More Essays & Commentary


“Holiday Stories of Faith and Fantasy.”, 2013.

“JFK’s Rural Development Legacy.”, 2013.

“For One Small Town, the Curtain Rises.”, 2013.

“Every Valley Shall Be Exalted.”, 2013.

“Speak Your Piece: Rural Policy’s Dog Days.”, 2013.

“What’s Your Definition of Rural?”, 2013.

“Deep Development as Government Shrinks.”, 2013.

“What's Haunting Rural High Schools?”, 2013.

“Beyond These Hills: Leaving Appalachia.”, 2013.


“The Blizzard of '12: We Made It,”, 2012.

“Rural Social Activism, Born in a Stable.”, 2012.

“For Rest, Recreation, Memory, and Beauty.”, 2012.

“Two Fine River Towns Flow into Uncertainty.”, 2012.

“The Shot Heard 'Round the Seasons.”, 2012.

“A Plan for Rural Illinois.”, 2012.

“40 Embattled Years of Rural Development.”, 2012.

“Indiana Spurs Small Towns to Set a Course.”, 2012.

“Speak Your Piece: Balancing on the Poor.”, 2012.

 “Creative Ideas for Making Common Core State Educational Standards Work.”, August 6, 2012.

“Nicked Knuckles: For the Love of a Model A.”, 2012.

“Speak Your Piece: Farm Bill Blues.”, 2012.

“Memorial Day 2012.”, 2012.

“Speak Your Piece: Serious Stewardship.”, 2012.

“Illinois Plan Won't Make Schools Consolidate.”, 2012.

“Speak Your Piece: Manufacturing Dreams.”, 2012.

“Piecing together the Farm Bill Puzzle.”, 2012.

“Metro-Agrarians Seek Their Day in the Sun.”, 2012.

“The Great Blizzard of February 1.”, 2012.

“Reaching Out on Rural & Regional Issues: (An Online) Work in Progress.”, 2012.

“When a Socialist's Book Swayed the Nation.”, 2012.


“The Tao of Andy Griffith.”, 2011.

“Alchemy in Scottsburg, Indiana.”, 2011.

“A Federal Recipe for Rural Pessimism.”, 2011.

“A Grownup Look at the Suburbs.”, 2011.

“Late Summer's Lammas, Ready for Harvest.”, 2011.

“On the Road with a Connoisseur of Sunsets.”, 2011.

“Rural Development: An Oceanic Approach.”, 2011.

“Tale of Two Pictures.”, 2011.

“This Land Is Whose Land?”, 2011.

“Speak Your Piece: Breaching the Levee.”, 2011.

“A Son Returns to 'The Mother Road.'”, 2011.

“The Return of the Emiquon.” 2011.

“When the Town Owns the Forest.” 2011.

“Define Rural before You Budget for It.” 2011.

“A Child's Cup: The Rural Recession.”, 2011.

“Saving the Soul of a Barn.” 2011.


“The Bounty of Fallow Time.”, 2010.

“How Rural Listeners Caught a Wave.”, 2010.

“’Nowhere’ Is Really ‘Somewhere.’”, 2010.

“Forgottonia.”, 2010.

“Local Food Boom Should Yield Rural Fruit.”, 2010.

“Community Developers, the Hour’s Late.”, 2010.

“Consolidation, What Is It Good For?”, 2010.

“A Rural Superintendent and School Consolidation.”, 2010.

“Will Rural Summit Be End or Beginning?”, 2010.

“A Plan for Rural's Future Takes Shape.”, 2010.

“Speak Your Piece: Seven Rural Capitals.”, 2010.

“The Place Where He Left Himself.”,  2010.

“Bare Trees Tell on the Free Market.”, 2010.

 “Local Power: Let's Be Smarter This Time.”, 2010.


“Harvesting the Dark and Bright.”, 2009.

“Speak Your Piece: Longer School Year, and Better.”, 2009.

“Becky and Oscar Have Been My Amenities.”, 2009.

“You’re Not from Around This Watershed, Are You?”, 2009.

 “Confessions of a Little League Dad.”, 2009.

 “Country Life Movement – Miles to Go.”, 2009.

 “Rural Entrepreneurs v. Straw Men.”, 2009.

 “Earthtrepreneurship.”, 2009.

 “Bring Back the Interurban.”, 2009.

 “There’s Opportunity for Rural in ‘Reglobalization.’”, 2009.

 “Speak Your Piece: Let’s Get Disaster-Wise.”, 2009.

 “Speak Your Piece: The Future of Urban and Rural America are Linked.”, 2009.


 “Rural Schools Need to Train Rural Stewards.”, 2008.

 “Rural IT: Let's Look Beyond Friday Night Lights.”, 2008.

 “Speak Your Piece: More Than A New Coat of Paint.”, 2008.