Fresh from the Field, Oct. 11, 2018

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Fresh from the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by partners supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                    Oct.11, 2018

Success Stories 

NIFA Fresh from the Field USDA Photo by Lance Cheung

Rural Population Change in the United States

Rural areas comprise 72 percent of the nation’s land area and 46 million of its people. Rural America includes counties bordering suburbs, remote areas, agricultural regions, and areas that depend on manufacturing or tourism. Today, these areas are changing rapidly.

The Great Recession brought the collapse of the stock market, high foreclosure rates, falling housing prices, rising unemployment, and dramatic shifts in rural population trends. Land-grant university researchers and Extension are working with other universities, USDA’s Economic Research Service, and the U.S. Census Bureau to create a comprehensive picture of rural changes before, during, and after the Great Recession. They are also teaching rural residents, community leaders, government agencies, and non-profits how to access and use population data.

This collaborative multistate effort produced multiple studies that examined housing. Research showed subprime lending was more common in rural than urban areas, with lenders targeting remote areas with high minority populations, population loss, low housing values, and lower education levels. In Minnesota, research findings helped address problems with foreclosure. In Nevada, researchers taught the Reno Housing Authority about benefits and harms of dispersed low-income housing.

In addition, the multistate efforts studies showed that higher opioid abuse among rural adolescents is partly due to greater reliance on emergency rooms, where opioids are more often prescribed. 

NIFA supports this research through the Multistate Research Fund.

Read the complete Multistate Research Impacts statement. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

News Coverage

 Fresh from the Field NIFA Impacts USDA photo by Ken Hammond Kale

Making Vitamin K More Affordable

An innovative study promises to reduce production costs for the most potent form of Vitamin K — Menaquinone-7. Penn State researchers have developed a novel method to enhance the fermentation process that creates the supplement by agitated liquid fermentation in a biofilm reactor.

The new process, assuming it can be scaled up to industrial production, is important because recent studies conducted by universities in the Netherlands and UCLA School of Medicine, among others, show essential health benefits associated with large doses of Vitamin K — especially the Menaquinone-7 form, known as MK-7. These benefits include reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and strokes, osteoporosis, and even battling cancer.

Foods that are rich in Vitamin K — such as kale, red meat, and egg yolk — do not provide enough of the vitamin to achieve high-dose therapies, which will require supplements.

NIFA supports this research through the Hatch Act Funds.

Read the full story at Penn State. USDA photo by Ken Hammond.


Falita Liles Photo

Combating Opioids in Rural Communities

Tackling the opioid crisis requires education and action across various community sectors and by individuals, professionals, and families. The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and Purdue Extension host a quarterly webinar series, Combating Opioids, to share information, data, resources, and best practices or evidence-based interventions that can be implemented at the local level to make a difference in addressing opioid misuse and abuse, especially in rural communities. There have been over 575 participants from across the country on 5 webinars and over 1,000 views to archived presentations and materials housed on the project’s website. Photo by Falita Liles.

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Fresh From the Field NIFA Impacts Oct 11