Wednesday, March 21, 2018

USDA to host rural roundtables on STEM access, opioids

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hitting the road to better understand two rural issues: opioid misuse and access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education.

The roundtables on rural opioid misuse began with one on March 14 in Pennsylvania, and will continue into the summer with the following schedule:
  • April 11 in Utah
  • May 9 in Kentucky
  • June 6 in Oklahoma
  • July 11 in Maine
The specifics for the upcoming roundtables are still being hammered out, but Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for USDA Rural Development, said the chosen states had all seen a rise in overdose deaths in recent year, Julie Harker reports for Brownfield Ag News.

The regional listening sessions on the shortage of rural STEM access kicked off with a session on March 20 in Coalinga, California, and will continue as follows:
  • March 22 in Macon, Georgia, at Middle Georgia Regional Commission
  • April 3 in Champaign, Illinois and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • April 4 in Hudson, New York, at Columbia-Greene Community College

The listening sessions will discuss both the lack of access to STEM education in rural areas and discuss ways the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program can help address it.
If you are interested in attending a session, email

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