Thinking Beyond the Town Line: Strengthening Rural Development through Cooperation

We talk about regionalism all the time. Collaboration and partnership with surrounding communities is crucial for rural areas. Check out this great webinar recording from the Orton Foundation. Vibrant examples from Michigan, Kentucky, and South Carolina with an intro by of Brett Schwartz of NADO explaining why regionalism is important. Hang in there for the Q&A where the panelists discuss the tension and complementarity of collaboration and competition, among other things.

Click the video image below to view the webinar or click here:

Some really good thoughts in this session. Just a couple of quotes are below.

Orton Foundation slide on value of regionalism (Schwartz - NADO)

Orton Foundation webinar slide on value of regionalism (Schwartz – NADO)

Quote from Lori Meadows:

One of the things we look at … is accessibility, and I don’t just mean physical accessibility, but does everyone feel welcome, does everybody feel encouraged and enabled to come and be part of the picture.

Quote from Sarah Lucas:

I’d just encourage people to take the first step and get people in the same room together. I think we’ve mentioned a few times during the course of the presentation how a lack of capacity and resources is one of the biggest challenges we have in implementing regionalism…. They will come, and I think, in the process of learning about some of the development issues in their communities,  they will recognize commonalities with the neighbors and things kind of build from there.

Presenters also remind viewers that it takes time to build regionalism. But it’s worth it!

About Rebekka Dudensing

Dr. Rebekka Dudensing is an Associate Professor and Extension Economist - Community Economic Development with Texas AgriLife Extension and Research in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M. Her research interests include the evaluation of economic development opportunities, taxation and public/private goods issues, entrepreneurship, and regional economic cooperation.
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