56 episodes

Rural Matters is a biweekly, 30-minute podcast about rural education, business, and health. The podcast’s mission is to increase awareness, inform discussion, and expand the dialogue on the most important issues facing rural stakeholders every day. Guests on the podcast include rural education decision-makers, rural business owners and entrepreneurs, and rural health care representatives. The National Rural Education Association and the Center for Rural Affairs are marketing partners.

Rural Matters Michelle Rathman

    • Courses

Rural Matters is a biweekly, 30-minute podcast about rural education, business, and health. The podcast’s mission is to increase awareness, inform discussion, and expand the dialogue on the most important issues facing rural stakeholders every day. Guests on the podcast include rural education decision-makers, rural business owners and entrepreneurs, and rural health care representatives. The National Rural Education Association and the Center for Rural Affairs are marketing partners.

    The Benefits of Rural Broadband with Pam Becker

    The Benefits of Rural Broadband with Pam Becker

    In this first episode of the 2020, Michelle talks about broadband with Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Executive Director Pam Becker. FRS is a division of NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association. Through grant funding, FRS provides eye-opening and enlightening programs for youth, veterans and policy makers to increase awareness of the importance of having broadband accessibility. These programs help increase jobs, tele-health capabilities and consumer online transactions. Listeners will also hear about t

    • 35 min
    Special Episode #1, Part 2: Women Leading Faith Movements

    Special Episode #1, Part 2: Women Leading Faith Movements

    This special episode (Part 2) continues a panel discussion at the first-ever Rural Women’s Summit, presented by the National Rural Assembly, which was moderated by Michelle. The discussion was focused on Women Leading Interfaith Movements in Rural America. The panelists included Rev. Dr. Robin Dease from the United Methodist Church, in the Hartsville, South Carolina Conference; Rev. Jen Bailey from Faith Matters/People’s Supper; and Okolo Rashid from the International Museum of Muslim Cultures.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Future of Rural Communities with Tom Morris, Allen Pratt, and Whitney Coe

    Future of Rural Communities with Tom Morris, Allen Pratt, and Whitney Coe

    In this final segment of our four-part, in-depth series. “Rural Communities: Conquering Challenges, Optimizing Opportunities,” produced in association with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle talks to three major thought leaders about pressing challenges and the future of living in rural America: Tom Morris, the Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy in HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), who oversees the work of the Office of Rural Health Policy; Dr. Allen Pr

    • 43 min
    Special Episode #1, Part1: Women Leading Faith Movements

    Special Episode #1, Part1: Women Leading Faith Movements

    This special episode (Part 1) involves a panel discussion at the first-ever Rural Women's Summit, presented by the National Rural Assembly, which was moderated by Michelle. The discussion was focused on Women Leading Interfaith Movements in Rural America.
    The panelists include Rev. Dr. Robin Dease from the United Methodist Church in Hartsville, South Carolina Conference; Rev, Jen Bailey from Faith Matters/People's Supper; and Okolo Rashid from the International Museum of Muslim Cultures.
    Mental health issues are extremely important in rural communities, according to Dease, and it's interfaith dialogues that are often essential in dealing with that complex topic. Rashid notes that in Muslim religion, there is the concept of one original faith, but it is not dependent on religion per se, but something that is found in all human beings - the sharing of a shared humanity. Bailey points out that spiritual care is more significant than ever today because of the increasingly violence and polarization in our society. In general, Bailey asks, what does it mean for people of faith to stand strong in the face of the increasing conflict between the existing power structure and those who are not as privileged or not part of the majority? Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks to hear Part 2 of this Special Episode#1 of Rural Matters.

    • 41 min
    Rural Business with Janet Topolsky, Ines Polonius & David Erickson

    Rural Business with Janet Topolsky, Ines Polonius & David Erickson

    In this third of our four-part series. “Rural Communities: Conquering Challenges, Optimizing Opportunities,” produced in association with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle discusses rural economics and business with Janet Topolsky, who directs the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, specializing in connecting low-wealth rural and urban places and populations to regional economic development; Ines Polonius. CEO of Communities Unlimited, Inc., a CDFI and community economic development organization in the rural South; and David Erickson, senior vice president and head of Outreach and Education at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    Polonius works with leadership teams in rural communities, concentrating on water systems and entrepreneurial development, while collaborating with management consultants. Both Aspen and Communities Unlimited, the guest note, focus on wealth creation by looking at the social, cultural, and economic resources that already exist or could be filled locally to develop the economy, as opposed to building from the outside. There has actually been modest population growth in the rural sector, with persons of color responsible for much of that expansion, Topolsky points out. It’s also important, says Polonius, to recognize the explosion of the gig economy, in those from rural communities who return home to pursue freelance opportunities online. Her group also supports black-owned farms in expanding the distribution of healthy local food. In Minnesota, notes Topolsky, community foundations have looked at local businesses and started to do business lending to meet gaps, such as new technologies, putting together sustaining partnerships to grow manufacturing.
    Polonius says it’s often more beneficial to offer local entrepreneurs several micro loans rather than one large loan. Erickson says, in his personal opinion, there are three types of rural communities: those relatively thriving, such as vacation destinations; those struggling because of their distance from more prosperous markets; and those that chronically struggle with poverty and other issues. The New York Federal Reserve encourages banks to invest in rural areas and also acts as a facilitator, curating possible economic growth by bringing together stakeholders. Thought its market connection program, the NY Fed plays a “matchmaker” role, as it will in an upcoming meeting in Puerto Rico. This episode is sponsored by Thomas USAF, which on December 4 is sponsoring the 20th Annual National Rural Lenders Roundtable in Washington, DC, www.nrlrt.com. This episode and the entire four-part series is sponsored and supported by the +Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, rwjf.org.

    • 50 min
    Housing & Health Care in Rural America with Nancy Dickey and David Lipsetz

    Housing & Health Care in Rural America with Nancy Dickey and David Lipsetz

    In this second in our four-part series, Rural Communities: Conquering Challenges, Optimizing Opportunities, in partnership with and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Michelle chats with Nancy Dickey and David Lipsetz.  Dickey spent almost a dozen years as president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System and currently serves in several academic and administrative roles at the College of Medicine and as executive direct

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

@RuralED ,

Rural Education and the Economy

I love doing this podcast

Pine Mtn Lover ,

Much needed podcast!

Thanks for highlighting issues/ideas surrounding rural areas. Hope to hear more from the rural coalfields, especially Southwest VA.

ssage79 ,

Great topic, informative speakers

Just the podcast I’ve been looking for!

Top Podcasts In Courses

Listeners Also Subscribed To