Though Rural System already offers tools and products toward optimal land management, the Rural System concept goes much further and continues to evolve.
Rural System is a proposed for-profit corporation. It is envisioned to be a cooperative of over 50 small, rural-related enterprises. Some of the enterprises are new and some, such as classical agriculture, are very old. The corporation will be a system doing modern, sophisticated, computer-aided management of the lands and waters of an Eastern US region. The aim is to sustain long-term profits and quality of life for citizens. Concentrating on outdoor recreation, specialized tourism, rural development, and wildlife and fishery management, it would use modern agriculture and forestry to preserve some areas, and restore or enhance the total rural resource base for profit gains.
The umbrella entity may use national and state lands and waters but, most importantly, it would provide opportunities for the owners of private lands and waters (primarily absentee owners) to experience profits related to superior land management. While managing the assets of such private lands under contract, Rural System would provide related services and products from a conglomerate of business units. Half of these units would work from clusters of the managed (private) lands called Enterprise Environments. A central managerial unit would provide incubator-like services for new business units, and allow the corporation to harvest public research investments, to achieve economies of scale and division of labor, to gain synergism, and to stabilize employment (thus also local tax bases).
The Rural System enterprise would lead the region in computer-aided, year-round private land management. It would share funds with citizens and investors. The system links citizens as well as visitors to the land and to its long-term potentials for profits. It would provide an alternative regional identity, one of a place for modern high-tech rural resource development and management. It would link buyers and users with local producers of certified forest products and resource opportunities from well-managed rural lands and waters. Successes in this endeavor would be achieved via diligent work with personal incentives, diverse enterprises and products, and computer optimization of the total system. Rural System would also affiliate with, and potentiate existing enterprises.
Rural System would also overcome some of the old failures of natural resource management, i.e., diseconomies of small-scale operations, mixed objectives, lack of diversity, seasonal work and special events, a lack of area-wide annual income, and failure to add value to products and efforts. This would be due in large part to innovative uses of the Internet, global satellites, and computer mapping to provide precision in site-specific work throughout the region.
The vision for the enterprise is that its success in improving the social, economic, and environmental health of the region can allow the enterprise to become more effective and to expand. Investing in the health of private land increases its productivity. If successful, Rural System’s techniques could be applied, years later, throughout Virginia or even internationally. The work will be recognized as the product of a special paradigm in comprehensive rural resource management resulting in a notable reformation of operations within rural areas. As such, Rural System will become a profitable conglomerate operating well past this century, given its 150-year planning horizon sliding forward annually.
- Read our Rationale to learn about the inspiration for Rural System.
- Read about Rural System’s financial Bottom-line.
- RRx Phase 1: Ideas for Owners of Enterprises in Rural Areas
For a comprehensive view of Rural System, please visit: ruralsytemguide.com, a site actively updated from the mid-1990s to the present by Rural System founder, Robert H. Giles, Jr. – Bob Giles.