Fillmore County was well represented at the Rural Futures Conference that was held in Lincoln November 3-5. Megan Burda, Karla Jacobson, Ann Jansky, Eric Kamler, Christin Lovegrove, Patt Lentfer, and Brandy VanDeWalle participated in the conference that had the theme, “Beyond Boundaries.” Over 550 people attended the event.
The conference opened with “Envisioning Beyond Boundaries: Thoughts from Thomas Jefferson.” Clay Jenkinson, author, humanities scholar and director of The Dakota Institute portrayed Thomas Jefferson. The evening also featured a video that was a captivating series of stories that illustrated the value of rural people and places.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Tom Koulopoulos, founder of the Delphi Group who provided insight on innovative practices and methods to address complexities that exist regarding the future of rural places.
During the Monday evening reception, Fillmore County was one of 20 communities to pose challenging questions with the goal of connecting faculty, students and other partners to address the question/challenge. Megan Burda, Extension assistant, also presented a poster at the traditional poster session.
On Tuesday a panel of young professionals talked about working through complexities as they strive to make their rural communities strong. There were also concurrent sessions that worked on “Turning Knowledge into Action.”
The conference ended on Tuesday afternoon with Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, laying out his vision to create new opportunity for rural America and grow the rural economy in the long term. He focused on the need for new, innovative partnerships across various priority areas.