Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Center Launches Rural Development Virtual Libraray

Rural Development and Rural Asset-Building Virtual Library

Enhancing opportunity through the building of assets and wealth is the most promising strategy for creating a future for rural communities and their residents. This "virtual library" contains resources we have developed to champion such strategies.

Our research into rural development and rural asset-building strategies is made possible through the support of the Ford Foundation and the Otto Bremer Foundation.

“Assets like businesses and houses bond one to a place and help to build sustainable communities. Individuals and families build an asset base that lifts the veil of poverty and dependence on low-wage work. Communities become stronger and more viable as opportunities and ownership are expanded to a wider group of people.”

Jon Bailey, Director of Rural Research and Analysis Program, Center for Rural Affairs

The Center for Rural Affairs has several resources available on rural development and rural asset and wealth-building. Links are to Adobe Acrobat PDF files.

Building Wealth in Rural Communities: The New Homestead Act and Individual Homestead Accounts examines the potential Individual Homestead Accounts have to bring about positive impacts to individual well-being and community welfare – business startups and expansions, job creation, education and skill enhancement, improved housing and greater retirement security.

Building Wealth in Rural Communities: USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant Program examines the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Value-Added Producer Grants Program, which helps to leverage private dollars for critical investments in business enterprises that strengthen struggling rural communities.

Fresh Promises: Highlighting Promising Strategies of the Rural Great Plains and Beyond a report on examples of good rural development efforts by individuals, communities, and organizations. We include six categories of rural economic and community development that are crucial for viable rural communities, especially those that are agriculturally-based.

Strategies to Revitalize Rural America a compilation of a special series of articles from the Center for Rural Affairs newsletter answers the question, "What can we do to reverse decline in agricultural communities?" We outline 7 strategies, ranging from from federal policy to entrepreneurship.

2007 Farm Bill Rural Development White Paper a look at what the Center for Rural Affairs is proposing for the Rural Development Title of the next farm bill.

Health Care in Rural America a two-part series from the Center's August and September 2004 newsletters. Part I looks at the health care status of rural Americans, and Part II discusses possible solutions.

Rural-Urban Business Links: Previous Efforts and Lessons Learned examines past efforts on linking rural and urban businesses, focusing on lessons learned. Attempts in Nebraska are concentrated upon, but efforts in other states (and some lessons learned in international initiatives) are also highlighted.

Related items on rural development and rural asset and wealth-building:

Rural Action Briefs are published quarterly and on special occasions and analyze Federal Executive, Legislative, and Administrative action concerning rural development and asset-building programs and initiatives. They use a 6-page newsletter format.

Issue Briefs provide analysis and comment on critical and emerging issues of significance to rural people and rural places. They offer quick information and analysis people can use to get more up-to-date on a particular issue.

Contact Jon Bailey, or Kim Preston, for more information on the Center's Rural Development and Rural Asset-Building Virtual Library. You may also request to be added to our email distribution list that lets you know when new resources have been added.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


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