News & Events

Small Community Forums 2022

Over half of Wisconsin’s cities and villages are communities of fewer than 2,500 residents. Despite their large number, these small communities represent a wide variety of geographic and economic areas within the state. Because of their small size, these municipalities have unique issues and needs that are often very different from those of larger communities.

The eleventh annual series of Small Community Forums will be held in four locations in October and November, bringing people together to address common issues, network, share best practices, and identify strategies to address shared concerns. Representatives from many state and regional resource partners will be on hand to connect with attendees and provide guidance on specific concerns introduced during the sessions.

These convenings are about sharing ideas, learning and networking concerning the health and future of rural Wisconsin. People interested in small town and rural Wisconsin are invited to attend, including those involved in quality of life issues, business, government, education, the nonprofit sector, civic and community development.


  • Orfordville (Rock County) – Friday, October 28
    Location: Village Hall, 303 E. Beloit Street
    Local host: Village of Orfordville

  • Rosholt (Portage County) – Tuesday, November 1
    Location: Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative, 10401 Lystul Rd.
    Local host:  The Co-op and the Rosholt Area Business Association

  • Washburn (Bayfield County) – Thursday, November 3
    Location: The Club, 3 W Bayfield St.
    Local host: Washburn Chamber of Commerce

  • Reedsville (Manitowoc County) – Tuesday, November 15
    Location: Village Hall, 217 Menasha Street
    Partner: Village of Reedsville

Forums agenda (subject to change):

  • 7:30 am – registrations/coffee and rolls

  • 8 am – welcome and introductions

  • 8:45 am – Local Case Studies: Stories and examples of the good work going on in the community

  • 10 am – Wisconsin by the Numbers: data and stories on economic, workforce, and civic issues facing Wisconsin

    • Orfordville – Tessa Conroy, UW Madison/Extension

    • Rosholt – Matt Kures, UW Madison/Extension

    • Washburn – Nicole Foster, Northland College

    • Reedsville – Matt Kures, UW Madison/Extension

  • 10:45 am – Roundtable Discussions on Collaborations/Partnerships, Infrastructure, and Accessible Communities

  • 11:45 am – wrap up

  • 12 noon – lunch with colleagues and resource leaders

Statewide organization and agency partners:

  • Create Wisconsin

  • League of Wisconsin Municipalities

  • UW-Madison, Division of Extension

  • USDA Rural Development Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin Downtown Action Council

  • WEDC Office of Rural Prosperity

  • WEDC Wisconsin Main Street Program

  • Wisconsin Rural Partners.

    Register here.

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