Table 1. Northern Louisiana Rural Development Roundtable Results

Linda Benedict, Barnes, James  |  8/31/2007 2:29:28 AM

Education/Workforce Development


  • Re-brand education and workforce development as lifelong learning.
  • Redesign incentives for pay in K-12.
  • Improve access to technical training; provide bus service from high schools to technical colleges.
  • Establish technical skill clubs in high school to promote postsecondary education
  • Implement alternative learning approaches for high school mathematics, such as asking business leaders to teach for a day.
Research Needs
  • Successful high school redesign strategies for rural communities.
  • Analysis of present and future business trends.
  • Assess K-12 entrepreneurship coursework.
  • Conduct high school-technical college transportation feasibility study to reduce high school dropout rate.
  • Provide continuing education to improve production/profit for self-employed individuals in agriculture/agribusiness industry (timber production, beef cattle, poultry, truck crop farming), construction - carpenters, welders, air conditioning/refrigeration.
Extension Needs
  • Volunteer development programs.
  • More computer based learning opportunities for students and parents.
  • Technical assistance to rural business owners.
  • Assistance with estimating demand for products in rural areas (trends, analysis).
  • Consider using Small Business Incubator approach for rural entrepreneurship.
  • Grant writing.
  • Community strategic planning.
  • Provide access to community information from USDA and Census.
Economic Development

  • Review/study transportation projects that would result in economic prosperity for rural areas.
  • Support organizational development of value-added co-ops and product development for ethanol/biofuel possibilities.
  • Train members serving on school boards, police juries and other leaders in governance positions.
  • Promote regional planning and development of rural tourism.
  • Create a business incubator program in rural areas.
  • Reform zoning ordinances in rural areas to promote clean-up and growth.
Research Needs
  • Case studies: zoning versus non-zoning communities and economic performance.
  • Value-added agriculture opportunities (biofuels, ethanol).
  • Improve access to rural health care and rural health care delivery systems.
  • Labor market migration.
  • Factors affecting new business start-ups (regulation, tax incentives).
  • Assess the skill needs of large employers.
  • Alternative strategies to promote entrepreneur development for adults and youth.
  • How to improve access to Internet in rural areas.
Extension Needs
  • Assistance to communities with community planning.
  • Governance/leadership training program should target local problem solving and use of best practices in governance.
  • Assist rural tourism groups partnerships access to geographical and political boundaries.
  • Other than 4-H, have after-school technical skills program (carpentry, mechanics and technology).
  • Character building programs.
  • Assist with value-added agriculture development and conservation workshops.
Natural Resources and Environmental Management

  • Collaborative between government and LSU AgCenter to explore alternative land uses for farmers.
  • Increase awareness of solid waste management issues.
  • Access funding to improve rural water infrastructure and solid waste systems.
  • Promote environmental clean-up of land.
  • LSU AgCenter teach new land use techniques/crops/new uses for food/fuel.
Research Needs
  • Alternative methods of solid waste management.
  • New water delivery systems.
  • Support rural tourism.
  • Alternative land use practices for farmers to boost income and sustain rural communities.
Extension Needs
  • Entrepreneurial training for rural tourism ventures.
  • Demand analysis for small businesses (market research).
  • Public service announcements indicating LSU AgCenter services available in your region/state Public education on diversity and value of different areas of natural resources in rural areas.
  • State unification of programs or knowledge of what is done elsewhere in natural resource development.
  • Education for youth (lifelong): urban gardens, computer uses, recycling, other land uses, water conservation.
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