Nebraska Rural Poll celebrates 20th year

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Nebraska Rural Poll celebrates 20th year

Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan residents don't always see eye to eye when it comes to attributes of successful communities and well-being, according to recent polling by the Nebraska Rural and Metro Polls.

The Nebraska Rural Poll marks its 20th year in 2015. The public will have a chance to explore Rural Poll data more in depth and contribute to future poll and research studies during two educational sessions on Oct. 21.

The sessions will be at Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive, starting at 1 p.m.

Becky Vogt, survey research manager who’s been working on the Rural Poll since its second year, said, “With its 20-year history, the poll has a collection of data about rural trends and perceptions that is unmatched in the country.”

The first session, “Exploring Twenty Years of the Rural Poll,” will examine trends in the data and engage participants in a conversation on opportunities associated with such a robust data treasure. The second, “Celebrating the Rural Poll – Visioning for the Future,” will share the history of the poll and explore its value and impacts. Participants will be asked to share what would strengthen the poll and identify research ideas and questions for future polls. That session begins at 3 p.m.

“We are fortunate to have John Allen and Sam Cordes, founders of the Nebraska Rural Poll in 1996, join us for these sessions,” said Randy Cantrell, rural sociologist for the Rural Futures Institute.

Registration and more details are available at There is no registration fee for attending the sessions.

During recent years, broadband and internet usage have been a featured topic in the Rural Poll. The 2011 poll results showed that most rural Nebraskans have used the internet for research, health information, purchasing a product, watching a video and social networking. In addition to examining Rural Poll data, the public will have the opportunity to attend free sessions focusing on broadband and technology.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 21 the public can learn what their community can do to address broadband development and implementation during a session titled “Broadband and Your Community – Improving Nebraska’s Economic Future and Quality of Life.” Following that session, the first Nebraska Broadband Initiative outstanding community broadband projects will be announced. Awardees will form a panel to share information about their projects and how the projects may be replicated in other communities. That session begins at 10:30 a.m.

The sessions are offered in conjunction with the Rural Futures Conference, which begins on the evening of Oct. 21. The conference presents opportunities for people to work together to build hope and develop a vision for invigorating rural communities. For more information and to register, visit

The university’s Department of Agricultural Economics conducts the poll in cooperation with the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute with funding from Nebraska Extension and the Agricultural Research Division in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For more information, visit

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