Panelists from Canada, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom will explore how different jurisdictions bring attention to rural within their policy making processes. Dr. Jackson-Smith will present on the changing symbolic and material importance of ‘rural’ places in governance and policy across different levels of government in the United States. Norman Ragetlie will outline the challenges with rural policy in Ontario, Canada due to a lack of a comprehensive, government-wide strategy with goals and strategic directions which stakeholders and government agencies might monitor together. Professor Sally Shortall will outline findings from her work on rural policy in the United Kingdom. These presentations will be followed by a robust facilitated discussion and question period. This session will be hosted by the Rural Governance Network of the Rural Policy Learning Commons.
Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith is a Professor and Assistant Director of the School of Environment and Natural Resources at the Ohio State University in the United States. He is the outgoing president of the Rural Sociological Society. His own research focuses on drivers and impacts of technical and structural change in the food and agricultural system, rural land use change, and interdisciplinary and engaged approaches to improving water sustainability in urban, rural, and agricultural landscapes.
Norman Ragetlie is currently Chief Executive Officer with the Rural Ontario Institute. He served for eight years from 2010 to 2018 as Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement with the Institute. In that role he engaged with many types of stakeholder organizations and led collaborative projects and studies on matters relevant to rural communities. From 2000 to 2010 Norm was with the provincial Ministry of Ag. Food and Rural Affairs supporting rural community economic development. In the previous decade Norm was a Senior Policy Analyst with regional municipal government. He began his career in the non-profit sector managing a food cooperative as well as coordinating environmental advocacy campaigns. He holds a Master of Science degree in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph. He has been active in a variety of voluntary roles including Chair of the Ontario Farmland Trust from 2011 to 2017 and with local community projects.
Professor Sally Shortall took up post as the Duke of Northumberland Chair of Rural Economy, Newcastle University in October 2016. She is interested in rural development policy and practice, the role of women on farms and in rural development, social changes in farming practice and the links between evidence and policy.