Rebuilding a rural economy

by Katherine Dalton on October 26, 2011 · 3 comments <span>Print this article</span> Print this article

in Short

Readers of this site might be interested in a recent Daily Yonder newsstory on job creation in southeastern Ohio.  This Ford Foundation-underwritten project is trying to create rural jobs by adding value to locally sourced raw commodities, and finding markets for the finished products.  In this case, the commodity is wood, and the value is being added by firms from the region surrounding the small town of  Trimble, Ohio (pop. 470).  For the story, jump here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar dave walsh October 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for the post – the story reminded me of Wendell Berry’s “Conserving Forest Communities”, the gist of which I remembered, specifically the part about the Menominee up north. What I forgot was the title and author, so it took me some time to find the essay again.
What’s interesting to me is that it’s part of the working out of some ideas that Deneen makes plain in his post about Community AND Liberty. What the people in the story are talking about doing is farming and making things, as far as I can tell. But it seems revolutionary. And I guess it’s hard to understand why it’s such a shift if there’s not a corresponding understanding of the sense of powerlessness that seems so common in rural areas. Without government help or a large corporation deciding to locate around here, there’s a feeling that there’s not much we can do. So a big part of the process ends up being the reconstruction of communities of proper scale; some effort to reconstruct those structures that we can rely upon as a counterweight to the leviathans.
That it seems such a revolutionary idea and so difficult to get off the ground speaks, I think, both to the degree to which we’ve become atomized individuals and to just how much has been lost.
Sorry for not being more concise, but heck, Deneen’s essay was two days long. Hard to splice something like that into your story. I think the two go hand-in-hand.

avatar love the girls November 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm

This looks very good, and a nice step additional step in the right direction.

avatar D.W. Sabin November 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Thanks for this, its going straight to the local Land Trusts.

Unfortunately, we have a glut of lumber right now.

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