Rural Prosperity Research Project

Research & Engagement, 2016


This project will build the capacity of a cohort of rural communities to effectively create conditions for a more prosperous future by:

Increasing economic opportunities through business creation
Building up community assets that support a high quality of life
Attracting and keeping people to achieve demographic renewal.
This project applies a systems approach designed to achieve systemic change.


Chuck Hibberd (PI), Dean, Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Connie Hancock (Co-PI), Community Vitality Extension Educator, Panhandle Research and Extension Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
L.J. McElravy (Co-PI), Youth Civic Leadership, Agricultural Leadership & Communication, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Randy Cantrell (RFI Fellow), Community Development Specialist, Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Rural Sociologist, Rural Futures Institute
Lindsay Hastings, Clifton Professor in Mentoring Research; Director, Nebraska Human Resources Institute, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Wayne Moore, Associate Dean & Associate Director, Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kim Wilson (RFI Fellow), Professor & Director, Landscape Architecture Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
David Drozd, Research Coordinator, Center for Public Affairs Research, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Don Macke (RFI Fellow), Co-Founder & Director, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Deborah Markley, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Milan Wall (RFI Fellow), Co-Director, Heartland Center for Leadership Development
Jeff Yost (RFI Fellow), President & CEO, Nebraska Community Foundation
Janet Topolsky, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
Travis Green, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
Kristin Feierabend, The Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group

Contact: Chuck Hibberd,