A challenging economy, lack of good living wage jobs and access to affordable housing and health care may seem like a laundry list of today’s challenges in most, if not all communities across the United States. However, these issues are nothing new for small towns and rural communities who practically wrote the book on how to weather bad times whether it be a particularly bad harvest, an economic downturn, or even a pandemic.
On Tuesday, November 14, the Rural Maryland Council will host its biennial Rural Summit, a one-day conference to bring together community leaders, legislators and stakeholders who will share their stories of rural innovation, resilience, and sustainability. In addition to gleaning information that they can take to their own communities, attendees will have an opportunity to network with possible future collaborators.
The Summit, titled “Pathways to Prosperity”, will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Crown Plaza, 173 Jennifer Road, Annapolis. Registration is $60 per attendee. Meals are included.
“What makes our Summit different from other conferences is that RMC starts from the perspective that our experts are also our attendees,” says RMC Chair Susan O’Neill. “Attendees will get great information from the presenters and panelists during our breakout sessions and plenaries, but that stranger seated next to them may be a future collaborator on a grant project or program that they’ve been tying to get off the ground,” she says.
The keynote speaker for “Pathways to Prosperity” is Becky McCray, international speaker and award-winning author of Small Biz Survival. McCray will share her insights on resilience as a lifelong small-town entrepreneur, business owner and cattle rancher.
The Summit will kick off with an optional forestry focused bus tour on Monday, November 13, from1 to 5 p.m. to Garman Brothers, Inc., a family owned and operated sawmill in Crownsville and the Home Innovations Lab in Upper Marlboro, where research into improving the moisture performance of wood-framed balconies and decks is taking place.
In addition to the keynote address, the Summit will include a preview of the upcoming legislative sessions from Maryland legislators as well as breakout sessions on Agriculture, Community Development, Economic Development and Health Care. The networking luncheon will feature remarks by Maryland Department of Agriculture Kevin Atticks.
Founded in 1994, the Rural Maryland Council operates under the direction of a 40-member executive board in a nonpartisan and nondiscriminatory manner. RMC is committed to creating real change by going to go directly to the rural stakeholders who understand their community’s challenges. The organization provides grants and opportunities to connect stakeholders with legislators and like-minded people in the state who can create policy and help create real impact.
To register for the Summit, visit rural.maryland.gov or contact RMC at (410) 841-5772 or [email protected]. For updates on all RMC events and activities connect with the Rural Maryland Council at facebook.com/RuralMaryland or on Twitter @RuralMaryland.