Benjamin S Winchester

Evaluation Rural Sociology

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Ben has been working both in and for small towns across the Midwest for over 20 years. He lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota with his wife and two children. Ben is trained as a Rural Sociologist and works as a Senior Research Fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality. He conducts applied research on economic, social, and demographic topics surrounding a theme of “rewriting the rural narrative” that are vital to rural America.

Winchester received his B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Minnesota, Morris (1995) and M.S. in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2001). He was a founding employee at the Center for Small Towns, an outreach and engagement program at the University of Minnesota, Morris and specializes in community development, demographic analysis, data visualization, and moving communities away from anecdata.

Research interests

The first area of research documents “newcomers” – the influx of 30-49 year old people – to identify the social and economic opportunities of this migration. The second research topic involves the analysis of rural community leadership, specifically examining the community-wide requirements to “keep the town running” through the public and nonprofit sector. The third is the impact of the baby boomer retirements on the rural housing supply. These positive trends show that rural communities show a resilience of which we should be proud.

 

Publications

Winchester, Benjamin. 2016. Diversity in rural wealth: The many capitals of rural Minnesota. Rural Minnesota Journal. http://www.ruralmn.org/publications/diversity-in-rural-wealth-the-many-capitals-of-rural-minnesota/

 

Winchester, Benjamin.  2012.  Who Lives in Minnesota? The 2010 Census Shows How Our State is Changing.  Rural Minnesota Journal 7(1): 5-24.

 

Winchester, Benjamin. December 18, 2012. Kandiyohi County Business Broadband Survey Results. University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Community Vitality.

 

Winchester, Benjamin. 2012. Continuing the Trend: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers. University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Community Vitality.

 

Winchester, Benjamin; Nash, Art; and Tobias Spanier.  2011.  The Glass Half Full: A New View of Rural Minnesota.  Rural Minnesota Journal 6(1): 1-30.

 

Chazdon, Scott and Benjamin Winchester.  2011.  Toward the Common Interest: Exploring the Social Fields of Community Leaders.  Paper presented at the Community Development Society Annual Conference, Boise, Idaho.

 

Winchester, Benjamin. August, 2010.  Regional Recruitment: Strategies to Attract and Recruit Newcomers.  Economic DevelopmentCenter, University of Minnesota, Crookston.

 

Winchester, Benjamin.  July, 2010.  Maintenance of the Organizational Social Infrastructure in Rural Minnesota.  Paper presented at the Community Development Society Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Winchester, Benjamin.  July, 2010.  Does Leadership Education Increase Integrative Leadership?  Center for Integrative Leadership, University of Minnesota.

 

Winchester, Benjamin.  2009.  Rural Migration: The Brain Gain of the Newcomers.  University of Minnesota, ExtensionCenter for Community Vitality.

 

Winchester, Benjamin.  2009.  Social Capital and Crime.  Blandin Community Leader.  Vol. 8(1): Blandin Foundation.

Education/Academic qualification

MS, University of Missouri

Award Date: Apr 1 2001

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Award Date: Jun 1 1995

BA, University of Minnesota, Morris

Award Date: Jun 1 1995

Research interests

  • rural
  • demography
  • migration
  • leadership
  • economics
  • population
  • housing

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Projects

Faculty and Student Fellows Program

Fluegel, D., Winchester, B. S. & Mc Roberts, T.

OTTO BREMER TRUST

7/1/068/31/10

Project: Research project

  • Press / Media

    Flyover 2020: Rural America’s brain gain

    Benjamin S Winchester

    1/9/20

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Moving to Greater Minnesota

    Benjamin S Winchester

    1/3/20

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    5,000 new homes by 2025: Otter Tail County launches the Big Build project

    Benjamin S Winchester

    12/31/19

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities