Mission and Vision


To enhance the capacity of Land Grant Universities to foster regional prosperity and rural development.


The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) believes that small towns and rural places are the basic building blocks of rural society, and, in the context of a global society, they are becoming increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, resulting in an ever increasing number of public issues needing resolution. The NERCRD recognizes that individuals, the foundation of these rural communities, are capable of growth, development and change, and that rural society can be enhanced by increasing the individual, organizational, and problem-solving knowledge and skills of its residents. Finally, the NERCRD believes that creating a shared vision for the future of sustainable communities requires democratic participation.


The task of resolving rural development issues demands the highest level of scholarly research, and it requires a constant and interactive process between research and action to assess and improve the effectiveness of educational efforts. It requires a proactive role in formulating a bold and realistic working agenda, ensuring innovation in priority setting, creativity in staffing, and flexibility in resource allocation. The Center is uniquely adapted and explicitly chartered to meet these requirements from regional and national approaches. We synergize our ability to accomplish this task by collaborating with many rural development partners:

  1. citizens, community decision makers, organizational leaders, and other rural development professionals.
  2. agency and organization personnel at regional and national levels.
  3. private and public policy makers in the states, region, and nation.
  4. research and extension faculty — university-and field-based, and administrators from land-grant institutions.

Learn more about how NERCRD works and is governed here.