Rural Prosperity Nebraska, the community development arm of Nebraska Extension, has named two new program co-leaders to lead its community development efforts. Jordan Rasmussen and Brandi Hilton-Hagemann, both Nebraska Extension educators, will serve in these positions for one year, at which time the positions will conclude.
Rasmussen joined Rural Prosperity Nebraska in 2020 and currently works in Burwell, serving as the statewide Leadership Development team lead. Hilton-Hagemann joined in 2021 and acts as the statewide Community Engagement team lead, based in McCook.
The program co-leaders will work with Rural Prosperity Nebraska’s director, Mary Emery, and program leader, Dave Varner. Their main responsibilities will focus on partnering with rural communities to put into practice scholarship that focuses on rural community development.
However, they will also spearhead projects of their own design. Rasmussen plans to focus on Rural Prosperity Nebraska’s communications, helping reach and connect with a wider Nebraska audience. Hilton-Hagemann plans to reevaluate current engagement strategies to better work with communities on their growth and improvement plans.
“We’re excited for our new program co-leaders,” said Emery. “They bring to the table both experience and drive that will help us reach more Nebraskans. Our goal is not to impose programs on rural communities, but to work with them and to accomplish the goals they set for themselves. Both Jordan and Brandi will excel at creating those opportunities.”
Rural Prosperity Nebraska brings together Extension professionals, faculty from across the University of Nebraska system, and student fellows to work with community leaders to help make Nebraska’s rural communities more vibrant. Rural Prosperity Nebraska is housed within the University’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information, visit ruralprosperityne.unl.edu.