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Rural Wealth Creation   arrow

Contact: Becca Jablonski at

In search of new opportunities to support rural communities and economies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a growing number of development organizations have begun to promote a new set of goals for rural America under the umbrella of rural wealth creation. In this context, the concept of “wealth” includes all types of community capital assets (net of liabilities) that contribute to the well-being of people and communities—social, cultural, human, political, physical, natural, and financial capital. Wealth can paint a very different picture than economic activity when it comes to evaluating outcomes and policy practices.

Through this this interdisciplinary research we are working to explore the relationship between food systems led development strategies and rural wealth creation. Food systems provide an interesting and timely lens to investigate the efficacy of a rural wealth creation approach to rural development initiatives, in part due to its integration within the USDA’s four pillars of rural economic development.

Project goals:

  • Understand opportunities and challenges facing rural communities in Colorado;
  • Assess opportunities for CO food system policy to address challenges and needs;
  • Document, assess and highlight key linkages in between rural and urban communities using a seven capitals framework;
  • Identify best practices for sustainable capital creation, investment & innovation across CO;
  • Enhance CSU’s knowledge of Colorado-specific research and engagement needs to support opportunities for all research and outreach units (on and off campus)