Rural Partners LogoRural Partners

A Voice for Rural Illinois
Connecting people and communities with resources

The Mission of Rural Partners

Rural Partners is a member-driven forum that links individuals, businesses, organizations and communities with public and private resources to maximize the potential of rural Illinois.


  • To strengthen the leadership capacity in rural Illinois.
  • To promote rural community and economic development activities.
  • To increase collaboration among local governments and communities in Illinois.
  • To influence public policy by representing the comprehensive needs of rural residents.
  • To maintain points of contact for information, assistance and resource development.
  • To participate in federal and state government initiatives for rural development.
  • To encourage private/public partnerships for rural communities and economic development.
  • To enhance, to promote and to acknowledge the individual and collective efforts of the membership.


    About Rural Partners

    Is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1989.

    Is committed to coordinate private/public leadership for community and economic 
development throughout rural Illinois.

    Embraces a comprehensive approach to rural development.

    Maintains collaborative relationship with:
    The Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, USDA Rural Development, Illinois 
Institute for Rural Affairs, IL. Dept. of Commerce and Economic
 Opportunity and other strategic groups.

    Maintains collaborative relationship with:
    Private sector businesses and organizations.

    Maintains collaborative relationship with:
    Local, state and federal agencies actively involved in rural community 
and economic development.

    Convenes annual spring and fall conferences providing access to innovative rural
 development strategies and networking opportunities.

    Was designated the Illinois Rural Development Council through a “Memorandum of
 Understanding” between Illinois’ Governor Edgar and the National Rural Development
 Partnership (NRDP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Is a State Rural Development Councils associated with the NRDP and is able
 to provide direct input into national policy, procedures, and regulations.




    Annual Membership;
    Website logo and weblink;
    Annual Conference recognition



    Annual Membership;
    Website listing



    Annual Membership;
    Website listing



    Annual Membership;

    Three Powerful Reasons Why You Should Join RURAL PARTNERS.

    We had a very busy year in 2023 and we accomplished a lot.  Our drive and commitment in 2024 is to continue to link individuals, businesses, organizations and communities with public and private resources to maximize the potential of rural Illinois.

    Read our Highlights from 2023.

    Decorative - Newsletter Banner Image
    Keep up-to-date on the latest news and activities from Rural Partners.  Our newsletter will keep you informed on upcoming conferences and programs that could help benefit you and your communities.  Also included in our newsletter editions are stories related to the many different company, industrial, and agriculture entities we represent.

    View a list of our current and archived newsletters.

    Decorative - Educational Webinar Series image
    Rural Partners, in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, is happy to provide to you a Local Government Webinar Series.  As new webinars are added, they will be made available to view at the following Illinois Extension website.

    Recent webinars you can view online focus on the impacts of Dollar General stores on rural Illinois communities; the 2020 elections and their impact on rural America; telehealth; local, state and federal government; 100 days in the Biden administration; changing rural Illinois communities and many more.