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Click here to see this online
 
 
 

March 19, 2021

 

 
 
Federal Register 
 

The Conversation reports that about 46 million Americans – 14% of the nation’s inhabitants – are currently classified as living in rural areas. That number could jump to 64 million – an increase of nearly 40%. The federal government classifies communities’ characteristics based on their populations, according to a definition created by the federal Office of Management and Budget. The main dividing line is between communities – which include both towns and cities and their surrounding counties – with more than 50,000 people and those with fewer than that number. Over the past 70 years, the number of areas with at least that many people has increased from 168 to 384 as small towns have grown into small cities. The government uses three categories – “metropolitan,” “micropolitan” and “outside a core based statistical area.” However, most government agenciesresearchersadvocates and media outlets use these classifications to sort communities into two groups – equating “metropolitan” with “urban” and the other two categories together as “rural.” Making the proposed change would mean 144 areas with populations between 50,000 and 100,000, and the 251 counties they occupy, would no longer be classified as “metropolitan,” but rather as “micropolitan” – and therefore effectively rural. The Office of Management and Budget is accepting comments about this proposed change until March 19.

 

 
 
 PCs4PPL
 

Illinois has launched a statewide network that will receive, refurbish and redistribute used computers for those in need. Over 1.1 million Illinois households lack at-home computer access and this initiative aims to help bridge the digital divide for equitable advances in remote learning, work from home, telemedicine, and other requirements of everyday life. The Connect Illinois Computer Equity Network will put upgraded devices into the hands of Illinois families in need by hosting community distribution events across the state in 2021. Check for a distribution event near you. The list will be updated as events are scheduled across the state. Illinois is the first to develop a statewide computer equity network devoted to collection of used computers from public and private sectors – matched with a state contribution as well – for a multi-year commitment to distribute tens of thousands of upgraded devices for Illinois households. The Illinois Office of Broadband will leverage ongoing digital equity and infrastructure programs to maximize the impact of the computer equity network and to help close the digital divide in Illinois.

 

 
 
AAEA 
 

The structure of American agriculture and the food industry is increasingly scrutinized by consumers. With farmers being the foundation of the industry, this begs the question, what does the average consumer think the farmer is worth? Using data from a nationally representative survey of 998 American consumers, this data visualization presents a picture of the consumer perspective on the farmer’s value in the overall food chain using the USDA ERS measure of the farmer’s share of the food dollar. Values are compared across different types of products and certifications and show consumers value farmers differently. This data visualization aims to cultivate a deeper understanding of the consumer’s view of the food supply chain and the relative importance of the role the farmer plays.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 LGE Webinar Series
 

The University of Illinois Extension is hosting a free online webinar with Karen Stallman, an agriculture resource specialist, at noon on March 30 to discuss the Farm and Family Resource Initiative program. The initiative provides a helpline for farmers and provides outreach, education, and training. Registration is required.

If you will need an accommodation in order to participate, please email the contact Nancy Ouedraogo, Illinois Extension community and economic development specialist at esarey@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow enough time to meet your access needs.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

March 30 (Webinar) - Farm Family Resource Initiative

April 9 -Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (IRAI) Public Meeting

June 18 or June 25 – Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

 
 
 
 
 

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