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The Riley County Extension held its second ever Rural Revitalization Conference Wednesday in Riley.

The event is an opportunity for those interested in rural economies and starting their own business. Extension Director Gary Fike says the most important aspect is hearing from local entrepreneurs .

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One of the speakers Wednesday was Trish Purdon, who is the Director of the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity. She says the most fundamental aspect of supporting a rural community is to be a community of the future.

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Ron Wilson, owner of the Lazy T Ranch and is the director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at K-State encouraged folks in rural communities to think strategically about their future.

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The goal of the conference is to introduce rural entrepreneurs to different resources to start a business and to hear success stories. Purdon says Kansas has an issue of giving its students quality education, only for them to move out of the state. To curb that, she suggested getting them involved with local civic duties, such as serving on school boards.

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Other speakers Wednesday included members of USDA, and Washburn’s Small Business Development Center.

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