NY Times Bestselling Author Thomas Frank headlines the Center for Rural Affairs Annual Gathering Feb. 26, 2005 in Norfolk, NE.
Frank headlines a strong program of speakers and workshops on issues facing rural communities. The event will also include a small business fair featuring local microbusiness members of the Center’s Rural Enterprise Assistance Program (REAP). Registration starts at 9:30 am, and the program begins at 10:00a.m.
Topics for the multiple tracked “teach-in” sessions include small business strategies for rural regions, high value livestock markets and cooperatives, and a look at federal farm and rural policy including critical budget legislation. Development issues include wind power, agri-tourism, and a popular new model of community development. There are 17 different choices for participants to choose between.
“The annual gathering is a combination of a workshop, discussion group, and a party,” said Russ Gifford, Director of Communications for the Center. “Some topics highlight policies and practices that harm rural communities, and others demonstrate methods that individuals and communities can use to change the situation. Additional sessions will preview new opportunities.”
Chuck Hassebrook, executive director for the Center, will give the keynote address, “Why Rural Matters” over a lunch of locally grown food from family farms. Tickets for the lunch are $7.00 at the door.
Thomas Frank will speak at 4:00 p.m.
Called “the second coming of H.L. Mencken – but with better politics,” Thomas Frank brings Mark Twain’s “pen warmed up in hell” back to the examination of today’s politics. His best selling book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” digs into the apparent contradiction of Midwesterners embracing a conservative agenda that is frequently at odds with their own self-interest. Frank’s conclusions are as searing as they are far-sighted.
Hassebrook will conclude the day with a look at “Where We Go from Here.”
“The goal is to empower people,” says Hassebrook. “Individuals, communities, and organizations can make a difference. Rural America is vital to the interests of all America, and we will not allow it to become an endangered species.”
For further information call 402 687-2100. For a complete schedule of events, visit our website at www.cfra.org/annualgathering.htm .
Established in 1973 the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Lyons, Nebraska. The Center works to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.