U of M President Eric Kaler in Politico: Rural communities can break the cycle of ‘brain drain’

EXCERPT: “The challenge of the “brain drain” from rural America to the big city, in some parts of the country, is very real. But the Pew Charitable Trust’s recent report provides proof that it doesn’t have to be. The reality is that rural America can continue to prosper and grow, but only by using all of the tools and techniques available to rural communities. Higher education, particularly land-grant institutions, must be part of the equation. But we must evolve together to meet communities’ needs. In Minnesota, it means we make the most of our five campuses across the state. But we also must extend our reach even further. Years ago the county extension agent, typically focused on agricultural issues, was a mainstay in states across the Midwest. In Minnesota, our University of Minnesota Extension, a college-like entity within the University of Minnesota, served all 87 counties (and still does) but again, with a focused effort to improve the productivity, efficiency and safety of agricultural producers. Today the focus remains, but with a multi-layered effort, using resources across the university to support entire communities toward their shared success.” FULLSTORY: http://bit.ly/2tZPVeh