Marketing Hometown America

Research & Engagement, 2013



Research within this project has demonstrated that confidence, capacity-building and behavior can be increased in community-based leadership through a series of study-circle-based community-wide conversations facilitated by trained coaches. More details on the program webpage >>>


Marketing Hometown America (MHA) is an educational program focused on recruiting and retaining new residents. It engages communities through small groups, called study circles, to get more residents involved and more voices heard. Designed as a tool to create dialogue that moves toward action, it can be the spark to help a rural community look at itself and the recruitment and retention of new residents in a new way.

The RFI-funded project originally started in 2013 in three states: Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The project has continued beyond the 2015 grant time frame, and in 2016 the Minnesota Extension was interested in offering the program in their state, so a train-the-trainer program was established to allow those participating to become full partners in program development, implementation and evaluation. In October of 2017, Iowa State Extension requested the same training.

Project Team




  • North Atlantic Forum
    Rural New Resident Recruitment: A Critical First Step Toward Sustainability
    September, 2017 | Bo, Norway
  • North Central Region Center for Rural Development Webinar
    Marketing Hometown America
    December 1, 2016 | Placemaking Webinar Series
  • Heartland Center for Leadership Development National Conference
    Rural New Resident Recruitment: Marketing Hometown America
    October, 2016 | Jackson Hole, WY
  • International Rural Sociological Conference
    Ripple Effect Mapping
    August, 2016 | Toronto, Canada
  • National Association of Development Organizations
    A New Twist on Rural New Resident Recruitment: Marketing Hometown America
    August, 2015 | Denver, CO
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference
    Did it make a difference? Ripple effect mapping & Marketing Hometown America
    May 17-20, 2015 | Little Rock, AR
  • Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference
    Attraction and Retention: Marketing Hometown America
    April 19-20, 2015 | McCook, NE
  • Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards
    Marketing Hometown America
    January, 2015| Lincoln, NE
  • Rural Sociological Society Annual Conference
    Marketing Hometown America: An asset-based community development approach to rural new resident recruitment
    Summer, 2014 | New Orleans, LA
  • National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Conference
    Marketing Hometown America
    June 22-25, 2014 | Grand Rapids, MI
  • International Association for Community Development Conference
    Marketing Hometown America
    June, 2014 | Glasgow, Scotland

Media Coverage


Contact: Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel,