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Keynote Speakers

Chloe Maxmin

Opening keynote, Chloe Maxmin, is the co-director of Dirt Road Organizing, a nonprofit organization that empowers rural people to build power for a resilient, equitable, and democratic future by providing training, supporting grassroots leadership, and offering resources for community change. She also works for JustME doing targeted youth civic engagement work.

Chloe grew up on a venison farm in Nobleboro, ME.  Her work with civic engagement started at a young age, when she founded the Lincoln Academy Climate Action Club as a ninth grader.  Later, she received an honors degree from Harvard College, where she co-founded Divest Harvard, a climate activist coalition of students, alumni, and faculty. She currently lives and works on a farm participating in the program, “Mainers Feeding Mainers”.  

She is passionate about uniting rural communities on values and common ground, a drive which allowed her to serve in the Maine House of Representatives after becoming the first democrat to win Maine House District 88. Two years later, Maxmin became the youngest woman ever to serve in the Maine State Senate. At 28 years old, she unseated a two-term incumbent and Senate Minority Leader, making her the first candidate to unseat a party leader in Maine since 1992. 

With her campaign manager and best friend, Canyon Woodward, she co-authored a book about their personal approach to campaigning, Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends on it. Maxmin and Woodward are also featured in a short documentary about finding purpose and common ground in rural America called Rural Runners. The film premiered earlier this year at Mountainfilm in Telluride and will be screened again in September at the Monadnock International Film Festival.

Isabella Guzman (Invited)

Administer Isabella Guzman of the U.S. Small Business Administration has been invited to be the closing keynote speaker. She serves as the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses and innovative startups in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. Administrator Guzman spent her early career in the private sector as a founder, advisor, and consultant.There she learned the crucial role small businesses play in creating paths to the American Dream. She went on to commit herself to public service – serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor at the SBA, and as Small Business Advocate for the state of California to help advance equity and opportunity for all entrepreneurs.

 

Entrepreneurship Track

Each successive recession in recent history has left in its wake an ever-widening economic gap between rural communities and national trends. Along with a stunning lack of new business formation in rural America, if this trend continues after this current pandemic-induced recession, it will perpetuate ever-widening gaps in income, population, education attainment, innovation, politics, employment and opportunity. Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines and models for community leaders, groups and individuals to create a rich culture of entrepreneurship, a thriving local economy and a vibrant community.

Who Should Attend: Entrepreneurs, economic and community development professionals, government leaders, business leaders, community and downtown advocates, entrepreneur support organizations, lenders and other business funders

Track Leaders: Chris Harris, Senior Director of Growth and Strategy, Kansas Leadership Center & Sara Powell, Program Director, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship

Session 1: Policy and Entrepreneurship

September 21, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM | Hannah Grimes Center 

What makes a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem? What are the tools and resources that support that? Policy is and should be one of the tools that supports entrepreneur friendly communities. We will discuss the importance and future of policy to support entrepreneurs, local small businesses, and a vibrant rural entrepreneurial ecosystem.

When you visit a thriving small town have you wondered what has contributed to the unique feeling and function of that place? None of it happens by accident, it is the work of engaged and empowered civic leaders supporting entrepreneurs and community members.

Hear from engaged civic leaders, about their successes and challenges in supporting rural entrepreneurial ecosystems via two 45 minute panels:

1a. Policy in Community Wealth Building & Supporting Entrepreneurs

Moderator: Kristin Leutz

Panelists: Basel Musharbash, Managing Attorney, Basel PLLC; Liz Kelly, Planner and Designer, Resilience Planning and Design; Matt Dunne, Center on Rural Innovation

1b. Grassroots Leadership & Entrepreneurship Support

Moderator: Lucy Petroucheva, Civic Engagement Manager, Kansas Leadership Center

Panelists: Lea Ann Seiler, Southwest Region Manager, NetWork Kansas; Jeff Murphy, Owner, NOVA Arts/Brewbakers; Jaimie Pesch, Planner, City of Musegon

Session 2: Leading Adaptively and Entrepreneurship

September 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Hannah Grimes Center 

Join us for part two of our exploration of policy and rural entrepreneurial ecosystems in an interactive workshop style session. We will spend 90 minutes digging into real stories and examples of how these projects and initiatives happen in rural communities around the country. Participants will leave with a working understanding of how they can start or continue this work back home.

Community Journalism Track

Local journalism, a bedrock for informed and successful small communities, is under threat. More and more towns are losing their local news sources to the economic upheaval facing the news business and dramatic changes in the ways people get their information. We know that when a trusted local news operation leaves a town, taxes increase, bond rates worsen and community economic development suffers. The Community Journalism Track for Radically Rural assembles expert journalists to help small news organizations build sustainability. Each year we pull together a program that is scalable for rural newsrooms, providing advice and tips that build more responsiveness and relevancy.

Who Should Attend: Journalists, community leaders and organizers, law- and policy-makers and government leaders.

Track Leader: Terrence Williams, President & COO, The Keene Sentinel

Session 1: Covering the Divide

September 21, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM | Colonial Showroom

An exploration of how news organizations can better serve communities that are split over politics, the pandemic, policing, voting and more.

Moderator: Elizabeth Stephens is the executive editor for the Columbia Missourian and the community newspaper chair at the Missouri School of Journalism. She is an associate professor and has led audience engagement and digital efforts at the Missourian. In her role as digital director at KOMU, she oversaw digital strategy and trained digital producers. Previously, she worked as an editor at SNL Financial in Charlottesville, Va., and copy desk chief at the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer. She holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri.

Panelists: Tony Baranowski, manager of special projects, Cedar Rapids GazetteSara Konrad Baranowski ,deputy managing editor, Cedar Rapids Gazette; Peter Huoppi, director, multimedia, The Day, New London, CT, and co-producer of the documentary, “Those People.”

Session 2: Better Judgment

September 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Colonial Showroom

How innovative newsrooms are changing their coverage of cops and courts to provide fairer, more equitable news reporting.

Moderator: Cierra Hinton, publisher, Scalawag. Hinton has an undying love and passion for the complicated South, which she brings to Scalawag where she oversees operations and planning. According to its mission, through journalism and storytelling, Scalawag works in solidarity with oppressed communities in the South to disrupt and shift the narratives that keep power and wealth in the hands of the few.

Panelists: Paul Cuno-Booth, freelance journalist and reporter on several alternative justice projects in New Hampshire. Molly Born, West Virginia multimedia producer and educator, now documenting West Virginia’s history and future. DeLyah Jones, freelance journalist, community engagement consultant and journalism philanthropy program officer.

Session 3: Crazy Good

September 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Colonial Showroom

50 ideas to make you a better journalist.

Speaker: Jeremy Caplan, director of teaching and learning at City University of New York Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Caplan teaches classes, workshops and webinars on entrepreneurial and digital journalism. He is a former Ford Fellow in Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Poynter Institute, a Wiegers Fellow at Columbia Business School, where he earned his MBA, and Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia Journalism School, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism.

Arts & Culture Track

The Arts are an expression of our cultural roots, our reality today, and our understanding of what may happen tomorrow, and, as such, are vital to the health of our rural communities. The arts feed our sense of belonging, understanding and social development and are an excellent means of sharing culture and connecting through beauty and stories. The arts can also be an intrinsic part of economic development – instigating tourism, downtown spending, and more. Join us at Radically Rural as we explore stories from rural communities about how the arts build community connections, grow pride in our rural spaces, and celebrate the growing diversity of our communities.

Who Should Attend:  Community Development professionals, Planners, Architects and Designers, Philanthropists, Nonprofit and Business Grantmakers and Evaluators, Municipal and City leaders, Developers, Writers and Journalists, Local arts agencies, Arts organization leaders and programming directors and development officers

Track Leader: Jessica Gelter, Executive Director, Arts Alive

Session 1: Citizens Institute on Rural Design: Good Design is Transformative

September 21, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM | Colonial Mainstage

How does physical space, and the process of transforming it, change a community?

Speakers will share information and stories about the Citizens Institute on Rural Design – a program that brings designers and architects to rural communities across the US and its territories. The program utilizes design to address community challenges and build community cohesion, with a focus on community development. Two projects recently part of the CIRD program will join the session to share stories of how design transformed their small towns.

Speakers: Courtney Spearman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Stephen Sugg of the Housing Assistance Council; Trevellya Fordahmed of Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society; Jean Grigsby of Snow Pond Center for the Arts

Session 2: Identifying and Connecting with Rural BIPOC Arts & Culture Communities

September 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Colonial Mainstage

Rural America is diversifying. How can communities identify and celebrate their diverse cultural assets?

Dr. Genna Styles-Lyas of Americans for the Arts will talk about a new initiative on collecting information on BIPOC organizations and communities across America as part of their Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 6. Dr. Styles-Lyas is developing outreach ideas with communities across the country – including tiny rural ones like ours that think of themselves as predominantly white. She will share what she’s discovering about diversity in rural America’s arts communities and how it may change the way we think about arts and culture equity in funding, resource allocation, accessibility, and inclusion. During the session we will also hear stories from two rural communities that are participating in the study.

*Masks are required for this session*

Speakers: Dr. Genna Styles-Lyas, Americans for the Arts; Selbe Bartlett, Chatham County Arts Council, Inc.; Eliza Tudor, Nevada County Arts Council

Session 3: A Taste of Songwriting

September 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Brewbakers Cafe – IN PERSON ONLY

Looking for a creative way to engage your community in a vision? In this Radical session, participants will learn by doing. We will collaboratively create a song together that celebrates radically rural living and community-building. Writing a song is a fun and creative way to develop ideas, theses, or messages about a passion, a community experience, or a vision for the future! In this session, you’ll navigate idea- and lyric-generating prompts, give “yes, and” feedback, understand “the smell test” that editors practice in everyday journalism, and utilize some basic open source music production elements to create and record a song! Collaborative songwriting is a great tool for community planners, organizers, and leaders – to get folks creatively engaged in envisioning ideas or processing experiences. This workshop is for anyone, literally anyone, who likes music or who has ever written angsty poetry or who feels like trying something totally different! The song written during this session will be shared during the Livability Slam.

Speakers: Becky Karush, founder, Read to me Literary Arts; Dalton Zbierski, editor, Turley Publications; Daniel Roeder, Chief Academic Officer, David Z Foundation

Land & Community Track

Land use permeates conversations in rural communities, from forestry to cattle grazing, to farming and to recreation. The livelihoods of these towns are often tied to the surrounding landscape and lands. Because the health of this land is impacted by the climate crisis, communities must act, adjust and adapt. Join Radically Rural as we introduce how people can better connect to the land for economic, social and healing benefits.

Who Should Attend: Farmers, Agricultural Service Providers, Environmental Professionals, Public Health Professionals, Planners, Students of Environment and Agriculture Programs, Community members interested in improving the agricultural economy of their region, Community members interested in improving public health and land stewardship

Track Leaders: Amanda Littleton, District Manager, Cheshire County Conservation District & Benee Hershon, Outreach Coordinator, Cheshire County Conservation District

Session 1: Grain Sheds

September 21, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM | Keene Public Library – Heberton Hall

Grainsheds are transforming rural economies while engaging community stakeholders across professions. Grainsheds build and connect regional grain supply chains to support local businesses and empower rural economies, they create cohesive networks that enhance collaboration between local growers, processors, and makers, while also increasing awareness and understanding of the value of region grains. This session provides a platform for speakers from different roles throughout the grainshed to share its impact, and to provide a toolkit for attendees to build and engage their regional grianshed.

Speakers: Emily Cayer, Northeast Grainshed Alliance; Andrea Stanley, maltster and miller, Valley Malt and Ground Up Grain; Lenny Bussanich, River Valley Community Grains; Barry Labendz, brewer, Kent Falls Brewing Co.; Sarah Cox, farmer, miller, and CSA, Tuckaway Farm; Hannah Smalls, outreach coordinator, The Northeast Grainshed Alliance; Shawn Gingue & Sara Gingue, owners, NEK Grains; Blair Marvin, baker & owner, Elmore Mountain Bread

Session 2: Climate Activism: Engaging Rural Youth – Collab with Clean Energy

September 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Keene Public Library – Heberton Hall

As the impacts of climate change become apparent throughout rural life, now more than ever, it is time to act. In the past few years, youth climate activists have garnered worldwide attention for their commitment to our planet and our future. This panel will spotlight youth activists engaging rural communities.

Moderator: Anthea Lavallee, Executive Director of Hubbard Brook Research Foundation

Panelists: Phoebe Dolan, Co-Director of Maine Youth Power; Nikhil Chavda of 350NH; Nat Wood of Keene State College and the Emerging Leaders Collaborative

Session 3: Inclusive Outdoor Recreation

September 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Keene Public Library – Heberton Hall

When you think of a hiker, skier, or camper, who do you picture? Due to historic discrimination outdoor spaces lack inclusivity. Through prioritizing inclusivity, safe spaces, and accessibility, these organizations work towards making the outdoors a welcoming place for all. Hear from panelists on the communities they serve, and the ways that they work to build inclusivity and engagement in rural and non-rural spaces.

Speakers: Ana Seiler, The Venture Out Project; Loren Penman, Commissioner, Genesee Region Parks

Clean Energy Track

The climate crisis is impacting rural communities disproportionately. These communities frequently depend on agriculture and tourism economies, but changes in weather patterns threaten both. Residents of rural communities also spend more of their household dollars on energy, studies show. Investment in energy efficiency, renewables and community solutions to electricity purchasing can provide opportunities to reduce costs, increase comfort and enhance rural living and resilience. Radically Rural seeks to provide solutions, guidelines and models for community leaders, groups and individuals to promote clean energy as a means to combat the climate crisis.

Who Should Attend: Municipal and city leaders, community, regional and statewide leaders; community organizers and energy committee members (local, regional, statewide); clean energy activists and advocates, farmers and foresters

Track Leader: Rob Werner, State Director for NH, League of Conservation Voters

Session 1: Clean Energy Infrastructure: Opportunities and How to Access Federal Funds

September 21,  1:30 PM – 3:00 PM | Keene Public Library – Cohen Hall

The Bi-Partisan infrastructure Bill includes a variety of provisions to support the development of clean energy infrastructure, including electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and electric school buses for school districts among many other clean energy initiatives. This session will provide information on how federal funds to support these initiatives will flow to the states and the processes to obtain funding.

Moderator: Rob Werner, NH State Director of the League of Conservation Voters

Panelists: Jim O’Brien, Director of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy; James Penfold, Director of eMobility Solutions at ReVision Energy

Session 2: Climate Activism: Engaging Rural Youth – Collab with Land & Community

September 21,  3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Keene Public Library – Heberton Hall

As the impacts of climate change become apparent throughout rural life, now more than ever, it is time to act. In the past few years, youth climate activists have garnered worldwide attention for their commitment to our planet and our future. This panel will spotlight youth activists engaging rural communities.

Moderator: Anthea Lavallee, Executive Director of Hubbard Brook Research Foundation

Panelists: Phoebe Dolan, Co-Director of Maine Youth Power; Nikhil Chavda of 350NH; Nat Wood of Keene State College and the Emerging Leaders Collaborative

Session 3: Natural Climate Solutions and Climate Action

September 22,  2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Keene Public Library – Cohen Hall

As Congress prepares to reauthorize the federal farm bill in 2023 (the farm bill is reauthorized on a five year cycle), opportunities to encourage and support local agriculture production and natural climate solutions abound. This session will examine various programs and initiatives that will be considered by Congress and the implications for building a more resilient agricultural sector and a clean energy economy.

Panelists: Congresswoman Annie Kuster (Invited); Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State; Britt Lundgren, Senior Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs at Stonyfield Farm; Allan Reetz, Director of Public and Government Affairs at Hanover Co-Op Food Stores

All in for Health Track

Why should community members care about health? A community that cares about the health of its members cultivates a vibrant and sustainable place for living, working and playing. A healthy community positions itself to attract new businesses and residents, keeps young families in town, lowers costs for employers, and helps the elderly age gracefully in place. It takes all of us to create this vision of a healthy community. Join us in the All in for Health track at Radically Rural to learn more about your role in this picture. This year we’ll focus on the foundation of community well-being sculpted by the social determinants of health. We will discuss topics such as how adequate housing and community-based behavioral health resources can improve the lives of rural communities. What specifically can you take away from this track? Tangible tools to bring home: replicable ideas from model projects, innovative ideas to spark deep conversation about how everyone can contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.

Who Should Attend: Community organizers, municipal and business leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, philanthropists, the general public, and healthcare workers.

Track Leader: Julia Johnston, Knowledge Management Specialist, ChildKind International

Session 2: Health from the Start – Collab with Main Street

September 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Keene Public Library – Cohen Hall

How can you strengthen your community’s efforts to build a sustainable vision of health and well-being? Join us to hear the broad brush on social determinants of health. Shelter and a safe environment are core elements for raising a healthy community. Rural areas are losing population: what can we do to provide adequate housing for all, and support for young people? Building a strong workforce and conscientious community means supporting the children. Learn how we can help them succeed in school and grow into adults with meaningful work and connections in our community.

Ericka Burroughs-Girardi will ground us in the County Health Rankings model and approach to understanding how it takes all of us working together to build a healthy community. Romi Hall will share examples from NeighborWorks America rural communities addressing the critical housing shortages leaving people without homes. Kini-Ana Tinkham will explain the Maine Resilience Building Network data and science about the impact of trauma and the positive impact of resilience on children’s brain development. They will share inspiring stories of the Mattering Initiative to ensure all youth can see how they matter, in families, schools and communities. We close with suggestions for you to take home: what can you do, regardless of your position or role, to build a healthier and more resilient community?

Speakers: Ericka Burroughs-Girardi, Senior Outreach Specialist, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps; Romi Hall, Director, Healthy Homes and Communities, Neighborworks America; Kini-Ana Tinkham, Executive Director, Maine Resilience Building Network

Session 3: Homegrown Care: Care you can Provide

September 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Colonial Mainstage

Health is grown like a garden and it takes more than just one person. Just as a farm is a family, a healthcare worker without the support of its residents causes gaps in care. Join Homegrown Care to learn how to cultivate a community centered around the well-being of its residents. This session features a panel of community health professionals.

These behavioral health experts are equipped with knowledge of trauma-informed care and model projects designed by NAMI, Mental Health First Aid, and SafeTALK Suicide. We’ll examine these resources together and discuss how you can implement them in your own town by creating local boards grounded in Corinne’s experience with Telluride’s Behavioral Health Solutions Panel. Phil will discuss the Monadnock Assembly on Trauma and Transformation (MATT), a catalyst for all members of the community to learn the strategies to inspire and transform our response to trauma. Join us in learning about behavioral health policy and reform, a topic that cries for support during this mental health epidemic coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. Rural regions come together as a community to collaborate on how to help heal mind, body and soul.

Speakers: Ray Merenstein, Executive Director of NAMI Colorado; Corinne Cavendar, Behavioral Health Solutions Executive Assistant from Tri-County Health Network’ Phil Wyzik, Executive Director of Monadnock Family Services

Main Street Track

Main Streets are the socio-economic centers of rural communities. Their ability to thrive is essential to the continued economic success of small cities and towns, and these centers imbue their residents with a sense of place. This awareness is often tied to the past, inextricability set in the present and looking toward the future. Facing challenges of today means keeping Main Street surviving and even thriving. Tomorrow’s future doesn’t mean leaving everything behind but, rather, acknowledging what to save and what to improve. Reimagining Main Streets can enliven stakeholders and residents in fundamentally new ways. Join us at Radically Rural as we explore the rebirth of Main Street and the positive impacts available to rural communities.

Who Should Attend: Business owners and professionals, municipal and city planners, community members, volunteers and individuals interested in community revitalization

Track Leader: Todd Horner, Senior Planner, Southwest Regional Planning Committee

Session 2: Health from the Start – Collab with All in for Health

September 21, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Keene Public Library – Cohen Hall

How can you strengthen your community’s efforts to build a sustainable vision of health and well-being? Join us to hear the broad brush on social determinants of health. Shelter and a safe environment are core elements for raising a healthy community. Rural areas are losing population: what can we do to provide adequate housing for all, and support for young people? Building a strong workforce and conscientious community means supporting the children. Learn how we can help them succeed in school and grow into adults with meaningful work and connections in our community.

Ericka Burroughs-Girardi will ground us in the County Health Rankings model and approach to understanding how it takes all of us working together to build a healthy community. Romi Hall will share examples from NeighborWorks America rural communities addressing the critical housing shortages leaving people without homes. Kini-Ana Tinkham will explain the Maine Resilience Building Network data and science about the impact of trauma and the positive impact of resilience on children’s brain development. They will share inspiring stories of the Mattering Initiative to ensure all youth can see how they matter, in families, schools and communities. We close with suggestions for you to take home: what can you do, regardless of your position or role, to build a healthier and more resilient community?

Speakers: Ericka Burroughs-Girardi, Senior Outreach Specialist, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps; Romi Hall, Director, Healthy Homes and Communities, Neighborworks America; Kini-Ana Tinkham, Executive Director and Ruby Parker, Engagement and Education Director, Maine Resilience Building Network

Session 3: Rehumanizing Rural Main Street: Assessing Walkability in Small Downtowns and Village Centers

September 22, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Hannah Grimes Center

A rural main street is more than a conveyance for motorized vehicles. It’s also a critical source of public space, a site of human activity. It’s a place where people socialize, hold civic discourse, engage in commerce, celebrate holidays, recreate, engage in healthy active transportation (walking, bicycling, and transit), and more. Yet these vital functions are typically treated as secondary to the efficient movement of vehicular traffic. How might rural communities better examine the full potential of their main streets? What might they gain by accounting for the needs of those traveling on foot, by bicycle, and via wheelchair and other mobility devices.

In this session, we’ll explore these questions and others, both in the classroom and in the field. Mark Fenton, a nationally-recognized active transportation expert, will lay out the case for walkable main streets in rural communities, through the lens of public health and the Covid pandemic, economic development, environmental sustainability, and community cohesion. Then he’ll lead participants through a walk audit, a process that involves walking through a neighborhood in order to better understand opportunities to improve the experience of pedestrians and mobility aid users. The outdoor portion of the session will use downtown Keene as a case study.

Speaker: Mark Fenton, Adjunct Professor, Tufts University

Roundtable Conversations

Roundtable Conversations are guided discussions that take place during the lunch block. Attendees can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant downtown, while learning about topics of interest to them, networking, and interacting with rural professionals from across the country.

Addressing the Housing Crisis with Data: NACo’s County Explorer Mapping Tool

September 21, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM | IN PERSON ONLY

The National Association of Counties (NACo) County Explorer is a powerful, interactive mapping tool designed to help government, community and business leaders alike better understand their communities. With over 1,000 county-level indicators, the tool contains a wealth of information which all kinds of local leaders can use to tackle a broad range of issues, including the housing crisis. Join NACo Research to discuss the county-level housing data and profiles available on County Explorer, how data can translate into action and what solutions counties across the nation are implementing to provide safe, affordable homes to residents.

Speaker: Jonathan Harris, Associate Research Director, NACo

Unifying Your Independent Farm & Food Entrepreneurs into a Visible Growth Sector

September 21, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM | Hannah Grimes Center – IN PERSON ONLY

One definite competitive edge of rural communities is its ability to produce food. The pandemic highlighted the importance of localized food supply chains and spurred growth for many local food businesses. As pandemic disruptions recede, soaring energy and commodity prices are making small-scale, locally-produced food more price competitive. Seeing an opportunity for growth in this sector, the Hannah Grimes Center (HGC) customized its 7-week Business Lab curriculum for farm entrepreneurs and another for added-value food entrepreneurs. HGC and its farm and food partners will share experiences in serving these two entrepreneur groups and invite attendees’ ideas, experience, and input. This discussion is the foundation for an Entrepreneur Track session at the 2023 RR Summit focused on how to identify, support and align a region’s existing farm and food entrepreneurs into an economic driver for a rural community. This roundtable discussion is particularly focused on the aspect of providing support to these entrepreneurs.

Speakers: Mary Ann Kristiansen, Exexcutive Director, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship; Sara Powell, Program Director, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship; Jim Verzino, President, Creators Financial, LLC; Andy Pressman, NCAT

The Power of Songs

September 22, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM | Brewbakers Cafe – IN PERSON ONLY

Musician and community leader Daniel Roeder, journalist Dalton Dzberski, and writer and literary arts advocate Becky Karush host a conversation on the power that song and songwriting hold. This will be a free flowing conversation that may include sharing of favorite songs and lyrics and discussion on how the creative process is a powerful tool for folks who typically think and lead in overly linear, procedure-based, or otherwise-constrained environments with focuses on editing and critique rather than idea generation. Stick around after the roundtable for the full length session: A Taste of Songwriting to help write a Radically Rural theme song.

Speakers: Becky Karush, founder, Read to me Literary Arts; Dalton Zbierski, editor, Turley Publications; Daniel Roeder, Chief Academic Officer, David Z Foundation

How Rural Homeowners can Become Home Creators: ADUs and Home Hacking

September 22, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM | IN PERSON ONLY

In today’s housing market, it’s not just urban areas that are experiencing challenges. Many rural communities lack the housing they need in order to thrive–to attract new families, to recruit essential workers, or to enable older residents to age in place. Overcoming these challenges will require a variety of approaches, including those that involve everyday homeowners. Accessory dwelling units (ADU) are one way homeowners can create a new place to live, whether for a family member, a renter, or themselves if they’re interested in downsizing. In a nutshell, an ADU is a home built attached or next to a primary residence. A related approach is house hacking–renting out portions of one’s home to generate income. In this interactive workshop, participants will discuss factors that influence both of these bottom-up techniques, including site planning, financing, and more.

Speakers: Ivy Vann, Principal, Ivy Vann Town Planning and Urban Design; Christopher Lee, Designer & Developer, Backyard ADUs; Austin Gregory, Engineer, Backyard ADUs, Tim O’Reilly, Small Home Advisor, Backyard ADUs

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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