As communities struggle with increasingly complex social, economic and environmental issues related to sustainability they need the expertise of community development professionals now more than ever. Whether your expertise is in agriculture, natural resources, youth, family or economic development you will be asked to help guide a stakeholder group through a difficult decision making process. The Foundations of Practice course, Sustainable Communities, offers you the tools, skills and knowledge to be the trusted resource community groups need in the emerging dialogs around local foods, energy and natural resources.

Successful community sustainability initiatives rely on understanding systems thinking, sustainability models and the needs and conditions in your town, county, state or region. Tapping into a long legacy of one of the country's most respected organizations, this training, brought to you by the Cooperative Extension System and the Regional Rural Development Centers, provides the background, resources and strategies to support your work in communities.

Best of all, this program comes directly to you! Each week via Zoom and Moodle online, an Extension Specialist will deliver world-class training to you in your office, conference room or even home. Discussions and supplemental resources will be supported using a course website.

The eight-week series begins February 2, 2017. Each week features a 90-minute webinar focusing on timely topics including Energy, Local Foods, Built Environments, Mobility and Natural Resources. Supplemental resources and online discussion opportunities will be available on the course website. Participants can log in at their convenience to explore these topics further, pose questions, investigate additional resources and visit with colleagues in similar situations.

Sustainable Communities is an offering of the Foundations of Practice Program. It is appropriate for individuals who regularly work with community groups in any subject area and have a basic understanding of community development principles. If you find yourself called upon to facilitate community-based initiatives, or you just want to better understand how communities function, this course is for you!

The registration fee for this course is $125. Register by January 27, 2017 and enter the voucher code of sc101 in the checkout cart, and receive a $25 discount.  To purchase and enroll in the course, click this button:

For more information, contact Mary Peabody (Mary.Peabody@uvm.edu).



The audience for this course is Educators who want to improve their level of economic education and teaching practices. By taking this course, students will improve their critical thinking to become a “good economist” who is able to recognize good and bad economic thinking; improve in behaviors which increase lifetime wealth creation; understand and articulate answers to the essential questions of economics; recognize and produce good economics informational text; and improve in structuring learning experiences.

For more information or to enroll please contact:  Dr. Becky Smith, Mississippi State University Extension at becky.smith@msstate.edu

The audience for this course is: Transportation workers and others who need to flag traffic on public and private roadways in Nebraska.

By taking this course, students will learn: Participants will be able to successfully complete the required tasks of a flagger: Guide traffic through work areas; Protect workers; Prevent unreasonable delays for road users; and Answer motorists’ questions politely and knowledgeably.

For more information or to enroll please contact: Megan Patent-Nygren, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Local Technical Assistance
Program, mpatentnygren2@unl.edu

Understanding Communities and Their Dynamics is a facilitated course designed for individuals working in community development, either formally or informally, in any capacity. Participants will gain skill in uncovering and using data to determine changing conditions impacting your target audiences; get a better handle on the key components shaping the economic health of your community; and become familiar with the people, knowledge and resources to advance your community programs; and identify important challenges facing your communities.

NOTICE:  This course has been oversubscribed and is not taking any further enrollments at this time.

For more information email Mary.Peabody@uvm.edu.

The audience for this course is: County Tax Assessor Employees

For more information or to enroll please contact: Jason Camp,  Mississippi State University Extension Service, Jason.Camp@msstate.edu

The audience for this course is: Teachers and Extension personnel

By taking this course, students will learn: This curriculum is a set of lessons which teaches about the US federal budget, national debt, and budget deficit. Participants will also learn engagement strategies and network with other educators incorporating

For more information or to enroll please contact: Dr. Becky Smith at becky.smith@msstate.edu.

The audience for this course is: College students

By taking this course, students will learn basic economic community development and regional analysis

For more information or to enroll please contact: Dr. Becky Smith at becky.smith@msstate.edu 

This Self-directed course introduces fundamentals of ag supply cooperatives, which includes: cooperative principles, patronage refunds/finance, organizational structure, member and community benefits. For information contact Madeline Schultz: schultz@iastate.edu

Basic Radio 101 for North Dakota Emergency Responders is a self-directed course for paid and volunteer people who serve in EMS, law enforcement, firefighting and other first responder activities. Participants will learn how to use their radios appropriately, protocols to follow and how to troubleshoot common problems. For more information, contact Brenda Vossler, N.D. Department of Emergency Services training and exercise officer, at (701) 328-8106 or blvossler@nd.gov. For technical support, contact Becky Koch, (701) 231-7875 or becky.koch@ndsu.edu, with North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication.

Fundamentals of Agricultural Credit Analysis is a self directed course for beginning agricultural lenders and beginning farmers. In this course participants will learn how to analyze financial statements to make credit decisions. In addition, the farmer will learn how to use financial statements to make better management decisions.

For more information on this course or to enroll please contact: Ryan Larsen at ryan.larsen@ndsu.edu

Fundamentals of Agricultural Credit Analysis is a self directed course for beginning agricultural lenders and beginning farmers. In this course participants will learn how to analyze financial statements to make credit decisions. In addition, the farmer will learn how to use financial statements to make better management decisions. 

For more information on this course or to enroll please contact: Ryan Larsen at ryan.larsen@ndsu.edu

The primary audience for this course are people living or working in Waupaca County, WI. Participants will:

  1. Develop and strengthen personal and interpersonal effectiveness and decision making skills (including conflict resolution, public speaking, and public writing)
  2. Build organizational and community leadership skills
  3. Be exposed to a broad range of issues that sometimes challenge personal paradigms
  4. Build confidence in becoming a more active community member
  5. Become more prepared for positions of influence and decision making

For more information contact Jessica Beckendorf, University of Wisconsin - Extension, at Jessica.beckendorf@ces.uwex.edu

Living Sustainably: It's Your Choice is a course Presented by members of the National Network for Sustainable Living Education (an affiliate of the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals). For more information or to enroll contact Mark at mapel@cals.arizona.edu

The audience for this course is Educators who want to improve their level of economic education and teaching practices. By taking this course, students will improve their critical thinking to become a “good economist” who is able to recognize good and bad economic thinking; improve in behaviors which increase lifetime wealth creation; understand and articulate answers to the essential questions of economics; recognize and produce good economics informational text; and improve in structuring learning experiences.

For more information or to enroll please contact:  Dr. Becky Smith, Mississippi State University Extension at becky.smith@msstate.edu

Through this training you will learn about preparing and selling foods under the Michigan Cottage Food Law. The course reviews important food safety practices when preparing and selling food to the public. A certificate of completion is available for you to print after you have completed it, stating that you have taken food safety training related to the Michigan Cottage Food Law. 

The fee for this course is $10 payable via PayPal at the time you enroll in the course. To purchase and enroll in this course, please click here.

For more information about the course contact Jeannie Nichols, Michigan State University, nicho115@anr.msu.edu

There is rising interest in local foods as a way to stimulate community economic development  while also contributing to local farm viability, healthy eating habits among consumers, and community food security and resilience. Despite these trends, those working in local foods, and those interested in future work in local foods, often have not received formal training about interdisciplinary, systems approaches and existing research in this emerging field. In order to address this gap, this course will provide participants with an overview of local food systems research, as well as resources to support translation of research into practice using interdisciplinary, systems approaches.

For more information contact Joanna Lelekacs, North Carolina State University, joanna_lelekacs@ncsu.edu

For technical assistance please contact campushelp@extension.org

This course is intended to teach Extension Agents specific skills for Public Deliberation. This course is self-directed and agents are expected to complete all readings, view all PowerPoints and watch all videos. Please contact Blake Angelo if you have any questions at: blake.angelo@colostate.edu

Sustainable Communities: A Local Systems Approach to Planning is intended for all interested in community development and sustainability. The course will provide you with a systems perspective of community sustainability looking through the lens of some of the common topics that communities are facing today-- energy, local food, built environments, mobility, natural resources, capacity, and economic development. This Sustainable Communities course was previously a training program created by a task force of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) in partnership with the Foundation of Practice program and the eXtension Land Use Planning Community of Practice.

Course fee:  $20.  To purchase and enroll in this course, please click here.

If you have questions please contact Wayne Beyea, at beyea@msu.edu