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Creating a Positive Narrative About Rural

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Craig Schroeder had the great privilege of working with colleagues and rural leaders at the Center for Small Towns' Rural Migration Symposium in Morris, MN in June 2014. The purpose of the symposium was to explore rural migration research completed by Ben Winchester, Randy Cantrell and Jim Russell and to learn how rural practitioners can build upon their pioneering work in attracting new residents to their communities.


The following are interesting perspectives that were shared at the symposium:

The historical and current context for "the rural narrative" is predominantly negative at the national level, so when something positive is reported in the media it is seen as outside the norm. However for those of us who work in rural communities, we know there is a lot of good news, and we feel fortunate to be where we are!

If we are to change the rural narrative to a positive tone, it is incumbent upon all of us who care about rural communities, and who know the positive stories and witness the trends of people moving to rural communities, to share the good news with others.

The legacy migration of talented people returning to the places where their talent was created is a global migration trend. No individual community can bend global trends, but leaders can position themselves to get into the flow of the trend by attracting talent into their region in order to harvest the benefits of the migration.

Rural Migration: Myths, Trends and Opportunities

On July 16, the Center will be hosting a webinar with Ben Winchester from the Extension Center for Community Vitality University of Minnesota to share these and other key insights gained from the symposium that you can apply in your work. Please click here to learn more about the presentation and how to register.

To visit about how you can benefit from rural migration, please contact Craig Schroeder at

For more information on the Rural Migration Initiative, please go to
A Community Passionate About Young People!
The Kansas City Star has just published a wonderful story about Brookfield, MO and their asset-based approach to rural economic development. 
Be sure to watch the video clip of Becky Cleveland, economic development director, discussing their work and why "Not one young person will ever leave our community without an invitation to come home!"  To learn more about Brookfield's success, please contact Craig Schroeder

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GROW South Dakota

GROW South Dakota
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