The word “frontier” likely conjures images straight out of a John Ford western. But what you may not be aware of is that if you reside in western Kentucky, you may soon be living in an officially designated frontier yourself. Federal officials say classifying the Purchase that way will help them assess things like access to services. We’ll speak with an area futurist about how being “frontier” could harm, or help, western Kentucky. We’ll also speak with a Murray State alumna about a frontier of a different sort. The West African native is working in her home country to expand the horizons of the nation’s young women. Then, we’ll get a report on a free clinic for Marshall County’s working poor that may be close to completion, and look ahead to next month’s MSU Presidential Lecture by director and producer Spike Lee.
You could say that the Jackson Purchase hasn’t been frontier territory since, well, since Andrew Jackson was President. But now, in the 21st century, the federal government is proposing a new system that would classify the Purchase as Frontier and Remote, or FAR. Researchers and policymakers with the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services say the new FAR area codes will help such regions improve access to public services as well as food and household goods. Futurist Ivan Potter is also the publisher of West Kentucky Journal, an online publication, and in a recent article, he writes that even though this possible reclassification has slipped under most people’s radar, it could have far-ranging effects. Todd Hatton speaks with Potter to get a sense of what the pros and cons of living on the frontier.
Ivan Potter is a futurist and publisher of the West Kentucky Journal. Mr. Potter has advised Kentucky governors and American presidents on rural development and intergovernmental relations. Todd Hatton speaks with Mr. Potter about a recent article of his published in the Journal that looks at the effects of the recent drought on our region in terms of hard numbers.