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Extension > Leadership and Civic Engagement Alumni > Vital Connections On Air Episode 2: Make It Litchfield

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vital Connections On Air Episode 2: Make It Litchfield

Communities have the power to tell their own story.  Litchfield, Minnesota has been working to create a narrative that reflects their community and tells a story that is optimistic and focused on the future.  We are joined by Judy Hulterstrum and David Krueger who share how they have implemented a program called Make It Litchfield that has brought together the entire community to write a narrative for this generation.

Make It Litchfield is a local program that was developed using the Making It Home program that is now available through University of Minnesota Extension. Thank you to our guest blogger, Neil Linscheid, who has contributed information about this great program.

What is the Making It Home program?
The Making It Home program is a new program from the University of Minnesota Extension. Making It Home is focused on supporting local people as they make intentional efforts to market their community and make their community a more attractive place to live. The program is designed around the idea that people from your community know which assets are worth promoting and which areas of the community need to be improved.
The process works by mobilizing a small group of people to lead a series of conversations that explore the motivations for people considering your community and the assets they love. The conversations are led by local people, explore local topics, and produce a resident retention and recruitment plan. We believe that the best spokesperson for your town is everyone.
Why have a program?
Proclamations about the death of small towns are everywhere. However, almost half of Minnesotans move every five years. Communities are not dying they are changing. People are choosing to move to our rural communities for what they are and what they will be, not necessarily what they have been.  It’s a vibrant future for your community that will make it irresistible for potential new residents, not a nostalgic past.
Community leaders across the state have expressed interest in taking action to rewrite the narrative of their community. This program is a direct response to that interest. It encourages and supports people that want to prepare and position their community for the demographic changes that are coming.
Our approach developed as a result of research at the University of Nebraska. In the past year, we have trained our staff in facilitating this program and have successful completed our first efforts in Litchfield.

If you’re community is interested contact Neil Linscheid at lins0041@umn.edu or (507) 476-1068

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