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North Platte to Host Rural Futures Institute Rural Regional Forum

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August 16, 2016 — North Platte will serve as a host community for one of three Rural Regional Forums that the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska will convene. The North Platte forum will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Sandhills Convention Center. The forum is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
 
 The University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute, is hosting the series of regional forums this fall aimed at identifying real world issues, showcasing success stories and sharing outcomes of RFI-funded projects targeting important challenges currently facing rural communities.
 
Registration is now open for the forums. Besides the North Platte location, other forums will take place on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Nielsen Center in West Point and Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Chadron State College in Chadron.
A leadership team from each region is guiding RFI staff in shaping each specific forum. “The Rural Futures Institute is uniquely positioned to work with communities to develop real, futuristic solutions tackling some of rural America’s most daunting challenges. Our goal is to help communities create their desired futures by connecting the dots between research, community and talent,” said Chuck Schroeder, Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute.
The day-long forums begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Registration is $25, which covers all activities, tours and lunch. The forums are open to the public and attendees are encouraged to come prepared to discuss issues, opportunities, innovative ideas and goals for their community or region and identify ways the Rural Futures Institute can partner or facilitate to achieve those goals.
“If we’re to be successful, we need to continually communicate with our most important stakeholders –citizens whose energy, creativity and leadership is vital to the future of rural. These regional forums are a way to continue our dialogue about how we can work together to ensure a strong future for everyone,” said Schroeder.
 
 
“We need to focus on leadership as a whole, not just one generation,” said Megan McGown, VP of Economic Development and Director of Communications & Marketing at the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce. “We must find and bring to the table those who want to focus on positive change,” she explained while helping identify topics to address at the forums.

The regional forums will focus on energized leadership, growing economies and vibrant communities. At each forum, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from regional leaders about what they are doing to enhance business growth, engage young adults, expand educational opportunities and increase the quality of life for all generations.
Each forum will spotlight some of the RFI’s award-funded projects of the past three years. Faculty from across University of Nebraska’s four campuses, together with partners around the nation, are pursuing forty projects focusing on topics critical to rural people and communities, ranging from the shortage of mental health providers in rural areas, workforce development in rural communities and rural leadership and engagement to diversity, health, nutrition and the arts.
To get involved, plan to attend one of the 2016 Rural Regional Forums.  For more information visit, ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/events or contact the Rural Futures Institute at ruralfutures@nebraska.edu or (402) 472-2940. For the latest information follow Rural Futures on Twitter at twitter.com/rural_futures or Facebook at facebook.com/ruralfutures
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The Rural Futures Institute is one of four interdisciplinary institutes at the University of Nebraska that leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the system. The institute, through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, encourages bold and futuristic approaches to collaboratively address state, national and global challenges.
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