Benjamin S Winchester

Benjamin S Winchester

Evaluation Rural Sociology

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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.



Winchester, Benjamin. 2016. Diversity in rural wealth: The many capitals of rural Minnesota. Rural Minnesota Journal.


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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

MS, University of Missouri

Award Date: Apr 1 2001

BA, University of Minnesota

Award Date: Jun 1 1995

BA, University of Minnesota

Award Date: Jun 1 1995

Research Interest Keywords

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


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
  • 1 Similar Profiles