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Futures of Rural Communities Hinge on Promoting Entrepreneurship

Globalization is changing rural areas. For rural areas to thrive they must stop trying to compete in the areas of commodity agriculture and manufacturing – the two mainstays of small towns, notes says Mark Drabenstott, director of the Center for the Study of Rural America in Kansas City, Missouri, in an interview with Brownfield farm radio reporter Gary Truitt, in Truitt’s October 26, 2005, story “Improving life in rural communities.” Drabenstott suggests that communities start growing businesses in their own areas by promoting new entrepreneurs. While noting that many farm communities will produce corn, soybeans and pork for a long while, the reality is that the future really belongs to people who specialize in niche products, such as specialized food products. He adds that communities must begin to work together based on common resources and cultures to encourage entrepreneurship.

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