Approximately one fifth of our Nation’s population lives in what’s commonly considered rural America. Some of these people making up this portion of our country live in rural areas and communities, spanning from the east coast to the west, and from our northern and southern borders. Some even live and work in areas outside of the Continental United States. And, one place rural American’s presence is often overlooked, is in urban areas.
Rural America Can Be Anywhere
Rural America is much more than what can be defined by geography. Rural America makes up about 97% of America’s land, including vital sources of water, food, energy and recreation for all Americans. But rural America is much more than that, it is a mindset and a way of life.
Think about a man who was raised on a dairy farm. He woke up early and stayed up late as a child helping his father make ends meet on their family farm. His father saves up every penny he possibly can to give his son the opportunity to go to college. In college, the boy studies finance and meets a girl, a Fine Arts major from Brooklyn, and they get married and decide to start a family. They build a life in New York City so he can begin his career at an investment company and she can be close to the theatre. Is this young man still considered to be part of the rural American audience? By geography, no. Not at all.
Rural American Values
This young man holds on to his rural American values. On the weekends, he drives four hours north to upstate New York to continue to help his father on the dairy farm. He’s an avid fisherman, duck hunter and whitetail hunter during the seasons. He purchases a new pickup, an ATV, a small tractor and all kinds of equipment to support his hobbies and help his father on the farm.
Is this an oddity or a rare, one-of-a-kind situation? No. There are countless other stories and similar situations. Some may revolve around military service. Some may revolve around manufacturing growth. Whatever the case may be, the point is – rural America can be anywhere, even in a big city. It’s a mindset. It’s a common set of core values. It’s a way of life.
If you’re marketing a product or service to rural America, you may want to reach this young man and similar individuals. If you are targeting based on geography alone, you may miss him and many other opportunities.