce and bring new ideas and energy to Auburn,” said Kim Beger, Auburn Development Council Treasurer. “We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Nebraska on events like these as they provide Auburn and rural Nebraska exposure and an opportunity to show our successes. Auburn’s hope is to connect with some NU students that can help fill the professional workforce needs that are becoming available by our current developing industries and the current retiring workforce.”

 Kristina Foth, assistant director of Valley County Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Rural Opportunities Fair will provide Valley County with an opportunity we have been searching for, allowing us to heighten our recruitment efforts and make intentional connections with potential workforce. Relationships we have cultivated with NU students in the past and new connections we hope to foster have great potential to enhance business activity and contribute to significant growth for local businesses in Valley County.”

 The Rural Opportunities Fair is part of the third Rural Futures Conference, which is Oct. 21-23. Registration for the conference, which will be offered both in Lincoln and Curtis, is currently open at http://rfc.nebraska.edu. The conference drew a sold-out crowd of more than 500 when it was last held in 2013.

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2015 Rural Futures Conference Oct. 21-22 at NCTA

September 17, 2015
“Hope Inspires Vision” is the theme of the third national Rural Futures Conference, scheduled for Oct. 21-23 in two Nebraska locations, including the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. Registration for the conference, which drew a sold-out crowd of …

RFC_Promo_Image

“Hope Inspires Vision” is the theme of the third national Rural Futures Conference, scheduled for Oct. 21-23 in two Nebraska locations, including the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

Registration for the conference, which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 500 when it was last held in 2013, is currently open at http://rfc.nebraska.edu. The conference is hosted by the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska.

Attendees from the Curtis area will be able to participate in this year’s conference at NCTA on Oct. 21 and 22. Registration is $100 for the Curtis location ($20 for high school and college students). The conference also will be offered at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln.

“The Rural Futures Institute has been known for its ingenuity since its start, and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is pleased to be a partner in taking that innovation one step further by hosting the conference simultaneously here in Curtis,” said Ron Rosati, NCTA dean.

“Entrepreneurs, business leaders, agricultural producers and students from high schools and colleges throughout the region will be joining us at NCTA to share in this live, rural perspective close to where we work and live,” Rosati said.

Conference sessions will encourage attendees to work together to build hope and develop a vision for invigorating rural communities, he added.

The conference kicks off on the evening of Oct. 21 with a dialogue session between Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett, authors of 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World, a book about the limited opportunities people have to make a difference in the world.

Ronnie Green, NU vice president of agriculture and natural resources and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and Harlan Vice Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, will moderate the dialog.

The Buffetts’ session, “Finding Hope: Pioneering Your 40 Chances,” is free and open to the public and is jointly sponsored with the Heuermann Lectures at IANR. NCTA participants are invited for pre-session refreshments at 4:45 p.m. at NCTA’s Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center.

Other conference speakers include Clifton Taulbert, a noted author, entrepreneur and businessman who is president and CEO of the Freemount Corp., a human capital development company; and Shane Lopez, author of Making Hope Happen and a leading Gallup researcher on the science of hope. University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will make opening remarks, “Dream Big With Me,” on the morning of Oct. 22.

“We know that hope matters tremendously to the success of rural communities,” said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. “Active hope, combined with a strong vision for the future, can energize rural people and places and ensure that rural communities are a viable choice for young people to live and work.”

Speakers involved at the Curtis site are Anne Burkholder, Will Feed, Inc., Cozad; Ben Blecha, Ace Ortho Solutions, Benkelman; Ken Rahjes, AgView, Elwood; Sarah Pinet, Victory Hill Farm, Scottsbluff; and Barry Fox, Kinkaider Brewing Company, Broken Bow. Educators from four NCTA partner high schools will be bringing students and participating as well on Oct 22. They are from Cambridge, Cozad, Elm Creek and York.

“Our first two conferences in 2012 and 2013 confirmed our thinking that the long-term economic success of rural communities is a critical area for research and engagement – one in which the University of Nebraska is well-positioned to play a leadership role,” Schroeder adds. “We’re excited to again bring together stakeholders from Nebraska and beyond to share our best ideas.”

 Other conference sessions will focus on entrepreneurship, broadband development, civic engagement, transdisciplinary education, eco-education, innovation and youth leadership. Faculty and students also will have the opportunity to present posters on research questions that showcase new knowledge and ideas relevant to the conference theme.

“The access for rural residents through the latest in communication technologies is vital for this conference,” Rosati adds. “We hope many will take advantage of this great opportunity here in Curtis.”

Activities at Lincoln include the first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair on Oct. 21, an event similar to a career fair in which students will have a chance to explore opportunities to live and work in rural communities across Nebraska and the region. Conference activities on Oct. 23 in Lincoln include remarks from Gov. Pete Ricketts, breakout sessions, a panel discussion and closing remarks from Schroeder.

Complete conference details with a full agenda, registration information, speaker biographies, poster session guidelines and more, are available at http://rfc.nebraska.edu.

Up-to-date information can also be found by following the Rural Futures Institute on Twitter and Facebook and by using #RFC2015 on social media.

About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) is one of four interdisciplinary institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages talents and research-based expertise from across the university’s campuses. The RFI, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.

Editor’s note: Members of the media are welcome to attend any part of the Rural Futures Conference at no charge. Contact Kayla or Mary for details about the Lincoln or Curtis locations, respectively.

Contacts:
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Rural Futures Institute program developing young leaders

September 16, 2015
Emerging young leaders in the state will have the opportunity to participate in a series of professional development events this fall thanks to a program of the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute that aims to prepare Nebraska’s next generation …

Emerging young leaders in the state will have the opportunity to participate in a series of professional development events this fall thanks to a program of the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute that aims to prepare Nebraska’s next generation of rural leaders.

Connecting Young Nebraskans, offered by the Rural Futures Institute, is partnering with five Nebraska communities to offer the professional development opportunities that will help nurture the skills, talents and abilities of young people and meet the unique leadership needs of the region. Each event will be led by a team identified by the respective community; teams will include representatives of area community colleges, private colleges, local chambers of commerce, economic development offices, the Nebraska Community Foundation and Nebraskans for Civic Reform, among others.

“Young leaders have been requesting more opportunities to network and strengthen their skills, and Connecting Young Nebraskans is excited to work with communities and regions to offer professional development opportunities that will help develop future leaders,” said Kayla Schnuelle, coordinator of the program and integrated marketing specialist and young leader coordinator for the Rural Futures Institute.

Connecting Young Nebraskans professional development events are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Sept. 29 in Beatrice: “Be the Change, Be the Leader: Redefining How We Set and Achieve Goals,” 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Southeast Community College
    View Flyer
  • Oct. 1 in Grand Island: “Finding Passion at Work,” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Home Federal Bank Building
    View Flyer
  • Nov. 12 in Columbus: “Modern Mentorship,” 1 to 4 p.m. plus happy hour at the Henry on 11th Building.
    View Flyer
  • Nov. 17 in Ord: “Igniting Powerful Action Summit,” 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Ord Learning Center.
  • Nov. 18 in Seward: “Achieving Successful Intergenerational Communication in the Workplace,” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Seward Memorial Library.
    View Flyer

Detailed programming information, including cost, speaker details and registration information, is available here. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s MBA program is a joint sponsor of the Grand Island and Seward events.

To host one of the events, community leaders submitted proposals to the Rural Futures Institute identifying the unique needs of young leaders in their community. Proposals outlined the challenges young leaders face in the region, as well as ideas on how they could develop skills to address the challenges. Areas for development identified by community leaders including finding a passion at work, mentorship and investment, taking action on big ideas, and finding balance in a young professional’s life.

Connecting Young Nebraskans also hosted an online webinar on Aug. 4 with Nebraskans for Civic Reform and the Nebraska Community Foundation to discuss the 2015 Nebraska Civic Health Index and a new Civic Health Ambassador Program. The webinar was available to young leaders across the state and beyond. A recording is available at cyn.nebraska.edu.

For more information about Connecting Young Nebraskans, visit cyn.nebraska.edu or follow the program’s Facebook or Twitter accounts.

About Connecting Young Nebraskans
Connecting Young Nebraskans is a program of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska. The Rural Futures Institute believes that young leaders are a vital part of communities and that they should be included in the community leadership structure. When young leaders’ growth and development is embraced, their ambitions can be harnessed to energize communities across the nation.

Infographic Showing Occupation of CYN Members

About the Rural Futures Institute
Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, the Rural Futures Institute mobilizes the diverse resources of the University of Nebraska and its partners to support rural communities and regions in building upon their unique strengths and assets to achieve their desired futures. Learn more at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu.

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CYN co-hosts young leader professional development opportunities

August 27, 2015
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln College of Business Administration will host “Finding Passion at Work”, a learning seminar open to the public, on Thursday, October 1, …
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln College of Business Administration will host “Finding Passion at Work”, a learning seminar open to the public, on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Room at the Home Federal Bank Building, 3311 West Stolley Park Road.

“Finding Passion at Work”, presented by Dr. Tammy Beck, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and External Engagement for the College of Business Administration at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was one of five topics identified as a challenge facing many young leaders. The seminar will focus on the benefits of job crafting, which helps individuals find greater meaning in their work by playing to personal strengths and aligning with their values and passions.

At the conclusion of this seminar, attendees will leave with an action plan to help map and implement job crafting at their workplace, and the ability to cope with future adversity.

This seminar series, a shared effort between Connecting Young Nebraskans, a program of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, and five Nebraska communities, is aimed at fostering the development of young leaders to meet unique leadership needs of the region. Seminar topics range from finding your passion at work, mentorship and investment, taking action on big ideas, and finding balance in a young professional’s life. Each of the five communities were selected after submitting proposals identifying unique needs of young leaders in their community. The proposals outlined the challenges young leaders face in their region, and ideas to develop skills around these challenges that will appeal to young leaders in their region.

Kayla Schnuelle, coordinator of the Connecting Young Nebraskans Network and Marketing Communications Specialist for the Rural Futures Institute, said, “Young leaders have been requesting more opportunities to network and strengthen their skills and CYN is excited to work with communities and regions to offer professional development opportunities that will help develop future leaders.”

To register for this event, please contact Jessica Hendricks, Director of Workforce & Community Development for the Chamber of Commerce, before September 29 at 308.382.9210 or jhendricks@gichamber.com.

Cost of attendance is $10.

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NCRCRD Webinar: Are We Entrepreneurs?

August 7, 2015
Using Ourselves as a Case Study to Measure the Impact of a Web-based Outreach Project Hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild , Glenn Muske and Connie Hancock Thursday, September 10, 2015 11:00 AM Central Time / 12:00 PM Eastern Time Join the Webinar Download …

NCRCRD_Logo

Using Ourselves as a Case Study to Measure the Impact of a Web-based Outreach Project

Hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild , Glenn Muske and Connie Hancock

Thursday, September 10, 2015
11:00 AM Central Time / 12:00 PM Eastern Time

Join the Webinar

Download Calendar Event

There is no registration and no fee for attending this webinar.

In partnership with Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality and Nebraska Extension

About the webinar:

Creating content may be the easiest part of digital outreach! Join us for this webinar and hear the story of three Extension professionals and an UNL intern as they embarked on a journey filled with social media challenges and discovery. This multi-state Extension team used themselves and the Power of Business multi-state Extension initiative (PowerofBusiness.net) as a business case study by following the information they provide many entrepreneurs: Create a plan and measure the results.

This webinar will provide findings from a study funded by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development focused on:

  • Strengthening Extension’s support of entrepreneurs while also,
  • Determining the best ways to reach business owners with information designed to help them grow various aspects of their enterprises.

Experiences and information from this study are designed to help other Extension programs and professionals act more like entrepreneurs with their outreach efforts by:

  • Increasing their capacity to reach clientele through marketing efforts
  • Assessing the impact of Next Generation Extension practices with social media

About the Speakers:

Connie Reimers-Hild, PhD, CPC is the Associate Director for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska (creimers-hild@nebraska.edu)

Glenn Muske, PhD is Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist with NDSU Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality (glenn.muske@ndsu.edu)

Connie Hancock, is a Community Vitality Initiative Educator with Nebraska Extension (chancock1@unl.edu)

To participate

  • To join the webinar go to https://ncrcrd.adobeconnect.com/ncrcrd, “enter as a guest” is by default already chosen.
  • Type your name into the text box provided, and click on “Enter Room”. You are now in the meeting room for the webinar.
  • To facilitate Q&A’s, participants submit questions/comments via the Chat Function in Adobe Connect.
  • NOTE: Adobe Connect is not compatible with CHROME – use either EI or Firefox as your browser.
  • The webinar will be recorded and archived at http://ncrcrd.msu.edu/ncrcrd/chronological_archive.

To receive these announcements directly, or to correct errors in our distribution list, please email soliz@anr.msu.edu.

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Civic Health Webinar hosted by Connecting Young Nebraskans

July 31, 2015
We would like to thank everyone who attended the 2015 Civic Health webinar. If you were unable to attend, but are interested in learning more about this project, we invite you to enjoy a recording of the webinar. Did you know …

We would like to thank everyone who attended the 2015 Civic Health webinar. If you were unable to attend, but are interested in learning more about this project, we invite you to enjoy a recording of the webinar.

Did you know that the youngest Nebraskans are consistently participating the least when it comes to civic engagement? The first-ever Civic Health Index for Nebraska shows that Millennials are the least likely of any age group to do things like volunteer, register to vote, show up to the polls, or contact public officials. However, the new report also shows that young Nebraskans have the potential to powerfully strengthen their communities.

To address this issue, Connecting Young Nebraskans is hosting an educational webinar with the Nebraska Civic Health Partnership on Tuesday, August 4th from noon to 1:00 pm. In addition to sharing information about the 2015 Nebraska Civic Health Index, the webinar will be a place to discuss practices for engaging young people in their communities. The Nebraska Civic Health Partnership is also releasing information about a new Civic Health Ambassador Program, providing an opportunity to connect with community leaders from across the state while improving civic engagement among local leaders.

Join the Conversation

Tuesday, August 4
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST
https://connect.unl.edu/civic/

Download Calendar Event

Learn More

 

 


Nebraskans for Civic Reform started the Nebraska Civic Health Partnership to bring together non-profits, educational institutions, and foundations dedicated to strengthening civic engagement. The Nebraska Community Foundation, Nebraska Public Policy Center, UNO Service Learning Academy, the UNL Center for Civic Engagement, and the Nebraska State Bar Foundation have gathered to document civic health through the 2015 Civic Health Index, and serve as civic health coaches to improve civic health in the future.

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A View from Down Under: Fostering Capable Rural Communities, An Australian Perspective

July 7, 2015
We would like to thank everyone who attended our presentation of “Fostering Capable Rural Communities” with Dr. Jim Cavaye. If you were unable to attend, but are interested in seeing the view from down under, we invite you to enjoy …

RFI_A-View-From-Down-Under_Post

We would like to thank everyone who attended our presentation of “Fostering Capable Rural Communities” with Dr. Jim Cavaye. If you were unable to attend, but are interested in seeing the view from down under, we invite you to enjoy a recording of today’s webinar here.

With a similar land mass area as the U.S., but only 10% of the population in comparison, Australia is definitely rural. Australia’s rural communities face many of the same challenges as their U.S. counterparts.

This seminar will cover the challenges and opportunities in fostering rural communities, highlighting many of the parallels between the Midwest and Australia. Dr. Cavaye will discuss agricultural viability, the provision of services and maintaining volunteering in communities. He will describe innovative local economic development initiatives, the effects of mining and coal seam gas development, a growing women’s movement as well as other principles of community vitality.

Attend in person or online:

Monday, July 13, 1:00 p.m. CST
University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus Union
Cottonwood Room

Download Calendar Event

Tuesday, July 14, 10:30 a.m. CST
Live Adobe Connect Presentation
https://connect.unl.edu/cavaye

Download Calendar Event

These events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required.

The Presenter: Dr. Jim Cavaye, Associate Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia

Dr. Jim Cavaye, Associate Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia

Dr. Cavaye is an accomplished practitioner, educator and researcher in community development with 30 years’ experience working with rural and regional communities. He has assisted over 120 local communities across Australia and internationally with community appraisals, community engagement processes, community planning and economic development strategies.

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‘Hope Inspires Vision’ theme of 3rd Rural Futures Conference

July 1, 2015
“Hope Inspires Vision” is the theme of the third national Rural Futures Conference, scheduled for Oct. 21-23 in multiple Nebraska locations. Registration for the conference, which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 500 when it was last held in …

“Hope Inspires Vision” is the theme of the third national Rural Futures Conference, scheduled for Oct. 21-23 in multiple Nebraska locations. Registration for the conference, which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 500 when it was last held in 2013, opens today at http://rfc.nebraska.edu. The conference is hosted by the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska.

Attendees will be able to participate in this year’s conference from either the Nebraska Innovation Campus conference center in Lincoln or the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. Registration is $200 for the Lincoln location ($40 for high school and college students) or $100 for the Curtis location ($20 for students).

Conference sessions will encourage attendees to work together to build hope and develop a vision for invigorating rural communities. The conference kicks off on the evening of Oct. 21 with a lecture from Howard G. Buffett and Howard W. Buffett, authors of 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World, a book about the limited opportunities people have to make a difference in the world. The Buffetts’ lecture, “Finding Hope: Pioneering Your 40 Chances,” is free and open to the public and is jointly sponsored with the Heuermann Lectures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Other keynote speakers at the conference include Clifton Taulbert, a noted author, entrepreneur and businessman who is president and CEO of the Freemount Corp., a human capital development company; and Shane Lopez, author of Making Hope Happen and a leading Gallup researcher on the science of hope. University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will make opening remarks, “Dream Big With Me,” on the morning of Oct. 22.

“We know that hope matters tremendously to the success of rural communities,” said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. “Active hope, combined with a strong vision for the future, can energize rural people and places and ensure that rural communities are a viable choice for young people to live and work. Our first two conferences in 2012 and 2013 confirmed our thinking that the long-term economic success of rural communities is a critical area for research and engagement – one in which the University of Nebraska is well-positioned to play a leadership role. We’re excited to again bring together stakeholders from Nebraska and beyond to share our best ideas.”

Pre-conference events include the first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair on Oct. 21, an event similar to a career fair in which students will have a chance to explore opportunities to live and work in rural communities across Nebraska and the region. Other sessions throughout the conference will focus on entrepreneurship, broadband development, civic engagement, transdisciplinary education, eco-education, innovation, youth leadership and other topics. Faculty and students also will have the opportunity to present posters on research questions that showcase new knowledge and ideas relevant to the conference theme.

Complete conference details, including a full agenda, registration information, speaker biographies, poster session guidelines and more, are available at http://rfc.nebraska.edu. Up-to-date information can also be found by following the Rural Futures Institute on Twitter and Facebook and by using #RFC2015 on social media.

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Rural Futures Institute to Host Opportunities Fair

May 28, 2015
The Rural Futures Institute invites community leaders to come together for the Rural Opportunities Fair on October 21 in Lincoln. This pilot event, in conjunction with the Rural Futures Conference, aims to connect rural communities with university students interested in …

ROP_Article_Photo

The Rural Futures Institute invites community leaders to come together for the Rural Opportunities Fair on October 21 in Lincoln. This pilot event, in conjunction with the Rural Futures Conference, aims to connect rural communities with university students interested in living and working in rural communities.

Similar to a college or career fair, community representatives will be on campus at the University of Nebraska East Campus Union talking with students about internship and career opportunities. Students will be able to ask questions and learn more about communities in the region. More information is available at: rfc.nebraska.edu/opportunities.

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) recognizes the importance of retaining and attracting talented youth to rural communities. Early successes from RFI programs has shown that providing students with positive experiences in rural communities can be of mutual benefit and lead to new opportunities.

Participants at the Rural Opportunities Fair are also invited to register for the Rural Futures Conference at a reduced rate. The conference kicks off following the Rural Opportunities Fair and runs through October 23. The conference is a gathering of faculty, staff, students, and community partners which aims to forge partnerships, encourage bold ideas, and foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that builds hope and invigorates the rural landscape.

For more information about the Rural Opportunities Fair and the Rural Futures Conference please visit rfc.nebraska.edu. For the latest information follow Rural Futures on Twitter at twitter.com/rural_futures or Facebook at facebook.com/ruralfutures.

The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) is one of four interdisciplinary Institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the system. The RFI, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.

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Rural Futures Institute names new Associate Director

May 4, 2015
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to announce and welcome Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild as the Associate Director. Connie will work closely with the RFI core team to enhance the work of the Institute and …

Connie-Reimers-HildThe Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska is proud to announce and welcome Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild as the Associate Director. Connie will work closely with the RFI core team to enhance the work of the Institute and to develop strong relationships with NU faculty and external partners.

Connie joins the team from her previous role as Unit Leader and Community Vitality Educator at the Kimmel Education and Research Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Kimmel is the first University of Nebraska Extension office in Nebraska funded through a public-private partnership and her role was to blend outreach education with administrative leadership.

Connie has a rich history of co-creating collaborative relationships around leadership, innovation and strategic planning with rural community partners, businesses, stakeholders and educational institutions. She has a working knowledge of rural areas which will provide valuable insight when working with the RFI team to create programs and to provide feedback on the RFI’s competitive grants program.

“We are very excited to welcome Connie to the RFI team. Her background in research and teaching, as well as her work directly in rural communities, are an ideal fit for the Rural Futures Institute” said Chuck Schroeder Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute. “Not only will she bring a wealth of leadership and strategic planning experience but she will also be a great catalyst in creating hope for rural people and places,” said Schroeder.

Reimers-Hild began the new position on May 1. The joint appointment is a 75% administrative assignment with the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) and a 25% appointment with University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension.

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New Community Brand Ideas On Agenda at Next Pilger Town Hall Meeting

April 6, 2015
The fourth in a series of Reinvent Pilger community town hall meetings is scheduled for Thursday, April 16, at the Wisner City Auditorium. The meeting will begin with a BBQ supper at 5:30 p.m. and adjourn by 9 p.m. Since …

The fourth in a series of Reinvent Pilger community town hall meetings is scheduled for Thursday, April 16, at the Wisner City Auditorium. The meeting will begin with a BBQ supper at 5:30 p.m. and adjourn by 9 p.m. Since these meetings began in September, they have attracted an average of 130 participants who are interested in contributing innovative ideas and extra efforts to rebuilding the Pilger community after last summer’s devastating storms.

Among community task forces providing updates at the meeting will be one that has been working on possible new brands for the community, to replace “The Town Too Tough to Die.” While that motto has reflected the town’s tenacity and commitment to survive, the task force has been brainstorming ideas that forecast where the community is headed into a new future.

Task Forces that have been working on other community priorities will also be asked to provide progress reports on their activities over the past several months. Among those will be updates on a new community center, as well as plans to replace the convenience store and the restaurant that were destroyed.

Updates will also be provided on plans to revamp the city’s comprehensive plan with help of the Nebraska chapter of the American Planning Association and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Architecture. A special committee that is working on a celebration that will commemorate the first anniversary of the tornadoes will provide a preview of its plans, as well.

Information also will be shared on how the Village of Pilger is working with federal and state agencies to secure financial assistance to replace city-owned infrastructure that was severely damaged or destroyed by last summer’s storms.

Anyone who is interested in the rebuilding of Pilger—city and rural—is invited to attend the Town Hall meeting and to join one of the Task Force teams to contribute to the redevelopment process.


For More Information Contact:
Kim Neiman, Village of Pilger, 402-396-3563
Gene Willers, Midwest Bank, 402-396-3431

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The 2014 Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit provides opportunities for young leaders

November 12, 2014
Kearney, NE – 197 young leaders from across the state of Nebraska came together on November 6th and 7th for the 2014 CYN Summit in Kearney. The summit resulted in the sharing of big ideas, participants energizing each other and …

Kearney, NE – 197 young leaders from across the state of Nebraska came together on November 6th and 7th for the 2014 CYN Summit in Kearney. The summit resulted in the sharing of big ideas, participants energizing each other and conversation about envisioning a brighter future for our communities and our state.

The event was coordinated by representatives of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska and a local summit planning team comprised of young leaders from the Kearney, Hastings, and Grand Island communities. Participants came from 48 different communities including 66 students from various high schools and colleges.

The summit’s sessions introduced attendees to new ideas and experiences, helping to broaden young leaders’ perspectives and allowing them to think outside the box. One session allowed participants to experience living with limited resources, through a poverty simulation put on by UNL Extension, followed by a conversation about addressing poverty and food insecurity issues in the state of Nebraska.

Keynote speaker, Joe Gerstandt, encouraged summit attendees to put the power of authenticity, divergent thinking, and constructive conflict to work to unleash creativity and innovation in Nebraska communities and organizations. “Joe was funny, engaging and he challenged us to think about the role we play in the future of our communities and our state, it was powerful,” says CYN Coordinator, Kayla Schnuelle.

Attendees walked away with relationships, resources, and tools to grow professionally, personally, and as a civic and community leader. In creating new ideas through CYN, attendees were able to understand and respect differences while working towards a unified goal of becoming a great state to live and work. Wes Blecke, Executive Director of Wayne Area Economic Development said, “It never ceases to amaze me that anytime people, especially young professionals, who have never met each other get together and network, profound connections can be made to change the way people think and act. Simple, single connections can do this! #CYN2014 did not disappoint!”

The CYN Summit is a gathering of the Connecting Young Nebraskans network, which is supported by the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska. Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) is designed to connect, empower and retain young Nebraskans. CYN strives to enhance opportunities for individuals to impact their communities through networking and learning experiences. The network is a dynamic and diverse group of peers with a passion for making a difference, a willingness to learn and the desire to build important relationships to help shape the future of Nebraska.

If you are interested in what young leaders are doing in Nebraska or information about future CYN Summits visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/cyn-summit or Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) on facebook. Contact Kayla Schnuelle, CYN Coordinator, for more information, kschnuelle@nebraska.edu.

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Reinventing Pilger

October 15, 2014
Community visions for rebuilding Pilger were sketched out at a town hall meeting in late September, 2014. Small group discussions focused on ideas to replace community infrastructure, businesses and civic buildings after a June 16 tornado destroyed much of the …

Community visions for rebuilding Pilger were sketched out at a town hall meeting in late September, 2014. Small group discussions focused on ideas to replace community infrastructure, businesses and civic buildings after a June 16 tornado destroyed much of the town.

Leading a special task force gathered to direct ideas for rebuilding the town were Joe Ferguson of Norfolk, plus representatives from the University of Nebraska along with other state-wide non-profits. The Rural Futures Institute acted in response to the community driven request and the RFI assisted in convening additional University expertise to help the community envision their desired future.

During the evening, those on hand met in small groups to discuss what they saw as priorities for the Pilger community. After an establishment of key priorities, task forces were formed to determine next steps to make the priorities a reality.

“We think what’s happening here is a demonstration of what happens when small groups meet with hope and vision,” said Chuck Schroeder. “When they’re confronted with difficult circumstances, they are almost certain to succeed. They arise above devastating destruction and demonstrate that the human spirit is more powerful than the circumstance.”

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Rural Community Serviceship Program

October 2, 2014
In a captivating video see how groups of students are making real world changes in rural communities. This video showcases a unique RFI grant program developed out of a partnership between Tom Field, Director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program, …

In a captivating video see how groups of students are making real world changes in rural communities. This video showcases a unique RFI grant program developed out of a partnership between Tom Field, Director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program, the UNL Office of Student Involvement, the Center of Civic Engagement, the Heartland Center for Leadership Development, the Nebraska Human Resources Institute (NHRI) and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR).

Through this partnership, a 3-week summer course has been developed followed by an 8-week summer internship. Students are sent to communities in pairs to live, work, and play in their assigned community for the duration of the program. The results, as you can see in this video, have been outstanding, and have opened student’s eyes to the dreams and ambitions of the community. It has also allowed for community residents to see their region in a new way, through the eyes of a college student.

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Small Towns Thrive Under Rural Futures Institute

October 2, 2014
KOLN/KGIN TV recently reported on the first series of Rural Futures Institute Regional Forums being held across Nebraska. See the story on 1011now.com » Visit the events page to learn more about the Regional Forums, and to register for the …

KOLN/KGIN TV recently reported on the first series of Rural Futures Institute Regional Forums being held across Nebraska. See the story on 1011now.com »

Visit the events page to learn more about the Regional Forums, and to register for the Central and Western forums coming on October 9, and 14.

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RFI Hosts Regional Forums

August 27, 2014
The University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute will host a series of regional forums this fall aimed at showcasing success stories in Nebraska communities and sharing outcomes of RFI-funded projects that are serving the people of the state.   Registration …

The University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute will host a series of regional forums this fall aimed at showcasing success stories in Nebraska communities and sharing outcomes of RFI-funded projects that are serving the people of the state.

 

Registration is now open for the forums, which will take place on Sept. 30 at the Steinhart Lodge at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City; Oct. 9 at the Convention Center at the Cobblestone Hotel and Suites in Broken Bow; and Oct. 14 at the Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Scottsbluff.

 

The day-long forums begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at 7 p.m. Registration is $25, which covers all activities, lunch and evening appetizers. The forums are open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to come prepared to discuss their goals for their regions of the state and ideas on how the Rural Futures Institute can partner with communities to achieve those goals.

 

“The Rural Futures Institute exists for the benefit of the state. Our goal is to help ensure a strong economy and high quality of life in rural communities across Nebraska and beyond,” said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. “If we’re to be successful, we need to continually communicate with our most important stakeholders – Nebraska citizens whose energy, creativity and leadership is vital to our state’s future. These regional forums are a way to continue our dialogue with Nebraskans about how we can work together to ensure a strong future for all citizens. I can’t wait to hear their input and ideas.”

 

The regional forums will focus on growing economies, energized leadership and vibrant communities. At each forum, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local leaders about what they are doing to enhance business growth and downtown redevelopment, expand educational opportunities, and increase the quality of life for all generations, including youth and young adults. Forums will conclude with a town hall dialog about what participants want to see for the future of their regions and explore collaborative opportunities to reach those desired futures.

 

Schroeder noted that the forums will provide valuable direction on future programming and funding opportunities within the Rural Futures Institute.

 

The forums also will spotlight some of the grant-funded projects supported by the Rural Futures Institute. The past two years, faculty from across the University of Nebraska, together with partners around the state, and even across state lines, are pursuing about two dozen projects funded by the RFI focusing on topics critical to rural people and communities, including the shortage of mental health providers in rural areas, workforce development in rural communities, rural leadership and engagement, and health and nutrition.

 

Visit ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/conference to register. For more information, contact the Rural Futures Institute at ruralfutures@nebraska.edu or (402) 472-9287.

 

The Rural Futures Institute was approved by the Board of Regents in 2012. A conference the following year attracted over 500 attendees who helped shape the institute’s goals, and in December, Schroeder, a Nebraska native, began his tenure as founding executive director following a national search. Another National Rural Futures Conference is planned for fall 2015.

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Connecting Young Nebraskans Summit

August 4, 2014
Registration is now open for the 2014 CYN Summit! Young leaders from Kearney, Hastings and Grand Island are coming together to create a dynamic conference for young leaders across the state of Nebraska. On November 7th, young Nebraskans from across …

Registration is now open for the 2014 CYN Summit!

Young leaders from Kearney, Hastings and Grand Island are coming together to create a dynamic conference for young leaders across the state of Nebraska. On November 7th, young Nebraskans from across the state will gather for the 2014 CYN Summit in Kearney to share ideas, energize each other and envision a brighter future for our state.

The logistics of the event are coordinated by representatives of the Rural Futures Institute and a local summit planning team comprised of young leaders from the Kearney, Hastings, and Grand Island communities. “Young leaders from the tri-cities are excited to join forces to offer the state a dynamic conference, centered on professional and personal development,” says Mary Berlie of Grand Island, a member of the summit planning team.

“I’m so pleased to be working with the tri-city region to plan this event. In years past, the summit planning teams have been confined to a small geographic region, but this year the tri-city region has come together to collaboratively plan what I expect to be an amazing event. This collaborative mindset will serve the region and state well in the future.” says Kayla Schnuelle, CYN coordinator and Marketing Communications Specialist for the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.

“The programming at the summit will provide valuable take home information for the attendees and priceless networking with engaged individuals across the state. The relationships created will be beneficial for a lifetime! What’s better than sharing best practices with your friends and neighbors? I think we all win when we work together for the greater good of Nebraskans,” says Penny Parker, summit planning team member.

Keynote speaker, Joe Gerstandt, will encourage summit attendees to put the power of authenticity, divergent thinking, and constructive conflict to work to unleash creativity and innovation in Nebraska communities and organizations.

The summit’s sessions introduce attendees to new ideas and experiences, which helps to broaden young leaders’ perspectives. One session will allow participants to experience living with limited resources, followed by a conversation about addressing poverty and food insecurity issues in the state of Nebraska.

Attendees will walk away with relationships, resources, and tools to grow professionally, personally, and as a civic and community leader. In creating new ideas through CYN, attendees are able to understand and respect differences while working towards a unified goal of becoming a great state to live and work.

The CYN Summit is the annual gathering for the Connecting Young Nebraskans network, which is sponsored in part by the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute. Connecting Young Nebraskans (CYN) is designed to connect, empower and retain young Nebraskans. CYN strives to enhance opportunities for individuals to impact their communities through networking and learning experiences. The network is a dynamic and diverse group of peers with a passion for making a difference, a willingness to learn and the desire to build important relationships to help shape the future of Nebraska.

 

Join young leaders in Nebraska for the 2014 CYN Summit by registering at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/cyn-summit.

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Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic Outreach Tour

July 30, 2014
On August 4-5, 2014, Student Attorneys from the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law will travel to Chadron, Scottsbluff, and Broken Bow as part of a rural outreach tour. Student Attorneys John Cantril, Preston Peterson, …

On August 4-5, 2014, Student Attorneys from the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law will travel to Chadron, Scottsbluff, and Broken Bow as part of a rural outreach tour. Student Attorneys John Cantril, Preston Peterson, and Megan Rotherham will provide an overview of the legal services the Clinic provides and answer questions regarding how the Clinic can benefit Central and Western Nebraska communities. Learn more.

All events will be free of charge and are aimed to educate local businesses and start-up ventures, attorneys, and other service providers. The tour will consist of the following stops:

  • Luncheon and presentation hosted by the Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation, August 4th at 12:00 p.m. at the Country Kitchen in Chadron (1250 W 10th St.);
  • Presentation hosted by Twin City Development in Scottsbluff (1620 Broadway), August 4th at 5:00 p.m.;
  • Office hours for local businesses and service providers, held in conjunction with the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project, August 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce (444 South 8th Avenue); and
  • Presentation hosted by the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce (444 South 8th Avenue), August 5th at 12:30 p.m.

This rural tour is a key step toward building greater connections with Central and Western Nebraska communities, furthering the aims of the Clinic’s partnership with the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project and the UNL Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. “A primary goal of this tour is to continue building a meaningful and sustainable network between the Clinic and attorneys, businesses, and economic development stakeholders that will create opportunities for collaboration and service to foster entrepreneurship in these communities,” said Brett Stohs, Cline Williams Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic.
About the University of Nebraska College of Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic provides representation and counsel to start-up businesses on a variety of early-stage legal issues. Clinic services are free of charge; however, representation is limited to certain early-stage matters with the intention of referring clients to local attorneys for further assistance.

To learn more, please visit http://law.unl.edu/eclinic or call (402) 472-1680.

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RFI grant-funded project provides unique student experience while simultaneously impacting a rural community

July 22, 2014
RFI funded a teaching and engagement grant in 2013 to place pairs of University of Nebraska-Lincoln students in Nebraska rural communities to work on a community identified project.  Check out the impact one pair of students is making by spearheading the …

RFI funded a teaching and engagement grant in 2013 to place pairs of University of Nebraska-Lincoln students in Nebraska rural communities to work on a community identified project.  Check out the impact one pair of students is making by spearheading the Neligh, NE marketing campaign!  The series of videos highlighting the community can be found here.

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Funded grants announced

April 28, 2014
Since the Rural Futures Conference this past November, teams have been coming together to submit grant applications for one or both of the Rural Futures Institute’s competitive grant programs. After several rounds and multiple review sessions, the RFI is pleased …

Since the Rural Futures Conference this past November, teams have been coming together to submit grant applications for one or both of the Rural Futures Institute’s competitive grant programs. After several rounds and multiple review sessions, the RFI is pleased to announce the funding of seven Teaching and Engagement grants and four Research and Engagement grants. The quality of the grants was excellent this year and the teams that reviewed the grants were impressed by the diversity of topics and the transdisciplinary approaches that were proposed. The grantees have been notified and they will begin work on July 1, 2014.

2014 AWARDED GRANTS INCLUDE: click here for printable PDF

Teaching and Engagement Grants

  • Rural Community Engagement and Leadership Program, Gina Matkin, UNL with other UNL partners and Nebraskans for Civic Reform
  • Justice by Geography: Issues that Inequitably Impact Rural Youth, Anne Hobbs, UNO with Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association, Nebraska State Bar Association, Nebraska Association of County Officials, Nebraska Juvenile Services Division, and Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
  • Addressing the Rural Shortage of Mental Health Providers Through a Virtual Mentorship Network, Howard Liu, UNMC with other UNMC partners and Region III Behavioral Health Services
  • Principles of Community Engagement in Public Health: Service Learning, Community-Based Participatory Research, and Civic Engagement, Kyle Ryan, Peru State College with College of Public Health at UNMC and Rural Health Education Network
  • The Great Question Challenge, Shane Potter, UNL Extension with the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at UNL and DuPont Pioneer
  • Community Gardens and Farmer’s Market for Curtis, Nebraska, Brad Ramsdale, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) with University of Nebraska Extension
  • The Nebraska Hayseed Project, Petra Wahlqvist, UNL with the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL, Lied Center for Performing Arts, North Platte Concert Association, and Midwest Theater

Research and Engagement Grants

  • Healthy Food, Healthy Choice, Christopher Gustafson, UNL Agricultural Economics with Child, Youth, and Environments Center for Community Engagement at the University of Colorado, and Health and Nutritional Sciences Department at South Dakota State University
  • Bridging the skills gap: Workforce development in rural communities in the Great Plains, Carolyn Hatch, North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Michigan State University, University of Nebraska Extension, South Dakota State University Extension
  • Nebraska Primary Care Practice-Based Research Network Project, Christopher Kratochvil, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) with other UNMC personnel, Department of Health and Human Services, and rural Nebraska physicians
  • Catalyzing the Role of Micropolitan America in the Future of Rural America: Why Not Begin this New Frontier for Research and Engagement in Nebraska?, Eric Thompson, Bureau of Business Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln with other UNL partners, Rural Policy Research Institute and the University of Nebraska-Omaha

 

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New Broadband Survey Notes Progress…

April 25, 2014
NEWS RELEASE FROM IANR NEWS SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA                 — New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska April 24, 2014 New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska LINCOLN, Neb. — Although elderly and …

NEWS RELEASE FROM IANR NEWS SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

                — New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska

April 24, 2014

New Broadband Survey Notes Progress in Four Years in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. — Although elderly and low-income Nebraskans continue to lag behind other demographic groups in Internet access, they have made significant gains in the last four years, according to a new survey.

The survey, “Internet Connectivity and Use in Nebraska: A Follow-up Study,” tracks progress made since a 2010 survey that asked about Nebraskans’ current use of technology, their opinions about community technology resources and their technology training needs.

Tracking this information is key, said Chuck Schroeder, founding executive director of the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.

“We know that Internet access, and the speed and reliability of broadband service, are critically important to the viability and resiliency of rural communities,” he said. “Entrepreneurial business opportunities, robust educational programming, quality healthcare and overall quality of life are significantly enhanced when current information technology is part of the community infrastructure. And rural people are at a significant disadvantage when it is not. While the disparity between rural and urban locales continues, we are pleased to see the progress shown in this report.”

Both surveys were conducted by the Nebraska Broadband Initiative, a partnership of state and University of Nebraska entities.

Overall, 86 percent of Nebraska households have Internet access, and 82 percent have broadband service, up from 81 percent and 76 percent, respectively, since 2010.

While older people, people with lower household income, people with lower education levels, households without children and households in nonmetropolitan areas continue to be less likely to have Internet access and, specifically broadband service, some of those groups increased Internet access considerably since 2010, noted Becky Vogt, survey research manager with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

– Persons aged 65 and older with Internet access at home increased from 56 percent to 69 percent. For broadband service, those numbers are 48 percent and 64 percent in 2010 and 2014, respectively.

– The proportion of persons with the lowest household incomes with broadband service at home increased from 44 percent to 53 percent.

The survey also found that Nebraskans in the Lincoln and Omaha areas were more likely to have broadband service at home – 90 and 87 percent respectively – compared to Central Nebraska’s 73 percent. However, Central Nebraska has seen a significant increase, from 56 percent in 2010.

Other findings:

– Sixty-five percent of non-Internet users don’t have a computer; 36 percent said Internet access is too expensive; and 34 percent say they have no interest in the Internet.

– Use of several Internet activities has increased in four years, including: social networking, up from 69 percent to 80 percent; watching videos, up from 72 percent to 79 percent; online banking or bill pay, up from 72 percent to 79 percent; VoIP, Skype, magicJack, or other video phoning technology, up from 19 percent to 37 percent; and two-way audio/video meetings, up from 15 percent to 27 percent.

– Nebraska households are generally satisfied with the reliability, speed and support of their Internet service but less satisfied with its price.

– Seventy-seven percent of Nebraska households have access to a local place, such as a library or school, where use of Internet-accessible computers is free.

– Many Nebraskans are interested in information technology courses such as website development and basic computer networking. And most prefer traditional delivery methods for this training, such as CD or DVD, face-to-face workshops, online courses and videos.

Frank Landis, chairman of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, said he was encouraged by the findings.

“Today’s survey report shows real progress in the deployment and utilization of high-speed Internet capability in Nebraska. It reveals that almost nine in 10 Nebraska households have Internet access at home,” he said. “However, a gap remains for consumers living in our rural areas, for low-income consumers, and for our aging population.  For example, over a third of non-users cite affordability as the reason for not subscribing to Internet at home.

“Having the very best data is critical in the development of a comprehensive broadband plan to increase Internet access and adoption going forward,” Landis added. “I appreciate the work of our partners in the Nebraska Broadband Initiative. More importantly, I thank the many Nebraskans who invested their time to respond to this survey.  The PSC looks forward to doing our part to tackle the challenges ahead. ”

Schroeder said, “In order to address this issue, we must understand the availability of technology, its utilization and the training needs of rural residents. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as a partner in the Nebraska Broadband Initiative, is an essential component in conducting this research in a timely, thorough and credible fashion.

“We cannot effectively address challenges and opportunities only described anecdotally. This research provides a powerful tool for understanding and strategic action by both public and private sector players in the broadband arena,” Schroeder added.

The Nebraska Broadband Initiative is a partnership of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Information Technology Commission and the AIM Institute.

For more information, check http://broadband.nebraska.gov

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Are you wondering about the next RFI Conference?

April 2, 2014
The next Rural Futures Conference will be in the fall of 2015. The exact dates are TBA. Click here for more information.

The next Rural Futures Conference will be in the fall of 2015. The exact dates are TBA. Click here for more information.

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New grants page added to RFI website

March 28, 2014
The RFI competitive grants program now occupies it’s own space on the RFI website. View the grants page.

The RFI competitive grants program now occupies it’s own space on the RFI website. View the grants page.

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“The Great Question Challenge”

February 12, 2014
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, and DuPont Pioneer are partnering to develop a new youth program titled, “The Great Question Challenge”.  The Great Question Challenge is designed to empower high school students to create local …

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, and DuPont Pioneer are partnering to develop a new youth program titled, “The Great Question Challenge”.  The Great Question Challenge is designed to empower high school students to create local solutions to issues of national and global importance.

For 2014, the Great Question Challenge focuses on solutions to food insecurity. About 15% of all U.S. households are food insecure, and in Nebraska, nearly 100,000 children are insecure as to their next meal. Creating locally appropriate solutions to this challenge will mobilize student community leaders to identify how to alleviate hunger and increase nutrition in their hometowns.

A workshop will be held on April 5, 2014 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to educate students about food insecurity and the role they play in becoming a catalyst to change.  This day-long workshop will include interaction with industry leaders, discussion about food insecurity, and the opportunity to network with students from across the state.  Students will walk away from this experience with improved or new ideas of how to address food insecurity in their local communities. Registration for the spring workshop is open until Friday, March 28, 2014.

Following the workshop, student teams from across the state are invited to submit proposals that address food insecurity in their local community.  Project proposals are due on April 18, 2014.  Up to 8 teams will receive funding to help implement and execute their community project.  Teams will be mentored throughout their projects and a final event will be held in the fall to celebrate the success of the teams.

For more information about The Great Question Challenge, visit http://4h.unl.edu/greatquestionchallenge or contact Shane Potter at spotter3@unl.edu.

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Schroeder named founding director

September 24, 2013
Sept. 24, 2013 The newly hired founding executive director of the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute said he’s excited to work with Nebraskans across the state and others to help rethink and revitalize rural life, with a particular emphasis …

Sept. 24, 2013

Chuck Schroeder

The newly hired founding executive director of the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute said he’s excited to work with Nebraskans across the state and others to help rethink and revitalize rural life, with a particular emphasis on making rural communities places where young people can make their lives. Charles P. “Chuck” Schroeder will assume the job Dec. 1.

“There have been many, many institutions and organizations dedicating resources toward the interests of rural people and places, but this is certainly the most comprehensive, aggressive effort to truly change the trajectory for rural people not only in Nebraska and the Great Plains but potentially around the world,” Schroeder said. “I’m enormously excited,” he added.

Schroeder currently is president and executive director of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Okla., where he’s worked since 2002. Before that, he was chief executive officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for more than six years. He also served as executive vice president and director of development at the University of Nebraska Foundation and director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Schroeder was with his family’s company, the Schroeder Cattle Co., for about 30 years, the last 10 as owner and president. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied animal science and business and production options.

Schroeder’s rich and varied background is a perfect fit for the challenges of the Rural Futures Institute, said Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president for agriculture and natural resources.

“Chuck Schroeder is the perfect choice as founding executive director to launch and build this bold new program for the University of Nebraska,” Green said. “His unique combination of leadership experiences, coupled with his deep roots in and passion for rural America, will allow him to instantly be a transformational leader for the Rural Futures Institute. We are immensely pleased to have him coming back to his native Nebraska to lead the program in its critically important developmental phase and look forward to his enthusiastic engagement with all of the NU campuses in this effort.”

University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken said, “we are very fortunate to have recruited Chuck Schroeder back to Nebraska to serve as founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute. His deep experience, talents and passion for rural development make him an excellent fit to lead the institute through its early stages. With Chuck on board, I’m tremendously excited about the potential of the Rural Futures Institute to become the center for research and implementation of strategies that benefit Nebraska first but also rural communities everywhere.”

Based in Lincoln and reporting to NU Vice President Green, the Rural Futures Institute will engage and draw on the talents and resources of all four NU campuses – UNL, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska at Kearney and University of Nebraska Medical Center. It will help address unique challenges and opportunities facing rural communities and individuals, including those related to entrepreneurship and innovation, talent attraction and development, technology, rural health, workforce development and community planning, rural education and others.

In addition, Schroeder noted, the NU campuses will work with other educational institutions, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and community, civic and business leaders and citizens across the state and beyond that are dedicated to improving rural life.

Schroeder, a native of Palisade, Neb., said he’s had an “intense interest” in rural America his entire life.

Because it will draw expertise from so many directions, the Rural Futures Institute is well-suited to finding novel solutions, Schroeder said.

“It’s a matter of engaging rural residents who see both opportunities and challenges,” he said. “We are going to be drawing together the best minds in the business wherever they might be located to address these issues.

“We are really rethinking what it means to live a rural lifestyle. A rural lifestyle is not a lifestyle of last resort. It is actually the first choice of some of our brightest and best young people who are emerging from universities today. We want to enable that choice to go launch careers, raise families and live lives in rural communities,” Schroeder added.

Schroeder pointed to his own rural upbringing.

“I grew up in a community where I had very wise and broad-thinking mentors who enabled me to launch a career there and feel I wasn’t confined to a small locale just because that’s where I was living,” he said. “They made it clear that a rural community was a great place from which to see the world, and I really want to have a role in affording that opportunity to others.”

Prior to his official start date, Schroeder will be deeply engaged in the work of the Rural Futures Institute, including the second national Rural Futures Conference, which is Nov. 3-5 in Lincoln. Registration for the conference is currently open.

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Executive Director Interviews

July 23, 2013
Following a national search, the University of Nebraska identified three finalists for the position of founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute, a university-wide research, education, policy and engagement institute focused on rural growth and development in Nebraska and …

Following a national search, the University of Nebraska identified three finalists for the position of founding executive director of the Rural Futures Institute, a university-wide research, education, policy and engagement institute focused on rural growth and development in Nebraska and beyond.

The finalists visited Nebraska for interviews and meetings with university and community stakeholders. Each finalist gave a public presentation during which interested individuals learned about the candidate’s vision for the institute. The public presentations took place at the Ockinga Auditorium at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and were be live streamed for those unable to attend in person. Information about the finalists is available below.

 


Meet the Candidates

SchroederCharles Schroeder  |  curriculum vitae
President and Executive Director of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Schroeder has served at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum since 2002. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where, among other achievements, he managed the merger of the two major beef industry organizations to create the largest, most comprehensive agricultural trade association in the United States. Schroeder formerly served as executive vice president and director of development at the University of Nebraska Foundation and director of agriculture at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science and business and production options from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Schroeder’s public presentation was held on August 7 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm CST.

 

 

IvanDavid Ivan  |  curriculum vitae
Interim Director of the Greening Michigan Institute at Michigan State University

Ivan has served at the Greening Michigan Institute – a division of Michigan State Extension focused on enhancing prosperity in Michigan – since 2012 and has served in various positions in MSU Extension since 2003. His teaching and research interests include entrepreneurship and business development, community vitality and sustainability, land policy implementation strategy, and rural assistive technology. Ivan earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and natural resources communications from Michigan State, his M.B.A. from Penn State University, and is pursuing a doctorate in community, agriculture, recreation and resource studies from Michigan State. He is a founding member of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.

Ivan’s public presentation was held on September 3 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm CST.

 

 

MatlockMarty Matlock  |  curriculum vitae
Executive Director of the Office for Sustainability, Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, and Professor at the University of Arkansas 

Matlock is responsible for leading the implementation of sustainability initiatives across the University of Arkansas and assessing and developing sustainable practices in agricultural production to improve the prosperity of rural communities. He has served in faculty positions at Arkansas since 2001. Matlock is a board-certified environmental engineer, is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and holds a number of patents. Matlock earned his bachelor’s degree in soil chemistry, his master’s degree in plant physiology, and his Ph.D. in biosystems engineering, all from Oklahoma State University. He is owner and founder of BlueInGreen LLC, a company that provides efficient, affordable solutions for water quality.

Dr. Ronnie Green, NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor recently received word that Marty Matlock, the final candidate who was to interview for the executive director position has withdrawn his candidacy. Matlock has been named as the Dean of Sustainability for the University of Arkansas. We wish him the best in his expanded role in Arkansas.

 

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Koulopoulos to keynote at 2013 RFC

May 31, 2013
The University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute is preparing for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference—Beyond Boundaries, set for November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. The conference will provide a platform for people from all …

Tom KoulopoulosThe University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute is preparing for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference—Beyond Boundaries, set for November 3-5, 2013 at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. The conference will provide a platform for people from all walks of life to collaborate in creating knowledge and action that leads to resilient and sustainable rural futures.

Tom Koulopoulos, president and founder of Delphi Group, a Boston-based Think Tank and advisory firm, will be the keynote speaker. Koulopoulos has spoken to audiences across the country and has authored nine books.

In his keynote address, Koulopoulos will explore how addressing the complexities facing rural people and places through collaborative action can move us beyond our existing boundaries. With a futuristic focus, Koulopoulos’ keynote address will emphasize the importance of capitalizing on opportunity rather than battling complexity. After his keynote address, Koulopoulos will also facilitate an interactive exercise that will allow participants to practice how to creatively approach and solve complex problems.

“We are excited to have Tom speak on topics related to creating the future, building organizations that can survive and thrive in times of uncertainty, and the importance of innovation in today’s global economy,” says Mark Gustafson, Interim Director of the Rural Futures Institute. “These topics are not only important for the future of our rural communities, but also for the future of the University and its partners.”

The full agenda of the conference has yet to be released, however, conference planners are working to finalize the few remaining details. The full agenda is scheduled to be released in June.

Registration for the 2013 Rural Futures Conference will open in early September and the conference is open to anyone who wishes to attend, especially those who are interested in ensuring a strong future for rural areas. Last year, due to overwhelming interest, registration closed three weeks early and it is expected that this year’s conference will do the same. Thus, conference planners are encouraging those interested in attending to plan on registering early to ensure a spot at the conference.

Follow the Rural Futures Conference on Twitter (hashtag #RFC2013) and Facebook for the most up-to-date conference details.

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RFI Director Search

February 27, 2013
Founding Executive Director Rural Futures Institute University of Nebraska [See the full description] The University of Nebraska seeks a visionary and dynamic leader for the position of founding Executive Director of the newly established Rural Futures Institute. Founded in 1869, …

Founding Executive Director
Rural Futures Institute
University of Nebraska

[See the full description]

The University of Nebraska seeks a visionary and dynamic leader for the position of founding Executive Director of the newly established Rural Futures Institute. Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska (NU) is a four-campus public land-grant university that serves the people of Nebraska through quality teaching, research, outreach, and engagement. NU comprises the land-grant and comprehensive research campus in Lincoln, the medical center in Omaha, the University campus in Omaha, and the Kearney campus as well as research, extension, and service facilities statewide. NU employs approximately 13,000 people and enrolls approximately 50,000 students.

The new Rural Futures Institute (RFI) is a groundbreaking, innovative and ambitious effort to redefine the land-grant mission of the University of Nebraska in 21st century terms.  Envisioned as a model for how public universities and individuals from a range of different disciplines can interact with their communities and regions, RFI aims to be the world’s premier university-based program to provide research-based information, facilitation, and learning opportunities to enable rural people to create genuine economic opportunity, vibrant communities, and better and more sustainable rural futures.  A university-wide, multidisciplinary institute, RFI is committed to improving economic opportunity and increasing community capacity as well as the confidence of rural people to address their challenges and opportunities.   Building upon the strengths and assets in rural Nebraska, the Great Plains, and globally, the RFI, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, will mobilize the resources and talents of the University and its partners to create knowledge and action that supports rural people and places to achieve unique paths to their desired futures.   Initially RFI will be housed on or near the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, but it is expected that its research, programs, and engagement activities will involve all of the University’s campuses.

As the founding chief executive, the Executive Director will have the unique and exciting opportunity to develop a premier research, education, policy and engagement institute that has positive impact on building resilient and sustainable rural futures. S/he will provide leadership, strategic direction, and oversight for the Institute’s mission, initiatives, and activities.  The Executive Director’s primary charge is to establish the Institute as a global leader in rural Futures through the development of local, regional, national and international partnerships with the public and private sectors and the pursuit of collaborative opportunities.  The Executive Director will report to NU Vice President & IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and be advised by a small Board of Directors.  The Executive Director will be expected to oversee the development of a strategic action plan with milestones and metrics for measuring progress; build a core team; and build the internal relationships, processes for local and regional collaborations, and external partnerships with communities that will be central to the work of RFI.

The successful candidate may come from a background of substantive leadership within the academic community; relevant federal, state and county agencies; foundations that are interested in rural issues; research institutes; community organizations; community development agencies; non-profit organizations or the business sector dealing with rural issues or economic development.   S/he must have appropriate academic credentials and a demonstrated record of accomplishing results through the development and facilitation of collaborations and partnerships. The Executive Director will demonstrate inspirational leadership skills, strategic thinking, strong communications and servant leadership abilities, great collaborative and teamwork skills, a high degree of organizational skill, entrepreneurial instincts, creativity, a passion for rural America, the ability to ensure that initiatives and programs achieve their desired results, a global mindset, and a track record of commitment to diversity and to building diverse teams. The Executive Director will be able to create networks that leverage a broad array of regional resources and build strong relationships with other regional university partners, grassroots, organizations, community residents, and statewide, regional, national and international organizations.  In building this new entity, the Executive Director must be able to catalyze the immense enthusiasm for this project and its potential in serving the University, the state of Nebraska, and the world.

The University of Nebraska has retained the services of Diversified Search for this assignment. Screening will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. All communications will be treated confidentially. Nominations, inquiries, and applications (including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of five references) should be directed electronically in confidence to Nebraska.RFI@divsearch.com.

For further information, please contact:

Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D. Managing Director and Practice Leader
Manuel A. Gongon, Jr., Principal
Diversified Search
2005 Market Street, Suite 3300, Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-656-3588

 
 

The University of Nebraska has an active
National Science Foundation ADVANCE gender equity program,
and is committed to a pluralistic campus community through
affirmative action, equal opportunity, work-life balance, and dual careers.

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Research & Engagement Grants Awarded

January 24, 2013
Five grants to receive funding There were sixty-seven research and engagement pre-proposals submitted. Every submission was evaluated by at least three reviewers and the evaluations were used by a seven-member final review committee to select those to be invited to …

Five grants to receive funding

There were sixty-seven research and engagement pre-proposals submitted. Every submission was evaluated by at least three reviewers and the evaluations were used by a seven-member final review committee to select those to be invited to submit full proposals. Of the sixty-seven, eighteen pre-proposals received an invitation to submit a full proposal. The review committee evaluated the full proposals and the following five were selected for funding.

1. Entrepreneurship Based Economic Development

      • Robert Bernier, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska Business Development Center, Assistant Dean, College of Business Administration
      • Roni Reiter-Palmon, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Isaacson Professor Psychology
      • Erin Pleggenkuhle-Miles, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Assistant Professor, Management
      • Brian Mennecke, Associate Professor, Management Information Systems
      • Anthony Townsend, Iowa State University, Associate Professor, Management Information Systems
      • Don Macke, Director of Strategic Engagement, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship Rural Policy Research Institute
      • Sara McMillan, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Business Development Center

Most of the recent entrepreneurial interest has centered on two types of entrepreneurs: 1) the high-tech and presumably high-growth entrepreneur and 2) the low-tech, derivative and subsistence-seeking micro-entrepreneur. This research is about the once strong and now forgotten middle: the small manufacturer, the value-added retailer, the regional distributor, the agricultural services firm and the like. Another way to view entrepreneurship is to view it as a game — one must be exposed to it, try it, learn the fundamentals and then commit to it. This study is to see if a predictive model, tested on small-business incubators, can be used to identify those tasks communities can perform in order to increase the likelihood that their members will choose entrepreneurship as a career. The result will be a specific model that economic developers can learn, implement and measure. Economic development boards and community leaders will have guidance on what actions to take and how to measure their economic development staffs.

 

2. Community Marketing: Taking a New Look at Rural Communities in the Great Plains

      • Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Extension Specialist
      • Randy Cantrell, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Rural Initiative and Extension
      • David Olson, South Dakota State University Extension
      • Kathleen Tweeten, North Dakota State University Extension

The goal of this project will be to determine if a series of focused community-wide conversations and activities, using a study circle process with key community stakeholders and their network, will result in an increase in community confidence, capacity building and behavior change toward marketing their community to new residents. The collaborative effort will bring together the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, South Dakota State University Extension, North Dakota State University Extension, six rural communities in three Great Plains states, community stakeholders representing both public and private entities and Everyday Democracy, a national non-profit whose purpose is to help communities work through difficult issues using positive community dialogue. As a result of the project communities will: (1) develop and implement aspects of a marketing action plan that they create which incorporates realistic and achievable strategies to successfully market their community; and (2) increase their human capacity in using the study circle approach to address future community issues.

 

3. Communities Creating Their Own Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial Communities Activation Process

      • Anita Hall, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Extension Educator
      • Connie Hancock, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Extension Educator
      • Phyllis Schoenholz, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Extension Educator
      • Nancy Eberle, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Extension Educator
      • Charlotte Narjes, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Center for Applied Rural Innovation
      • Diane Vigna, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Extension Educator

The Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process (ECAP) is a holistic facilitative process with the goals of attracting and retaining working age population and creating entrepreneurial environments that lead to community vitality. An extensive review of literature has identified a model of eight characteristics that consistently characterizes entrepreneurial communities. This project will test the model in eight communities contributing significantly to the research base on successful rural revitalization and to outreach efforts to support successful rural development. On-going research will determine whether the short-term goals are being achieved and if ECAP is an effective approach to creating an entrepreneurial environment. ECAP will initiate new dialogue with resource providers about progressive Nebraska rural entrepreneurial activity.

 

4. Rural Sourcing

      • Shawn Kaskie, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Director Center for Rural Research and Development
      • Paul Eurek President and Founder Xpanxion Technologies LLC
      • Shelley Zaborowski, Associate Executive Director Nebraska Alumni Association
      • Randy Cantrell, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Rural Initiative and Extension
      • Dena Beck, REAP Loan Specialist & Senior Project Leader, Center for Rural Affairs
      • Mary Findlay, Research Analyst, Nebraska Department of Labor
      • Odee Ingersoll, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nebraska Business Development Center & Nebraska Center for Business Transition

The concept of “rural sourcing” relates to existing and start-up companies strategically locating operations in rural areas to reduce labor costs and increase employee reliability. This project aims to expand on a successful “cross-sourcing” model used by an existing software company and modify it to recruit University of Nebraska Alumni back to rural Nebraska in targeted professional service occupations. The first phase of this project will build on existing research exploring the lifestyle expectations and career preferences of Alumni who have moved out of state. Additional case study research seeks to understand the process and motivation for Alumni who have moved back to rural Nebraska and are employed in these occupations. Data collected from phase one will direct the strategies of communication and education for Alumni who have opted in to receive information related to current job opening’s or assistance for starting or buying a business in rural areas.

 

5. Using Crowdlearning for Leadership Development in Rural Communities

      • Roni Reiter-Palmon, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Isaacson Professor Psychology
      • Gina Scott Ligon, University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business Administration
      • Douglas Derrick, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Assistant Professor of IT Innovation
      • Lynn Harland, University of Nebraska at Omaha, College of Business Administration
      • Gert-Jan de Vreede, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Durham Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Informatics
      • Susan Jensen, University of Nebraska Kearney, College of Business & Technology
      • Robert Bernier, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska Business Development Center, College of Business Administration

Developing the next generation of business and civic leaders is critical for all communities; however, in rural Nebraska, this issue is of particular concern. The proposed project addresses the lack of rural leadership development by designing and implementing a virtual (crowdlearning) casebased leadership development program for rural Nebraska civic and business leaders. In addition to providing leadership development for a cadre of rural Nebraska civic and business leaders, this project will: (1) result in a collection of available case studies focusing on the challenges faced by rural Nebraska leaders, (2) help create connections between rural leaders across the state, and (3) offer new insight into best practices regarding collaborative leadership development for virtual groups.

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Teaching & Engagement Grants Awarded

January 7, 2013
Six grants to receive funding With an outstanding response to the Teaching and Engagement Development Grants Request for Proposals, each of the 33 submitted applications were evaluated by three reviewers. Those receiving the highest evaluations were forwarded to a final review team who, in …

Six grants to receive funding

With an outstanding response to the Teaching and Engagement Development Grants Request for Proposals, each of the 33 submitted applications were evaluated by three reviewers. Those receiving the highest evaluations were forwarded to a final review team who, in consultation with NU Vice President Ronnie Green, selected the following proposals to receive funding.

 

1. Ecotourism and Agritourism Development in Nebraska

      • Lisa Pennisi, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Human Dimensions, School of Natural Resources
      • Nicole Wall, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, National Drought Mitigation Center
      • Michelle Kang, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Tourism Marketing
      • Tom Field, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Director Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program
      • Twyla Witt, Nebraska Tourism Commission, Tourism Development & Byways Consultant
      • Caleb Pollard, Valley County Economic Development & Ord Area Chamber of Commerce
      • Rick Edwards, Center for Great Plains Studies
      • Janell Anderson Ehrke, GROW Nebraska

This project aims to develop a course, to be taught in May, that will incorporate ecotourism, tourism marketing, entrepreneurship, business plans, visitor services and the Community Capitals Framework for community engagement. The long-term goal is to assist rural landowners and communities in increasing economic and community capacity by developing successful ecotourism ventures that enhance environmental sustainability while also educating and developing undergraduate students.

 

2. Engaging Nebraska, Impacting Communities, Transforming Students

      • Jeff Day, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Lindsey Bahe, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Bret Betnar, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Tim Hemsath, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Peter Hind, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Sharon Kuska, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • David Karle, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Sarah Thomas Karle, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Yunwoo Nam, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture
      • Zhenghong Tang, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Architecture

This project aims to establish the infrastructure for a robust service-learning program embedded in curricula. Engaging ten faculty from architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning programs, the team proposes establishing a learning community that is faculty led and service-learning based. This learning community will spend the next two years transforming twelve existing courses, as well as developing new courses and programs, that engage students in service-learning projects across the state.

 

3. Juvenile Re-entry to Nebraska’s Rural Communities

      • Anne Hobbs, University of Nebraska Omaha, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
      • Julie Campbell, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Criminology
      • Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Youth Rehabilitation Centers

This project aims to extend traditional Nebraska Health and Human Service policy through broadening the academic paradigm and activating community engagement by matching college student mentors from rural communities who are attending the University of Nebraska with youth committed to the Youth Rehabilitation Centers in Geneva and Kearney, Nebraska.

 

4. Rural Community Serviceship Program 

      • Tom Field, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program
      • Reshell Ray, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Student Involvement
      • Linda Major, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Center for Civic Engagement
      • Linda Moody, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Center for Civic Engagement
      • Lindsay Hastings, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Human Resources Institute
      • Milan Wall, Heartland Center for Leadership Development
      • Kurt Mantonya, Heartland Center for Leadership Development

This project aims to create a partnership to help students learn and intern with communities in a hybrid approach to service learning. The major elements will include the development of a summer course, followed by a summer serviceship, a reflection period, and then research. This program delivers an interdisciplinary partnership delivery system that focuses on issues identified by the community coupled with the infusion of innovative, entrepreneurial student teams tasked with building workable solutions in concert with university faculty and specialists alongside community leaders and mentors. The combination of discipline, community engagement, and leadership training/experience creates human capacity and opens the door for active recruitment of new graduates and young professionals into the fabric of a rural community.

 

5. The Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Project

      • Patrik Johansson, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, Rural Health Education Network
      • Sonja Russell, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, Rural Health Education Network
      • Jill Mack, Chadron State College, Physical and Life Sciences
      • Kyle Ryan, Peru State, School of Education
      • Peggy Abels, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Health Sciences
      • David Peitz, Wayne State College, Chemistry

This project will address Nebraska’s rural public health professions workforce shortages by integrating teaching and professional service, in addition to reflective activities structured to link the service experience with the learning of the student. Community-based research projects will address identified rural public health priorities and needs in partnership with a community-based organization. In addition, the representation of undergraduate students will provide a forum for expression of rural youth voices, while finding solutions to existing public health issues in rural Nebraska. Having students conduct public health research with their communities will also further existing institutional goals toward institutionalization of community engagement and service learning.

 

6. Students Engaged in Economic Development of Rural Areas

      • Kaye Sorensen, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Mathematics
      • Marc Albrecht, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Biology

University of Nebraska at Kearney undergraduates will create and assemble rural development ideas that are collected by students and rural stakeholders.  Students will identify promising economic development opportunities and will present these novel and creative ideas to the communities with ideas for implementation.

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Rural Futures Day: September 27, 2012

September 26, 2012
Rural Futures Day On September 27, 2012 the University of Nebraska (NU) will announce plans to form a Rural Futures Institute – pending final approval by the Board of Regents at their October meeting. The announcement will be made in the …

Rural Futures Day

On September 27, 2012 the University of Nebraska (NU) will announce plans to form a Rural Futures Institute – pending final approval by the Board of Regents at their October meeting.

The announcement will be made in the rural community of Columbus, Nebraska and begin at 10:30 am. NU President Milliken, NU Vice President Ronnie Green and special guest USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien will speak.

The Rural Futures Institute is a natural outgrowth of the university’s land-grant mission, which is being celebrated at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) this week because this year marks the 150th anniversary of the passage of the Morrill Act that created land-grant universities.

“The Rural Futures Institute is one important way the University of Nebraska will continue to fulfill its land-grant mission in the 21st century,” NU President James B. Milliken said.

A program of today’s Rural Futures Day event is available below, and video clips of the event will be available later this week.

Rural Futures Day program

 

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The Rural Futures Conference Highlight Reel

May 12, 2012
A video summary of the 2012 Rural Futures Conference, held May 8-10, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A video summary of the 2012 Rural Futures Conference, held May 8-10, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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