Making rural communities desirable places to live is not the whole
answer. If there is no economic opportunity in an area, young families
can’t live there no matter how much they might want to. However,
economic opportunity is more likely to be created in attractive places
to live because they draw young families and entrepreneurs who start new
farms and businesses and revitalize existing enterprises. In recent
decades, rural communities with natural amenities to draw people –
lakes, mountains, rivers, or climate – have grown.
Most farm and ranch communities don’t have mountains or lakes. They
aren’t likely to become the next tourist-filled Aspen, and most of us
wouldn’t want that. But each of our communities has assets, strengths,
and opportunities we can build on to draw people – native sons and
daughters back to raise their families and others seeking a rural life
style. Those assets range from natural amenities, to strong schools, to
friendly neighbors. The best place to start is with existing strengths.
May 14th, 2015
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