“The No. 1 lag on a county’s economy in our nation is the degree to which its economy is dependent on commodity agriculture.” Farm Journal credits that quote to Chuck Fluharty in a presentation he made at the 10th Farm Journal Forum, December 5-6, 2005, in Washington, D.C. Fluharty is director of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) at the University of Missouri. He spoke about the need for change in our nation’s rural policy, and the benefits of moving toward a regional rural innovation policy. Key components of such a policy are: (1) Moving from recruiting to entrepreneurship, (2) Identifying and encouraging “functional” economic regions, (3) Engaging higher education in a regional framework, and (4) Creating a policy framework that encourages regional leadership. You may view Fluharty’s presentation “Do Rural Initiatives and Farm Programs Conflict? – or Toward a Regional Rural Innovation Policy,” on the RUPRI Web site at http://www.rupri.org/ruralPolicy/presentations/Farm_Journal_Forum_120505.pdf. You also may read Farm Journal’s article on Fluharty’s presentation at http://www.agweb.com/get_article.asp?src=&pageid=123774.