Category Archives: Planning

Transportation for the Rural Elderly

Our research team recently completed the technical report for our Economics of Transportation for the Rural Elderly project. The team’s objective is to provide research recommendations that may be used to enhance, if appropriate or applicable, the provision of rural transportation options that improve quality of life for the rural elderly and other socially and transportation disadvantaged populations. The technical report, as well as a Scientia Magazine article and a related Bryan Eagle article are available at The technical report is available at

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… Read More →

South Plains SET team meets with USDA RD to discuss progress and SECD opportunities

The South Plains Stronger Economies Together (SET) team met with with USDA-Rural Development Regional Community Economic Development Coordinator, Greg Dale Wednesday, April 20, in Tulia. The team discussed progress in implementing their regional SET plan and learned about opportunities for USDA Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) funding.

SET regional economic development program applications available

Communities across Texas are invited to take advantage of a regional economic development initiative offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Prairie View Cooperative Extension Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. The Stronger Economics Together (SET) helps rural communities capitalize on the strengths of the region to create jobs, wealth and economic development. More information is available at

Cultivating Community Wealth: Strategies for Building Rural Wealth, Part 2

This post is part of an eight-week series on Cultivating Community Wealth. Strategies summarized in this post include business retention & expansion, tourism, retiree attraction, workforce education, shop/eat local campaigns, and fundraising campaigns. Strategies discussed in last week’s post include industrial recruitment and financial incentives, clusters, value-chain development, community business matching, entrepreneurship including youth entrepreneurship, and regionalism. Recall that particular strategies may be suited to the assets, goals, and values of some communities but not others. Discussion of a strategy does not imply endorsement, and leaders are encouraged… Read More →

County Migration Flows Mapping Tool

Last week I mentioned a New York Times graphic describing state-level migration flows. The Census Bureau has released the Census Flows Mapper, a county-level mapping tool. This is a useful tool for county leaders and economic developers as they think about who they are attracting, where out-migrants are going, and how they can leverage regional assets to support regional and local development. Statistically, most moves occur relatively near a base county, which alludes to the regional nature of our economies and social capital. 2008-2012 Net Migration in Brazos… Read More →

10 Commandments of Community Leadership

On a Throwback Thursday, with the blog having just moved to a new address, here’s a throwback to a series on the Ten Commandments of Community Leadership by Maury Forman and Michelle Harvey. This was a 10-part series this past spring. Links to the posts at the old blog site are below. Watch for a new series on rural wealth in September. 1. Thou shalt create a vision for the future. 2. Thou shalt develop a strategic plan. 3. Thou shalt build a sustainable economy for the next… Read More →

Stronger Economies Together in the South Plains

A couple of photos from the SET meeting in Littlefield yesterday. The South Plains SET team is working on their vision and goals. Look for the team at the Hale County Business Expo, Sept. 5, at the Ollie Liner Center in Plainview.