Fall 2011 RSP Newsletter
Regards to Rural Conference at OSU
The Rural Studies Program was co-sponsor for the recently completed Regards to Rural Conference. Nearly 500 people from 14 states gathered at the end of June in Corvallis to make Regards to Rural 2011 a huge success. Regards to Rural 2011 featured more than 50 sessions, workshops, and panels in addition to keynotes and networking opportunities. Presentations from Rural Studies faculty affiliates included: Faculty Affiliate Lena Etuk on Maximizing Local Benefit from Popular Rural Economic Development Strategies; Faculty Affiliate Bruce Sorte on Growing Jobs and Wealth: Economic Gardening in Oregon; and Faculty Affiliate Bruce Weber on Towards One Oregon: Mobilizing Community Conversations About Rural Urban Relationships.
International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Summer Institute in Norway
Rural Studies Faculty Affiliates Brent Steel and Bruce Weber, as well as students Rural Studies students Breannon Babbel, Sarah Cline, Misty Freeman, Terence Merritt, Ruby Moon, and Emily Wornell, recently participated in the 8th Annual International Comparative Rural Policy Studies (ICRPS) summer institute hosted by The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (NILF). The institute, held in the towns of Ås and Sogndal, Norway, was an intensive two weeks, in which students learned about Norway’s approach to a number of issues around rural policy and compared them to the policies of the United States and Oregon, as well as the thirteen other countries represented by the attendees.
In addition to learning through presentations by professors, public servants, and delegates from a number of Norwegian organizations, students took part in field visits to several sites in Oslo and in rural Norway, and finished the institute by completing a group project. Students worked in research groups to address issues identified by Sogn og Fjordane County, completing a comparative analysis report with suggestions for the county, which was presented to representatives from Sogn og Fjordane and local politicians. The 2012 Summer Institute will take place in Quebec, Canada.
Upcoming Food Security Summit at OSU
The Rural Studies Program is a co-sponsor for “Ending Hunger in Oregon: 2012 Food Security Summit" to be held January 19-20, 2012 in Corvallis.
The Oregon Hunger Task Force, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Oregon Food Bank, and Oregon State University will convene over 200 civic leaders, advocates, emergency food providers, students, and academics to assess progress toward eliminating hunger in Oregon, and to strategize next steps for cities, counties, and the state. This will not be merely a retelling of the problem, but will emphasize emerging new approaches and specific action steps available to everyone in their unique positions of influence. The program will run for 2 full days at the OSU campus. Details will soon be available on a conference website. Please pencil in this date now so you may join us.
Rural Studies Classes for 2011-2012
The Rural Studies Program will offer four courses for the 2011-2012 school year. RS 599 "Rural Poverty and the US Social Safety Net" will be offered Fall 2011; RS 512X “Introduction to Rural Studies” will be offered Winter 2012; RS 513X “Contemporary Rural Issues” and RS 599 "Introduction to Food Systems: Global, Regional, Local" will be offered in Spring 2012. These courses are offered as part of the Rural Studies Minor. No other university in the United States offers a graduate degree in Rural Studies. Currently offered through campus and field-based experiential education, the graduate minor in Rural Studies is designed to prepare students with the skills and competencies needed to understand economic, social, political and cultural dynamics of rural places.
Telling Stories with Numbers
The Rural Studies Program is co-sponsoring a new service to help people better understand their communities by using statistics and other numerical information. It’s called Telling Stories with Numbers: Community Profiles using Indicator Data and is a workshop aimed at municipal and county officials, non-profit organization staff, members of the business community, and other engaged citizens. Rural Studies Program Faculty Affiliate Vince Adams uses community indicator information from the Rural Communities Explorer to facilitate a discussion with workshop participants about where the community has been, where it is now, and where it may be headed. The community topics discussed in the workshop will be determined prior to the event itself, in conversation with workshop hosts and/or other workshop participants. These community profile talks are designed to be facilitated conversations that make looking at data approachable for anyone. The workshop has recently been held in Reedsport and Winston, with additional workshops planned for La Pine, Madras and Prineville.
RSP Faculty Affiliates in the News
RSP Faculty Affiliate Mark Edwards recently appeared on the Public Radio program Marketplace, discussing food insecurity. Prof. Edwards said that “even if you have people finding jobs, if those are not jobs that pay well, they may still remain food-insecure.”
RSP Faculty Affiliate Bruce Weber recently appeared as a guest on The Jefferson Exchange on Jefferson Public Radio to talk about the indications for the future or rural Oregon economies and communities in light of recent census data.
RSP Faculty Affiliate Bruce Sorte was recently quoted in the Medford Mail Tribune on an Oregon bill that would boost farm-to-school cafeteria programs.
Other Items of Interest
Rural Studies Faculty Affiliate Hannah Gosnell will be presenting “Exploring the Emotional Geographies of the Klamath Basin” on Monday, November 14, 2011 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM at Autzen House, 811 SW Jefferson Ave., Corvallis.
RSP Faculty Affiliates Mark Edwards and Bruce Weber, along with Suzanne Porter from the Oregon Department of Human Services, presented “The Impact of the Great Recession on Low-Income Households and the Food Assistance Safety Net in Rural and Urban Areas” at the 2011 Rural Sociology Society meetings held in Boise, ID.
Recent Rural Studies Program graduate Jesse Abrams is the editor of a new book entitled Human Dimensions in Ecological Restoration (also edited by Dave Egan and Evan Hjerpe). Jesse is currently a visiting instructor at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.
RSP Faculty Affiliate Hannah Gosnell recently published “Connecting children to the land: Place-based education in the Muddy Creek Watershed, Oregon” in the Journal of Geography.
RSP Faculty Affiliate Yong Chen presented on Exurban Land Development at the annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.