2 P.M. 

Rural Broadband Policy Opportunities Panel
In this informational session, panelists will discuss telecommunications policy issues impacting rural communities and opportunities for rural advocates to engage in national, state, and regional conversations. Five panelists will discuss the regulation of Internet and Telephone services, state bills that prohibit the creation of municipal broadband networks, efforts to expand access to funding from the Connect America Fund, and rules that improve the accountability of telecommunications providers interested in serving Native communities. This session is designed to be an informational panel where participants can learn about a timely policy issue and ways in which they can become involved.  This session will provide participants with a working knowledge of rural telecommunications issues that they can apply to their advocacy work and can connect to their personal experiences in the “Rural Broadband Tales” session. This session follows a traditional panel of experts and Q & A format. Edyael Casaperalta, Center for Rural Strategies.

Edyael Casaperalta, Center for Rural Strategies – Moderator, and Expanding access to funds from Connect America Fund (Convener)
Harold Feld, Public Knowledge – Federal regulation of Internet and telephone services
Mimi Pickering, Appalshop – Defeat of bill seeking to deregulate telephone service in Kentucky
Christopher Mitchell, Institute for Local Self Reliance –-Defeat of bill seeking to prohibit Municipal Broadband in Georgia
Brian Howard, National Congress of American Indians – Tribal Engagement Provisions for Connect America Fund


Community Change and Capacity Building
There is a real need to connect community leaders with the resources, stories and tools that others have utilized with success. This session will focus on Community Capital, Economic Development, and Wealth Creation by rolling out an innovative, collaborative on-line approach to community-based problem-solving, leadership, and policy development. This “Go‐To” Resource for assistance and expertise in Community Change, in addition to policy and research recommendations, is a resource that could serve as a match‐making type of entity that matches expertise, services, information with those in need of assistance – making it easier for communities to access and utilize lessons learned in “Promising Practices” which have had success. 

Connie Loden – Executive Director at Economic Development Corporation-Manitowoc County (Convener)
Andrea Salina – Director of Community Strategies at West Virginia Community Development Hub                Karen Fasimpaur – RuralXchange Manager
Sharon Gulick – Director, ExCEED-University of Missouri Extension

The Affordable Care Act in Rural America
We will have a discussion about how ACA is playing out in rural America.  We’ll look at rural perceptions, resistance, communications and messaging around the Act and the exchanges.  

Steph Larsen – Center for Rural Affairs (Convener)
Jocelyn Batko Richgels – Rural Policy and Research Institute  
Deepti Aranake – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Getting to the Climate Problem and Solutions: Working on the Ground and with Communities
Participants will discuss on the ground experiences with climate change, as well as challenges, innovations, and opportunities to motivate responses in rural communities. The “Citizen Jury” method will be utilized as an example of a way to engage rural communities in the climate discussion. 

Jim Kleinschmit – Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (Convener)
Sarah Pope – Okalahoma Association of Conservation Districts  
Kyle Bozentko – The Jefferson Center    and Sylvia Ryerson, Appalshop
Sylvia Ryerson – Appalshop


Arts, Culture and Sustainable Rural Economies
This session will bring together community and economic development practitioners, intermediaries, and funders from across rural America, including Indian Country, to address the integral role the arts and culture play in supporting and advancing sustainable rural economies. We will frame rural development within a cultural and an artistic context and will address the power of place, the importance of cross-sector collaboration, vigorous civic-engagement, and the capital case for funding the arts in rural America. 

Dan Lurie – National Endowment for the Arts    (Convener)
Rodger Boyd – HUD Native American programs
Stacey Mickelson – ArtSpace
Todd Christensen – ARC/Crooked Road
Matt Fluharty – Art of the Rural
Michele Anderson – Springboard for the Arts
Megan McConville – NADO


Achieving Health Equity:  Increasing Community Access to and Knowledge of Good Health Care

Childhood obesity is plaguing many of our rural communities. This session will talk about communities mobilizing to eat healthier and get more physical activity. Participants will begin to envision what their commuities could look like and how to go about reaching those goals. Meredith Covington, Southern Bancorp Community Partners – Angelic Mister, South Delta Regional Housing Authority.

Meredith Covington – Southern Bancorp (Convener)
Angelic Mister – South Delta Regional Housing Authority 


Rural Development and the Resources for Success

The breakout will feature a panel discussion among various rural stakeholders regarding the importance of USDA Rural Development to rural communities and how we, as rural advocates, need to work together to ensure that Rural Development (RD) continues to meet the needs of a changing rural landscape. We anticipate that attendees will leave the panel with a greater understanding of the role that USDA RD plays in rural communities and the policy landscape facing the agency and rural issues generally. It emphasizes cross-sector collaboration and the need to work together to achieve meaningful policy changes that will benefit rural residents. 

Robert Stewart – Executive Director, RCAP (Convener)


Rural Philanthropy – Starting the Movement
Building on the plenary led by Rick Cohen who providing the landscape of Rural Philanthropy, this session will continue the conversation about building a movement among practicioners, organizations and communities to increase resources available to rural  America. 

Rick Cohen – National Correspondent, Nonprofit Quarterly (Convener)
Robert L. Jackson – Mississippi State Senate
Sandra Mikush – Deputy Director, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
Carol Blackmon – Quitman County Development Organization
Kathy Moxon – Redwood Coast Rural Action


3:45 P.M. 

Telling Rural Broadband Tales at the FCC

Personal stories inform policy. In this workshop, participants will share their stories about why, where, and how they access high-speed Internet service, the cost of the service, or if the service is even available to them, and will connect their personal anecdotes with a timely broadband policy issue. The stories will be recorded on the Rural Broadband Tales website which features a collection of stories from rural people about their experiences getting access to and using high-speed Internet. Rural Broadband Tales is a campaign of the Rural Broadband Policy Group to inform policy makers about the reality of high-speed Internet access in rural communities and advocate for closing the digital divide. RBPG members will make visits to the Federal Communications Commission immediately after the Rural Assembly and share the stories collected during this workshop. Workshop participants are not required to record their stories or attend FCC meetings. Please help us advocate for fast, affordable, reliable broadband service in rural communities by sharing your Rural Broadband Tale! 

Edyael Casaperalta – Center for Rural Strategies


Affordable Housing
This breakout will focus on updating participants on the status of federal funding programs and impacts from government cuts and sequestration. Additionally, the panel will share firsthand experience in building community coalitions to address affordable
  housing needs as part of economic development and rural community sustainability. 

Jennifer Stalley – Great Plains Rural Policy Network (Convener)
Danielle Hill – Executive Director, Nebraska Housing Developers Association
Roger Nadrachl – CEO, NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska
David Dangler – NeighborWorks America
Beatrice Shelby – Executive Director of Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center
Ernestine Bilbrew – Mississipi Community Financial Access Coalition


Innovative Investing in Distressed Rural Communities
Too many think tankers and pundits believe that innovative investing is a strictly urban phenomenon.Yet some of the most creative investing is being done in distressed rural communities. Come hear from Marcia Erickson, CEO of GROW SD describe how her community development corporation (CDC) used New Markets Tax Credits and other financing to renovate and build two schools on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Learn from Bob Reeder, program director at Rural LISC, how in Katrina’s wake, Southern Mutual Help Association is developing Teche Ridge, a mixed income, mixed use Traditional Neighborhood Development involving 600 residences in New Iberia, LA. Hear Jerry Rickett, president and CEO of Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, explain how his organization helped the local houseboat industry recover from the recession by putting it to work building affordable, highly energy efficient homes. 

Sandy Rosenblith – Stand Up for Rural America (Convener)
Marcia Erickson CEO, GROWSD
Bob Reeder Program Director, Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Jerry Rickett President and CEO, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation


Rule-making and Federal Transportation Policy
In the world of policy-making, getting a piece of legislation passed is only the beginning. The Transportation Working Group would like to propose a breakout session on the important topic of rule making. We will be using the new MAP-21 transportation legislation to illustrate the process. This particular break-out session will review the MAP-21 transportation bill as an example, but the principles of rule-making that will be reviewed here will apply to any issue area. Marnie Werner, Center for Rural Policy and Development, Minnesota. 

Marnie Werner – Center for Rural Policy and Development, Minnesota (Convener)
Tim Sheehan – Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living  Centers                                                                                  Beth Osborne – Federal Department of Transportation


Affordable Care Act: Outreach, Education, and Enrollment
The Health Insurance Marketplaces, sometimes called Exchanges, for the Affordable Care Act open October 1, 2013, and understanding the structure of the Marketplaces as well as outreach and education is important, particularly for rural communities.  Rural communities can benefit largely from the expanded insurance and affordable healthcare that will be offered in the Marketplaces.  Outreach, education and enrollment is not necessarily a task only for health-related organizations, particularly in rural.  Any person or organization that has a strong relationship with the community will be an asset for outreach and education. 
Jocelyn Batko Richgels – Rural Policy and Research Institute (Convener)
Deepti Aranak – U.S.
  Department of Health and Human Services.

 Rural Philanthropy- Policy Landscapes:  Federal, State, Local
Building the case for Rural Philanthropy is the most important tool a community can have.  Engage in the work from the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to deepen the understanding of what motivates funders, donors and government partners.  During this session, we will explore what has worked in the past, understand the current movement and explore the grassroots initiatives and creative partnerships that have resulted sustainable funds.  Attendees will frame the next step in policy engagement with local, state and federal partners. 

Bonnie Hildreth – President/CEO, Barry Community Foundation (Convener)
Maxine Moul (via Power Point) – Nebraska State DirectorRural Development                                                                          Ahmet Binerer – Center for Rural Entrepreneurship  

Getting to the Climate Problem and Solutions: Policy Practice, Opportunities, and Change
Participants will discuss policy opportunities, actions, and solutions to address the climate change problem. An overview of the current state and federal policy landscape will be presented and panelists will share experiences with and lessons learned from pursuing climate change policy responses. 

Dylan Kruse – Sustainable Northwest (Convener)
Clay Pope – Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts

 Pathways for Rural Youth: Current Challenges and OpportunitiesThis session will look at current policy issues that focus on education and career pathways for rural youth. We’ll talk about current challenges, opportunities, and policy actions that are needed.

The session will include: 
• Teleconference with NCAI youth delegates from their conference in Reno, NV: A dialogue on the education and career pathway challenges and opportunities for rural and Native youth 
• Rural post-secondary education access, retention, and completion: framing the issues
• An overview of a just-released policy memo addressing the need to include farm worker youth in DACA and accompanying digital stories from farmworker youth developed by the NURV immigration work group and a call to action for moving this forward;
• An overview of America’s Great Outdoors Initiative’s Youth Career Pathway Agenda:  current goals and opportunities for rural young people including policy opportunities
• A period for Q & A and further discussion

John White – Department of Education (Convener)
Kim Phinney – YouthBuild USA.
Marlene Chavez – Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, and Peter Morris, National Congress of American Indians
Peter Morris – National Congress of American Indians

Critical Junctures for the Next Generation of Farmers, Ranchers and Fishers
In this session, we will discuss the policies and factors that have changed our food and agricultural system from an independent farmer/fisher-owned economy to one dominated by corporate interests. We will share stories from the ground (and ocean!), and address the current policy landscape, including the state of the current Farm Bill, Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevenson Act (fisheries version of the Farm Bill), and the Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Act. Additionally, we will offer tactics and resources for supporting producer-owned, community-driven farming and fishing enterprises.

Alicia Harvie – Farm Aid (Convener)
Kathy Ozer – National Family Farm Coalition
Rachel Nagin – National Family Farm Coalition
Joe Schroeder – Rural Advancement Foundation International 
Brett Tolley – Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance