Ten Podcasts Focused on Rural Community and Economic Development

Amplifying the stories and experiences of rural and Indigenous people, places, cultures, and economies is essential for fostering an accurate narrative — especially when much of the mainstream discussion relies on incorrect data, stereotypes, and opinions uninformed by rural experience.

Our work on accurate rural storytelling is grounded in the Thrive Rural Framework, which emphasizes the necessity of Accurate Rural Narratives and Rural Voice in Design and Action. These elements are essential for strengthening communities and Native nations across rural America to be healthy places where each and every person belongs, lives with dignity, and thrives.

Tuning into podcasts originating from and focusing on rural areas can reveal more detailed and expansive rural narratives. 

There are many excellent podcasts out there, and this list is not exhaustive. We encourage you to contact us with suggestions for additional podcasts that should be included.

Funding Rural

  • Erin Borla, Executive Director of the Roundhouse Foundation, explores the intersection of philanthropy, community building, creative placemaking, and economic development in rural areas. Featuring interviews with community leaders, artists, and policymakers, listeners can learn about the innovative projects and initiatives revitalizing rural and Indigenous communities through creativity, collaboration, and strategic funding, as well as the challenges facing potential funders.

NDN Collective Podcasts

Reimagine Rural

  • Tony Pipa, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, travels to rural towns throughout America, engaging with local residents who share their experiences driving positive change within their communities. He explores how public investment in rural areas can foster greater and more equitable prosperity by directly talking to those at the forefront of these efforts.

Rural Health Leadership Radio

  • Hosted by Dr. Bill Auxier, this podcast delves into topics such as innovative healthcare delivery models, workforce development, community health initiatives, and policy implications affecting rural areas. Each episode features insightful interviews with healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community leaders who share their experiences, challenges, and success stories in improving rural health outcomes.

Rural Matters

  • The Rural Matters Podcast features discussions on education, healthcare, economic development, and other critical issues affecting rural communities, moderated by host Michael Levin-Epstein. Bringing together experts and practitioners, this podcast aims to increase awareness and expand the dialogue on the most critical issues facing rural stakeholders by exploring strategies and solutions for enhancing the quality of life in rural areas. 

Small Talk with Communities Unlimited

  • The Communities Unlimited Podcast highlights success stories and strategies for economic development, health, and technology integration in rural areas. Through practical advice and inspiring stories from rural America, the podcast showcases how communities are overcoming challenges and thriving.

The Rural Impact Podcast

  • The Rural Impact Podcast is hosted by the president and CEO of Impact! Communications Inc., Michelle Rathman. It features engaging conversations about policies and their direct (and indirect) effects on rural communities with rural leaders, entrepreneurs, and experts. This podcast illuminates complex issues facing rural communities and innovative solutions for economic development, healthcare, education, community resilience, and more.

Pathways to Rural ProsperITY PODCAST

  • Hosted by e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems’ Don Macke, episodes feature interviews with cutting-edge rural development thought leaders and community practitioners, remarkable entrepreneurs, including business, nonprofit, and government professionals, and the learnings of e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems.

The Yonder Report

  • A short, fast-paced roundup of rural news, this podcast features a diverse array of voices from across rural America, highlighting the vibrant and resilient spirit of rural living and working. Produced by the Center for Rural Strategies, episodes spotlight local community efforts, discuss economic development, and address agriculture and healthcare in rural communities.


  • A monthly podcast focused on current issues in rural healthcare and population health. Hosted by the Rural Health Information Hub, hear from the leaders and experts at the local, state, and national levels who are coming up with solutions to help meet rural communities’ needs.

Econ Dev Show

  • Hosted by Dane Carlson, the Econ Dev Show podcast covers economic development strategies, featuring interviews with industry experts and inspiring success stories from communities across the country. Tailored for economic development professionals, listen to some rural-specific episodes to gain a deeper understanding of effective approaches and real-world applications that drive growth and prosperity in rural areas:
    • Episode 132 features Lorie Vincent, the founder of the Stand Up Rural America Summit, who emphasizes the critical roles of community collaboration and diverse voices in development efforts. 
    • Episode 128 features Juliana Dodson, Deputy Executive Director of the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship and Director of Radically Rural. Dodson discusses the center’s unique approach to community development programming, including hosting conferences and events in unique locations to foster collaboration and innovation.

Bonus: Looking for a quick listen on the myths and realities of America’s rural economy? 

This episode of NPR’s The Indicator from Planet Money podcast, Myths and Realities of America’s Rural Economy, explores common misconceptions and uncovers the truths about economic life in rural areas. The episode features insights from Aspen CSG friend Gbenga Ajilore, Senior Advisor at USDA, who examines the diverse rural economic activities beyond agriculture, the impact of technological advancements, and the demographic shifts reshaping rural communities.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group