An interesting initiative is underway in Northwestern Missouri. This part of America’s heartland is bounded by the Missouri River to the west, the Iowa border to the north, roughly U.S. 63 to the east and I-70 to the south. This is a physically large and predominately rural region with about 30 counties and hundreds of communities. Northwest Missouri is connected to the growing Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area with nearly 2.3 million residents. There is also St. Joseph and some smaller regional cities (e.g., Maryville, Chillicothe, Cameron, Brookfield, Moberly, etc.). But everything else is rural and “small town” America.
Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri
partnering with the Malcolm Baldrige
Communities of Excellence 2026
initiative, is working with partner communities to stimulate and support community and economic renewal. We have been fortunate to follow this Initiative and are providing some support to this important work. Northwestern Missouri, like other rural regions is challenged as economic and social change has undermined the purpose for many of the communities within this vast region of America.
Our analysis of this region concludes that smart and focused entrepreneur development is the most likely pathway forward to rebuilding area and regional economies and communities.