Rural areas cannot prosper without well informed and effective leaders. The region’s Land Grant Universities (LGUs) have long provided leadership development for rural areas in a variety of ways. As the LGUs face increasing budgetary pressure in the current fiscal environment, more cost effective ways of helping to develop new rural leaders are needed. The region has a need to pass information on how to be an effective leader to the next generation. The region is also host to a number of federally recognized tribes with unique systems of governance; there may be important lessons to be learned in sharing information across the region. More generally, rural leaders need to find ways to continue delivering effective government and other services in an era of aging and declining population and reduced tax base, while rural businesses leaders need to keep their workplaces updated and tap new markets.