In Part I, Chuck Schroeder gave us a fascinating look at the history of cowboys and the cattle business. He reminisced about his time with what would become the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the years he spent as president and executive director of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. (Click here for Part I)
Now he's wrapping his hands around a new challenge as the Executive Director of the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska. It was something he touched on in our previous conversation. I asked him a few more questions about what he wants to accomplish as he moves the Institute forward.
I was curious about the RFI conference last November, just before he joined the Institute. I asked him about what happened during that conference and what he thought they were able to accomplish.
Managing the declining rural population and creating a positive outlook about the future of rural America is one of the aims of RFI. Schroeder is amazingly enthusiastic about what's happening and how much America's farms and ranches will continue to contribute to a healthy and vibrant economy.
Here's what he said.
I asked about the next RFI Conference, ‘It won't happen right away,’ he said, but the long term planning for the next one is an up front and important thing on his agenda. The next Conference will be an ambitious international event with innovative leadership.
He spent a few minutes describing what might be coming 18 to 24 months from now.
I asked him what he would like to say to the CattleNetwork audience. He told me rural communities matter; they're a great incubator for small business and the economy.