2021 Summer Newsletter


NACDEP Newsletter


Summer Edition


 Click Here to view this email in your browser

NACDEP Summer 2021 Newsletter

NACDEP Colleagues,

Greetings and welcome to the Summer 2021 NACDEP Newsletter.  Just coming out of our second consecutive virtual conference, many of us are already entering into a post-pandemic mode of operation, however cautiously.  I think that we learned a lot from the pandemic though.  One thing is how much we can accomplish using webinars, Zoom sessions, and other 21st century tools.  You will be reading about some of these new efforts in this edition of the newsletter.

As for me I wish to thank Adam Hodges for the great year he gave us as President and to welcome Melinda Grismer, who I know will do a great job.  We are so fortunate to have such effective leadership in this organization.  I also want to give a shout out to co-chairs of the Communications Committee (Comm Comm) Jan Steen and Jaime Menon for all that they have done for the newsletter.  A special thanks also to Ricky Atkins, our publisher, for making our materials look so good.

But most of all I want to thank the readership, all of you who contribute in your own way to making the newsletter a success.  I enjoy receiving your submissions and the interactions I have with you concerning newsletter content and direction.  Thanks for all you do.  Enjoy the Summer issue!

Thomas W. Blaine, PhD

Newsletter Editor


President's Column

Soul Searching

Submitted by Melinda Grismer, NACDEP President

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the latest issue of NACDEP’s newsletter! This ever-growing, ever-improving publication is a great space to communicate with your fellow NACDEP members—and find out what this association is all about!

Thanks to all 237 of you who attended NACDEP’s second virtual conference from May 14-19! As a NACDEP family, we pulled together to showcase the great work of our colleagues, listened to/engaged with two amazing speakers, and even managed to have some fun online through scavenger hunts, pre-conference yoga, and post-conference wine-tasting. Proving—once again—that NACDEP has no shortage of creative problem-solvers and lovers of community.

Ron Hustedde, an Extension professor at the University of Kentucky, wrote what I consider a classic article called “On the Soul of Community Development” in which he asserts that the human form is sustained by three parts — mind, body and soul (Donin, 1972; Suzuki, 1970). He says “when this tripod is nurtured, it can sustain individuals, communities, and the environment in which they live (Hustedde, 1998).” He explores six “soulful practices” to integrate into our discipline of community development. I suggest reading them here: https://doi.org/10.1080/15575339809489759.

As colleagues within this association, we can—and already do—help each other “nurture the tripod” in many ways. What makes NACDEP unique—and compels us to want to be together either online or in-person—is the desire to collaborate with others who do what we do within other contexts (in different geographies and with diverse people). The networking, the professional growth, and the insight we seek is readily found here. So, I welcome you to run toward this community of community developers, embracing opportunities to serve in our association and form deeper bonds.

As Ron reminds us, “If the search for sustainable communities is in part a search for a more authentic existence, then soul becomes central to this effort.” I look forward to serving as NACDEP’s President this year and intentionally fostering these “soulful practices” within our association.


Want to Join a NACDEP Committee, But Don't Know Where to Start? Start Here!

Submitted by Melinda Grismer, NACDEP President

For more than 10 years now, I have been an active member of NACDEP and a huge proponent of its work to bring community development professionals together for networking, growth, and reflection.

Here are my insights on these three critical components:

  • Networking within NACDEP occurs all year long as we serve together on committees and are in communication about our programming, knowing who to reach out to for help and support.

  • Growth within NACDEP occurs as we learn best practices and specific strategies from each other’s lived experience.

  • Reflection within NACDEP occurs once a year when we gather – either virtually or in-person (or both!) – to remember together why we do what we do.

To find out when committees meet each month and who is already serving on NACDEP’s committees, check out our Google sheet: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1oSk6LbW0dz-My0BcAldotVyJ58-hlUp4. You can also sign up directly on the Google sheet when you decide which committee to join.

If you’re new to NACDEP, and you want to learn more about how NACDEP’s committees are organized, what they do, and how you can get involved, please join me on July 28 (3 p.m.) for Member Services’ first-ever Welcome Wednesday https://wvu.zoom.us/j/99765652063 to get your questions answered. See you there!


Appalachian Byway of Ohio Receives National Scenic Byway Foundation's Byway Community Award

Submitted by Gwynn Stewart
Ohio State University Extension

Appalachian Byway of Ohio leader and Monroe County Commissioner, Mick Schumacher (left) and Byway Manager, Gwynn Stewart – Community Development Educator III, Ohio State University Extension – Noble County, Gwynn Stewart (right) receiving the National Scenic Byway Foundation 2021 Byway Community Award from NSBF Executive Director, Sharon Strouse (center). Congratulating the Appalachian Byway of Ohio leaders were Chris Sieverdes, NSBF President (far left) and Congressman Bill Johnson (far right), representing Ohio's 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In downtown Woodsfield, Ohio, one of the most unique and identifiable historic assets are the traffic islands. In place since 1929, they provide a sense of grand entry and serve as a focal point for the length of the public square. For visitors, they make a first impression.

When the islands were recently threatened and at risk of being  eliminated in a $900,000 Ohio Department of Transportation Safety project, partners from The Appalachian Byway of Ohio in Monroe and Noble County led an effort to bring attention to the importance of the downtown Woodsfield historic island structures. A news article in the newspaper, The Spirit of Democracy, on September 25, 1929, noted that “few cities can boast of a finer public square or Main Street.”

The Appalachian Byway of Ohio won a 2021 National Scenic Byway Foundation (NSBF) award for its efforts in helping save the historic islands in downtown Woodsfield, Ohio, one of the county seats located along the multi-county Ohio scenic byway.

To bring attention to the historic importance of the downtown along the Byway, local Byway leaders led grassroots and online (COVID-19 safe) petition drives as well as hard copy petitions to The Ohio Department of Transportation – District 10, Woodsfield Village Council, Woodsfield Village Administrator, to Ohio state elected officials and to The Ohio State Historical Preservation Office. Afterall, the Appalachian Byway of Ohio was created to accentuate the communities’ historical and cultural assets that enhance its sense of place to residents and to guests.

The petitions and comments from a public meeting led to ODOT’s creation and convening of a Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 Consulting Party process to consider the effects of actions on historic properties. According to ODOT, the Section 106 process seeks to incorporate historic values into project planning through consultation among agencies and other parties with an interest in the effects of the undertaking on historic properties.

The Consulting Parties provided input on the historic downtown Woodsfield project. ODOT then submitted results of a Phase II historic architectural survey to Ohio’s State Historic Preservation Office and to the Consulting Parties for review. The Phase II survey included 58 architectural locations. A historic district eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places was identified under criterion A and encompasses the buildings fronting Main Street on all four quadrants of the Woodsfield Square. There were also 19 architectural resources within the National Register boundary. Contributing components included the site of the Woodsfield Square itself, its two center median islands (installed in 1929) and the 1940s-era four-lamp streetlight contained in the center island. It was determined that the islands and the four-lamp streetlight contribute to the significance of the eligible historic district.

Due to the Section 106 Consulting Parties process and Phase II historic architectural survey, ODOT determined a finding of “adverse effect” on the project and an Alternative Analysis was ordered to provide potential alternate intersection improvements or solutions that will address the safety concerns at the intersection while preserving the decorative and historic median islands.

Also, as a result of the project’s Consulting Party effort, a consultant nominated the Woodsfield Square for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Places list, a designation that calls attention to the nation’s most threatened historic sites.

The outcome of the collective effort to bring attention to the importance of the Byway and Community’s cultural and historic assets shows the “impact that knowledgeable organizations can make on community citizens who care deeply about protecting their resources.” [from NSBF’s Fact Sheet - Byway Resources Conservation and Protection]

It is always a “best practice” for Byways, leaders, and communities within a Byway to advocate for the protection and preservation of the cultural and historic assets. when possible. Working through the proper channels, to provide public input, Byway leader perspectives and to request consideration or review is also important.

In the case of the Appalachian Byway of Ohio, the importance of the historic downtowns to the Appalachian area provides a culture-rich visitor experience as it links Woodsfield to several similar downtowns: Caldwell, which recently received its Historic District designation and Jail Museum on the National Registry; McConnelsville, home to the famed Twin City Opera House on the National Registry and its historic statue situated, much like the Woodsfield islands, in the center of SR 78; as well as the Nelsonville Public Square with its famous fountain and star bricks.

To learn more about the Appalachian Byway of Ohio, view the Byway’s video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGO3XzKECEU or visit on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AppalachianBywayofOhio.


Debunking the Myth That Rural Places Don't Innovate

Submitted by Charlie French
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

The Grind Rail Trail Café in Derry, New Hampshire is a popular destination for cyclists.

Rural places in the United States have experienced slower economic growth than urban places due to a host of socioeconomic and global forces. For starters, the pandemic has dramatically and disproportionally impacted rural communities, hitting hardest those that lack broadband access and other critical infrastructures. But the reality is that socioeconomic and global forces have worked on rural places for decades and were simply exacerbated during the pandemic. Communities once dependent on agriculture, forestry, and mineral mining have seen these industries decline. As well, certain manufacturing sectors have experienced global transformations that have resulted in job losses, stagnant wages, and ultimately contributed to population decline in the places where they are located.

Despite these challenges, some rural places appear to be more resilient than others in the wake of major social and economic changes and major system shocks. The success of these rural places lies in the fact that they adapt to change and capitalize on opportunities in innovative ways. They do so by cultivating an innovation ecosystem at the community or regional scale—a system of supports that gives entrepreneurs and innovators the tools and resources to succeed. Common attributes of rural places with an innovative ecosystem are that they maintain a proactive local government that is attuned to the needs of local businesses, they maintain an engaged citizenry, they have strong social networks, they cultivate public-private partnerships, they foster a strong system of supports for local businesses and entrepreneurs, and they harness the creative energy that resides in the people who live there.

Unfortunately, traditional measures of innovation largely fail to capture the innovations that occur in rural America. Most indices of innovation—such as Bloomberg’s index—are urban-centric in that they track indicators such as venture-capital investment, number of patents, number of startups, startup job creation, ratio of research and development spending to new sales, advancements in communications technology, etc. While these indicators reflect important shifts taking place in more urban settings that often lead to breakthrough technologies and result in significant employment gains in larger firms, they do not necessarily reflect the forms of innovation that occur in sparsely populated, rural places.

Characteristics of Rural Innovation

We are learning that a wholly different set of innovation characteristics contribute to rural community resiliency. Innovations do not necessarily come in the form of life-changing products or breakthrough technologies. They can be subtle and take the shape of the following:

1.     A new method for accomplishing a task

2.     Adapting an existing technology to shift business transactions or service delivery online

3.     Reskilling workers to leverage their talents for new and emerging sectors

4.     New forms of collaboration such as integrating value chains of brewers and distillers

5.     Creative leveraging of financial capital to spur local investment in downtown revitalization

There is also a phenomenon known as latent, or “hidden” innovation, which refers to the incremental improvements that businesses make to their products and processes because of information they obtain from outside their business. Hidden innovation occurs as businesses, communities, and organizations connect, learn from each other, and adopt and iterate practices to create incremental improvements. Recent research from Penn State University suggests that hidden innovation is at least as important to local income and employment growth as patent-level innovation.

There are so many ways that rural communities foster innovation. One way is through the promotion of the arts. Research from USDA’s Economic Research Service suggests that communities that maintain one or more arts organizations outperform those that don’t when it comes to earnings and productivity. Scholars believe that is because the design orientation that artists maintain is infused into other aspects of economic life in rural communities. Case in point, places like Littleton and Rochester, New Hampshire have both successfully promoted and leveraged the arts and used it as a vehicle to revitalize their Main Streets.

Other places like Franklin, New Hampshire have figured out how to leverage their natural assets to create new opportunity. Franklin, which sits at the convergence of three rivers, is seeking to harness the power of these rivers to create a whitewater kayaking park. Once developed, it will be the largest whitewater park in the Northeast and has the potential to generate millions of dollars in economic activity each year.

Still other places like Perry, New York—which is like so many other towns in the Northern Forest tier—have figured out how to generate resources for downtown revitalization by creating a new financial mechanism that enables local residents to invest in the rehabilitation of buildings, giving them a stake in the community and a share of future revenues resulting from the redevelopment.

The point is that rural places have a deep history of innovating and continue to innovate. We simply fail to characterize and capture these innovations because they don’t meet the big tech, high growth definition of innovation that is so often heralded. If this past year has proven anything, it is that rural places are resilient and adapt to change in amazing, innovative ways. 

Interested in learning more about rural innovation – check out our upcoming webinar


Video Series "Earth is our Home" is Now on YouTube: The First Seven Episodes Address Global Warming/Climate Change and How Earth's Climate Engine Works

Submitted by Thomas W. Blaine
Ohio State University Extension

For those of you who wonder about the editor’s daytime job, I am an environmental economist with Ohio State University Extension, where I have been teaching and writing about global warming/climate change for over a quarter century.  I have guest lectured on the topic in the former Soviet Union, South America and to the US Navy while underway at sea returning from deployment during the 2007 surge in Iraq.

Some of you may recall that I had an article in the newsletter last year about my climate change teaching program.  Shortly after the publication of that article, the folks at University of Missouri Extension invited me to make a Zoom presentation in February of this year.  I did so, and it was a very pleasant experience for me.

Now, The Ohio State University South Centers has created a YouTube video series for me to teach on the topic.  The series is called “Earth is Our Home.” I encourage you to watch the videos, each one is 30 minutes.  The link to the series is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-NSWPUhldRQuQSpSneL4hcG1BkDNl7YY

The videos are very user friendly and easy to watch and understand with lots of colorful graphs, maps and charts to help you follow my explanations.  The series answers a lot of questions that many members of the public do not believe have been adequately addressed in the media or elsewhere about this important topic.

In the first episode, I review Earth’s climate history for the nearly the entire Phanerozoic eon (almost 600 million years) explaining why large natural temperature variations have occurred and what their affects have been.

In the second episode I bring the discussion up to the era that includes the ice ages and the period since the ice retreated (The Holocene).

Episode three brings us up to the present, with a discussion of 20th and 21st century temperatures, and distinguishes between human and natural influences on temperatures.

In episodes 4, 5 and 6, I shift gears somewhat and give an overview of how Earth’s climate engine works.  You can learn all kinds of things in these episodes, like what the jet streams are and why they behave as they do, about El Nino and La Nina and their effects on climate.  Those episodes are here, here, and here.

In episode 7, I discuss why global warming, in addition to causing rising temperatures, tends to lead to more extreme weather events (floods, droughts, heat waves, and even blizzards).  You can find that one here.

We will be adding about three to four episodes per month to the series, so I hope you will continue to use the links to navigate the site, both to review and to catch the new content I will be adding.  Feel free to share the information from the series with your clientele and colleagues.  As always, I am open to feedback.  You can leave comments on the YouTube site or contact me directly with ideas for future episodes, questions, or comments.  I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to see your editor in action and to learn the details of climate change at the same time.


Submitted by Brent Elrod

“It’s summertime and the livin is easy…” So says the lyric in the Gershwin tune for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. “How easy” can certainly depend on where you live, how much you earn, and any other number of characteristics influencing one’s life and community.

Undoubtedly, you chose your career path and joined NACDEP because you care deeply about community and quality of life. At NIFA, our staff share that passion and commitment and want to help you succeed in your state and local endeavors. How? I’ve put together the briefest of summer reading lists:

  • Reach out to program leaders with any questions about program eligibility.

  • Serve on a peer review panel.

  • Contribute suggestions to how our Requests for Applications can be improved.

  • Provide input to listening sessions about how the agency can grow capacity and partnerships.

  • Share your successes (press releases, articles, awards).


As you reconnect with vaccinated family, friends, and colleagues, let them know how your work has created pathways and opportunities for neighbors near and far to live life just a little bit easier – this summer and beyond.


Rural Prosperity Nebraska Opens Two New Leadership Positions

Submitted by Marilyn Schlake
University of Nebraska Extension

The University of Nebraska has launched Rural Prosperity Nebraska, new Institute housed within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Nebraska Extension, and is now searching for a Director and Program Leader to lead this coordinated, multidisciplinary effort.

Nominations and applications are currently being accepted for two positions designed to advance outcomes and impacts on community and economic vitality among rural communities. The Director - Rural Prosperity Nebraska and the Extension Program Leader - Rural Prosperity Nebraska will collaborate to provide intellectual and strategic leadership for Rural Prosperity Nebraska.

We are seeking people who are collaborative, innovative, visionary, inclusive, and entrepreneurial to help us mobilize existing faculty expertise in conducting relevant high impact research and scholarship, extension programming, and other community engagement efforts to improve all facets of rural prosperity throughout Nebraska and the United States.  Review of applications begins July 26, 2021.


Community and Economic Development Fall Online Courses 

Submitted by Michele Archie

Registration for The Harbinger Consultancy’s fall online courses is open!

Our online courses are geared toward the unique needs of small towns, rural communities and organizations that support local culture, conservation, education, trails, and public lands. They combine instruction, coaching, group learning, and step-by-step templates based on 30+ years of working with communities, regions and supporting organizations, offering guided access to proven approaches we use in our work and models from other communities.

We sometimes offer courses in collaboration with other practitioners (some with Extension roots!) and are open to new collaborations. If you have a course idea that you’d like to explore developing together, please contact me at [email protected].

Use the code NACDEP at checkout for a 10% discount on any of our fall courses. We also offer group discounts for two or more from the same organization or community to encourage collaboration. Please email [email protected] with questions, and feel free to share with your networks. 

Our fall session, with courses starting in September and October, includes: 

Outdoor Recreation Roadmap: A Community-Led Approach to Leveraging Your Natural Assets for Economic Success and Local Renewal — Six 1-hour sessions, Sept. 22 - Oct. 27, 2021. Learn a step-by-step process for making the outdoor recreation economy work for your community. Generate awareness and buy-in, make quick progress that can be sustained over time, and create meaningful changes that improve your community’s business and economic vitality, physical health and how it sees, talks about, and invests in itself.

Tell the Economic Story of Your Conserved Lands and Trails Without Hiring an Economist — Five 1-hour sessions: Sept. 21-Oct. 19, 2021. Great for building support and funding for private land conservation and trail projects. Learn to research, analyze and communicate a range of economic and community benefits associated with your programs, trails and conserved lands.

Creative Placemaking: Creating Communities We Love Through Arts & Culture, Diverse Partners and Community Spaces — Three 2-hour sessions Sept. 16-30, 2021 + Oct. 7 Q&A. Leverage arts and culture to engage, revitalize and reshape communities. It is as much about “doing” as it is about planning, leveraging the power of diverse partnerships and hands-on participation to turn under-appreciated assets into focal points for a new community vitality.

Tell the Economic Story of Your Farmland Protection & Food System Programs Without Hiring an Economist — Five 1-hour sessions: Oct. 14 - Nov. 11, 2021. Learn to paint a broad, research and data-based picture of the economic effects of your farmland protection and food system programs, and tell that story to support fundraising, partnerships and stronger community relationships.

Exploratory Scenarios Planning for Community Collaboration, Adaptation and Action — Three 1 1/2 hour sessions, Oct. 27 - Nov. 10, 2021. Use scenarios planning to engage community members and stakeholders on complex and pressing issues like “over-tourism,” rapid growth and development, the effects of climate change, economic change and volatility, inequity, housing affordability and technological change. Learn to use Exploratory Scenarios Planning to help your community deal with uncertainty by envisioning and considering a range of possible futures and creating an adaptive approach that responds to foreseen and unforeseen changes as they happen.

Do-It-Yourself Visitor Surveys for Parks, Trails and the Towns that Serve Them — Three 1-hour sessions: Oct. 27 - Nov. 10, 2021 + optional Q&A session July 8. Summer is a perfect time to get a handle on how locals and visitors use trails and parks—and what that means for your community. Learn how to design, implement and analyze visitor surveys without breaking the bank or tearing your hair out.


Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Courses - Online and In-Person

Submitted by Michael Darger, University of Minnesota Extension

Once again, UMN Extension is hosting our BRE course in both online and in-person formats. Many NACDEPers have taken this course in recent years. 

Online:  August 4, 2021 to Tuesday, October 5, 2021

In-person:  October 12-13, 2021, St. Paul campus

Find more information on our BRE courses.

For inspiration, new skill development, or brushing up existing skills, we encourage NACDEP individuals or teams to take the course. The course gives you the opportunity to prepare a new or updated BRE plan. It allows you to think through the right approach for your situation including two fundamental approaches to business outreach and follow-up action: 

  • The community-led, volunteer-intensive approach (this model was actually developed by the forebears of NACDEP, Extension economists and rural sociologists in the 80s and 90s).

  • The staff-driven, continuous approach (this approach is prevalent amongst economic development professionals these days)

What's new?  We're all learning how things are changing in the post-pandemic period.  This includes BRE methods.  Thus, we will discuss both new and traditional ideas and methods. We welcome discussion of new ways of doing the work. One thing hasn't changed; however, retaining and expanding businesses will continue to be the lion's share of local ED work for community economic development. 

Team discount:  We welcome all community or economic developers, whether full-time pros or board members or allied professionals. We believe BRE is best done in a team context. Therefore, we offer deep discounts for teams. Individual price: $600 or team prices: 2-person team: $900; 3–5 person team: $1,200. Register here for the online course or the in-person course.

Certification:  Everyone who completes the course receives a certificate of accomplishment from UMN Extension. Optionally, the following are both available upon completion ($75 fee to BREI):

1. Certification from Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI). This is the international association that promotes and educates about BRE.

2. A one-year membership in BREI ($100 value).


"Business Retention and Expansion is such a vibrant program to launch for your community. And the UMN Extension course and Michael Darger are responsible for teaching us the process. Our economic development organization … is currently immersed in interviewing 100 businesses, gathering information from those interviews, and having the responses analyzed to come up with the priority projects our businesses want and need to improve our economy … The UMN course lays out, in excellent detail, how to carry out this meaningful program."

— Dr. Nancy Shepherd (Farmington, NM, summer course participant, 2020)

"Gives me motivation to get my program going. After talking with the local EDA they are on board and it looks like I have my first partner and will get this program off the ground." (online course participant, spring 2021)

"I had zero baseline knowledge of BRE prior to the workshop. While I am not totally confident in implementing the program, I now have all the resources to work through and contacts to answer questions. It was a dense two days, but I was given a great tool-kit!" (in-person course participant, 2018)

"Just wanted to say thanks for a great 8-week course on BRE. It is such a critical component to ED. I think the work you are doing is extremely valuable to local communities that rely on ED for continued growth and prosperity."  Jason Brissom, Worthington, MN. Assistant City Administrator/Director of Economic Development (online course participant, spring 2020)

"I've taken many courses for economic development, and I will say this is by far the most robust. It's been around for 20 years. And with that there's a lot of information and supplemental materials … I would challenge you to at least take a look at it … If you don't have time to read it all, then peruse, skim it, dig into it …"  Michael Paris, senior business development manager, Norfolk, Virginia (online course participant, fall 2019)

Please contact us with any questions: [email protected] or [email protected].  Register here for the online course or the in-person course.  Your referrals are also appreciated. "

Calling All NACDEP YouTube Fans

Submitted by Jan Steen – [email protected]
K-State Research and Extension, Community Vitality Specialist

Have you been to NACDEP’s YouTube channel recently? 2021 Conference videos have been uploaded and there’s plenty of additional content you may find useful. You can find the channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6jgLtvNTItp0ucgmrw4XPA - but do us a favor once you get there. Hit the “Subscribe” button. At the time of this writing we have 54 subscribers and if we can get to 100 we’ll be able to customize our channel address from the really long one above to something a little easier to remember. Plus, any new content we upload will show up in your subscriptions feed. How convenient is that?

We also like to highlight your community development programming videos, so if you have any you’d like to share with the rest of NACDEP, send me a link and I’ll add it to our playlists. Happy viewing!


 Michigan State's Online Planning Commissioner Training Series

Submitted by Wayne Beyea

Michigan State University Extension is pleased to announce a new, online Planning Commissioner Training series in partnership with Planetizen Courses that builds on the pioneering American Citizen Planner Program  launched in partnership with NACDEP and the Land Use Planning Community of Practice.  Throughout the series, citizen planners can expand their knowledge on several subjects vital to effective, efficient planning practices that include establishing a strong ethical and legal framework, coverage of steps in the planning and zoning processes, tools used by professional planners to make land use decisions and much more.

For a limited time, a year-long subscription to the series is being offered by Planetizen Courses for $199 before pricing increases to $349. Additional course information and pricing is available by visiting the Planetizen website at courses.planetizen.com/planning-commissioner-training.

Update on the Journal of Extension from the Editorial Committee

Theresa M. Ferrari
Editorial Committee chair, on behalf of the Editorial Committee

In an editorial in the December 2020 issue of the journal, we announced a move to Clemson University Press and a new editorial model for the Journal of Extension journal. By now you have likely noticed that the journal has a new look. The website features a redesigned look that is carried forward on the article templates. There are several other changes that may not be as obvious but bear mentioning. Some of the changes were in the works before our publishing home moved, but they happened concurrently with the move to Clemson University Press. Others were made possible because of the move. All in all, 2021 has brought changes to the Journal of Extension.

  • Editors: Drew Griffin, the new production editor, is based at Clemson University. Nine associate editors, all of whom are content specialists, were brought on to distribute the tasks of the review process.

  • Style guidelines: With the release of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (the APA manual) at the end of 2020, JOE’s style guidelines were reviewed and brought in line with current APA standards. A few journal-specific style guidelines remain.

  • Peer review: All peer reviewed manuscripts are now reviewed by two peer reviewers. This is one fewer for Feature Article submissions and one more for Ideas at Work submissions. The process for Research in Brief submissions is unchanged. Tools of the Trade and Commentary remain as editor-reviewed categories, but they are now reviewed by one of the associate editors.

    • Templates: We now have new manuscript templates that are more consistent with those used in related journals. Articles now have a cover page when downloading as a pdf.

  • Number of issues: There are now four versus six issues per year.

  • Publish-to-print model: Although the journal will be published four times per year, the articles will appear on the website as they are finalized rather waiting for the full issue to be completed. Ultimately, this change reduces time to publication. Because of this change, no page numbers will be assigned for articles.

  • Creative Commons Licensing: The journal now uses Creative Commons Licensing (CCL) instead of authors assigning copyright to the journal.

The statement “This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License” appears on the cover page of the article.

This license allows others to share freely, translate, remix, adapt, and build upon materials published in JOE on a non-commercial basis, provided that credit is given to the article's author and to JOE and that any derivative works are licensed under identical terms. Authors whose work is accepted for publication in JOE are required to grant permission to Clemson University Press and to EJI to publish the article under those terms.

CCL applies to Volume 59 and forward. JOE still holds the copyright to articles previously published before Volume 59.

  • DOIs: Starting with Volume 59 (2021), articles are now assigned a DOI (digital object identifier). A DOI is a string of numbers, letters, and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web. A DOI helps a reader easily locate a document from your citation and serves to link your article to those you’ve referenced, which significantly increases discoverability and impact. This change will eventually apply to back volumes.  Authors: Once authors create an account on the website, they can do the following:
  • Submit manuscripts directly from the website.

  • Track a manuscript’s progress through the review process.

  • Obtain article metrics after publication (e.g., number of downloads, download locations).

Advantages: There are additional advantages to being housed at a university press. There are other staff members who have been and will continue to support the journal behind the scenes, such as in web development, marketing, and promotion. Another advantage is that expenses were reduced, thus making the journal able to balance the budget.

Challenges: As a result of the transition the journal is experiencing several challenges. Thank you for your patience as we strive to continue to uphold the standards of excellence the journal has established.

  • Content migration: All back volumes have not all been migrated to the new website. There are 58 volumes, and this is a big undertaking. We expect this migration to be completed by Fall 2021.
  • Error messages:

    • Because content migration is still in progress, internet searches for articles can return an error message. In the meantime, all the back issues are available on an archive site. The archives can also be accessed directly from the journal’s website.

    • Another consequence is that the same error message will be returned if someone clicks on the link in any documents containing the old link.

    • Going forward, DOIs will create a permanent link. Therefore, we encourage those citing Journal of Extension articles or including them in their vita to check on the progress of content migration and update citations accordingly.

Manuscript backlog: Because the transition to a new publisher and a new publishing model with associate editors occurred simultaneously, there is a backlog of manuscripts that need to work through the review process. This is a temporary situation, and we are taking several steps to alleviate it. We expect this situation to improve over the course of the year.

Mission: The commitment to the mission to publish a high-quality journal and to support author development remain unchanged.

If you have questions or concerns about the journal, please don’t hesitate to contact Drew Griffin, production editor ([email protected]), or one of the editorial committee members.


Theresa Ferrari, Ohio State University, editorial committee chair [email protected]
Stephen Brown, University of Alaska [email protected]
Marina Denny, Mississippi State University [email protected]
Robert Ricard, University of Connecticut [email protected]
Cody Stone, Montana State University [email protected]
Jamie Rae Walker, Texas A & M [email protected]
Dana Wright, West Virginia University [email protected]


Hello! This is the NACDEP Member Services Committee!

Submitted by Michael Dougherty
West Virginia University Extension

You may have heard of us from the Wednesday Webinars that took place over the last year. Or the Newcomers Sessions held at the annual conference each year.

We are the committee charged with keeping the organization responsive to its members, both in terms of organizational focus and products delivered to members throughout the year. 

The committee connects with many other parts of NACDEP, including Comm-Comm (the Communications Committee), the Marketing Committee, the new DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Committee, and each year’s Conference Planning Committee.

We are always looking for new ideas and more people to serve NACDEP. We are particularly interested in getting people on the committee from the Western region and from institutions that serve under-represented groups (like our 1890s and 1994s). We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT, 1 p.m. MT, 12 p.m. PT).  If you would like to join us – contact Committee Chair Michael Dougherty ([email protected]


Registration Open! Community Coaching Learning Circle

Submitted by Tanya Hall
Purdue Extension

Calling all individuals to register for the 2021 fall cohort of the community coaching learning circle!

Purdue Extension Community Development is offering a professional development opportunity for individuals interested in honing their community coaching skills. 

Through participating in this learning community, you will:

  • Increase your knowledge of the principles and practices of community coaching

  • Reflect on and increase your self-awareness of your role in different groups

  • Identify your community coaching style and personal philosophy

  • Deepen your capacity to coach community groups in a variety of situations

  • Build a network of colleagues to support continued learning and practice

This learning community non-credit course will open on August 23rd and have live Zoom meetings every other Monday, 2:00-3:30 pm ET from August 30 - November 8, 2021.  The meetings will include small group discussions. To be fair to fellow group members, participants must be available to attend all meetings. Participants will have approximately 1.5 hours of online coursework between meetings consisting of reading, videos and self-reflection exercises. Space is limited.

A prerequisite to the Community Coaching Learning Circle is experience working with community groups/teams, in particular guiding these groups/teams through the process of achieving their goals.

Registration can be accessed at http://www.eventreg.purdue.edu/online/CCLCAug. Early bird registration ends on July 26, 2021 and has a $50 discount with code EARLYBIRD. If you have any questions, please reach out to Tamara Ogle ([email protected]) or Tanya Hall ([email protected]).

Registration ends on: August 18th.

From the NACDEP Marketing Committee

Emily Proctor
Michigan State University Extension 



CRD News from NC State Extension

Submitted by Becky Bowen
North Carolina State University Extension

Fork to Farmer Team Wins Prestigious Opal Mann Green Award

NACDEP members Becky Bowen, Susan Jakes, and Hannah Dankbar are part of a multidisciplinary team of professionals leading NC State University's Fork to Farmer Initiative.  This initiative, funded by a Farmers Market Promotion Program grant from USDA, from 2017 to 2021, creates short videos that celebrate the relationship between celebrated farm to table chefs and the farmers they source from, as well as runs Vacationer Supported Agriculture, an innovative spin on the CSA model that connects vacationers with local food. 

Vacationer Supported Agriculture was recently awarded the prestigious Opal Mann Green Engagement and Scholarship Award at NC State University and will be in the running for the 2022 APLU C. Peter McGrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award .  

Read more about the Opal Mann Green Award announcement. 


NACDEP members Susan Jakes and Becky Bowen have also been engaged in the CREATE BRIDGES project in the Mountain West region of NC.  The multi-university CREATE BRIDGES team (also including University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky, Oklahoma State University Extension, Illinois Extension, and New Mexico State and led by the Southern Rural Development Center) was the runner-up for the Southern Region award for Innovation and Creativity.  While NC is still in the research phase of this strategic planning project designed to strengthen the retail, accommodation, tourism, and entertainment sectors, it has recently launched the Be a Spark campaign to raise customer awareness about practicing patience and kindness towards understaffed businesses.  

Read more about the Be A Spark campaign.  


Join us in Indy for NACDEP 2022!

Melinda Grismer & Tamara Ogle
Purdue Extension

We are looking forward to seeing you in Indy for NACDEP 2022! (Embed video: Join us in 2022 in Indy for NACDEP 2022! - YouTube)

This summer, we are gearing up with our conference committee, and we need your feedback.   There’s still time to take the NACDEP 2022 survey to tell us more about what you’d like to see and do at next year’s conference.  You can also include your contact information if you would like to serve on a conference sub-committee.  We’ll be reaching out to those who expressed interest later this summer.