Back to top


Subscribe to RSS news feed

Large-Scale Solar Information and Research Needs for New York State

May 17, 2018

CaRDI Reports Issue 18 / May 2018
By Jennifer Ifft (PI), Travis Grout, David Kay, Dylan Bugden, Frieda Kay, David Lane, Chris Rondem, Richard Stedman, Jeff Sward, and Max Zhang

New York State is pursuing an ambitious goal to source 50% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030.  In this CaRDI Report we identify unanswered questions and information needs that are central to New York meeting its renewable energy goals while supporting sustainable, prosperous communities. Read more

Comparing Millennials to Baby Boomers in New York State

Feb 9, 2018

Much has been written about how Millennials differ from previous generations, especially with regards to social media, consumption patterns, social mores, technology and more. The term Millennial generally refers to the demographic cohort born in years ranging from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Using 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau for New York State, we compare Millennials to younger Baby Boomers, a cohort aged 25-34 years old in 1990. We discover significant differences. Read more

Opioids in our Communities: Drug Overdose Deaths in New York State

Nov 28, 2017

Drug overdose deaths have risen steadily in recent years, becoming the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 60% of overdose deaths involve the use of opioids. In New York State (NYS), drug overdose deaths increased by 20% between 2014 and 20152, but declined again between 2015 and 2016. While drug use and drug overdoses have long been viewed as primarily an urban issue, drug overdose death rates in large central metropolitan areas were surpassed in 2008 by rates in less densely populated areas. Opioid and other drug use has been linked to several factors, including social, cultural, and economic stressors. Read more

Building Sustainable Communities; Global Forces, Local Focus

Aug 16, 2017

September 28 & 29 - Cornell University
How do global trends in immigration, climate change, fiscal stress, food systems, and inequality impact local communities?
How are communities in New York State responding?
What new research, policies & practices enhance community sustainability? Read more

Exploring Job-to-Job Flows In and Out of New York State

Jul 20, 2017

Issue Number 78/June 2017. Robin Blakely-Armitage and Jan Vink, Cornell University

When people change jobs, they often do so in order to increase earnings, particularly younger workers. Other job transitions are due to firm relocation, firings or other separations, and may occur to or from unemployment status. In the United States, there is a tremendous amount of worker reallocation, with significant movement across state lines. The Census Bureau provides data on job transitions (job-to-job flows) and has recently developed a user-friendly interface to track these movements. This unique data allows a comprehensive look at the reallocation of workers across different sectors and regions of the U.S. economy. Connecting employment by industry and the flows of workers across state lines provides valuable information for economic and workforce development initiatives. The left side of the chart below shows the number of people leaving their jobs in a particular industry and moving away from New York State (NYS), compared to the number of people moving to NYS and entering a job in that same industry (right side). For example, between 2010 and the 3rd quarter of 2015, about 28,000 people working in manufacturing in NYS left the state to work elsewhere, compared to 22,500 who moved to NYS and were hired into manufacturing jobs. For more data and tools on job-to-job transitions, please visit: Read more

Mexican Consulate Middletown, August 2-4, 2017

Jul 13, 2017

Hours:  9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Agri-Business Child Development
47 Academy Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940
Passports, consular registration and birth registration
Telephone: 1-877-639-4835
Appointments available approximately 2 weeks before the event
For more information: Read more

Mexican Consulate Sodus, August 2-4, 2017

Jul 13, 2017

St. John's Episcopal Church
54 West Main Street
Sodus, NY 14551
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Telephone: 1-877-639-4835
Appointments available approximately 2 weeks before the event
For more information:
  Read more

Mexican Consulate Albany, August 16 - 18, 2017

Jul 13, 2017

Civic Center
230 Green Street
Albany, NY 12202
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Passports, consular registration and birth registration
Telephone: 1-877-639-4835
Appointments available approximately 2 weeks before the event
For more information:
  Read more

Mexican Consulate Rochester, August 30 to September 1, 2017

Jul 13, 2017

Iberian-American League Action
817 East Main Street
Rochester, NY 14605
Hours 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Passports, consular registration and birth registration
Telephone: 1-877-639-4835
Appointments available approximately 2 weeks before the event
For more information:
  Read more

Mexican Consulate Geneva, July 12 to 14

Jul 13, 2017

Geneva Community Center
160 Carter Road
Geneva, NY 14456
Passports, consular registration and birth registration
Telephone: 1-877-639-4835
Appointments available approximately 2 weeks before the event
For more information:
  Read more

Mexican Consulate in Newburgh, NY, From Tuesday 11 to Friday 14 July, 2017

Jun 6, 2017

Passports, consular registration and birth registration.
Saint Patrick's Church, 156 Liberty Street, Newburgh, NY 12550

Public attention from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Please make your appointment at Mexitel:
Telephone: 1-877-639-4835
Appointments available approximately 2 weeks before the event
For more information about requirements, prices and other venues visit:

  Read more

Re-plumbing New York State’s Roadside Ditches: Identifying a Critical Role for Decision-Makers

May 31, 2017

By Rebecca Schneider, Anthony Johnson, David Orr, Shorna Allred, and Sara Davis, Cornell University, Issue Number 78/May 2017

The quantity and quality of New York State’s (NYS) water resources have significant consequences for our economy, community well-being, and overall environmental sustainability. Recent analysis has highlighted the critical role that roadside ditches play in flooding, water pollution, and stream dry-outs. In NYS, networks of ditches crisscross the landscape, intercepting runoff from adjacent watersheds, rapidly shunting it farther down in the stream channel network where it is discharged as a high velocity faucet1. These inputs increase the magnitude of stream heights and peak water discharges by as much as 300 percent, contributing to flooding. Ditches are also highly efficient and rapid conduits of sediments, nutrients, de-icers, and fecal coliforms from adjacent land activities to downstream drinking water supplies2. Ditches are a significant source of sediment to streams and lakes when highway staff overscrape them and leave the bottom substrates exposed and unvegetated. As pressures from climatic extremes increase, the need for more thoughtful management of water resources and the role of roadside ditches is essential. Read more

Data Profiles to Better Understand Your Community

Apr 17, 2017

Issue 77/April 2017
by Jan Vink and Robin Blakely-Armitage, Cornell University
Data can help us better understand the past, current and future trends facing our communities. This information is vital for community leaders interested in responding to challenges, building capacity, and maximizing opportunities. Sharing community-level data can help foster discussions about these trends, shape a community’s goals and priorities, and determine how to best measure progress. Creating a community profile to initiate such discussions is a good first step, but with the wealth of data now available on-line, the task can be overwhelming and even intimidating. Fortunately, new data tools, interfaces, and programs exist that simplify the process for many new users. Read more

Local Government Capacity to Respond to Environmental Change: Insights from Towns in New York State

Apr 14, 2017

By Lincoln R. Larson ● T. Bruce Lauber ● David L. Kay ● Bethany B. Cutts, Environmental Management, 12 April 2017
Local governments attempting to respond to environmental change face an array of challenges. To better understand policy responses and factors influencing local government capacity to respond to environmental change, we studied three environmental issues affecting rural or peri-urban towns in different regions of New York State: climate change in the Adirondacks (n = 63 towns), loss of open space due to residential/commercial development in the Hudson Valley (n = 50), and natural gas development in the Southern Tier (n = 62).  Read more

Fractured Promises or Flourishing Dreams? Leaseholder Perceptions of “Fracking” in Northern Pennsylvania

Apr 13, 2017

By David Kay, Dylan Bugden, and Rich Stedman, Cornell UniversityWhat is the Issue?
Recently, new oil and gas reserves in the U.S. Northeast’s Marcellus shale region were unlocked through “high volume hydraulic fracturing” (“fracking”) of subsurface rock. As technology evolved and prices increased, these resources became economically accessible, drawing industry to the region. Chesapeake Energy Corporation, one of the leading natural gas companies, initiated what they referred to as a “land grab” in a race to lock up access to the valuable resource. Other companies followed suit.
In the Northeast, mineral rights are typically owned by private Read more

Guatemalan Consulate postponed. Mexican Consulate upcoming in July

Apr 5, 2017

Please note: The Guatemalan consulate scheduled for June 10, 2017 in Lansing has been postponed.  This page will be updated when a new date is announced.

The Mexican Consulate hosted by the Cornell Farmworker Program will take place as scheduled on July 12. 13 & 14, 2017 in Geneva. 

Details for both events will be posted on this website

Planning for the 2020 Census: Counting New Yorkers Where they Live

Mar 31, 2017

Issue Number 76/February 2017
by Jan Vink and Robin Blakely-Armitage, Cornell University

Since 1790, the United States has conducted a census of the population every ten years, as required by the U.S. Constitution. The upcoming 2020 census will be the nation’s 24th. The goal of the Decennial Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. This means that the Census is not just about counting people, it’s about counting people where they live. Read more

The Food Almanac: Are Good, Clean, and Fair Food and Farming Trumped?

Feb 16, 2017

When: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Contact: Tatiana Orlov,
Since 1818, farmers have relied on the Farmers' Almanac for uncannily accurate weather predictions to inform their planting, harvesting, and day-to-day living. In 2017, Slow Food New York City will sponsor the Seventh Food Almanac, a food and farming prognostication inspired by the Farmers' Almanac. Read more

Post-Recession Financial Strategies for Households: How to Deal with Debt

Dec 15, 2016

For two decades prior to the Great Recession, U.S. households steadily amassed significant amounts of debt and eroded their liquid asset holdings. By 2007, households were increasing debt at a rate equivalent to 6% of aggregate consumption every year. The Great Recession, which hit the U.S. and global economy in 2007, had an enormous impact on U.S. household finances. The financial crisis caused large drops in income with American median household income  declining by over 4%. Read more

Defining the Rural Wealth Impacts of Regional Food Systems

Sep 27, 2016

Policymakers increasingly view local and regional food systems as a priority for supporting rural development in America. Between 2009 and 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invested more than $1 billion in over 40,000 local food systems projects.1 However, our ability to assess the impacts of these investments is still limited. Most existing measurement efforts focus on short-term economic impacts, but growth-focused indicators shed little light on changes to wider notions of wealth and wellbeing in rural communities. If researchers can develop more comprehensive ways to measure the broader impacts of local and regional food systems, policymakers and extension educators can more effectively design and target rural community development support. Read more

Living with Water: Integrating Community Sustainability and Resilience

Aug 2, 2016

What is the Issue?
Over half of the world’s human population now lives in urban areas, and an estimated 30% to 40% of greenhouse gases produced worldwide are attributed to cities. While cities are major drivers of environmental and social change in global systems, their geography and density also make them vulnerable to stressors ranging from climate change and pollution to chronic poverty and crime. The problem is particularly acute in thousands of smaller U.S. cities that lack the technical and fiscal capacity to strengthen their aging social and infrastructure systems. Understanding the resilience of cities can help inform and guide local governments onto a more sustainable trajectory of development. Read more

Community Wellbeing Indicators, Beyond GDP

Jun 1, 2016

By Yunji Kim [1], Cornell University

Improving human wellbeing is a goal of most communities and nations around the world. But how do we measure it? Since the Great Recession, gross domestic product (GDP) and other growth-centric frameworks have been critiqued as not adequately capturing social welfare or progress. For example, while the GDP in the U.S. has recovered and continues to grow in recent years, unemployment and poverty remain above pre-Recession levels.

What we measure and how we measure it matters, because our goals are often specified and evaluated by these indicators. Scholars and policymakers have suggested alternative measures of progress, such as community wellbeing.
  Read more

CaRDI roundtable addresses ‘dire’ rural health challenges

May 23, 2016

CaRDI was featured in the Cornell Chronicle this week.

The need to foster healthier rural communities informed discussion at a recent research roundtable, “Enhancing Community Impacts of School-Based Health Clinics in Rural New York.” Hosted by the Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI), the roundtable explored interventions, including parent education, that Cornell research and outreach could assist with, beginning with two rural counties. 

The motivation for the project, CaRDI co-faculty director and associate professor John Sipple said, was an email he received in 2014 from a Bassett Healthcare Network pediatrician, noting “profound poverty” as an obstacle to school-based clinical services having much impact on rural children. Read more Read more

CaRDI Research Roundtable: video

May 9, 2016

Enhancing Community Impacts of School-Based Health Clinics in Rural New York
Monday, May 9th 2016
401 Warren Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Watch the video at

While school-based health clinics (SBHCs) are effective for individual children, their impact on the families and communities in which these children reside is frustratingly poor. In partnership with the Bassett Healthcare System in Otsego and Chenango counties, our project explores community-based interventions designed to expand the impact of these clinics in communities increasingly challenged by poverty, addiction, and lack of access to health care. Our goal is to enhance the culture of health and improve quality of life in rural New York State communities. Read more

Net-Zero Energy Building Design training

Apr 12, 2016

Net-Zero Energy Building Design 
Monday, May 9, 2016 - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 
This two-day training will focus on design and construction details to achieve net-zero energy use in new buildings. Join Ian Shapiro, founder of Taitem Engineering and co-author of the book Green Building Illustrated (Wiley, 2014) and author of the recently released Energy Audits and Improvements for Commercial Buildings (Wiley, 2016) and Liz Walker, co-founder of EcoVillage Ithaca, and Executive Director of its educational arm, Learn@Ecovillage, as they address fundamentals and strategies for zero energy design. Ecovillage and cohousing concepts will be covered as well as site visits to homes and commercial community buildings at Ecovillage's three cohousing neighborhoods, emphasizing different green building approaches, styles and details, culminating in the newest neighborhood called TREE, one of the largest Passivhaus developments in North America, which includes a number of net zero homes. 

A limited number of scholarships are available for students, women and low-income participants. Contact Liz Walker (info below) to apply.
The buildings at EcoVillage and the Net Zero event will be recognized nationally with a Brazilian TV Station RedeTV! on a television program called Good News. They will show examples of creative solutions to the social, environmental, and economic crisis that our planet faces.
Liz Walker, co-founder, EcoVillage Ithaca
Executive Director, Learn@EcoVillage
  Read more

Paula Horrigan wins Engaged Faculty award

Apr 12, 2016

Paula Horrigan was presented with the George D. Levy Faculty Award from Cornell's Engaged Learning + Research Unit. She won for her work with the Cornell Rust to Green (R2G) program, which she founded, continues to lead and which, through its sustained work in Utica NY, "has been producing ever more relational synergy and integration between university and community engaged educational, research and knowledge spaces." Paula is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and CaRDI’s director of Rust to Green at Cornell.

Paula is the second CaRDI faculty member in two years to win this award. Read more

The Economic Implications of Using NYS Farm Products in School Lunches

Apr 1, 2016

Research & Policy Brief / Issue 72 / April 2016
By Brad Rickard, Todd Schmit, and Pam Shapiro, Cornell University

A significant amount of food is sourced for school lunches in New York State (NYS), which is procured at a cost of more than $366 million for 281.6 million school lunches per year. Food service directors currently source food through collective bids and pooling purchases, where they are encouraged to purchase locally- produced foods, but they are not mandated or incentivized to do so. Recently, there has been interest in finding ways to increase the proportion of local food in school lunches, which is expected to increase revenues for local farmers and related businesses. Unfortunately, the directors of school lunch programs face very tight budgets, and many are not able to spend additional money to procure local foods.

One way to encourage food service directors to procure more local foods is to offer reimbursements to compensate for the added costs of purchasing local food ingredients. A group of Cornell University researchers has evaluated the benefits and costs of potential proposals that seek to incentivize local food purchases in NYS school districts. Findings from this research suggest that if NYS lawmakers provide an additional $0.05-per- lunch subsidy incentive to food service directors that use local fruits or vegetables one day per week (e.g., “Thursday is Eat NY Day”), it would likely have an overall positive economic effect for farmers and local economies in NYS. Read more

CaRDI at ANREP-NACDEP Conference

Mar 7, 2016

CaRDI faculty at Extension's ANREP/NACDEP Joint Conference
This June, our colleagues David Kay, Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, and Robin Blakely-Armitage will be presenting three sessions at the 2016 Joint Annual Conference of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) and the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals (ANREP). We'll post more about our presentations soon, but for now you can learn more about the conference or register here.

June 26-29, 2016
Burlington, Vermont Read more

Spanish-speaking Winter Fruit Schools announced

Feb 4, 2016

Cornell Farmworker Program at 2016 CCE Lake Ontario Fruit School

A partnership between the Cornell Farmworker Program and CCE-LOF (Lake Ontario Fruit) addresses labor training needs of the Western NY Fruit Industry by introducing Spanish-speaking commercial arm workers to basic and applied pomological and pest management concepts and modern apple pruning and irrigation practices in the Spanish language.

As part of the program, Cornell Farmworker Program Director, Mary Jo Dudley, will also offer an interactive workshop about how farmworkers and farm managers can deal with workplace challenges, called "Sugerencias para crear buenas relaciones en el trabajo" or  "Tips for Creating Positive Workplace Relations". 

The 2016 CCE-LOF Spanish-speaking Winter Fruit Schools will be on February 23 at Zingler Farms, Inc., Kendall (Orleans County), NY, and on February 24 at KC Bailey Orchards, Inc., Williamson (Wayne County), NY. Read more

Creative Placemaking: Linking Arts, Culture, and Community Development

Feb 1, 2016

Research & Policy Brief / Issue 71 (download PDF)
By Paula Horrigan, Cornell University

It is a familiar scenario in the downtowns of many “rust belt” cities across the Northeast: Oneida Square in Utica, New York, lacks social activity and aesthetic appeal, there are few places to sit or safely walk, and it is known around town as an unwelcoming and unsafe place. This area of Utica has seen some recent infrastructure upgrades—a roundabout, new sidewalks, and lighting—but it still falls dramatically short in the neighborhood and city’s eyes. Utica and underserved neighborhoods like Oneida Square bear a visible legacy of disinvestment, urban decay, and public spaces that prioritize automobiles over people.

Yet Oneida Square is a home to one of Utica’s most diverse downtown neighborhoods in a city hoping to benefit from the trend of people returning to cities. Cities rich in arts and culture attract people because of their quality of life, character, and opportunities for participation and investment. A growing movement called creative placemaking puts arts and culture at the center of community development efforts. Utica’s Oneida Square has been the focus of recent creative placemaking activities that have had positive effects on the neighborhood. Read more

Info Session for Farmworker Program Internships

Jan 31, 2016

On Monday, February 8, Mary Jo Dudley of the Cornell Farmworker Program will hold an informational session for students interested in the CFP Internship Program. Join us!

Information Session Details:
Monday, February 8, 2016
4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Latino Studies Program Conference Room
434 Rockefeller Hall

Please contact Mary Jo Dudley ( or visit the CFP Internships page for more information. Read more

Mary Jo Dudley, Cornell Farmworkers Program receives award from Park Foundation

Jan 21, 2016

The Cornell Farmworkers Program received an award from the Park Foundation for Addressing Farmworkers' Needs in Tompkins County. These funds will support collaborations with farmworkers in addressing their social, geographic, and linguistic isolation through on-farm workshops and gatherings. For more information, please contact Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworkers Program, at Read more

Informational Sessions: CALS NYS Internships

Jan 20, 2016

CALS NYS Internship Program

Please join our Program Coordinator for one of our upcoming informational sessions

Info Session #1:
Tuesday, February 2, 12 – 1 p.m.
B73 Warren Hall

Info Session #2:
Thursday, February 4, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
B73 Warren Hall Read more

Conservation and Land Use: Linking Municipal Capacity and Biodiversity Outcomes

Dec 16, 2015

Research & Policy Brief / Issue 70  (download PDF)

From zoning to wetland protection to decisions about  how to allocate land for open space or development, municipal governments make decisions that can significantly impact habitat and natural areas. The clear role of local decision makers in conserving biodiversity has led to calls for greater incorporation of ecology and conservation biology principles in local land use planning.

To educate and support decision makers in the 260 municipal governments of the biodiverse and populous Hudson River Estuary watershed, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Hudson River Estuary Program and Cornell University established the Conservation and Land Use Program in 2001. The extension program provides planning tools, training, and technical and financial assistance to municipal officials in the watershed.

It is important to understand how well this type of extension programming can influence municipal land use practices to achieve meaningful conservation outcomes. Using the Conservation and  Land Use Program as its focus, a recent study examined how conservation of habitat and natural areas is incorporated into land use planning by municipal officials who have participated in the program. Read more

Welcome, Allison Chatrchyan!

Dec 2, 2015

Last month, Dr. Allison Chatrchyan moved into her new office in CaRDI's suite at 275 Warren Hall. As of October, Allison accepted a joint academic appointment as a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Development Sociology. Allison is the Director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture (CICCA) and a faculty of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department. We are so pleased Allison will be sharing the CaRDI offices for the next three years to increase our collaboration around climate change issues. Read more

CaRDI helps shape new Community Food Systems minor

Dec 1, 2015

Faculty from Development Sociology, the School of Integrative Plant Sciences, and the Division of Nutritional Sciences were recently awarded an Engaged Cornell curriculum grant to develop a new Community Food Systems Minor. CaRDI program staff Jennifer Jensen helped develop the proposal, while Senior Extension Associates Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman and Mary Jo Dudley are part of the faculty team helping to develop this new initiative scheduled to launch in 2016. Heidi is acting as the coordinator for the project (

The Minor in Community Food Systems is a university-wide program enabling undergraduate students to learn about and engage with issues, problems, and questions related to food security, food sovereignty and food justice, and the social organization of sustainable local food systems. Understanding and collaboratively developing information about how communities manage these systems is key to this minor. Requirements for the minor include a community-based practicum. Read more

Engaging Municipal Officials in Improving Natural Resource-Based Planning

Dec 1, 2015

Research & Policy Brief / Issue 69  (download PDF)
By Karen Strong [1], Laura Heady [1], Shorna Allred [2], Richard Stedman [2], and Caroline Tse [2]

New York State’s (NYS) Hudson River Estuary watershed contains many unique and high-quality ecological communities. Although the watershed is only 13.5% of NYS’s land area, 85% of the state’s bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species occur here [i]. Situated between New York City and Albany, the watershed is also home to nearly three million people. Population growth and sprawling development patterns have stressed the watershed’s natural systems [ii]. Land use planning is a key step toward balancing future growth and development with protection of natural resources. The responsibility for conservation and planning often falls to the watershed’s 260 towns, cities, and villages.

In 2001, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program partnered with Cornell University to address the key biodiversity threat of habitat loss and fragmentation not being met by existing laws and programs. With funding from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund [iii], extension staff at Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources developed a comprehensive outreach program called the Conservation and Land Use Program to help communities respond to the challenge of incorporating natural resource protections into land use decisions. Read more

Webinar on Cultural Competency

Dec 1, 2015

Mary Jo Dudley, director of the the Cornell Farmworker Program, will present a webinar on "Cultural Competency: Understanding the Farmworker Culture and Making Your Outreach Efforts Successful" for the AgrAbility Webinar series.

"Cultural Competency: Understanding the Farmworker Culture and Making Your Outreach Efforts Successful"
AgrAbility Webinar series
December 1 2 p.m. EST
Details will be posted here when the date approaches: Read more

The Women's Fund at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County

CaRDI demographer speaking at "Issues and Experiences: Women and Poverty"

Nov 9, 2015

Robin Blakely-Armitage of CaRDI will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Women’s Fund Fall Gathering “Issues and Experiences: Women and Poverty" hosted by the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. The evening event will offer information about demographic data and local services, and a time to hear personal stories of women speaking about their own lived experience with poverty. It is free and open to the public, but be sure to register to save your space.

“Issues and Experiences: Women and Poverty"
Women’s Fund Fall Gathering, Community Foundation of Tompkins County
November 19, 4:30-7 p.m.,
Ithaca Town Hall, 215 N. Tioga Street.
Register here

Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems named for Thomas A. Lyson

Oct 19, 2015

Reposted with permission from the Center for Transformative Action newsletter:

CTA's Lyson Center Celebrates Dedication
Duncan Hilchey and Amy Christian
The Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems celebrated its renaming dedication on September 27 in Willard Straight Hall, with members of the Lyson family in attendance.  Tom Lyson was the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell, and one of the most influential rural sociologists of his generation before he passed away in 2006.
Lyson Center advisory board co-chairs Ardyth Gillespie and Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman hosted the event, with Gil Gillespie providing a story of Lyson's scholarship and influence, including coining the term "civic agriculture." Lyson's wife, Loretta Carrillo, and his daughters Mercedes and Helena expressed their appreciation for the dedication, and project co-coordinator Duncan Hilchey described the organization's current and future programming, including the Lyson Civic Agriculture Index, which ranks all counties in the United States by the share of farms engaged in progressive practices such as conservation, organic and local food production, and female ownership.
Formerly known as the Food Systems Development Project, the Lyson Center is focused on nurturing transformative action in regional food systems by providing tools and resources to scholars and professionals in the field who are working on a range of issues from beginning farmers, sustainable agriculture, and alternative food supply chains, to food security and food sovereignty. Its key programs include publishing the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development and facilitating the new North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN)Read more

Join a Dialogue with Dan Kahan

Oct 13, 2015

Dialogue with Dan Kahan
October 23, 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Mann Library Room 102 or online at WebEX/Campus-County Connections
For this interactive discussion, please bring your questions or experiences to discuss.

Communities are increasingly faced with making decisions about contentious issues, such as local responses to climate change, GMOs, vaccinations, and more. What can we—as university researchers and CCE educators—do to effectively infuse empirical research into potentially divisive community conversations to inform and support public decision making? Read more

Improving Community Communication around Controversial Issues

Oct 1, 2015

Research & Policy Brief / Issue 68 (download PDF)
By Robin M. Blakely-Armitage and David L. Kay, Cornell University

Every year, in every community, local officials deliberate and make decisions about schools, roads, budget or development priorities, zoning rights, and other issues that are important to their constituents. Elected and appointed officials in New York State communities are expected to be well-informed about the often complex and sometimes controversial issues their communities face.

At the same time, trust in most traditional institutions and sources of information, including government and higher education, has declined. Decision making processes at all levels—local, state, and national—have become increasingly polarized and contentious. While universities like Cornell offer valuable resources, given this context, how can university researchers and Extension educators help local leaders access, interpret, and utilize relevant information with which to address complex or controversial issues? Read more

Student interns share experiences

Sep 28, 2015

One of our CALS NYS Interns wrote a Chronicle blog post to invite you all to their Fall Forum on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Hope to see you in Warren 401! Read more

CaRDI hosts "Smart Growth Virtual Chat"

Sep 24, 2015

CaRDI is hosting occasional online conversations about recent Research & Policy Brief topics. We welcome participation from anyone interested in the topic, from community members and outreach educators to community leaders and economic development practitioners.

Or first chat will be held Thursday, September 24 at noon: "Smart Growth in NYS" hosted by David Kay and Jennifer Jensen. Consider reading our June Research & Policy Brief on the subject, but we expect the conversation to follow the interests of those who join the video chat. Bring your own experience and questions to the discussion.

The chats are scheduled for 30 minutes during the lunch hour to allow participants from across the state to connect with each other over a topic of mutual interest. All you need to participate is a phone or (to fully join in the "virtual" aspect) an Internet connection and video camera.

Contact Jennifer Jensen ( with questions about or ideas for upcoming virtual chats. Read more

CFP Dairy Project having positive impacts in NYS

Sep 23, 2015

The July 2015 "American Agriculturalist" featured an article about a New York Farm Viability Institute-funded project with the Cornell Farmworker Program that is improving workplace relations for dairy farm employers and employees through better communications. Read more

John Sipple to join expert team monitoring East Ramapo School District

Aug 25, 2015

From the NYS Education Department release: State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced that Dennis M. Walcott has been appointed as Monitor for the East Ramapo Central School District. In his role as Monitor, Walcott will be supported by Dr. Monica George-Fields, an expert in teaching and learning and school turnaround, and Dr. John W. Sipple of Cornell University, who has a background in education policy and finance and will be supported by experts in state education finance.
From the NY Times article: Team from New York Education Dept. to Study Troubled East Ramapo Schools Read more

Rust to Green Director becomes ASLA Fellow

Aug 24, 2015

Paula Horrigan, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and CaRDI’s director of Rust to Green, is among 37 members elevated to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2015 by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge and service. Paula is being recognized for her contributions to knowledge and more than 25 years of moving placemaking and community-engaged design to the forefront of landscape architecture education, research and practice. At Cornell, Paula has opened the minds of hundreds of students to the theories and practices of placemaking and inspired them to forge professional careers employing and furthering that knowledge. Through her many sustained community placemaking projects and particularly Rust 2 Green NY (R2G), Paula has empowered New York State communities with critical needs and desires, to “design” and then actualize their own futures. Throughout her career, Paula has shown a steadfast dedication to landscape architecture’s role and potential as an agent of community development and social change. The new class of Fellows will be recognized at the upcoming November 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Read more

New Training Program from CaRDI and AFT-NY

Aug 10, 2015

Working with American Farmland Trust, Cornell University's CaRDI and LEAD-NY are launching the Local Agriculture and Land Use Leadership Institute. The institute will develop an inspired network of New York leaders engaging local governments to support agriculture. By improving participants' leadership skills and knowledge, the institute will increase the effectiveness of local land use leaders in planning, farmland conservation, and agricultural economic development.

A pilot institute for community leaders and volunteers in Onondaga, Oneida, and Madison counties is now recruiting participants for the fall of 2015. For sign up information, see this Rome Sentinel article from Monday, August 10, 2015, or visit You can also subscribe to CaRDI's monthly newsletter for updates and information. Read more

Stories from the Field

Aug 5, 2015

Interns are sharing their expectations for the summer, their experiences so far, and what they hope to learn and accomplish in their CALS NYS internship.

"As I’m interested in possibly working for a local government in the future, one of my main goals going into this program was to gain familiarity with the functioning of a local government...." Read more

Analyzing Online Reviews: New Tools for Evaluating Visitor Experiences

Aug 1, 2015

Research & Policy Brief / Issue 67  (download PDF)
By By Hari Prasad Udayapuram and Srinagesh Gavirneni, Cornell University

The New York State (NYS) park system consists of 214 parks and historic sites, over 2,000 miles of trails, 67 beaches, and 8,355 campsites. It attracts approximately 60 million visitors every year. The State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation is responsible for operating and maintaining the state park system, and one of its strategic priorities is to “Increase, Deepen, and Improve the Visitor Experience”. Visitor feedback is integral to achieving this objective, but traditional feedback methods – public meetings, web-based surveys and comment cards – are often tedious, expensive, and limited by low participation. Public online review platforms such as TripAdvisor, offer a large volume of visitor feedback that could vastly improve how NYS park managers and other community leaders concerned with tourism or business development currently understand and improve visitor experiences. Read more

CFP in American Agriculturalist: "Dairy Employee Turnovers can Impose Huge Hidden Costs"

Jul 16, 2015

By Kara Lynn Dunn and John Vogel
If you've never experienced your milking crew disappearing overnight after learning that OSHA inspectors wanted to interview them, you're lucky. A more common loss is losing a key member of your dairy management team. Sometimes, these events are outside of your control. Other times, it comes down to poor employer/employee communications. Either way, it drives labor costs up and herd production down... Read more

CaRDI interns in the Chronicle blog

Jun 19, 2015

Published in Essentials, the Cornell Chronicle blog:

For eight Cornell students, 8 a.m. June 1 was a moment they’ve been preparing for since they applied for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) New York State Internship Program when they began summer internships and community engagement projects throughout upstate New York. 

The interns' preparation began this spring with an orientation course taught by Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI). CaRDI faculty helped students think about how they can help positively shape the communities where they will live and work for the summer while also pursuing their professional goals. Through community-business-CALS partnerships, the CALS Internship Program strives to provide each student with valuable career-related experience, opportunities to contribute to their host organizations and communities and reasons to return and establish careers and futures in New York state. 

This year’s interns, host organizations, and New York communities:
Max Alaghband, biology and society '17, StartFast Venture Capital, Syracuse, finance
Adeline Bakewell, natural resources '16, Darwin Martin House, Buffalo, horticultural programming and outreach
Halle Bershad, food science '17, Muller Quaker Dairy, Batavia, quality assurance
Kendra Ellis, agricultural sciences '16, Hudson Valley Farm Hub, Hurley, agricultural production analysis
Alisha Heximer, biological sciences '16, Seneca Towns Engaging People for Solutions, Ovid, community outreach and engagement
Kevin Kreher, electrical and computer engineering ‘16, Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County, Batavia, agricultural industry workforce development
Andrea Torzala, viticulture and enology '16, the Finger Lakes Wine Lab, Ithaca, marketing
Fiona Woods, environmental engineering ‘17, Tompkins County Government / Department of Administration, Ithaca

- Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman
  Read more

Farmworker Program in Ithaca Times: "Talking with Local Farm Laborers"

Jun 17, 2015

"Every day, there are Ithacans who go grocery shopping and pick up milk, yogurt, apples, wine and cheese, herbs and beans and salad greens that all come from fields in the Finger Lakes. Some of this food is sleekly packaged when it hits the shelves. Some of it is advertised with ORGANIC FAIR TRADE NO MSG GLUTEN FREE buzzwords, and some of the produce is placed into a paper bag at the market by the hands of a farmer’s son or daughter.

"However local food finds its way into the shopping bag, there’s one near sure thing even in our mechanized, digitized times: There were honest-to-goodness human hands that squeezed that milk from the cow or plucked that apple from the tree. Hands that increasingly over recent years have belonged to people who have come from other countries to upstate New York to do the hard work of farming..." Read more

The Cornell Farmworker Program Hosts Guatemalan Mobile Consulate in Lansing, NY

Jun 8, 2015

When conducting our research with farmworkers, we encountered a significant number of workers that requested our assistance in linking them with the Guatemalan Consulate.  The Guatemalan Consulate will visit Lansing, NY on June 26-27, 2015 from 9AM-4PM.  Guatemalans in our communities will be able to obtain official Guatemalan identity documents including passports, birth and marriage registration, and consular identification cards. Read more

Webinar: telling the story of your organization's public value

Jun 3, 2015

Upcoming free webinar from the eXtension’s Enhancing Rural Community Capacity CoP:

Basics for Helping Organizations Identify and Promote Their Public (and Private) Value
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 from 2-3pm ET.
  (See details below). 
Any public service provides private value to its users or patrons as well as public value to those people who never access or use the service.  When public officials only have information from the public service about the ​private ​value to those who use the service (​or direct benefit​s), funding decisions are made with incomplete information.  The glitch in this scenario is that public services often have no idea how to identify and then share information about the public value (or indirect benefits) to those who never use the service. 

This webinar will share how Laura Kalambokidis’ (University of Minnesota Economist and Minnesota State Economist) ground-breaking model for demonstrating the public value of Extension programs  has been used in Maine with non-Extension public services.  Our work has involved increasing the capacity of organizations to be able to describe their public value in a way that is memorable and is also 'backed up with numbers'.  Hear how 8-year old Curt who lives in southern Maine reads to Winston the therapy dog and learn how we discovered from one of our workshop participants that story telling is a pivotal component of public value messaging. 

We will describe how our pilot project started with public libraries in 2013, evolved through 2014, its current status, and our next steps.

PresentersJane Haskell, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and George Morse, Extension Faculty Associate, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Professor Emeritus, ​Applied Economics, ​University of Minnesota Extension.  Click here to learn more about our presenters.

When: Tuesday, June 9, 2015,  2-3 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Central; Noon Mountain; 11:00 a.m. Pacific)

To register: Click here.  Upon registering, you will receive participation instructions.   

Questions:  Please contact Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman at CaRDI (
  Read more

David Kay on "2015's Safest States to Live In"

Jun 2, 2015

CaRDI's David Kay was featured in an article about "2015’s Safest States to Live In" on WalletHub, a social network for financial decision making. His comments are included in the "Ask the Experts" section of the article, in which he answered the following question:

There are many different potential threats to one’s safety: crime, bad drivers, poor economies, natural disasters, dangerous workplaces. In choosing a place to live, which factors are more or less overrated? Read more

Paula Horrigan's book wins "Great Places Award"

Jun 1, 2015

Rust to Green's Paula Horrigan and her co-editors of “Community Matters: Service-learning in Engaged Design and Planning” have been awarded the "Great Places Award" in the Book Category from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA). Paula was in Los Angeles last week to accept the award.
From the EDRA site:
May 28, 2015 (Los Angeles, California) – Five exemplary projects and a book in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, and urban design have been named winners of the 2015 Great Places Awards. Each was on display during the 46th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), May 27-30, 2015.  The EDRA Great Places Awards recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form and human activity or experience."

“The 2015 Place Book Award recipient, Community Matters: Service-learning in Engaged Design and Planning, edited by Bose, M., Horrigan, P., Doble, C. & Sigmund, S. (Eds.). (2014) and published by New York, NY:Routledge/Earthscan, offers in-depth evidence of the many ways educators are bringing community and community matters to the foreground in design/planning teaching and research. It showcases community-engaged pedagogies such as service-learning; research methods like action research; and theories and practices of participatory design, placemaking and deliberative democracy. Community Matters maps an emerging arena for design and planning education, practice and scholarship occurring at the boundary of community and academy.” Read more

An Opportunity to Make NY Smarter about Smart Growth

Jun 1, 2015

Issue 66 / Research & Policy Brief / June 2015
By Russell Glynn and David Kay, Cornell University

Urban sprawl and its negative impacts have become a potent catalyst for new policy action—often termed “smart growth” policies—over the  last decade. At its worst, sprawl has drained urban and  village centers of key employment and retail opportunities while marginalizing the poor, degrading  farmland and open  space, and promoting growth in private vehicle use among those able to “buy in” to suburban living. New York State (NYS), arguably the creator of the development pattern now associated with the term, took decisive action against publicly subsidized sprawl with passage of the State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act in 2010. Read more

Creative Placemaking in Action: Rust2Green

May 6, 2015

CaRDI's Paula Horrigan is proud to announce the latest Rust2Green community-building event in Utica: One World Flower Fest. Students in Paula's Rust2Green Capstone Studio course have been instrumental in developing and organizing this event, from building the event website to partnering with 19 community groups and schools to create flower-themed art for this Mother's Day weekend gathering. Visit their website for more information about the events and arts planned for this weekend! Read more

Register now for the 2015 Community Development Institute

May 5, 2015

July 14-15, 2015
ILR Conference Center, Cornell University, Ithaca

Cornell's annual Community Development Institute focuses on critical pieces of the community development process, and is designed for a diverse audience of local government and school officials, extension educators, practitioners, and other community leaders.  Each year we highlight a different theme, bringing presenters and discussants together from all over New York state to share the latest research, policy recommendations, and practical perspectives.

The 2015 theme is Strong Families ↔ Strong Communities. Please join us on the Cornell campus for presentations and discussions featuring innovative community projects & the latest research and policies focused on supporting strong families, strong communities, and the connections between them. Read more

NYS Communities and Changes to the American Community Survey

May 1, 2015

by Robin Blakely-Armitage and Jan Vink, Cornell University
In an effort to save money, the Census Bureau will eliminate its three-year American Community Survey (ACS) data program. The ACS is a survey that tracks changing economic and social conditions for a wide range of geographies, and communities and organizations use this data for grant writing, program valuation, and tracking general well-being. Data is collected on an on-going basis and tabulated for 1, 3, and 5 year periods. Up until the present, depending on population size, communities have had access to 1-year (communities 65,000+), 3-year (communities 20,000+), and 5-year tabulations (communities of all sizes). Access is more limited for smaller geographies because it takes a longer period to accumulate a sufficient sample size to produce statistically meaningful data. Read more

Development and Culture: Why art? Why now?

Apr 21, 2015

Roundtable lunch: Tuesday, April 21, 11:30–1:30pm, Warren Hall room #401 at Cornell University.
A panel of three groups will present their experiences with the challenges and opportunities for integrating arts and culture in community and economic development work and research. Includes a brief introduction of “community cultural development”, its rich Cornell history, and emerging national sources of funding and support for this work. Panel presentation followed by a group discussion. Lunch provided (please RSVP to
Students, faculty and community members welcome!
Co-hosted by Cornell’s Department of Development Sociology, Engaged Learning + Research, and Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) and the Multicultural Resource Center in Ithaca, NY Read more

Clean Water NY: What actions are needed to ensure sustainable water resources in the 21st Century?

Apr 21, 2015

Water is essential for life. It is essential for a healthy environment and a healthy economy. In contrast to water issues endemic to many other states, such as severe water shortages in California, or impaired water quality in the mid-West, New York is unique in that it boasts an abundant, high-quality water supply. This year’s forum will explore the future of water sustainability in New York State. Aging water infrastructure, changing weather patterns, and new approaches to community resiliency are some of the significant issues that may impact our State’s water quality. David Kay, Senior Research Associate with the Community and Regional Development Institute will be a panelist at this event on May 6, 2015.  Read moreRead more

CFP's Mary Jo Dudley wins "engaged teaching and research" award

Apr 15, 2015

Congratulations to Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworkers Program, who received the George D. Levy Engaged Teaching and Research Award at the Community Engagement Showcase on April 15th. The George D. Levy Engaged Teaching and Research Award celebrates faculty who facilitate high-quality community-engaged learning or research. The Award recognizes a Cornell University faculty member whose collaborative efforts over time have resulted in exemplary community-engaged learning and research coursework or program(s) with local and/or global communities. Read more

Pluralism in Progress: Immigration Reform in the 21st Century

Pluralism in Progress: Immigration Reform

Apr 7, 2015

Pluralism in Progress: Immigration Reform in the 21st Century
Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr, Cornell Law School
Mary Jo Dudley, Cornell Farmworker Program
Attorney Gary Liao, Journey's End
800 University Avenue, Ithaca, NY
Friday, April 10, 2:30 p.m.

Engaging Researchers and Stakeholders in Improving New York's Water Management

Apr 1, 2015

Issue 65 / Research & Policy Brief series / April 2015
By Sridhar Vedachalam, Brian G. Rahm, Christina Tonitto, and Susan J. Riha, Cornell University

Water and wastewater infrastructure across NYS is aging and in need of repair and rehabilitation, with projected capital needs of approximately $60 billion over the next 20 years. The Water Resources Institute (WRI) at Cornell University continues to pursue its broad assessment of water resources infrastructure and community resilience, supporting projects with strong stakeholder involvement. WRI’s coordinated program is playing a vital role in the protection and expansion of New York’s water assets by effectively engaging the research community in this long-term mission. Read more

Cornell Farmworkers Program in the News: Los Angeles Times: Dairy farmers, in dire need of workers, feel helpless as immigration reform sours

Mar 30, 2015

During a recent visit to Central New York ,  Los Angeles Times Reporter, Tina Sussman, spent time with Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworkers Program, to discuss her report, The Yogurt Boom Job Creation and the role of Dairy Farmworkers in the Finger Lakes Regional Economy.  Read the entire Los Angeles Times article here: Dairy farmers, in dire need of workers, feel helpless as immigration reform sours  

Videos: CaRDI Creates Engagement Opportunities

Mar 3, 2015

On February 26, 2015, CaRDI hosted a special event focused on community engagement. A panel of faculty, students, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators, community leaders and state level policymakers explained from their own experience how CaRDI has helped them build connections for research & teaching opportunities, internships, community development initiatives, policy discussions, and a variety of other purposes. Video clips are available for each panelist:
Paul Beyer, Director of Smart Growth Planning, NYS Department of State
Shannon Bush, Graduate Student and CaRDI Intern
Lisa Goodwin, Clerk, Town of Onondaga, New York
Mildred Warner, Professor, Department of City & Regional Planning, Cornell University
Caroline Williams, Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Oneida County Read more

NYS's Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act of 2010: Implementation and Significance for Local Government

Mar 1, 2015

Issue Number 17 / May 2015
By Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman [1], David Kay [1], Eleanor Andrews [2], Zoe McAlear [3], and Russell Glynn [3]

Smart growth is a response to sprawl that has been increasingly implemented in policy over the past several decades. As an example of this policy innovation, New York State enacted the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act of 2010 (SGPIPA). This document collects several related reports on the way that this law has been implemented in the years since its passage. Read more

Special event: CaRDI Creates Engagement Opportunities

Feb 2, 2015

Please join us on Thursday, February 26 in Warren Hall room #401 for a dynamic roundtable event highlighting the multiple engagement opportunities offered by CaRDI. We will begin at 1:30pm with a panel discussion about CaRDI's community engagement work, and follow with a 3pm reception in honor of Rod Howe, who is leaving Cornell after 25 years of service. RSVP to Read more

Broadband's Contribution to Economic Health in Rural Areas. Research & Policy Brief, Issue 64.

Feb 1, 2015

The diffusion of broadband Internet access across America during the 2000s brought with it a significant amount of concern that rural areas might be left behind in terms of the availability, adoption, and benefits of this technology. While much has been made about the potential benefits of broadband for rural communities, the presence of a rural – urban broadband “digital divide” is well documented in the economic literature. Read more

The Importance of Farm Labor in the NYS Yogurt Boom

Oct 1, 2014

By Mary Jo Dudley, Cornell University
While there has been a great deal of discussion about how New York State (NYS) can take advantage of the yogurt boom, little attention has been paid to ensuring the labor supply required to support an increased demand for milk. Read more

Cornell Farmworker Program receives NYS grant

Jul 3, 2014

The Cornell Farmworker Program (CFP) received a grant from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) to develop Spanish language educational materials to manage pests in immigrant farmworker housing. Read more

Mary Jo Dudley, her son Gabriel (foreground) with President Obama

Champions of Change 2012 award- President Obama.

Apr 15, 2012

Mary Jo Dudley, Director of the Cornell Farmworker Program (CFP) was selected as a ‘Champion of Change’, as part of President Obama’s "Winning the Future" initiative ( On March 29th, she was honored with other leaders who have embodied Cesar Chavez's spirit of dedicating themselves to improving the lives of others in their communities and across the Nation. She was nominated by CFP student interns for her work with the Cornell Farmworker Program. Each week, the White House recognizes a group of Americans, businesses, or organizations who embody and put into everyday practice the principles of ‘Innovate, Educate, and Build’. Different groups are highlighted each week, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists. The Office of Public Engagement hosted this event to honor those who exemplify Cesar Chavez’ core values, including service to others, knowledge, innovation, acceptance of all people, and respect for life and the environment.