Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.
Do these fit with rural communities? Tell us what you think!

Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes


The Case for Small Schools

Our Small Schools series of articles began as a response to public statements about the need to eliminate small, rural schools. They said small schools are “inefficient,” and take away too many resources (i.e., public aid to education) from deserving larger schools.

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Life’s lessons learned on the farm

I had thought nothing of it when our conversation grew louder to compensate for the sound of my dad’s lawnmower starting. Occasionally Dad, when he wants to do something, will randomly get up and mow the area in which the activity is to take place. A few weeks ago, he had done the very same when he wanted to play bag toss (I refuse to call it corn hole), even though the area was not necessarily in need of mowing.

Coming Home to Rural America

Home. What do you think of when you hear the word? Is it the old, creaky house you grew up in? The wheat fields of North Dakota or cornfields of Iowa? The laughter of your family while gathering for the holidays? For me, it’s the small town where I grew up riding my bike each day, and where I know almost all 851 residents.