As the demographics in Nebraska's population continues shifting East, many greater Nebraska communities are dwindling. This decline is prompting state leaders to find a way to keep thosecommunities thriving again.
Back in October 2012 the University of Nebraska board ofregents approved of the Rural Futures institute hoping to revitalize rural Nebraska.
From rural school districts on how their tough decisions...to getting recent college grads to move there.
And leaders are excited about potential opportunities thisprogram will bring.
"I'm very excited about is how we can take the assets,resources of the University of Nebraska and apply them to communities acrossthe state in civic, legal, administration, education, cultural way, economic of course but howdo we do that and strengthen our core communities and keep them vital becausewe think it's incredibly important for the state of Nebraska," said President of the University of Nebraska J. B. Milliken.
Rural futures is currently in the first phase which is mostly about obtaining grants to help theuniversity do research.
And a goal of the program is to teach those living in ruralareas to confront their challenges.
"We also have a part of those grants that are focused onteaching where we've asked people how can we not change the way we go aboutsome of our teaching that engages us in these issues in rural communities...sowe're excited about phase 1," said NU vice president.
They will have a state–wide conference later this year.
The Nebraska unicameral is also pouring some money into rural grants tohelp spur on more growth as well.
For more information go to: http://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/