Rural Partners Roundtable
|Why did you stay or come back to rural Kansas?
What makes your community a place you enjoy calling home?
What does rural Kansas need?
Five PowerUps shared their responses to these questions and more as members of a panel before the Kansas Rural Partners Group on Friday, June 14 on the K-State Campus in Manhattan.
In an informal conversation with directors, under-secretaries, coordinators, and others from organizations like Network Kansas, USDA Rural Development, the Kansas Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, the Small Business Administration, the Kansas Small Business Development Center, the Federal Reserve Bank, K-State Research and Extension, the Huck Boyd Institute, Public Square Communities, Project 17, and many more, the five PowerUps detailed the qualities that make their communities places they’re proud to call home.
Panelists stressed the importance of local businesses and access to basic services, including a post office, a grocery store, and a 24-hour gas station that takes credit cards. They highlighted opportunities for recreation, internet access, and connection to mentors as essential traits. They also offered suggestions on ways to engage PowerUps (i.e. think projects, not life-long commitments), ideas for future priorities (incorporating more technical education and entrepreneurship into school curriculum), and shared that one of the most important things a community can demonstrate is that it cares about itself.
Those participating in the panel were Abby Amick, Alma; Christy Hopkins, Tribune; Luke Mahin, Courtland; Julie Roller, Pottawatomie County, and Liz Sosa, Garden City.
What do you think? Why do you call rural Kansas home? What do you love about your community? What do our communities need to be strong, attractive places in the decades to come?