Wisconsin Rural Partners will hold its annual Wisconsin Rural Summit April 24-25 in Rice Lake. The event attracts people from across the state to discuss rural issues and network with individuals who work to make rural Wisconsin a better place to live.

The summit will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake with registration and a bus tour of Barron County businesses. The bus will leave Lehman’s at 12:30 p.m. Attendees will visit a variety of businesses and sample locally made cheeses and beverages. The tour will conclude with a reception at Lehman’s.

The second day’s activities will be held at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake. After a continental breakfast and welcome remarks at 8:30 a.m., David Ivan will deliver the keynote address, “Can Small Communities be Cool?” Ivan is nationally recognized for his research on successful community change.

There also will be a presentation and panel discussion on housing, agriculture, health care, broadband and workforce and community development. The rest of the day will include presentations and panel discussions featuring state and local leaders and business representatives speaking on rural community success and what makes rural Wisconsin “cool.” Successful efforts for housing, agriculture, health care, broadband, employer workforce needs, regional collaboration and community change will be featured.

Wisconsin Public Television, University Place will be on-site to record the presentations for rebroadcast.

WRP will recognize three community development projects as recipients of the 2019 Top Rural Development Initiatives. This annual awards program has acknowledged more than 100 projects over the past 20 years.

For more information or to register online, visit www.wiruralpartners.org or call 608-751-8604.

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