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Rural leaders meet to map out future regional policies / May 17, 2010
Confronted by continuing economic challenges exasperated by the current economy and continuing changing industrial and agriculture markets, rural leaders from the Southern United States came together to plan for the regions future.

A 14-state convening of over one hundred local, regional, state, and federal representatives of the rural South met May 11 and 12, in Charlotte, N.C. Sponsored by Partners for Rural America, a national association of State Rural Development Council’s and Rural Centers. This was one of four regional gatherings across the United States. The focus was to determine if the challenges faced in rural America can better be addressed regional, looking beyond state borders. Public policies and programs that preserve and enhance the quality of rural living in each Southern State were identified.

The event was chaired by Glen Sink, executive director of the Center and Council for Rural Virginia. State Sen. Frank Ruff (Mecklenburg), chairman of the Center for Rural Virginia, welcomed participants on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Gov. Bob McDonnell.

According to Ruff, the purpose of the event was to strengthen the relationship between those from the various states working in the realm improving the economy and the opportunities in the rural regions. This includes those that are in the public sector as well as those involved with non-profit organizations, and private entities that serve the people of the Southern region of the United States.

Presentations focused on comparing changes that have occurred over the last decade in the rural regions of the South in comparison to the more urban centers. Those presentations compared both economic and demographic changes.

Sink is the executive director of both the federally sanctioned Council for Rural Va and the Center for Rural Virginia a public-private partnership between the private sector and state government chaired by Ruff.

Sink can be contacted at 804-371-7141 or 804-381-1999 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Ruff can be reached at 434-374 5129 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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