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The land. The people. The way of life. Wisconsin’s rural landscape is integral to our state’s identity—both for the quality of life it affords its residents and for the escape it offers to those seeking to partake of Wisconsin’s natural splendor. Maintaining the vibrancy of Wisconsin’s rural economies requires an understanding of the diversity of its industries—from agricultural production and working forests to main street businesses. The variety of rural Wisconsin’s economic assets must be reflected in a coordinated statewide approach to building and maintaining rural prosperity throughout the state. WEDC is committed to helping rural stakeholders navigate the programs and resources available to build upon their strengths.


Wisconsin’s rural communities are known for their resilience and self-reliance. Pulling together to support neighbors is what they do. And when faced with a challenge, they band together to chart the best course forward. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity seeks to tap local perspectives on long-term, recent and future economic challenges facing the people, communities and businesses that make rural Wisconsin shine—and to turn ideas into action that increases economic activity and improves the quality of life for future generations.

The commission was created by Governor Evers’ Executive Order #65 to gather on-the-ground input from diverse stakeholders throughout the state whose lives and livelihoods are tied to the vitality of their rural communities. As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are realized, the commission will hold listening sessions to explore opportunities to build more resilient rural communities. From these listening sessions, the commission will develop a plan to reinvigorate the agricultural industry and rural businesses and communities across Wisconsin.

Commission members, appointed by Governor Evers, represent the state’s geographic diversity as well as the many industries and professions our rural communities rely upon to thrive.