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Family Economics News - October 2009

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) works with land-grant university partners and others to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities through national program leadership and federal assistance. Among the agency’s goals is to support increased economic opportunities and quality of life in rural areas. Family economics aligns with this goal by focusing on how individuals and families obtain and use resources such as money, time, human capital, material resources, and community services; by exploring the relationship between individuals and families and the larger economy; and by studying the impact of public issues, policies, and programs on family economic well-being.

Research/Program Evaluation

  • NIFA Quality of Life Portfolio

  • Real Money, Real World Evaluation

  • Consumer Action releases credit card survey


  • America Saves Week 2010

  • Financial Security eXtension Report


  • AARP Doughnut Hole Calculator

  • Health Status and Health Care Access of Farm and Rural Populations

  • “Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud”

  • New Initiatives for Retirement Savings


  • Call for Papers:

    • Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal

      Journal of Consumer Affairs

    • Journal of Personal Finance

    • Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning

    • The Journal of Youth Development

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues

    • W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Family Income and Assets

    • Family Relations - Special Issue

    • In Search of Social Wealth Conference Proposal

    • Eastern Family Economics and Resource Management Association

    • 2010 ACCI Annual Conference

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Family Business

    • CYFAR 2010

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Health, Economics, and Family Role

    • Annual Conference on Consumer Interest (ACCI)      

  • Funding:


    • Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant

    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation

    • Children, Youth and Families at Risk 4-H Military Partnership

    • The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB)

    • National Endowment for Financial Education®

    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    • FY 2009 AFRI RFA

    • MMI Financial Education Foundation



NIFA Quality of Life Portfolio

The National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (formerly CSREES) annually assesses, summarizes, and reports program results under portfolios. The NIFA Financial Security Program is reported under Knowledge Areas 801 Family Resource Management and 607 Consumer Economics within the Community Sustainability and Quality of Life Portfolio. The latest report, which includes a logic model, funding tables, and outcomes data on selected programs of national reach, is available online.

NIFA depends on its partners for information about outputs and outcomes. NIFA does not conduct research, education, and extension itself - it funds those activities through grants, primarily to land-grant universities. Among efforts highlighted in the report are America Saves, the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program, online outreach at eXtension, and multi-state research projects, such as NC-1172, The Complex Nature of Savings: Psychological and Economic Factors.

Real Money, Real World Evaluation

Real Money, Real World is a program that addresses youth financial literacy. Extension professionals at The Ohio State University created the curriculum to simulate real-life experiences to help make youth aware of the money management skills they need to be productive and successful adults. In a 2007 statewide evaluation, data showed that the program made a dramatic difference in raising youths’ awareness about the costs to maintain a household, as well as awareness of the interrelationships of education, job, and money. A 2009 follow-up study explored the extent to which participants in the Real Money, Real World program made changes in their behaviors.


Consumer Action releases credit card survey

Students at Virginia Tech, under the direction of Associate Professor Irene Leech, collected data about rates and fees charged consumers for the 2009 Credit Card Survey, conducted annually by Consumer Action. Fees and interest rates have increased, according to the study. Results can be useful in making informed decisions about credit card use.



America Saves Week 2010
Planning has begun for America Saves Week 2010, February 21- 28, 2010. America Saves Week is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups help individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, America Saves assists those who wish to pay down their debt, build an emergency fund, or save for a home, education, or retirement. Cooperative Extension is a key partner. Visit the CSREES America Saves Week Web site for resources such as the Extension Educators’ Fact Sheet, the America Saves Impact Report, and more.   
Financial Security eXtension Report

Since the public launch in February 2008, the Financial Security for All eXtension Community of Practice has reached out with personal finance information.  The COP leadership team developed a status report to share some highlights of the outreach of this community of practice, such as the number of frequently asked questions, how often the Ask-an-Expert function is used, and page visits.


AARP Doughnut Hole Calculator

Each year, an estimated 3 million-plus older Americans fall into the “doughnut hole”—a coverage gap in Medicare’s prescription drug program that leaves individuals on the hook for all of their own drug costs while they are still paying premiums.  The AARP Doughnut Hole Calculator can help you find options to save money and potentially avoid this dreaded coverage gap. The calculator guides you through your prescription drug options using localized information to determine if or when you will fall into the coverage gap. You can view a graph of your out-of-pocket spending by month, look up lower-cost drugs for any health condition, create a medication record, and print out personalized letters to your doctors to help start a conversation about safely switching prescriptions.

Health Status and Health Care Access of Farm and Rural Populations

Health care access and health status are a particular concern in rural areas, where the population is older, has lower education and income levels, and is more likely to be living in medically underserved areas. Information on current geographic and demographic disparities in both health outcomes and access to high-quality and cost-effective health care can aid in the design and implementation of effective policy solutions. An Economics Research Service report focuses on the health status and health care access of members of the nation’s rural households and farm-operator households in comparison with those of urban and nonfarm households.

“Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud”

Visit to watch a preview ofTricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud, a free 60-minute documentary on preventing investment fraud. The video uncovers the persuasion tactics that con artists use to defraud their victims through compelling stories of victims and perpetrators. It also teaches the basic defenses investors can use to guard against fraud.  Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud was developed by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation in partnership with AARP.

New Initiatives for Retirement Savings

From, Retirement and Savings Initiatives – Helping Americans Save for the Future, get details on automatic enrollment; receiving your tax refund as U.S. savings bonds; saving payments you would receive for unused vacation or other similar leave; rolling over retirement distributions in IRAs or other plans; understanding retirement plan options; and life events that can affect retirement savings.


  • - this is your source to find and apply for more than 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies.
  • Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant. The deadline to apply is October 5, 2009. Proposals must be submitted through an online template.
  • FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The deadline to apply for June 2010 funding is November 5, 2009.
  • Children, Youth and Families at Risk 4-H Military Partnership. Deadline is July 31, 2009
  • The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is accepting applications for a 5-year demonstration projects targeted to young people ages 16-21 in rural areas (including tribal lands and other rural Native communities. Deadline is August 3, 2009.
  • National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) - the deadline for NEFE’s April 2010 grant cycle is December 1, 2009. To learn more about the NEFE grants program, visit the NEFE Web site and click on the Grantmaking section.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - grantees provide financial literacy training to enable low-income individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Deadline is June 25, 2009.
  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative AFRI FY 2009 RFA - the deadline for FY 2009 AFRI competitive grants programs RFA is September 30, 2009. Visit to see the synopsis and application package.
  • MMI Education Foundation - the foundation uses its resources to serve the public interest and strengthen the communities where we live and work. The foundation provides periodic announcements and grant guidelines.





  • CSREES Contact: Jane Schuchardt, National Program Leader, CSREES-USDA

  • eXtension (pronounced ee-eXtension) Financial Security for All provides reliable, research-based, and up-to-date financial and consumer information, including learning lessons, fact sheets, and unbiased peer-reviewed answers to frequently asked questions. Consumers can access eXtension 24/7/365 on any Internet-ready device.
    Contact: Debra Pankow, family economics specialist, North Dakota State University, or go to and click on Personal Finance.

  • National Initiative "Financial Security in Later Life" Contact: Nancy M. Porter, Family Resource Management Specialist, Clemson University

  • Financial Literacy for Youth Contact: Erica Tobe, Program Leader for Youth Financial Literacy, Michigan State University Extension

Back issues of Family Economics News
are available.

To submit items for consideration for this newsletter, contact Jim Terry, Program Analyst, CSREES-USDA.

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