Rural Prosperity Nebraska

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Helping Nebraska's Rural Communities Thrive

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focus areas

From the family-owned bakery on Main St., to the local farmers market, to the sprawling cattle ranch, rural communities make Nebraska thrive. At Rural Prosperity Nebraska, students, faculty and community leaders couple research with on-the-ground experience to bring that prosperity to your front door. Through six areas of focus, we work together with you to live better in Nebraska.

Community Engagement

We connect you to resources to engage community members, refine dreams into goals, and give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.

Contact: Brandi Hilton-Hagemann

People & Place

We help strengthen your community’s welcoming culture to better recruit and retain newcomers, as people are what make a community thrive.

Contact: Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel

Community Development Leadership

We help your community leaders identify your local assets and support them in leveraging those assets for community betterment.

Contact: Jamie Bright

Community Economic Development

We tailor our work to your community aspirations, helping your businesses thrive to create long-term growth and improvement.

Contact: Shawn Kaskie

Jason Tuller

Placemaking City scene with a cloud-filled sky, tree and bicycle.


We involve your community in creating quality places where people want to live, work, play, shop, learn and visit.

Contact: Kim Wilson

Regional Food Systems

We assist communities on becoming acquainted with and building better food systems for you and your neighbors.

Contacts: Ben Jewell

John Porter

Rural Tools to Use

Rural Prosperity Nebraska brings to you tools you can use to inform citizens, plan projects and secure community grants to activate your local community or region. We collaborate with faculty members from across the University of Nebraska system to enhance rural scholarship and create service-learning opportunities for students interested in rural issues. In partnerships, we are building an entrepreneurial support system for rural and urban alike and opening doors for value-added ag producers seeking markets. You are to explore and use the tools to benefit you and your community.

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Rural Fellowship

Students living and working in communities to problem-solve issues.

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Thriving Index

Use this interactive comparison tool for analyzing regional trends in rural Nebraska.

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Rural Poll

Over 20 years of data captured from rural citizens on policy and quality of life issues.

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SourceLink Nebraska

Connects individuals to services and program to build Nebraska businesses.

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Market Maker

An online platform to connect value-added producers with customers and markets.

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