Webinar on Rural Information Center (RIC)

January 24, 2018

Save the Date – Webinar on Rural Information Center – USDA NIFA Division of Family & Consumer Sciences will host a webinar on the USDA Rural Information Center (RIC), a service of the National Agriculture Library. Mary Louise Reynnells will present an informational webinar on the resource assistance available. The RIC has resources related to Community Development, Rural Citizen Services, Sustainable Rural Communities, and Rural America Collections. RIC staff provide customized information products to specific inquiries including assistance in economic revitalization issues; local government planning projects; funding sources; technical assistance programs; research studies; and other related issues. Learn how you can maximize these resources to help your community. When:  January 31, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) 

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/773608196
Or by Telephone 669-900-6833646-558-8656 | Meeting ID 773 608 196

Apply Now for Design Help from CIRD

January 24, 2018

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design TM , a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, has issued a request for proposals inviting communities to apply for design assistance. The CIRD program provides rural communities and small towns in all regions of the country the opportunity to address economic vitality and quality of life challenges by employing design solutions. CIRD convenes workshops with design professionals, local leaders, community organizations, and residents to create a plan for tackling issues around three topic areas—multimodal transportation, healthy living by design, and main street revitalization.

Learn more on a January 25 webinar with CIRD staff from the NEA and Project for Public Spaces. You’ll learn about the application process, eligibility requirements, and selection criteria.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

January 18, 2018

What’s New

Two New Policy Briefs from the National Advisory CommitteeThe National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services is a citizens’ panel of nationally-recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services twice each year.  The latest policy briefs were written by the committee after a meeting last fall in Boise, Idaho, where the group focused on the impact of suicide in rural America and enhancing the Rural Health Clinics program to adapt to a value-focused health care environment.  Also, a new website for the rural health advisory committee provides a look back more than two decades into the past with recommendations for health policy issues such as provider payment reform, workforce development, and telehealth implementation.  Beginning in 2003, the committee expanded its focus to include human services and started addressing such issues as homelessness, intimate partner violence and social determinants of health.

CDC Updates Numbers on Opioid Overdose.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System and found that there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016.  The age-adjusted rate of death was 21 percent higher than it was just one year before.  The highest rates of death were among adults aged 35-44, the age range that also had the greatest percentage increase in overdose death rate, 29 percent higher than in 2015.  Last year, the CDC determined that the drug overdose rate in rural areas is higher than in urban areas.

2020 Census Expected to be a Challenge for Rural Areas. Rural areas and particularly minority populations that live in them are typically considered Hard to Count (HTC) for Census data collection every decade.  But researchers at the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy predict that the 2020 Census will present an even greater challenge for the population count that’s used to determine federal spending, community planning for schools and hospitals and site selection for new business, among other uses for the data. Seventy-nine percent of HTC counties are in rural areas, where counts are typically conducted via mail and door-to-door canvasing.  Plans for the 2020 Census call for a majority of residents to receive communication that will urge a response via the internet, for which broadband access adds a special challenge for rural areas.

Continue reading “Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy”

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Workshop

January 18, 2018

Please see the attached flyer regarding USDA grant workshop pertaining to the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. Rural Utilities Service has made several changes to the program which were published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2017. This will be the first of several workshops planned for Missouri. The application window is expected to open in March 2018. If you have interests in applying for this program, please join us.

Workshop Flyer

Revised Area Loan Limits

January 17, 2018

Effective today, the area loan limits have been revised for California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Details are available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RD-SFHAreaLoanLimitMap.pdf.  The area loan limits for the remaining states are expected to be revised on March 30, 2018.