Skip to Main Content
HomeAbout UsGrantsFormsNewsroomHelpContact Us
Search NIFA
Advanced Search
Browse by Subject
Agricultural Systems
Animals & Animal Products
Biotechnology & Genomics
Economics & Commerce
Environment & Natural Resources
Families, Youth & Communities
Food, Nutrition & Health
Pest Management
Plants & Plant Products
Technology & Engineering

Family Economics News - February 2009

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

  • Research Briefs on Extension Personal Finance Site
  • Women on Their Own Worse Off Financially
  • Building Capacity to Evaluate Programs


  • Key Partner in America Saves Week
  • AFCPE Extension Pre-conference
  • Extension Taxpayer Assistance and Education
  • Extension Names Financial Literacy as Priority


  • Research Priorities for Financial Literacy
  • Dollar Works 2
  • Indiana Teen $ucceed
  • President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy Report
  • Change for National Council for Economic Education
  • Social Security’s Retire on Line


  • 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
    • Improving Financial Literacy and Reshaping Financial Behavior
    • Journal of Consumer Education
    • Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences
    • The Journal of Consumer Affairs. Special Issue
    • Family Relations - Special Issue
    • Eastern Family Economics and Resource Management Association
    • AFCPE 2009 Annual Conference

  • Funding:

    • National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®)
    • MMI Financial Education Foundation
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation



Money management behaviors of teens and couples, women’s investment decisionmaking, and financial risk tolerance are some of the research topics now summarized on eXtension, the learn anytime-anywhere site offered by the nationwide Cooperative Extension System. Research briefs, written with the public in mind, also contain citations and, when available, the link to the complete article. Keep watching the site for additions.

The income and wealth gaps between women-headed households compared to all other American households is substantial, according to research co-authored by Catherine Montalto, Ohio State University, and Stephen Brobeck, Consumer Federation of America. Twenty-six percent of households are headed by women, as shown by data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, collected in 2004 and released in 2007. The median household income for women-headed households is $22,592, compared to $43,130 for all households. Women on their own had a median net worth of $32,850 compared to $93,001 for all households. According to the researchers, the wealth gap reflects income differences and the frequency of savings. Thirty-three percent of women-headed households, compared to 24 percent of all households, report they “don’t save.” Visit the Consumer Federation of America Web site for more information.

Building Capacity to Evaluate Programs: A Teaching and Facilitating Resource for Community-Based Programs and Organizations is a new one-stop evaluation guidebook developed by University of Wisconsin Extension. This 500-page resource has been ‘in process’ for several years and provides in one place a variety of hands-on activities, handouts, and PowerPoint slides to cover the basic concepts of evaluation.  This project began in response to county educators’ demands for help in responding to community requests for evaluation assistance -- from United Way-funded groups, coalitions, schools, agencies, and local governments. It is, however, useful for others -- mentors, liaisons, team leaders, and evaluation champions who are working to build evaluation capacity of their teams, staffs, and extension colleagues. Visit the Program Development and Evaluation Web site (to order a print copy or view and download the PDF and PowerPoint files.


The Consumer Federation of America provides overall management for America Saves and America Saves Week 2009, February 22-March 1. America Saves 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, how-to skill building, 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 in nearly 30 states is a key partner. Visit the CSREES Web site for tools, information, and updates to the Guide for Extension Educators.

Presentations and resources from the 2008 AFCPE Extension Pre-Conference in Garden Grove, CA, are available. The pre-conference, Extension Opportunities in Troubled Times, provided an overview of the current and projected situation; critical people, partnerships, and programs; and know-how to respond to crises with outcomes-based programming. The focus areas were natural disasters, homeowner issues, and bankruptcy. For details, visit the CSREES Web site.

Taxpayer education provides extension agents with measurable impacts that make a difference for low and moderate-income families who can save on tax preparation costs and tax refunds such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. These dollars can help strengthen local economies. In cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, Cooperative Extension helps people with electronic filing of income tax returns, and provides financial education to help families maximize their tax refunds.  Qualified taxpayers are entitled to free tax preparation and electronic filing at VITA sites during the tax filing season. Each taxpayer gets financial planning information, and additional financial education opportunities through extension are promoted to tax refund recipients. Visit the CSREES Web site to access resources.

In their report, 2009 Strategic Opportunities for Cooperative Extension, Cooperative Extension directors and administrators across the country list financial literacy and financial independence of youth and adults as a priority. This is an update of the 2007 Strategic Opportunities Report.


The U.S. Department of the Treasury and CSREES convened a National Research Symposium on Financial Literacy and Education, which resulted in 10 recommended research priorities. Visit the CSREES Financial Security Web site to view a printable flyer.

Dollar Works 2is a comprehensive personal financial education curriculum developed by University of Minnesota Extension to strengthen the financial management skills of individuals and families. The curriculum is available for use by service providers and other professionals in programs, classes, and one-on-one settings. Contact Shirley Anderson-Porisch, at 507-337-2812, for more information

Indiana Teen $ucceed, funded primarily by the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions, was a project to train Indiana teachers in using the NEFE® High School Financial Planning Program®, and to develop a state-wide training team that could train teachers into the future. The “Trainer-Training” of 30 trainers – drawn from the staffs of Purdue Extension, Junior Achievement, and the credit union community – took place in March 2008. Twenty teacher training workshops were completed between June and mid-November.. Over 300 teachers were trained, resulting in a surge of materials orders to well over 100 high schools in Indiana.

National Endowment for Financial Education, the Indiana Credit Union League, Junior Achievement in Indiana, and the Indiana Department of Education worked in partnership with Purdue Extension on the project, which concluded in December 2008.

The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy created January 22, 2008, has released its first year report. The council’s purpose is to help keep America competitive and assist the American people in understanding and addressing financial matters. Each councilmember represents an industry involved with the delivery of financial education to American citizens. The council works with the public and private sector to help increase financial education efforts for youth in school and for adults in the workplace; increase access to financial services; establish measures of national financial literacy; conduct research on financial knowledge; and help strengthen public and private sector financial education programs.

The National Council for Economic Education (NCEE) has changed its name to the Council for Economic Education. Over the last decade, NCEE has developed comprehensive K-12 teaching materials, teacher professional development programs, and assessments in economics, personal finance, and entrepreneurship education.

The Social Security Administration’s new online retirement resources include a 

Retirement Benefit Application Portal, Social Security’s online Benefit Estimator, and Social Security’s internet security policy.


  • 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 the October 2009 grant cycle is June 2, 2009. To learn more about the NEFE® Grants program, visit the NEFE® Web site and click on the Grantmaking 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 provides financial literacy training to enable low-income individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency.

  • FINRA Investor Education Foundation
    For 2009 submissions deadline is March 6 for applying for October funding. Subscribe to the e-mail newsletter for periodic updates.




  • 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 the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, 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.

Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other suitable products or firms.