How do rural communities creative livable communities for the 21st century? This was a key topic of discussion for rural geographers. The Ninth Quadrennial Conference of British, Canadian, and American Rural Geographers was hosted by Middlebury College and the University of Vermont in Burlington, USA. Rural geographers from Australia, Wales, Northern Ireland, England, Canada, Scotland, England, and the United States shared research, discussed pressing rural concerns, completed a community engagement exercise, and conducted experiential learning by visiting a number of Vermont-based working landscape and rural community enterprises.

Dr. Ryan Gibson and Dr. Sara Epp from the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development participated in this year’s Quadrennial. Dr. Epp shared a presentation titled “Migrating Mennonites: Exploring the Economic and Social Impacts of a Mennonite Migration in Northern Ontario” while Dr. Gibson shared a presentation titled “Embedding Wealth in Place: The Nexus of Philanthropy and Liveable Communities”. Copies of these presentations will be available on the conference website shortly.

Over the week long conference, researchers and graduate students meet with farmers, community-based organizations, the Vermont Council for Rural Development, AARP, and the Vermont Community Foundation. Further information about the 2019 Rural Quadrennial can be found at