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

Monday, April 24, 2006

Try What Works

Try What Works

by John Crabtree,

That is what my father often said to me. As a teenager I was always looking for a quicker way to get my farm chores done so I could spend time with friends.

My shortcuts most often yielded inferior results and took longer. But I would keep at it, thinking that there was a silver bullet solution just around the corner. Eventually my father would come around and say kindly, “how about you try what works.”

As I observe rural people working to revitalize their communities, I am often reminded of what my father told me. Everyone knows of rural communities that are rising against the tide. Everyone knows of the opposite too.

Rural Americans know that revitalizing rural communities will take hard work. Some communities will rebuild one business, one storefront, even one person at a time. There are no silver bullets.

The next farm bill is an opportunity to change course, a way to move away from policies that undermine rural communities. But will we? Do we have the courage and strength of purpose?

If you are concerned about these questions, you are not alone. The Center for Rural Affairs is building a National Rural Action Network, gathering tens of thousands of rural people, just like you, standing up to demonstrate that we do have the courage and the strength. Become a part of the action by contacting me or signing up at As my father might say, “how about we get together and try what works.”

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just joined the Rural Action Network. And I am sending this link to my contact list. John, thanks, for all you do.

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i just signed up as well, what is the goal for this petition? how many signatures?

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Becky McCray said…

    John, I've cross-posted this to Small Biz Survival. I'm looking forward to working with you on rural issues.

    Becky McCray

  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger Center for Rural Affairs said…

    It is interesting that a previous poster would ask about this "petition." Although the Rural Action Network is intended to be more than a petition, rather a network of rural citizens working together to creat better public policy for rural America, we have been working on creating an online petition as one of our first big organizing efforts for the Rural Action Network.

    Take a look at the next post (today's). I hope you will all sign up and, more importantly, send the petition to as many people as possible.

    Give me a shout if you have any questions.

    John Crabtree,
    Center for Rural Affairs
    Values. Worth. Action.


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