From the Office of State Senator Glenn Hegar, District 18

For Immediate Release
January 22, 2008
Contact: Lisa Craven
(512) 463-0118

Senator Glenn Hegar Announces 2008 Rural Policy Forum

First in Series by Texas Rural Innovators Forum

AUSTIN (Jan. 11) - Senator Glenn Hegar is pleased to announce that the 2008 Rural Policy Forum will be held in Bastrop on February 6th. The forum will feature panels of experts from across Texas discussing, "What rural Texas needs most in 2008."

The Rural Policy Forum is the first of the 2008 series of discussions presented by the Texas Rural Innovators Forum (TRIF). TRIF is a series of forums featuring national speakers on the most innovative practices in rural America. Local elected and volunteer leaders in all fields are invited to participate.

"We all know that many rural communities are hurting," Hegar said. "This is an opportunity to talk in great depth about the things we all can do to keep rural Texas viable, vital and the kind of place people want to call 'home'."

Joining Senator Hegar at the 2008 Rural Policy Forum will be State Representative Jim McReynolds of Lufkin; Dr. Ed Smith, Director of Texas Cooperative Extension; Remelle Farrar, economic developer in Canadian, Texas; Greg Wortham, Mayor of Sweetwater; Bryan Daniel, immediate past director of USDA Rural Development; and Glynis Hulm-Strause, Director of Continuing Education at Coastal Bend College.

Colleen Landkammer of Blue Earth County, Minnesota will close the forum with a discussion of policy priorities for rural America. Ms. Landkammer is a county commissioner and immediate past president of the National Association of Counties.

State Representative McReynolds says, "TRIF is a great opportunity for rural leaders to hear real people talk about things that really work. Residents of Texas small cities and towns always need new ideas. This forum should be full of innovative suggestions."

The goal of TRIF is to bring the leaders of rural Texas into personal contact with spokespeople from the most successful and innovative rural development programs in America, and to bring leaders of rural Texas together with one another to share their own energy and ideas for improvement.

"Those who fail or refuse to innovate, may not die," says Bobby Gierisch, TRIF Coordinator, "but we are fooling ourselves if we think we can sit on the sidelines and let things get better on their own."

The Rural Policy Panel will be held at the Riverside Conference Center in Bastrop from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and will include a box lunch. Advance registration is required. For details on location, cost and registration, see www.ruraltx.org or call 512-452-2351.

Senator Hegar is currently serving his first term in the Texas Senate after serving two terms in the House of Representatives. He is a 6th generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s. The Hegars reside in Katy, Texas.

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