Rural communities face important challenges to remain strong and vibrant. Some of these challenges are beyond the capacity of rural communities to control, while many others can be successfully tackled when local people and organizations work together on high priority issues they have in common.
The question is this: What are the crucial rural development issues that deserve serious attention in the months and years ahead? One important way to gain insights on these issues is through a “roundtable.” A roundtable provides the equal forum for discussing, digesting, debating, and deliberating on the challenges and opportunities facing rural communities. When the table is round, everyone is equal and everyone is heard.
The Southern Rural Development Center, in cooperation with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, asked Southern states to hold listening sessions to identify priorities for the future of rural communities. The dates and locations for each state are outlined below. Final reports are linked for those that are currently available.