Arizona Rural Development Council programs and activities currently include the Rural Policy Forum, Science Happens Here, WeekendZona, and the Rural Community Profiles. AZRDC does community assessments, technical assistance, and also hosts a series of webinars with topics specific to rural Arizona.
In 2013, Arizona Rural Development Council merged with Local First Arizona Foundation. Please visit www.localfirstazfoundation.org to learn more about the many rural programs and activities happening around the state.
Our MISSION is to equip communities with resources to advance rural Arizona while honoring their heritage in a changing world.
- AZRDC values rural communities of all size.
- AZRDC values a community’s “sense of place”.
- AZRDC values the diverse culture and heritage of rural Arizona.
- AZRDC values the economic impact rural Arizona contributes to the State.
AZRDC is committed to
- Building partnerships for rural development efforts
- Coordinating program development and implementation
- Supporting models for community success
- Identifying resources
- Filling in gaps
- Not duplicating, but rather adding value to existing efforts.
Rural Advisory Board
|Casey||Rooney||President/CEO||Cottonwood Economic Development Council|
|Karalea||Cox||Founder/owner||Common Sense Facilitation|
|D.L.||Wilson||County Supervisor||La Paz County|
|Bobby||Davis||Town of Payson||Gila County Economic Development|
|Paul||Watson||Assistant County Manager||Navajo County|
|Greg||LaVann||Sr. Vice President||Greater Yuma EDC|
|Danny||Smith||County Supervisor||Graham County|
|Evelyn||Casuga||Consultant||Central Arizona College|
|David||Gomez||County Supervisor||Greenlee County|
|Julie||Brooks||President and CEO||Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce|
|Levi||Esquerra||Director, Rural Policy Institute||NAU|
|and||Program Director, Center for American Indian Economic Development|
|Gary||Kellogg||President/CEO||Partnership for Economic Development|
|Sally||Holcomb||Cenpatico and Cafe Roka, Cochise County|
|Jeff||Hays||USDA Rural Development, Prescott Valley|
Rural Policy Forum
The 2018 Rural Policy Forum will connect rural economic development professionals, nonprofits, community leaders, business owners, and other rural stakeholders who are interested in sustaining rural communities. Our goal will be to hear strategies from national experts as well as learn about success stories around Arizona that will give our rural leaders the tools, resources and relationships they need to face current challenges.
Arizona is full of wondrous places that include small mining towns with main streets from the roaring 20’s, fields of grapes and the wineries we love, and arts and culture that defines our heritage and makes us proud to be Arizonans. Our community profiles will help you plan your next weekend getaway- we’ll help you find the perfect place to plan your trip whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend, a fun trip for the kids, or a historical tour, you will find it all right here. We want to show you what it feels like to live in Arizona. Explore the 48th state and you’ll fall in love! https://www.localfirstazfoundation.org/discover-small-town-arizona/
POWERING ARIZONA’S ENTREPRENEURS
Fuerza Local is a six-month Business Accelerator program designed to teach underserved Latino business owners the multiple facets of building a sustainable and prosperous future through entrepreneurship.
Good Food Finder
CELEBRATING ARIZONA’S HOMEGROWN FOODS
We work to build healthy food systems by working directly with the producers and growers as well as by educating consumers about the importance of buying local foods and where to find them.
AZ Rural Development Council
GROWING ARIZONA’S SMALL TOWN ECONOMIES
We grow Arizona’s small-town economies by working directly with businesses, leaders, and organizations within these communities to create unique solutions that result in widespread prosperity.
WeekendZona aims to redirect the billions of dollars that Arizonans spend vacationing out of state into our unique and diverse small towns. By creating a curated experience to showcase each small town in its best light, we expose Arizonans to hidden gems and create a measurable economic impact in these communities. Arizonans annually spend $6 billion vacationing in California. If we can redirect even a small portion of that into Arizona communities, that will create jobs and vitalize local economies across the state. WeekendZona won the Governor’s Tourism Award for Creative Collaborative Marketing for our partnership with the Verde Valley.
Science Happens Here
Science Happens Here is a game for kids in 3rd through 8th grades that includes collecting trading cards with science knowledge on them. The game is designed to engage kids to better understand the science that surrounds them everyday! Kids collect the cards at local businesses (no purchase necessary) and visit the website to conduct science experiments at home using household items.
Copper Corridor Supplier Source
The Copper Communities Supplier Source is intended to be a resource for primary contractors doing work in the Copper Communities region of Arizona. This resource will allow contractors to connect with and use local sub-contractors, vendors and suppliers. Local businesses in the region can also learn about a company’s vendor requirements, how to do business with a primary contractor or company and learn about other opportunities and companies in the region. This resource is the result of a collaborative effort between Local First Arizona, the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition, the Southern Gila County Economic Development Corporation and Resolution Copper Mine. Resolution Copper Mine and it’s primary contractors are making a commitment to the local communities to use this resource as part of their local participation plans.
Food Hub Feasibility Study
During the course of the Copper Communities Food Hub Study, several clusters of smallscale
food production have been identified in areas throughout the study region. Four
distinct clusters exist in the following areas: Globe-Miami, Kearny-Superior, MammothOracle
and Young. This business development plan offers a template for small-scale
producers to develop a model that will aid in the entry of new markets and determine the
need for post-harvest facilities.
Educational sessions on improving our rural communities.
Board of Directors
Jeffrey Brodin, Board Chair
Brodin HR Law
Angie Harmon, Board Vice-Chair
Social Investments Manager
Levi Esquerra, Board Treasurer
Director, Rural Policy Institute
Program Director, Center for American Indian Economic Development
Northern Arizona University
William Mandeville, Board Secretary
Director of Development
The Nature Conservancy
Dr. Jonathan Koppell
Dean, College of Public Service and Community Solutions
Arizona State University
State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Senior Vice President and General Council
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Marisol Federal Credit Union
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
Community Affairs Manager
Arizona Public Service (APS)