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Reimagining Rural, a statewide initiative formed between MSU Extension, Montana Community Foundation, Burton K. Wheeler Center and the Montana Governor’s Office on Rural Development, is working to start a statewide conversation focused on building a positive future for our small towns. 

Tara Mastel, the MSU Extension Service Community Development Program Leader states, “Our goal is to provide rural communities with opportunities to imagine a positive vision for the future of the rural communities that we love.”  

Reimagining Rural sprung from an idea and desire to help create a vibrant future for Montana’s rural communities. The purpose of this effort is to bring people together who are passionate about creating vibrant, robust rural places, growing local capacity and who are eager to learn, connect and lead local change.

The second community gathering is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Comfort Inn conference room, 455 McKinley Avenue. This session will feature Becky McCray and Deb Brown from “Save Your Town.”Their philosophy is: “No one is coming to do it for you. No factory or big business is going to save you. No outside expert has the one right answer. It’s you. You are going to shift a few key behaviors away from bureaucracy and officials and toward the people. You’ll let go of old formal rules and organizations in order to empower everyone to play a small, but meaningful role. You’ll focus more on tiny experiments by lots of people rather than a few big bets made by only a handful of official leaders. You’ll welcome all ideas, from all the people in your town. You’re becoming idea friendly. That’s who’s coming to save your town, all of you.”

All community members of Shelby and North Toole County are invited to attend this free event. For additional information please contact Lorette Carter at 434-5222 or email shbcdc@3rivers.net. Together we can grow and improve our communities now and for generations to come.

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