STATE: Rural Center planning 12-stop summer tour of rural communities

The North Carolina Rural Center will travel the state during its 2023 Summer Road Trip, visiting 12 rural counties from May to August to listen and learn more about the forces shaping communities and regions.
“Engagement in rural communities is the heart of our work at the NC Rural Center,” said Rural Center President and CEO Patrick Woodie. “This opportunity to spend time with the people we represent in their hometowns will allow us to strengthen our programs and deepen our relationships.”
The Center recently released the publication “Forces Driving Change in Rural North Carolina,” an examination of eight major forces driving change in modern rural communities. At each stop on the road trip, Rural Center staff will present the region-specific findings of this data-driven report to elected officials, community leaders, business owners and others interested in rural development. The visits will also help Center staff learn what obstacles communities may be facing and where and how they’re having the most success.
Data and stories from the tour will be featured at the Center’s 2024 Rural Summit in Raleigh. The information will also be used to refine and deepen publications and research.
The first six stops of the tour have been scheduled in the southern and eastern parts of state. Residents of the host counties as well as people in surrounding counties are invited to join, and they can register at Details about the July and August stops on tour will be released closer to those dates.
Southern Leg
May 15 – Montgomery Community College, Troy, 2-4 p.m.
May 16 – UNC-Pembroke, Thomas Entrepreneurship Center, 1-3 p.m.
May 18 – Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center, Mount Olive, 10 a.m. – noon
Eastern Leg
June 6 – Albemarle Commission, Hertford, 10 a.m. – noon
June 7 – Halifax County Cooperative Extension, Halifax, 10 a.m. – noon
June 8 – Beaufort County Community College, Washington, 10 a.m. – noon
About the NC Rural Center
The NC Rural Center has worked since 1987 to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. The Rural Center serves the state’s 78 rural counties, with a special focus on people with low-to-moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.
To learn more about how the NC Rural Center is developing and supporting rural leaders across the state, visit