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Family Economics News - October 2008

The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) 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

  • CSREES Joins Treasury on Personal Finance Research Symposium
  • Effectiveness of Financial Education


  • America Saves Week 2009
  • New on eXtension:
    • Legally Secure Your Financial Future
    • Money Management in Tough Times


  • Farm Household Economics and Well-Being
  • FDIC Insurance: Answers to Common Questions
  • Control Your Credit Campaign


  • Call for Papers:
    • Journal of Consumer Affairs
    • Journal of Personal Finance
    • Financial Counseling and Planning
    • The Journal of Youth Development
    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues 
    • National Association of Community Development
    • NACDEP
    • Journal of Consumer Education
  • Funding:
    • National Endowment for Financial Education® 
    • MMI Financial Education Foundation
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • Foundation for Financial Literacy
    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation



Nearly 30 academics from the Land-Grant University System and other private and public institutions will frame a research agenda for financial literacy and education at a 2-day, invitation-only work session in Washington, DC, October 6-7, 2008. The U.S. Departments of Treasury and Agriculture will convene the symposium through USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The National Research Symposium on Financial Literacy and Education is part of a call to action in the National Strategy for Financial Literacy developed by the 20 federal government members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission. Experts in behavioral and consumer economics, financial risk assessment, and financial literacy program evaluation will share central research findings, identify gaps in the literature, and prioritize relevant research needed to inform policy, education, and practice leading to more financially secure Americans.

The Get Checking™ program is a “second chance” program that provides financial education to consumers who were reported to ChexSystems by a previous financial institution for account abuse or mismanagement. Using data collected from Indiana participants of the program, the first goal of this study is to investigate the success of the program in affecting the financial management behavior of the participants. The second goal is to investigate the change of participants’ actual behavior in terms of account usage and asset building after program completion. The findings show that the program was successful in positively influencing the financial management behavior of non-whites in terms of recording transactions and communicating with financial institutions. Also, financial management skills emphasized in the program, especially communicating with financial institutions, have a significant positive effect on the actual behavior of the participants in terms of obtaining a loan. Among the heterogeneous group of the unbanked, findings shed light on the demographic groups, such as non-whites and young adults, that could benefit the most from this type of financial management education. Read more about the study, which was published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.


Planning has begun with America Saves for America Saves Week 2009, February 22-March 1, 2009. 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 Web site for pending updates on the Guide for Extension Educators.

Legally Secure Your Financial Future (LSYFF) estate planning learning lessons are now on eXtension and ready for internet users. The Legally Secure Your Financial Future: Organize, Communicate, and Prepare teaching curriculum was adapted  for the national Cooperative Extension eXtension Web site and revised this year to provide a user-friendly experience.  Access all three lessons.

Money Management in Tough Times is a new focus for eXtension. More Americans feel additional stress and anxiety about their financial future as talk of rising consumer debt, falling housing prices, rising costs of living, and declining retail sales bring up worries about the nation’s economic health.  Visit eXtension for access to 18 fact sheets.


The Farm Household Economics and Well-Being briefing room focuses on indicators of the economic well-being of the households of the principal operators of family farms. Indicators of well-being include household income and wealth (from both farm and off-farm sources), and indicators of health insurance coverage. The briefing room compares the financial well-being of farm households relative to all U.S. households, identifies the contributions of off-farm employment, non-farm self-employment, transfer payments, and financial market investments in household income, and discusses how taxes influence both income and wealth. The briefing room also describes the demographic characteristics of the principal farm operator households and how members of these households allocate their time to farm and off-farm work.

For consumers who have wondered about the health of their banking institution, if their deposits are fully protected, or what happens if a bank fails, the latest FDIC Consumer News provides answers to common questions and other useful information so people can rest assured that their money is safe in an FDIC-insured account.  Other articles in this issue of the agency’s quarterly consumer newsletter explain what to do if a home equity line of credit has been reduced or frozen, how to avoid phone and fax fraud, and options for saving the environment as bank customers save and borrow money. To order up to two free copies, use the online form on that same Web page or call the Federal Citizen Information Center toll-free at 1-888-8- PUEBLO (1-888-878-3256) weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, and ask for Department 87.

On September 16, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Ad Council launched its multi-media campaign on consumer credit, débuting TV spots, radio spots, and a new Web site in English and Spanish featuring an interactive online game targeted at young adults. The name of the game begins with the warning, “Don’t Let Your Credit Put You in a Bad Place,” and is designed to encourage young adults ages 18 to 24 to take control of their credit. 


  • is your source to find and apply for federal government grants. There are over 1,000 grant programs offered by all Federal grant making agencies.

  • National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE®) - The NEFE® Grants program deadline for April 2009 grant cycle is December 2, 2008. To learn more about the NEFE® Grants program visit the NEFE® Web site, and click on the Grantsmaking section. 
  • 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. 

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Grantees provide financial literacy training to enable low-income individuals and families to achieve economic self-sufficiency. 

  • Foundation for Financial Literacy - The Foundation for Personal Literacy supports educational, charitable, and other organizations that use financial education to teach individuals how to convert earned income into passive and portfolio income.

  • FINRA Investor Education Foundation Grant Programs – Submission deadlines and decision dates for 2009 grant opportunities will be announced in November. Subscribe to the e-mail newsletter for periodic updates. 




  • EFERMA (Eastern Family Economics & Resource Management Association) Conference, Chattanooga, TN, March 3-5, 2010. Details pending. For information, contact Michael Rupured.


  • 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.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on t05/05/2010, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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