ANNAPOLIS – When it comes to Maryland’s rural areas, issues such as access to health care as well as community development and economic development can provide some unique challenges. Suburban and urban areas are faced with similar challenges, but rural jurisdictions typically need to build capacity and plan and execute differently from their counterparts throughout the state.

For the past several years, the Rural Maryland Council, an independent state agency, has hosted a biennial summit to bring together rural stakeholders to discuss the challenges and share information and solutions. “Rural Maryland Rising: Investing in Resiliency, Collaboration, and Innovation” will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Annapolis. Registration for this year’s Summit is now open.

Providing the opening keynote address at the Summit will be Paul Costello, Ph.D., executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. In addition to spearheading major initiatives to advance the use of broadband tools in rural communities throughout Vermont, VCRD has created a number of working groups to address key challenges, including the Vermont Agriculture Viability Council, the Vermont Forest Products Council, the Vermont Council on Culture and Innovation, the Vermont Council on Planning, the Vermont Rural Energy Council, the Council on the Future of Vermont, the Working Landscape Council and the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council.

In addition to the keynote address, “Rural Maryland Rising” will include updates from Maryland legislators as well as breakout sessions on agriculture, community development, economic development and health care. Also featured will be a plenary presentation of awards for 2019 AgPitch and a lunch program with Secretary David R. Brinkley, Secretary of Budget and Management and Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, Secretary of Commerce. The Summit will close with remarks by the Honorable Peter Franchot, Comptroller of Maryland, followed by a networking reception. Registration is $50 per attendee. Meals are included. To register, visit https://rural.maryland.gov/2019-rural-summit/.

“This Summit has provided a great way for rural residents, businesses and community leaders across the state to share ideas and challenges and to get updates on priority issues. More significantly though, it’s the only rural-specific gathering that brings together all layers of government, providing a exemplary platform for effective problem-solving and priority-setting,” said Charlotte Davis, executive director, Rural Maryland Council.

To register for the Summit or for more information, visit https://rural.maryland.gov/2019-rural-summit/ or call 410-841-5772, email rmc.mda@maryland.gov.

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