Rural Explore the history, culture, benefits, and challenges of rural America. Take a deep dive into previously undiscussed issues of the hollowing out of our rural, agrarian communities, and what is replacing this void, if anything. Also examine initiatives, ideas, and actions to both arrest and reverse these trends through interviews with leading scholars, authors, practitioners, and professionals.
Rural

Rural

From WHRV

Explore the history, culture, benefits, and challenges of rural America. Take a deep dive into previously undiscussed issues of the hollowing out of our rural, agrarian communities, and what is replacing this void, if anything. Also examine initiatives, ideas, and actions to both arrest and reverse these trends through interviews with leading scholars, authors, practitioners, and professionals.

Most Recent Episodes

Sam and Brian Bass of Nansemond Indian Nation and Chickahominy Tribal Chief Stephen R. Adkins

In this episode of Rural, Sam Bass, Chief Emeritus of the Nansemond Indian Nation, and his son, Brian Bass, sat with Amy Drewry to discuss their unique views and ideas on Rural life through history in the Native American community. Also, in this episode, Chickahominy Tribal Chief Stephen R. Adkins shares his views on past and future efforts to maintain the Rural lifestyle in our region's diverse communities.

Sam and Brian Bass of Nansemond Indian Nation and Chickahominy Tribal Chief Stephen R. Adkins

Lynlee Thorne

What happens when rural Americans from both political parties feel abandoned by Washington? Host Amy Drewry speaks with farmer and rural preservationist Lynlee Thorne to explore how both democratic and republican farmers are working together in their shared communities to save small and independent farming operations. Lynlee is a Farmer and staff member of Rural Groundgame and lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley on a small farm with her two young children and a menagerie of animals. Raised in a log cabin in rural Virginia, Lynlee lived in Vietnam for five years, exploring agriculture and finding her voice as an advocate for rural preservation. She has served as campaign staff for multiple local and statewide campaigns over the last five years. Both farming and being a rural Democrat require a long-term commitment to hard work, perseverance, and the cultivation of resilient communities, which Lynlee brings to all her work.

Dr. Leni Sorensen

Dr. Leni Sorensen earned a doctorate from the College of William & Mary in African-American studies and is an American chef and culinary historian at Monticello. She focuses on the lives of Black cooks and lost techniques of food preservation and homesteading, with a particular emphasis on the early 1800s and the Colonial period. Dr. Sorensen also appears on the Netflix television series High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.

Lillian Ebony Alexander

Lillian Ebony Alexander is Executive Director of the Black Family Land Trust (BFLT) under the auspices of the American Farmland Trust. BFLT is a nice land trust and one of the nation's only regional land trust dedicated to the preservation and protection of African-American and other historically under-served landowners land assets.

Clay Jenkinson

Clay Jenkinson is a scholar, author, educator and host of the public radio program The Thomas Jefferson Hour. Most recently, Clay authored a new book, The Language of Cottonwoods, Essays on the Future of North Dakota. In this episode he digs deep into the challenges of his rural native North Dakota, which are many of the same challenges in rural Virginia, rural Texas, rural Vermont and all rural areas. Clay also talks about the values and culture that we consider American values and that originated from hard work, ingenuity and the self sufficiency of rural, agrarian life.

The Hollowing Out of Rural America

This episode makes the case for both the benefits of rural communities, and the devastating challenges. Digging deep into the more complex issues surrounding population loss and economic decline, this pilot contains conversations on food deserts, decline of small farms, the loss of land for African American landowners, encroachment, radical politicization of rural residents, trends for young people returning to small communities, COVID's impact, the creation of cottage industries, and the meaning of community. Subsequent episodes are one-on-one conversations with each person featured in the pilot.