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The Agurban

#619 – Boomtown USA

Jan 24, 2017


Boomtown USA

Over the past couple weeks we have shared some information about what Agracel does and our history. This week we want to share a bit of information about the word “agurban” and how it came about.

Our loyal readers are familiar with BoomtownUSA – The 7 ½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns. Jack Schultz’s work as the CEO of Agracel, Inc., a firm that specializes in industrial development in small towns, led him to ponder the roots of rural prosperity. In 2000, a journey began that started as a curiosity, became a thesis, and resulted in a passion. That passion, to know what makes America’s hometowns tick, the result of more than three years of research, led to the creation of Boomtown USA: The 7 ½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns. In it, Jack attempts to answer a perennial question: What separates the thriving towns from the struggling ones?

Boomtown USA was published in 2004. In it, Jack’s coins the word “agurb” to define a “prospering rural town with a tie to agriculture and a location outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).” To be an agurb, a town had to have experienced growth in population or employment and have per-capita income growth. During that time, 397 towns were deemed “Agurbs”, and many are featured in Boomtown USA. Agurban is a continuation of the terms urban and suburban.

Boomtown clearly has struck a nerve. The book is in its fourth printing, and Jack has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles since it published giving nearly 400 presentations to hometowns across America, helping them realize their greatest potential. He has since retired from the speaking tour, but his book is still available, and continues to be highly recommended to communities as a guide on how to become a Boomtown.