This paper is a part of a series of reports of the activities conducted under a grant from the Fund for Rural America, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Funds for the three year grant entitled "Enhancing Rural Economies Through Comprehensive Extension, Research & Partnering Approaches Using Multi-County Clusters in Michigan With Application to National Rural Settings" were received by Michigan State University's Department of Agricultural Economics in March, 1998. The major goal of the grant is to increase economic development activity in four clusters of rural counties in Michigan through the utilization of the resources of the Michigan State University Extension Service, Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, and other resources of Michigan State University. Various local, state, and federal public partners as well as the private sector are to co-sponsor projects. This paper represents the first stages of a continuing project to explore the utilization of retirement community human resources in rural Michigan and to develop Extension programs to meet their needs. Future activities include focus groups, labor supply analysis, a conference, and perhaps a rural academy to be developed by Michigan State University and its partners.


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