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Abstract

Three economic opportunities are presented for rural areas in this invited paper session: selfemployment, investments in broadband infrastructure, and agritourism. Self-employment has shown growth in rural regions at the expense of wage and salary employment in the longterm. Production agriculture interests by themselves are unlikely to provide sufficient funding to expand infrastructure for broadband in rural areas. Agritourism approaches appear to be very wide ranging with many educational demands needing to be met to maximize its diversification possibilities. Research and extension faculty should be careful to focus on explaining the tradeoffs of these opportunities so that rural stakeholders do not fall victim to the latest academic economic development fad.

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