Midwest Rural Assembly to Bring Together Community and Government Leaders

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Ben Lilliston, (612) 870-3416, ben@iatp.org

Midwest Rural Assembly to Bring Together Community and Government Leaders

Participants Talk Strategies for Rural Prosperity

MINNEAPOLIS - Rural community leaders and
government officials will gather at the 2010 Midwest Rural Assembly
(MRA) to exchange ideas and strategies for rural prosperity.

The MRA will be held on August 16-17 in South Sioux
City, Nebraska. Along with rural community leaders from throughout the
region,
participants will include U.S. Department of
Agriculture State Rural Development Directors from Minnesota, Iowa,
South
Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Keynote speakers include South Dakota state
representative Kevin
Killer and Iowa State
professor and writer/poet Debra Marquart.

"Rural communities have been particularly hard hit
by
these tough economic times," said Jim Kleinschmit, director of the
Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Rural Communities program. "But
there's also a lot of innovation, energy and ideas coming out of our
small towns. This is an opportunity for rural leaders and government
representatives to learn about what's working, and as importantly, how
we
can join together to face many of our common challenges."

A special area of focus is to identify strategies
to attract
and retain young people in rural communities. Young rural leaders from
Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Kansas will share their priorities.
Other
leaders will discuss successful examples of increasing rural prosperity
through
cooperative business models, sustainable energy, local food systems,
green job
creation, rural teacher training, microenterprise programs, integration
of
immigrants, rural infrastructure projects and more. Policy discussions
will
cover federal health care reform, farm policy and broadband policy.

In addition to IATP, coordinating organizations
include:
Avera Rural Health Institute, Center for Rural Affairs, Center for Rural
Policy
and Development, Center for Rural Strategies, Dakota Rural Action, Great
Plains
Rural Policy Network, Heartland Center for Leadership Development, Iowa
Policy
Project, League of Rural Voters, Meadowlark Institute, National Rural
Assembly,
National Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Housing Developers Association,
North
Central Regional Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education,
Renewing the
Countryside, Rural Learning Center, Rural Policy Research Institute,
South
Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc., and West Central Initiative.

The MRA will be held at the Marina Inn Conference
Center in
South Sioux City, Nebraska. Registrants will receive a special MRA rate
if
rooms are booked before August 2. To register, and read the full agenda
and
speakers list, go to www.midwestruralassembly.org.

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The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.

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