ERIC Number: ED371161
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
From the Grassroots: Case Studies of Eight Rural Self-Development Efforts.
Flora, Jan L.; And Others
Grassroots efforts were examined through a survey of 103 self-development projects across the United States, enriched by an indepth study of 8 successful and unsuccessful cases. They were as follows: Revolving Loan Fund, Mankato, Kansas; Orofino Unlimited, Orofino, Idaho; Center for Industry, Rome, Georgia; Windmill Market Farm and Craft Co-op, Penn Yan, New York; Project Herbs, Mars Hill, North Carolina; Manufacturing Firms, Oberlin, Kansas; Vermont Northern Growers Co-op, East Hardwick, Vermont; and Caswool Cotco, Yanceyville, North Carolina. Results of these efforts suggested that the success of self-development efforts was in part related to contextual factors the community could not control, including federal and state policies affecting economic development and infrastructure, local recognition of an economic crisis affecting the community, and existence of a flexible, dispersed local leadership structure. More important, community success was heavily dependent on its ability to overcome organizational problems. The organizational factors included the kind of project and whether it would include all groups or focus on a particular beneficiary group, an organizational structure appropriate to the particular needs of the group, access to capital appropriate to the needs of the project, and how vertical outside linkages were used. Communities enjoying the most success demonstrated leadership flexibility and adopted inclusive or group-focused approaches to community development. (Contains 17 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC. Agriculture and Rural Economy Div.
Note: For a related document, see CE 066 626.