Source: LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY submitted to
RURAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER, LA
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0203331
Grant No.
2005-34511-15695
Project No.
LAW-2005-06153
Proposal No.
2006-06186
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
UU
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2005
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2008
Grant Year
2006
Project Director
Rea, K. W.
Recipient Organization
LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
RUSTON,LA 71272
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
Rural communities in Louisiana lack access to technical assistance and expertise to solve their community development issues. The purpose of this project is to leverage the resources of a university that is located in a rural part of the state to benefit rural communities in Louisiana. This will be done by encouraging applied research and conducting outreach and technical assistance to communities.
Animal Health Component
10%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
10%
Developmental
90%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
6086010301010%
6086050301015%
6106050301030%
7036050303010%
8026050301010%
8026050303010%
8056050303015%
Goals / Objectives
2005-06153. The mission of the Louisiana Rural Development Center is to serve as a linkage between the research and expertise at Louisiana Tech University and rural communities with the overall goal of improving the quality of life in Louisiana's rural areas. To meet this mission, the Rural Development Center (1) conducts research and policy analysis on issues of importance to rural Louisiana communities (2) engages LA Tech faculty, staff, and students in research relevant to rural communities, and (3) facilitates linkages in Louisiana among LA Tech, other universities, state and federal agencies, rural development practioners, and rural communities and community organizations. For FY 2005-2006 Louisiana Tech University is requesting a new research grant from CSREES to support the following research objectives: Objective 1: The Louisiana Rural Development Center will serve as an information outlet on research relevant to rural community development in Louisiana. The Rural Development Center will (1) conduct research, (2) analyze and synthesize research, and (3) provide data and information. Information will be disseminated through the Rural Development Center's website, newsletters, research reports, conferences, the media, and trainings and community meetings on specific topics. In 2005-2006 the Rural Development Center plans to focus on the following four research areas. 1.evaluating and mapping the existing technical assistance infrastructure supporting rural communities in Louisiana 2. improving child care and early childhood education in Louisiana 3. improving nutrition and reducing obesity in Louisiana 4. improving Louisiana's rural economies through improved programs or increasing entrepreneurship Objective 2: The Louisiana Rural Development Center will engage faculty at LA Tech in research projects that have a direct benefit to rural Louisiana communities. The Center will provide assistance with project development and planning, assistance with securing funding, and assistance with networking with external partners. In 2005-2006 the Rural Development Center will focus on forging closer working relationships with faculty and other university centers who are interested in working with rural communities. In particular, the Center will focus on developing programs and outreach with university faculty to support the four research areas outlined in Objective 1. Objective 3: The Louisiana Rural Development Center will partner with and develop relationships to other institutions and organizations in the state, region and nation working on rural community development in order to strengthen research efforts and to increase the effectiveness of rural community development efforts in the state. In 2005-2006 the Louisiana Rural Development Center will work collaboratively with other Louisiana universities, the Governor's office of Rural Development, the Governors Office of Community Programs, LSU's AgCenter and Southern University Extension, USDA Rural Development, Louisiana Association of Non-profit Organizations, and other state, federal and non-profit organizations. These collaborations will support the four research issue areas outlined in Objective 1.
Project Methods
The Rural Development Center will publish its newsletter Rural Louisiana and will also publish articles focusing on rural community development issues in other organization's newsletters and in journals on rural development. The Rural Development Center will improve and expand its website. The Rural Development Center will offer workshops and trainings on topics relevant to rural community leaders and will participate in conferences relating to rural community development issues sponsored by other organizations. The Rural Development Center conducts research on topics related to rural community development in collaboration with other faculty and staff at LA Tech and external partners. The Rural Development Center has 4 major research initiatives planned for 2005-2006. The first research initiative, evaluating and mapping the existing technical assistance infrastructure supporting rural communities in Louisiana, will be one of the Rural Development Center's primary research initatives. The goal for this year will be to (1) develop a unified framework and database for collecting information about programs (2) get agreement on a central location for this information to be collected and housed (3) get agreement on a methodology for assessing who the programs best serve and to assist individuals or organizations seeking assistance in identifying an appropriate service provider based on their needs and abilities (4) get agreement on what universe of programs will be included in the database. The second research initiative for 2005-2006 will be to conduct research and outreach to improve early childhood education and daycare in rural Louisiana communities. The role of the Rural Development Center will be to help to bring key groups in north Louisiana together to develop integrated research and outreach projects that will lead to the improvement in the quality and quantity of childcare and early childhood education programs in rural communities. A long term goal is to develop joint research and outreach projects with entities around the state. The third research initiative for 2005-2006 is to conduct research on the impact that diet and nutrition education and obesity have on the well-being of rural people. The Center has collaborated on this work with Dr. Mary Murimi of the Department of Human Ecology as well as with other faculty at LA Tech. In 2005, the Rural Development Center is waiting to hear whether or not a grant that was written to HHS to conduct health screenings and nutrition and exercise education in Dubach, LA was funded. The Rural Development Center and Dr. Murimi are also planning to look at data that have come from a 2003 NRI grant they had on school nutrition programs to see what policy recommendations come from the data. The fourth research initiative is to conduct research and outreach to improve Louisiana's rural communities through economic development and the promotion of entrepreneurship. In order to carry out this goal the Rural Development Center will primarily partner with Dr. Dave Norris, the Director of College of Administration and Business' EDA-funded University Center and Kathy Wyatt, Director of the SBDC.

Progress 07/01/05 to 06/30/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: The Louisiana Tech University Rural Development Center actively pursues projects and collaborations that enhance rural community development in Louisiana. The Rural Development Center adopted the following research objectives: (1) serving as an information outlet for research relevant to rural community development in Louisiana by collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data and providing results to stakeholders; (2) engaging Louisiana Tech University faculty in research projects that have a direct benefit to rural Louisiana communities; and (3) developing relationships and partnering with external institutions and organizations to strengthen rural community development research efforts and effectiveness in Louisiana. Resource guides were developed for individuals and organizations assisting with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita evacuees. Through two related grants, the Animal Resource Kit (ARK) funded by Campus Compact and the Citizens Animal Rescue and Evacuation (CARE) project funded by the University of Louisiana System, training has been provided for citizens and students interested in caring for animals during an emergency situation, such as a hurricane. Rural businesses were introduced to basic e-commerce goals and terminology such as marketing and selling via the Internet and creating a user-friendly website. The Center hosted a community forum for Louisiana USDA Rural Development concerning USDA direct and guaranteed loans and grants, renewable energy and energy efficiency guaranteed loans and grants and Rural Business Enterprise, Rural Business Opportunity, and Value Added Producer Grants. In addition, the Center hosted an informational meeting for agricultural and commercial lenders in collaboration with the Louisiana USDA Farm Service Agency. Center staff hosted or participated in six workforce development forums. Selected papers related to workforce development were presented at the Mid Continent Regional Science Association Annual Meetings, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Regional Science Association Annual Meetings, Arlington, Virginia. Other Center activities included assistance with community broadband opportunity grant applications, rural business startup assistance, and first time rural home purchase assistance information. Center staff were also successful in obtaining a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant that will develop a rural development certification program for individuals working in the area of rural development. Center staff assisted Louisiana Tech University faculty in pursuing grant funding for novel methods of serum calcium monitoring in dairy cattle for early diagnosis of hypocalcemia. PARTICIPANTS: Partner organizations include the University of Louisiana System, which funded the Citizens Animal Rescue and Evacuation (CARE) grant program and the Louisiana Campus Compact, which funded the Animal Resource Kit (ARK) grant program. A faculty member at Grambling University partnered with Center personnel on a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant proposal that was funded in order to develop a certification program for rural development professionals. Workshop collaborators include the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development section of the Louisiana USDA, the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. Training and professional development activities included hosting the Farm Bureau Federation Ag in the Classroom training for elementary teachers and first responder Avian Influenza training with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences included north Louisiana poultry producers and other agricultural producers, agricultural lenders, hurricane or disaster responders, rural development professionals, and rural towns and villages and rural residents in north Louisiana. Workshops provided information or training on new Farm Bill issues, information on USDA loan and grant programs, and disaster response with respect to livestock rescue. Experiential learning opportunities were provided for students in Agricultural Sciences at Louisiana Tech University through the Citizens Animal Rescue and Evacuation (CARE) grant program. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Louisiana Rural Development Center activities impact rural communities, producers, rural businesses and organizations with overlapping or congruent missions. Website templates have been downloaded more than 200 times since November 2005 by rural communities. Approximately 230 people attended grant writing workshops during the project period. In the past year, individuals were assisted with information on grant applications for energy efficiency, value added agriculture, and dairy cattle research. Forty-six rural businesses, agricultural producers, and other individuals were educated about the availability of grants and loan guarantees related to USDA renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement programs. The Center has assisted three producers in obtaining Value-Added Producer Grants. More than 200 people have been screened for diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure and regular exercise groups are meeting in a rural community. Eighty rural businesses have been exposed to e-commerce marketing strategies that help bridge the geographic divide between rural businesses and potential customers. Individuals were assisted with information on grant applications for connecting downtown areas and pursuing construction of a recreational center in rural towns. The Center has participated in numerous national and statewide work force development forums and sponsored a local work force development forum that impacted 10 rural businesses.

Publications

  • Springer, J., Lusby, A., Leatherman, J., and Featherstone, K. 2007. Property Tax Lids and the Effects on Kansas. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 39(2):416.


Progress 07/01/06 to 06/30/07

Outputs
The Louisiana Tech University Rural Development Center actively pursues projects and collaborations that enhance rural community development in Louisiana. For FY 2006-07, the Rural Development Center adopted the following research objectives: (1) serving as an information outlet for research relevant to rural community development in Louisiana by collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data and providing results to stakeholders; (2) engaging Louisiana Tech University faculty in research projects that have a direct benefit to rural Louisiana communities; and (3) developing relationships and partnering with external institutions and organizations to strengthen rural community development research efforts and effectiveness in Louisiana. The Center participated in two related grant programs in FY 2006-07. The Animal Resource Kit (ARK) for Lincoln Parish is a service-learning project funded by Campus Compact which focuses on disaster preparedness and practice in non-emergency situations. The Center is coordinating with Louisiana Tech University faculty and students to prepare a resource guide for people with animals in evacuation situations, such as a hurricane. The guide will provide information on shelters for humans and animals, hotels, arenas, feed stores, restaurants, veterinarians, etc. The Center is providing technical assistance, assisting project participants with ICS-1000 training, and preparing for updates of the ARK directory beyond the time frame of the project. A related project funded by the University of Louisiana System, Citizens Animal Rescue and Evacuation (CARE), is providing training for citizens and students interested in caring for animals during an emergency situation, such as a hurricane. The Center is assisting with workshops and testing designed to certify participants in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Incident Command System. The Center also partnered with Louisiana USDA Rural Development in sponsoring a renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement workshop for agricultural producers, small businesses, and small electric utilities in rural areas. Selected papers related to rural e-commerce start-ups were presented at the Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky and at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Long Beach, California.

Impacts
Louisiana Rural Development Center activities impact rural communities, producers, rural businesses and organizations with overlapping or congruent missions. Individuals were assisted with information on grant applications for connecting downtown areas and pursuing construction of recreational centers in rural towns. The Center participated in a statewide work force development forum and then sponsored a local work force development forum that impacted 10 rural businesses or individuals. Thirty-eight rural businesses, agricultural producers, and other individuals were educated about the availability of grants and loan guarantees related to USDA renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement programs.

Publications

  • Watson, S., Nwoha, O., Kennedy, G., and Rea, K. 2006. The Delta E-commerce Connection: Preliminary Findings. Southern Rural Sociology. 21(1):25-36.


Progress 07/01/05 to 06/30/06

Outputs
The Louisiana Tech University Rural Development Center actively pursues projects and collaborations that enhance rural community development in Louisiana. For FY 2005-06, the Rural Development Center adopted the following research objectives: (1) serving as an information outlet for research relevant to rural community development in Louisiana by collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data and providing results to stakeholders; (2) engaging Louisiana Tech University faculty in research projects that have a direct benefit to rural Louisiana communities; and (3) developing relationships and partnering with external institutions and organizations to strengthen rural community development research efforts and effectiveness in Louisiana. Resource guides were developed for individuals and organizations assisting with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita evacuees and Louisiana producers interested in value added agriculture and direct marketing. Workshops conducted included two grant writing training sessions at Louisiana Tech University, a grant writing workshop at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Rural Development meeting in Louisville, Kentucky and a similar training at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Four major research initiatives were planned for 2005-06. The first initiative, evaluating and mapping the existing technical assistance infrastructure supporting rural communities in Louisiana, assisted the United Way in Louisiana in significantly revamping their 211 system, which is a directory of human service providers. The second initiative was to conduct research and outreach to improve early childhood education and daycare in rural Louisiana communities. The Center assisted the Childrens Coalition, a non-profit organization, in securing a Kellogg Grant to utilize the ECERS environmental rating scale methodology developed by researchers at the University of North Carolina to assess the current level of care at existing daycare facilities. This information will be used to help daycare providers improve their centers and develop a certification based on ECERS. The third initiative was to conduct research and outreach projects on the impacts that diet and nutrition education and obesity have on the well-being of rural children and others. The Center assisted the Louisiana Tech University School of Human Ecology and the Town of Dubach, Louisiana secure a grant from Health and Human Services to conduct health screenings and nutrition and exercise education in Dubach, Louisiana. The fourth initiative was to conduct research and outreach to improve Louisiana rural communities through economic development and the promotion of entrepreneurship. In collaboration with the Louisiana Tech University Department of Agricultural Sciences, 80 rural businesses were introduced to basic e-commerce goals and terminology such as marketing and selling via the Internet and creating a user-friendly website. In addition, an NRI-funded project to develop an index of rural community capacity that can identify the likelihood of economic viability is underway.

Impacts
Louisiana Rural Development Center activities impact rural communities, producers, rural businesses and organizations with overlapping or congruent missions. Website templates have been downloaded 119 times since November 2005 by rural communities. Approximately 130 people attended grant writing workshops during the past year. A local peach producer was assisted in applying for a USDA Value-Added Producer Grant in the spring of 2005. This proposal was funded, bringing Center-assisted total funded Value-Added Producer Grants up to three. More than 200 people have been screened for diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure and regular exercise groups are meeting in a rural community. Eighty rural businesses have been exposed to e-commerce marketing strategies that help bridge the geographic divide between rural businesses and potential customers.

Publications

  • Watson, S., Nwoha, O., Kennedy, G., and Rea, K. 2005. Willingness to pay for information programs about e-commerce: results from a convenience sample of rural Louisiana businesses. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 37:3(December):673-683.