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Family Economics News National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA June 2010

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.

Back issues of Family Economics News are available. To submit items for consideration for this newsletter, contact Jim Terry, NIFA program analyst.

Research/Program Evaluation

  • Need for Greater Focus on Teacher Training

  • Infusing Behavior Change Theories into Program Design

  • Financial Literacy/Financial Sophistication in the Older Population


  • Information on Making Ends Meet

  • Farm Family Finance

  • MoneyWi$e


  • Kids and Advertising

  • Planning for the Stages of Retirement

  • GAO report on Financial Literacy and Limited English Proficiency


  • Call for Papers:

    • Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal

    • Journal of Consumer Affairs

    • Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues

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

    • 2010 Consumer Expenditure Survey Microdata Users’ Workshop

    • 2010 AFCPE Conference

    • The Journal of Consumer Affairs

    • Journal of Financial Therapy

    • 10th Consumer Issues conference

    • The Journal of Business Venturing & University of Alberta

  • Funding:


    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation

    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Grant Programs

    • National Endowment for Financial Education

    • MMI Financial Education Foundation



Need for Greater Focus on Teacher Training

How do financial issues affect K-12 teachers? How prepared are these educators from diverse backgrounds to teach personal finance?  These are the questions Wendy L. Way and Karen Holden, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examined in Teachers’ Background & Capacity to Teach Personal Finance, funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). View the press release and the executive summary for more information.

Infusing Behavior Change Theories into Program Design

The aim of educational programs is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make lasting changes that positively impact their lives. Educators must focus their efforts to facilitate behavior change among their students. In the current literature, most programs adopt one theory of change. This article from North Carolina State University is unique in that it draws from several theories to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how educators can promote behavior change, including the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, Diffusion of Innovation Theory, and Ecological Systems Theory. While grounded in theory, this article provides practical insights into designing and evaluating high-impact educational programs that produce behavior change.

Financial Literacy/Financial Sophistication in the Older Population

This paper analyzes new data on financial literacy and financial sophistication from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study. Financial Literacy and Financial Sophistication in the Older Population: Evidence from the 2008 HRS shows that financial literacy is lacking among older individuals and for the first time explores additional questions on financial sophistication, which proves even scarcer. For this sample of older respondents over the age of 55, the study indicates that people lack even a rudimentary understanding of stock and bond prices, risk diversification, portfolio choice, and investment fees. In view of the fact that individuals are increasingly required to take on responsibility for their own retirement security, this lack of knowledge has serious implications.


Information on Making Ends Meet

Cutting back spending, dealing with creditors, emergency savings, getting by between jobs, options to help prevent foreclosures, and talking with your family about financial difficulties are some of the topics covered by University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension to help individuals and families make ends meet. The Managing Your Personal Finances in Tough Times blog covers these topics and more. To search all Cooperative Extension sites across the nation for personal finance topics, visit the eXtension website.

Farm Family Finance

Farm families come under increased stress as their farm operations are financially squeezed by low commodity prices, diminished crop yields, high costs of inputs, and/or increased debt. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension provides  a website where farm families can address their debt loads and learn about the impact of family-related debt and the tools available to reduce the debt. This website has also been linked to an eXtension online course titled Investing for Farm Families.


Financial strain is an issue for many households, and the current economic recession can compound this matter.  The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is helping people access up-to-date information regarding financial decisions through its MONEYWI$E website. Designed with a cross-disciplinary approach, MONEYWI$E recognizes that almost every decision a person makes during the day will influence that household’s bottom line; making informed financial choices in your everyday living can help stretch your dollar.  This website provides information, decision aids, and financial calculators directed at all aspects of everyday living, from household budgeting tools to farm management.  The website is updated on a monthly basis to provide consumers with timely and accurate information.


Kids and Advertising

Advertising to American kids is nothing new. But the Internet and other technologies have taken kids’ exposure to advertising to new levels.  Ads are virtually everywhere, which is why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched Admongo, a campaign to raise advertising literacy among the nation’s “tweens.” Admongo is designed to equip kids ages 8–12 with critical thinking skills they can use to understand advertising messages. Through – a game-based website – as well as a free in-school curriculum, a packet of sample ads, and several family activities, the Admongo campaign aims to teach kids to recognize commercial messages and prompts them to ask some key questions when they see them. Watch the video or read the announcement from the FTC for more information. Share the game, video, and other resources – such as the curriculum and the sample ads – with others.  Admongo is free and in the public domain.

Planning for the Stages of Retirement

Most of us know that retirement is something we must actively plan and save toward. Social Security alone is not enough, and traditional pension plans that pay lifetime defined benefits are becoming increasingly scarce. Yet, the majority of Americans typically don’t know how much to save and don’t save enough, according to numerous polls and experts. To get guidance and assistance in planning your retirement, check out the Financial Planning Association for free tools, videos, a newsletter, and many more resources.

GAO report on Financial Literacy and Limited English Proficiency

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled "Consumer Finance:  Factors Affecting the Financial Literacy of Individuals with Limited English Proficiency."  The report is available at the GAO website.



Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (open submissions)

Journal of Consumer Affairs (Open submissions)

Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning (Open submissions) 

Journal of Family and Economic Issues (Open submissions) 

W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Family Income and Assets (Open submissions)

Journal of Consumer Affairs Deadline for submissions June 15 

Journal of Financial Therapy Deadline for submissions is June 15.

10th Consumer Issues Conference Deadline for poster submissions is July 16.

Journal of Business Venturing and University of Alberta Deadline for submissions August 1

FUNDING: is your source to find and apply for federal government grants. There are more than 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies.

FINRA Investor Education Foundation Project concepts can be submitted on an open basis. The foundation will respond within 4-6 weeks. 

Internal Revenue Service Grant Programs. Tax Counseling for the Elderly and Volunteer Income Assistance. Open application period is June 1–July 9. 

National Endowment for Financial Education The deadline for NEFE’s April 2011 grant cycle is December 7.

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.



AAFCS Annual Conference and Expo, June 24-26

National Youth Involvement Board, July 26-29

10th Consumer Issues Conference: Unlocking the Digital Marketplace: Legal and Ethical Issues, September 30–October 1

Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, Inc., October 25-26   

Pre-AFCPE Conference, November 17

AFCPE, November 17-19


ACCI Conference, April 13-15


Eastern Family Economics & Resource Management Biennial Conference, February 29–March 2

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.