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, May 02, 2006

A Younger Face for Rural America

A Younger Face for Rural America

Contribute your stories, images to book showcasing role of young people in rural revitalization

Beth Munnich, Renewing the Countryside
(612) 871-1541,

As rural populations decline, community leaders across the country find themselves concerned about how to hold on to young residents—and attract young families to rural places. But young people are, in fact, making lives for themselves in rural America—launching new businesses, keeping family farms in production, starting new farms, and becoming involved in their local communities.

Moreover, young people in both rural and urban areas are engaging in rural development by participating in farm-to-school programs, community gardens, and exchange programs that give young people a taste of rural lifestyles. Forward-thinking communities are finding new and innovative ways to engage the next generation in building a better future for their original and adopted hometowns.

Consider contributing your story or photo to Youth Renewing the Countryside, a book in progress that will capture the best stories of hope and youth-led renewal in rural America. The book will be produced by young writers and photographers who tell the success stories of young adults crafting rural livelihoods that support themselves, their families, and their communities, and of youth programs that build social capital while strengthening local food systems.

The book will form the basis for a national public education campaign about the role of young people in sustaining and revitalizing rural communities. Renewing the Countryside, a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization, in partnership with the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, is now seeking stories and story ideas, as well as young writers and photographers to be part of the Youth Renewing the Countryside production team this summer.

A national committee composed of representatives from farming, youth development, and entrepreneurship networks, along with writers and photographers, will select the stories to be included in the publication and the writers and photographers who will create it. Selected contributors will be paired with professional writers and photographers who will act as mentors throughout the process. Renewing the Countryside will provide modest compensation to writers and photographers for their work.

Contact Beth Munnich ( or (866) 378-0587) with: * your story idea * name(s) of potential contributor(s), including young writers or photographers

The deadline for nominating stories, writers, and photographers is June 15, 2006. Submissions and nominations will be reviewed beginning in early June.

Renewing the Countryside is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides support and resources for individuals and communities who are looking for sustainable ways to strengthen their rural communities and reduce poverty. The organization does this by sharing stories of rural renewal, building public awareness of and support for sustainable endeavors, connecting people interested in sustainable rural development to each other, providing practical assistance and networking opportunities for people working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban and rural residents.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    how about the young woman that writes for the Center for Rural Affairs - Elisha?


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