Monday, October 03, 2011

USDA-Ford Foundation conference is focusing on creating rural wealth and livelihoods; join in online

The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ford Foundation are hosting a National Conference on Rural Wealth Creation and Livelihoods in Washington, D.C. The attendees include more than 170 rural development specialists, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders from all regions of America, such as Lionel "Bo" Beaulieu, above, director of the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University.

From a press release about the event: "Fostering wealth creation that leads to improved livelihoods in rural America is a top priority for USDA and for many regional, state and local research and development initiatives." Throughout the conference, participants and speakers will attempt answer such questions as: What do "wealth" and "wealth creation" mean? What works, where, and why - or why not - to promote wealth creation that improves rural livelihoods? How can regional policies and programs contribute to wealth creation that sticks in rural areas? How can we measure rural wealth creation progress, maintenance and outcomes? Organizers also hope the conference will develop "practical, results-relevant dialogue" to initiate action in communities around rural wealth creation and livelihoods.

The event runs through Wednesday and is by invitation, but organizers are sharing information and discussions on the conference networking site, which features conference presentations, dialogue highlights, blogs and opportunities for comments and questions here or at

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