Contributed by: Greg Wolf, Oregon County Solutions Center, Director

Date: June 17, 2016

Mike McArthur was invited to be a panelist at the Northwest State Rural Development Council Summit. He shared his experiences regarding rural development from his time as a Sherman County judge and provided other Oregon county examples.

Participation in the summit provided an opportunity to compare rural development strategies and challenges between three states. The summit was, most importantly, an opportunity to explore how the councils can be strengthened by partnering on mutually beneficial strategies to support rural economies.

Issues discussed included supporting urban-rural connections and the need to build the capacity of communities to seize economic development opportunities. Best practices were shared, common issues and opportunities were identified, and the development of an ongoing collaboration among three Northwest State Rural Development Councils was formed.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter hosted the group for dinner at their home. The Governor’s wife has taken a leadership role in supporting the Idaho Council.

Mr. McArthur also shared information about the Oregon Regional Solutions Network and the proposed Western partnership center.