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Family Economics News National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA - February 2011

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.

NIFA ContactSusan Shockey, national program leader (NPL) for Family and Consumer Economics, and Beverly Samuel, NPL for Housing and Community Living.

Back issues of Family Economics News are available. To submit items for consideration for this newsletter, contact Cameron Briggs, NIFA program assistant.

NIFA – Division Of Family And Consumer Sciences Updates

  • Caroline Crocoll Selected Family and Consumer Sciences Division Director

  • NPLs Join the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Jim Terry, NIFA Program Specialist, Retires

Research/Program Evaluation

  • 2010 Outstanding AFCPE Conference Paper: Gender Differences in Financial Socialization and Willingness to Take Financial Risks

  • Assessing Financial Wellness Via Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews


  • America Saves Week 2011 Facebook Messages

  • Webinar - How to Use and Evaluate Social Media in Financial Education Webinar

  • Webinar - Building Partnerships for Sustainability in Higher Education

  • Free Financial Tip of the Week, “Alone Together”


  • 2011 National Financial Literacy Strategy Handbook

  • American Public Health Association featured Healthy and Safe Homes: Research, Practice and Policy as the book of the month in January 2011

  • Medical Care Savings Accounts by Marsha A. Goetting, Ph.D., CFP, CFCS - professor and extension family economics specialist, Montana State University

  • Farm Transition Planning - PowerPoint Presentation by Elizabeth R. Springsteen, staff attorney at the National Agricultural Law Center, University of Arkansas


  • Call for Papers:

    • Journal of Consumer Affairs 

    • Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues

    • Journal of Financial Therapy

    • Journal of Extension

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

    • Journal Family & Consumer Sciences

    • The Journal of Consumer Education

    • The Journal of Housing and Society

  • Funding:


    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation

    • MMI Financial Education Foundation1



Caroline Crocoll Selected Family and Consumer Sciences Division Director

Caroline E. Crocoll has been named as the new Division Director of NIFA’s Division of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). As a Division Director, Crocoll will work with the Assistant Director, Principal Scientist, and Division Directors of NIFA’s Institute of Youth, Family, and Community to ensure the integration of functions and programs.  She will provide technical and administrative supervision of a staff that includes the NPLs, program specialists, and program assistants responsible for program development, implementation, and evaluation of specified NIFA programs. Crocoll will serve as a staff expert and consultant providing leadership and direction for programs of national and/or international scope and impact. Her areas of FCS expertise include human health, development, and wellness over the life span; families and individuals in societal contexts; internal dynamics of families; human sexuality; interpersonal relationships; family resource management; parent education and guidance; family law and public policy; professional ethics and practice; and family life education methodology. She has worked extensively with extension/military programs at the local, state, and federal levels. She can be reached at 202-720-4795.

NPLs Join the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences

We are delighted to have two NPLs, Beverly Samuel and Cynthia Reeves Tuttle, on the NIFA team!

Welcome to Beverly Samuel, who joined NIFA on December 6 as NPL for Housing and Community Living.  She will provide leadership to the research, extension, and education functions of the NIFA partnership on housing affordability and foreclosure prevention, micro-enterprise development of agri-businesses, home systems and environments, disaster preparedness and response (housing issues), and community living.  She will also provide leadership for establishment of a Master Family and Consumer Sciences Program, modeled after the Master Gardener Program, and support food preservation initiatives.  Prior to her NIFA appointment, Beverly served for 25 years with Virginia Cooperative Extension Service.  She can be reached at 202-720-6059. 

Cynthia Reeves Tuttle re-joined NIFA on January 16 and will provide leadership on the issues of nutrition and health.  Previously, she served as the Director of Nutrition and Family Sciences in the Families, 4-H, and Nutrition unit of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.  Tuttle has more than a decade of experience working in higher education, first on the nutrition faculty of the University of Otago in New Zealand, and more recently as an extension nutrition specialist at the University of Maryland.  Tuttle has worked with a variety of immigrant and indigenous populations in Maryland, California, Hawaii, Alaska, and New Zealand and she brings a unique perspective from working for many years in leadership positions within the non-profit sector.  Tuttle has spent her career working on issues of nutrition, food security, and public health, particularly among vulnerable populations in the United States and globally.  She has many years of experience in both nutrition and public health.  She can be reached at 202-720-0742.

Jim Terry, NIFA Program Specialist, Retires

Jim Terry has retired in December after 35 years of federal service.  Jim worked with the Department of the Interior, Park Service, Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Extension Service, which has since become NIFA.  NIFA co-workers miss Jim’s many contributions and his dedication to the Family and Consumer Economics program.  Jim is a great team player and was known for his agreeable response “Sure Thing.”



2010 Outstanding AFCPE Conference Paper: Gender Differences in Financial Socialization and Willingness to Take Financial Risks

Social learning and gender role theories were used as a basis for exploring gender differences in financial socialization as they relate to financial risk-taking. A stratified random sampling technique was used to conduct a web-based survey of 15,797 students from 15 universities across the United States. A significant gender difference in willingness to take financial risks exists among college students, with males being more likely than females to choose higher levels of financial risk. In addition, a significant gender difference in financial social learning opportunities is present, with females having higher exposure to financial social learning opportunities across four dimensions (discussions with parents, discussions with peers, observations of parents’ financial behaviors, and observations of peers’ financial behaviors). Significant differences are also found for the relationship of social learning opportunities on willingness to take risks by gender, but only at the discussion levels of financial socialization. Understanding the relationships between gender, financial socialization, and willingness to take financial risks can help improve the efforts of parents, practitioners, and researchers.  Read the article to learn more.

Assessing Financial Wellness via Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews 

The current study reports on the first use of the Personal Financial Wellness Scale in random-digit-dial computer-assisted telephone interviews. The scale was modified for telephone interviews, fielded in a survey of 515 married adults, then assessed using alternative methods that accounted for missing data common in telephone interviews. Confirmatory factor models verified that the scale was robust as both a single and two-construct measure of subjective and objective financial wellness. The modified scale produced low levels of missing data, was not affected by location in the instrument, and exhibited excellent internal reliability under varied assumptions. Recommendations for the use of the scale in telephone interviews, including scale modification, subscale possibilities, and the utility of multiple imputation of missing items, are offered.  Read the article to learn more.



America Saves Week 2011 Facebook Messages

The Financial Security for All Community of Practice (COP) of eXtension received a mini-grant from the Consumer Federation of America for an America Saves Week (ASW) 2011 social media campaign. Beginning February 15 there will be 70 Facebook posts and 70 Twitter tweets about saving money and America Saves Week.  These messages may be inserted into your personal social media accounts during America Saves Week, February 20-27.  The goal of this project is to promote saving and enrollment in America Saves during America Saves Week 2011, through the use of a focused nationwide social media campaign that will be carried out by approximately 60 members of the eXtension Financial Security for All COP. Leaders of local America Saves Week campaigns and Military Saves campaigns will participate as well. The project involves research and preparation of 70 tweets and 70 Facebook messages about saving and ASW (about 8-9 per day for each of the 8 days of ASW), dissemination among participating extension educators (and others) social media and traditional media outlets, and impact evaluation using a variety of metrics. Each message will contain shortened links to online Cooperative Extension and America Saves information about saving and America Saves Week. Contact Barbara O'Neill for more information.

WebinarHow to Use and Evaluate Social Media in Financial Education

This webinar consists of three distinct sections: an overview of Twitter use, an overview of Facebook use, and a discussion of metrics that financial professionals can use to evaluate their social media outreach and impact. The first half of the webinar (1-1:45 p.m.) is designed for those with little or no experience using social media tools and will teach the basics of using Twitter and Facebook. The second half (1:45-2:30 p.m.) is designed for both beginning and experienced social media users who want to learn about available online tools, techniques, and metrics to evaluate their outreach and impact.  Financial educators who already know how to use Twitter and Facebook can log on during the second segment only, if desired. The webinar will be archived for later viewing and is especially recommended for extension educators who are interested in participating in national eXtension financial education social media projects.  Follow this link for the webinar.

Format:  Welcome and Introduction (5 minutes) Michael Gutter, University of Florida; Using Twitter (20 minutes) Barbara O'Neill, Rutgers University; Using FaceBook (20 minutes) Michael Ravenscraft, University of Missouri; Social Media Impact Evaluation (45 minutes) Anne Adrian, Auburn University.  Speaker biographies are available.

Webinar – Building Partnerships for Sustainability in Higher Education

Colleges and universities face unprecedented challenges during this period of shrinking state resources.  Our future success will depend greatly on how well we can adapt to the new economic environment that is shaping the ways in which institutions of higher learning will operate in the 21st Century.  Soyeon Shim will share in this webinar (March 1, 2-3 p.m.) how she and her faculty have built the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences by cultivating partnerships with private sectors, non-profit organizations, and individuals over the past decade.  Among other notable accomplishments, they were able to build a new facility with $25 million raised from 2,000 individuals and corporations, establish three named institutes/centers that support the Norton School’s program, and improve their school’s national reputation for excellent education, research and outreach.  In addition to describing her successful strategies, Shim will explain how she was able to overcome initial barriers and learn valuable lessons, and how to nurture relationships with potential donors by creating a shared vision.

Registration will be limited to the first 75 pre-registered participants.

Free Financial Tip of the Week, “Alone Together” 

The University of Missouri Office of Financial Success is a service of the university’s Personal Financial Planning Department, which is dedicated to improving the financial well-being of individuals and families by providing affordable, unbiased education and counseling in all areas of personal finance. One of their resources is a free Financial Tip of the Week. Visit the Tip of the Week website to view the Financial Tip of Week archives, and to subscribe for your free weekly tip. The latest Financial Tip is “Alone Together”.



2011 National Strategy for Financial Literacy

The Financial Literacy and Education Commission sets forth a framework – Promoting Financial Success in the United States. The National Strategy 2011 seeks to foster a culture in which households take “periodic stock of their financial situation, individuals seek information and ask questions before entering into financial transactions, and everyone has the information and tools needed to help manage debt, save to meet their financial goals, and plan for secure financial futures” (National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2011, Vision Section, p.7).  

American Public Health Association featured Healthy and Safe Homes: Research, Practice and Policy

Healthy and Safe Homes: Research, Practice, and Policy marks an exciting advance in the effort to ensure that people across all socioeconomic levels have access to healthy and affordable housing. All families should have quality, affordable housing; it serves as a foundation for a prosperous life. The publication of this book provides practical tools and information to make the connection between health and housing conditions relatable to everyone.” 

Medical Care Savings Accounts

If a state has state sponsored Medical Care Savings Accounts (MSA), a resource about Montana Medical Care Savings Account MontGuide could be adapted for other states. It is estimated that around 35 other states throughout the United States have a Medical Care Savings Accounts.  An MSA allows Montanans to have an account for medical expenses and about 85 percent indicate that they had medical expenses last year that weren't covered by health insurance.  If they had opened an MSA with $3,000 they would have saved $207 in Montana Income Taxes for expenses they have to pay anyway.  Follow this link for more information.

Farm Transition Planning – PowerPoint Presentation

This presentation was given at the Arkansas Women in Agriculture Annual Conference on March 1, 2010. The focus of the presentation is aimed at preparing farmers to not just pass on their assets, but to create a structured plan to transition the farming operation to the next generation. Topics include the transfer of management, the importance of open lines of communication among all interested parties, and the creation of a financially viable strategy to bring the next generation into the farming operation with the least amount of stress.

Download this presentation.




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 Family and Consumer Sciences, Participation and Policy – Civic Engagement. Fall 2011 deadline April 6.

The Journal of Consumer Education. Deadline for submissions is February 25, 2011.

The Journal of Housing and Society, is a refereed journal published by the Housing Education and Research Association (HERA).  Information regarding submissions is on HERA's website. Open submissions.

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.  

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.




Joint Council of Extension Professionals – Public Issues Leadership Development Conference, April 4 - 6, Alexandria, VA

ACCI Conference, April 13-15

USDA and the Department of Defense Family Resilience Conference, April 27–29, Chicago, IL

National Urban Extension Conference, May 2-5, Des Moines, IA
23rd Annual Personal Finance Seminar for Professionals, May 11–13.

National Healthy Homes Conference, June 20-23, Denver, CO

AAFCS (American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences) 102nd Annual Conference & Expo, June 23–25 (Educational Excursions, June 22) Phoenix, AZ

NEAFCS (National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences), September 26-30, Albuquerque, NM 

Housing Education and Research Association, October 12-15, Baton Rouge, LA


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, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.