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Rural America is at a Tipping Point

Publication: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

“Entrepreneurship built rural America and now we need to create new engines of innovation,” said Dr. Joe Sertich, speaking at the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, DC, February 16-17, 2006. Sertich said that “rural America is at a tipping point regarding economic decline.” And, that business, education, and government will need to work together to invigorate rural communities. Sertich noted that rural community colleges around the nation have emerged as powerful catalysts for the communities they serve. And for those colleges who haven’t, he challenged them to recognize their unfunded mission, which is community development that leads to economic growth. “Colleges must recognize that their mission is to provide quality education not just to learners, not just to students, but to the communities across the region they serve,” said Sertich, who is regional president of the Northeast Higher Education District, Chisholm, Minnesota. To read Sertich’s entire speech visit http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/2006%20Speeches/PDF%20speech%20docs/Sertich223.pdf.

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