UACES Facebook Community development conference speaker to describe six key elements of ‘turn-around’ communities
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Community development conference speaker to describe six key elements of ‘turn-around’ communities

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
May 4, 2018

Fast Facts:

  • Breakthrough Solutions pre-conference workshop features leaders who are dealing directly with challenges in their own communities
  • Workshop and full conference to be held at Cooperative Extension headquarters in Little Rock
  • Register online at 

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Community and economic development often requires hard work, creativity and investments of both time and money. But focusing those efforts in effective, strategic ways is often fundamental to conquering even the most herculean of tasks.

Becky Cleveland (3)

Community leaders in Brookfield, Mo. have been very creative in bringing their community back from very difficult circumstances, and on Wednesday, June 6, Arkansas community leaders will have the opportunity to learn how it was done at the 2018 Breakthrough Solutions Pre-Conference Workshop in Little Rock.  

Becky Cleveland, Executive Director of Brookfield Area Growth Partnership, will describe the six key elements of their turn-around strategy to bring their community back. 

“In one year’s time, a company’s building burned down, so they moved to a neighboring community; our 100-year-old theater roof collapsed, and had to be torn down, and another employer with 250 jobs pulled out. It was just horrible,” Cleveland said. “The downtown was falling in and we didn’t have any jobs. We knew we had to take action.”  

The theme of the workshop is “Turn Around Communities in the 21st Century,” and will include a panel of Arkansas community leaders identifying turn-around strategies and experiences, plus a challenge from community leaders in Mountain Home. Workshop participants will develop turn-around strategies to address five key challenges facing the Mountain Home community. 

“The insights we will learn from Ms. Cleveland, our panel, and the challenges facing the Mountain Home community will be invaluable learning experience for communities all across Arkansas,” said Mark Peterson, Professor of Community and Economic Development with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service.   

The Breakthrough Solutions Conference follows on Thursday, June 7, with the theme “Strengthening the Opportunity Pipeline for Community/Region.” Both the workshop and conference will take place at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension headquarters, located at 2301 S. University Ave., Little Rock.  

Early bird registration ends May 24. Visit to register. Email or call 501-671-2253 for more information. 

To learn about community and economic development in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2120