(Podcast) Episode 022: The Changing Landscape of Rural Communities

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Anton chats about the changing landscape of rural communities in Montana with Joel Schumacher, an associate extension specialist of economics at Montana State University.  Joel has looked extensively into the issues affecting rural communities in Montana and in the northern Great Plains, and will provide insights into how these communities have changed in the past 10-20 years and the challenges and opportunities that these changes present.

For this podcast, we’ve also included a video that presents charts and figures associated with the discussion. You can view the video below.

Highlights:

3:10  How are rural communities viewed by those outside of rural communities?

4:20  What are the employment trends in rural communities and what do they tell about rural community challenges?

6:15  What do population trends tell us about uneven changes across the state?

10:30  What has been behind the changes in population inflows and outflows from rural communities in the past 10 years?

12:00  Can tourism be the savior of rural communities?

15:30  What about the impact of growth in small, private businesses?

17:00  How are rural communities responding to the changes in population and employment opportunities?

(Intro and outro music by Trevor Sensor)

(Photo by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY 4.0)

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About Author

Dr. Anton Bekkerman is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University, joining the faculty in 2009 after completing his PhD at North Carolina State University. Bekkerman's primary areas of research are grain marketing, basis and price forecast modeling, understanding how grain prices are affected by changes in supply chain infrastructures and quality demands, and analyzing the economic trade-offs of adopting alternative dryland cropping systems in Montana. One of his current projects is an investigation of how new grain loading technologies are affecting prices that Montana farmers receive for their wheat. Bekkerman is also examining the economic impacts that Montana's rapidly expanding dry pulse industry will have on the state's crop industry. Although Bekkerman grew up on the east coast, he has recently made a small step toward production agricultural after acquiring three backyard chickens.

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