Welcome to my Rural Economic Development page.

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While less than 1% of the American population now farms and 
only 17% of the population is now rural, 
100% of the American population still eats!

This page has links to URLs of RED interest, pdf files of papers, and survey instruments used to gather and  evaluate community attitudes and perceptions.  These surveys are in several forms: stand alone text based exe files, Visual Studio (BASIC) templates, and web surveys. To open the Visual Studio (BASIC) templates you will need a copy of Visual Basic Express 2010 which you can download for free by clicking on  http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010-editions/visual-basic-express

A review of the literature of the last 20 or so years clearly shows, across cultures, success or failure of Rural Economic Development and Revitalization efforts are mainly determined by the perceptions and attitudes of the community.  A major problem is endemic "Learned Helplessness" [LH] or "Learned Dependency," [LD] which prevents any attempts to create a self sustaining Community Development effort.  There is a significant correlation in individuals with high levels of "Learned Helplessness" or "Learned Dependency" and clinical depression.  Therefore as a foundation, it is necessary to determine the LH/LD levels and correct these, possibly through one or more small demonstration projects, before ANY major projects are undertaken.  This is why the following survey instruments were developed.

click to download




A Windows text based depression survey based on the WHO screening instrument.  This particular version was created to determine the stress/depression levels of students at a medium sized mid-western community college. The .exe file will run, the .bas file is PBCC6.02 source code.
click to download


A VB template for MS Visual Basic Express 2010 version of the above survey.  The [free] VB Express version will not compile a stand-alone exe file.  You will need to have Visual Studio or VB Express installed to open this file.
click to start

MDI web based survey

 I have also developed the above MDI survey as a web survey.  This is still in the beta test stage and some enhancements such as calculating your index based on your responses is not yet implemented, and some more demographic items may be added. As currently configured it will email me your responses and demographic information for statistical analysis.  Any feedback about the web survey would be appreciated.
click to download


A VB template for MS Visual Basic Express 2010 of a LH/LD survey instrument developed by Dr. Francis Ward and cited by Smallheer in his doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt May 2011.  You will need to have Visual Studio or VB Express installed to open this file.

click to start

LHLD web based survey

Above survey as a web application.


Work in progress survey -- score calculation does not work  Above file with Javascript to calculate/count responses.


Work in progress MDI survey that calculates total respondent score and displays it on page. Score calculator does not work and alert on start up is a debugging artifact.

Rural Economic Development Presentation

A presentation on Rural Economic Development by Dr. H. Swender in OpenOffice .odp format