Community and Economic Development

Community and Economic Development

Regional Partnerships

In the fall of 2015, USDA-RD Area Director, Joe De Ochoa, received a “why is your area not making very many grants for the elderly and disabled home renovation program?”. Since I was in his office, he looked to me for an answer and suggestion.  I determined the limited “in-house” staff was overextended and outreach [...]

Williams and Conner Beef Jerky

While working with a client in Zavala County, a USDA “meat inspector” question came up, and having a “friend to call”, I initiated contact. During the conversation, we spoke of “the old days” when I helped launch their business (from cooking in their home kitchen to a state of the art processing facility). As we [...]

How to Use E-commerce for Online Markets

Traditional retail business models are changing rapidly with growth through online sales referred to as e-commerce. E-commerce has changed the way consumers shop and purchase from brick and mortar stores. A storefront is no longer an absolute requirement for having a successful business. E-commerce has opened doors for entrepreneurs and limited resource individuals with little [...]

Hurricane Harvey and Cooperative Extension’s Response

There are a lot of people affected by Hurricane Harvey that need help with their paperwork and follow up. It is not clear why flood victims are receiving denial and cancelation letters. The Cooperative Extension Program is looking to help people affected by flood navigate the systems. The unit is working on alleviating some of [...]

The Art of the Startup: Startup Stories Event 2017

November is recognized as National Entrepreneurship Month. According to the US Department of Commerce, "entrepreneurs are responsible for virtually all new job growth across the county." However, local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to transform from within by providing jobs, products and services to limited resource communities. The Community and Economic Development Unit of the Cooperative [...]

Liberty County Agent James Motton assists family in home repair following Housing Workshop

Liberty County residents are thankful today since learning of the valuable resources available through USDA and the Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program in Liberty County. Before Hurricane Harvey, Community and Economic Development specialist and county agents organized a series of home buying and home repair seminars educating the public on the resources available [...]

Hurricane Response in Liberty Texas

Ten days after Hurricane Harvey Liberty County, Community & Economic Development extension agents took the lead in organizing and responding to the hurricane victims.  The agents provided thousands of residents with blankets, toiletries, water, gift cards, shoes, clothes, cleaning supplies, food, gift cards, temporary housing and other supplies. Local churches, community organizations, and businesses reinvested [...]

Hurricane Harvey Evacuee Gladys Renee Cotton Grabbed What She Could

The wrath of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, has affected many. It hit the Lone Star State on August 25 with winds reaching 130 miles per hour. According to the National Weather Service, the Houston area received more than 50 inches of water, translating the rainfall into an unprecedented flood. More than 24.5 trillion [...]

Grand Reopening of Harris County Bear Creek Extension Office Held

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Harris County Bear Creek Extension Office on December 2, 2016. The building had been closed for many months after a flood in the spring.  The College of Agriculture and Human Sciences was highlighted. Administration and staff from both agencies were present, in [...]

Extension Housing Fair Helps Homeowners

The Cooperative Extension Program held its 4th Annual Housing Fair this past spring. Although heavy flooding prevented a large turnout, there were 67 attendees. Nine industry groups were on hand at the fair to educate the public about programs available. Participants found especially useful the information regarding the annual federal income tax credit of up [...]