NTAE: Building Grantsmanship Capacity Feature Story

The Southern Rural Development Center created a program to teach teams of 1890 land-grant university professionals and community members how to find, apply for, and manage grants to fund projects that address under-resourced communities’ most pressing needs. This publication briefly describes who participated in the training and what they learned. The publication is excerpted from the New Technologies for Ag Extension 2022-2023 Yearbook, which documents dozens of projects funded through the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) program. NTAE is a cooperative agreement between USDA NIFA, Oklahoma State University, and the Extension Foundation. The goal of the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) grant is to incubate, accelerate, and expand promising work that will increase the impact of the Cooperative Extension System (CES) in the communities it serves, and provide models that can be adopted or adapted by Extension teams across the nation.

Grant projects improve human, environmental, and community health.


Welcome. “Building Grantsmanship Capacity” is a publication of the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) program. This publication celebrates the accomplishments of a team at the Southern Regional Development Center, which received funding for this project in 2022-2023. NTAE is a grant program generously supported by the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and administered through a partnership between Oklahoma State University and the Extension Foundation (EXF). The primary objective of NTAE is to provide financial assistance to competitively selected Extension programs that align with the strategic goal and priority program areas of the USDA and the Extension Com- mittee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). Through this support, NTAE helps teams catalyze, accelerate, and expand their work in their respective fields. Since its inception in 2019, the NTAE program has successfully funded and supported a total of 72 projects and leaders. This includes collaborations with all Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) and ECOP Program Action Teams (PATs). Selected programs receive support for a period of one year. The project leader and their team are provided with invaluable mentoring from a team of catalysts, key infor- mants, and coaches from the EXF. This customized and innovative support model assists teams in exploring new possibilities, enhancing the intended impact of their projects, and sharing their work with a national audience. Additionally, each team receives additional resources and support to create materials and experiences that speed the development of their projects and bring about desired changes. The project showcased in this publication reflects the diversity and breadth of Extension disciplinary work and programming. In this publication, you will gain deeper insights into this exciting project, including the lessons learned, the project’s significance for Extension in a broader context, and what lies ahead for the team.

4 WAYS TO USE THIS PUBLICATION. 1. BE INSPIRED . Use our model to empower people in underserved communities in your state or region. 2. ADVOCATE. Show this publication to your Exten- sion Director and talk about how to use your educators’ expertise to enhance your institution’s public outreach. 3. SHARE. Share this publication with potential community partners who could help you build and scale a public-facing program. 4. GIVE FEEDBACK. Did this publication inform your Extension work? Share what you’ve


Editorial Staff Julie Halverson Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith Heather Martin Design & Production Dr. Rose Hayden-Smith Ellen P. Krugel Heather Martin


© Extension Foundation Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommer- cial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Published by Extension Foundation. Citations for this publication may be made using the following: Kansas City: Extension Foundation (2022). Building Grantsmanship Capacity (1st ed). ISBN: 978-1- 955687-34-8. This work, ISBN 978-1-955687-34-8, is supported by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020- 41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

John Green Director, Southern Regional Development Center (SRDC)

Rachel Welborn Associate Director, SRDC

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Building Grantsmanship Capacity in Underserved Communities Southern Rural Development Center (hosted by Mississippi State University) THE IMPETUS Grant funders want to support underserved communities, yet these communities often lack the knowledge and tech- nical expertise to take advantage of these opportunities. 1890 land-grant universities (LGUs) are in an ideal position to bridge this gap with communities, yet some 1890 staff also struggle with these skills. THE WORK To teach teams of 1890 LGU professionals and community members how to find, apply for, and manage grants to fund projects that address underserved communities’ most pressing needs. The Southern Rural Development Center, one of four Region- al Rural Development Centers funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, trained five teams of five people each (including at least one 1890 Extension profes- sional, one community member, and one 1890 student). Each team focused on a selected community in order to open doors to financial support for that community. This training series is unique because the teams have a real community identified along with a real problem they want to address—a tangible connection to learning that makes abstract principles more concrete. The training is separated into distinct modules taking place over time (approximately two weeks between), allowing the teams to apply a skill and get immediate feedback, rather than having to unpack a longer training received over a short period (such as a two-day intensive training).

WITH NTAE GRANT SUPPORT The project coaches chose five teams out of 10 applicants and worked with them to apply real-world grant skills to a specific tangible community need. Six training sessions were conducted, and each team was provided a place to create and share the different components as they were developed. The coaches will meet monthly with the teams at the close of the training series to provide feedback on proposals the teams are developing. This enables the five teams to engage in peer learning as they hear what other teams are doing. “Rachel and John are designing projects that will allow the 1890 institutions to fully participate in grant programs that will bring more funds to underserved communities.” —Dr. Dyremple Marsh, NTAE Catalyst THE VISION Underserved communities will increasingly have the funding they need to tackle such things as workforce development, health equity and well-being, broadband access, digital skill building, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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