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IANR launches working group focused on rural community prosperity

IANR launches working group focused on rural community prosperity
480830024/iStock/ThinkStock. Bike path.

Lincoln, Neb. — The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has launched a working group to identify ways that the university can better support the state’s rural communities.

“The University of Nebraska is a key resource for the state’s rural communities,” said NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor Mike Boehm. “As part of our efforts to ensure the continued competitiveness of our state, this working group will help rural communities position themselves for long-term economic prosperity.”

The working group will create a comprehensive strategic framework for an innovative, robust and integrated approach to rural community vitality, prosperity and resilience. To achieve this goal, the group will conduct a thorough review of successful approaches to rural community prosperity as reflected in best practices in Nebraska and elsewhere. This involves exploring how the visions and efforts of NU’s Rural Futures Institute, Nebraska Extension, the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, and the Department of Agricultural Economics, along with other IANR, UNL and NU resources may be leveraged to enhance partnerships with rural Nebraskans and others interested in strengthening the economic prosperity and vitality of rural communities.

Organization, staff, space and funding needed to fulfill this enhanced mission will be significant considerations for the working group. A broad spectrum of internal and external stakeholders will be engaged throughout the process.

The following members have been appointed to the working group:

  • Mark Balschweid, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, Rural Futures Institute
  • Theresa Klein, Rural Futures Institute
  • Don Macke, Nebraska Extension Community Vitality Initiative
  • Amy Struthers, College of Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Larry VanTassell, Department of Agricultural Economics
  • Milan Wall, Heartland Center for Leadership Development
  • Kim Wilson, Nebraska Extension Community Vitality Initiative

Don Macke will serve as the convener for the working group. The strategic framework is due to Boehm by Nov. 15, 2019.

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