A message from your MO Manager for Rural Development: Luke Holtschneider

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Dear Rural Partners,

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost a year now that I’ve been working as the Manager of Rural Development for the Department of Economic Development. I guess the old saying is true – time flies when you’re having fun! These first few months have been a great learning experience for me, and I’m excited to begin sharing and spreading the word about all of the fantastic things that are happening in Missouri’s rural communities. 


Through attending regional meetings, working with our many resource partners, and checking out best practices both in Missouri and other Midwestern states, my eyes have been opened to all of the leadership and initiatives that are currently underway in our rural communities. But as great as these are, there seems to be an overwhelming unawareness of what these fellow regions are doing to advance and encourage economic development. With technology all around us and information literally at our fingertips, I hope to change that.

The department is currently working towards developing a new website – one that will have a new “sub-site” devoted exclusively to Rural Development! The new site will feature a host of rural-related resources and documents, perfect for highlighting and promoting some of these great community and regional initiatives and programs! In order to do this, I’m asking for your help. In my travels and conversations, many folks have opened up to me about local practices they have under development and in motion. And I have seen first-hand that we have a lot of great ideas and initiatives underway in every corner of the state that are worthy of promotion, and more importantly, to serve as a resource guide for communities/regions struggling with new and creative local development strategies.

Here is my request to you: If you have regional and/or community initiatives currently underway that you would be willing to share, please email me a brief narrative of your strategy, along with any website links or publications for more details. These will serve as a great tool to help our rural communities learn from each other and spur new and creative ideas. They will also help us develop fresh and relevant content both on our website and other potential media opportunities, such as social media or ad campaigns. We all love our communities - now lets show the rest of the world how much rural Missouri Feels Like Home to growing businesses and families. 

Also, as the development of our new site is currently underway, I ask that for those who are interested in promoting your local development strategies, please respond by May 1, 2016 using the contact information below. I look forward to hearing about and promoting your unique local initiatives!

Luke Holtschneider