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Farmington Hosts Rural Development Forum

LAS CRUCES -- Promoting the economic well-being of rural locales will be the focus of the seventh annual New Mexico Rural Economic Development Forum to be held at the Farmington Civic Center, October 16-18.

The Art of Living Well in Our Rural Communities is the theme of the two-day conference. The programs and seminars will center on improving life in small towns, covering such topics as health care, infrastructure, small business development, financing and marketing the community.

"The purpose of the Forum is to educate local leaders and volunteers about economic development in their community and to help them network with other communities and experts in the field," said Robert Coppedge, New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension economic development specialist.

The Governor's awards dinner, to recognize communities for their advertising, marketing and promotion efforts, will take place October 17.

Dan Kemis, mayor of Missoula, Mont. and author of "Community and the Politics of Place," will be one of the keynote speakers. He will share his experiences on country living and making a village a good place to live.

The forum is viewed as one of the premier economic development activities in New Mexico, Coppedge said, and will be attended by people from across the state.

The New Mexico Rural Economic Development Forum is sponsored by both public and private organizations and is open to all New Mexicans interested in boosting the economic health of their communities. For more information on this year's gathering, call Robert Coppedge at (505) 646-4122 or Ann Hill at (505) 827-0304.