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Focus on Rural Economic Development

Rural economies in the west have traditionally been land and resource-based: farming, ranching, logging, mining. Two February programs look at rural economic development in the age.

Explore additional resources on rural western economic development.


Halfway, Oregon, a town of less than 400 people "hard by the Idaho border and just south of Hells Canyon," has spent more than a century struggling to stay afloat after the collapse of one industry after another: goldmining, logging, fishing, and dam building.

But hope glimmered for the residents of Halfway. In December 1999 representatives from an unknown Pennsylvania rolled into town with a tempting proposal. They wanted Halfway to change its name to for one year in exchange for $110,000 in cash and computers. The town agreed, bringing 15 minutes of fame to itself and millions in free publicity to A few months into the deal the publicity stunt paid off big for, as eBay bought its website for $350 million. RURAL.COM chronicles the first year of a tiny town's transformation from obscure dot on a map to notoriety.

RURAL.COM aired Wednesday, February 6, 2002 on Idaho Public Television.


IdahoPTV's DIALOGUE takes up the discussion of rural economies begun in OREGON STORY: RURAL.COM. Host Joan Cartan-Hansen and her guests, Chris Hertz, director of the Economic Development Department at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), Greg Seibert from the Idaho Department of Commerce, and Firth rancher Charlotte Reid will look at efforts to bring jobs to rural Idaho. "These efforts may include technology but it is only part of the solution," Cartan-Hansen says. The live call-in show looks at how communities can create jobs, how technology plays a role, and how existing Idaho businesses can be involved.

View an archived stream of this DIALOGUE.


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