(faculty, volunteer)
Work Filley Hall (FYH) 207C
Lincoln NE 68583-0922
Work 402-472-0919 On-campus 2-0919
Randy Cantrell is a development specialist with University of Nebraska Extension. Dr. Cantrell received his B.A. in Anthropology and Economics from Michigan State University (1971), M.S. in Labor Studies from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations (1973), and Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University (1976). He joined the University of Nebraska in 1995 following a 17-year career with Cooperative Extension at the University of Minnesota in various outreach and administrative roles. Dr. Cantrell grew up in the small Southern Michigan community of Jonesville, where his family operated a bakery on Main Street. His academic and teaching interests continue to reflect his commitment to small rural communities. As the Director of Minnesota's State Data Center in the early 1990's, he became interested in how communities and institutions adapt to demographic changes, and he has advised communities throughout the Midwest on the nature and impact of demographic trends. His research has focused on institutional change in rural areas, and his publications reflect that interest, with a special emphasis on the role of the rural church


  • BA, Michigan State University, 1971
  • MS, New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 1973
  • Ph D, Cornell University , 1976

icon-documentPublications and Other Intellectual Contributions

  • Census 2010: What We No Longer Know About Small and Rural Places, Cornhusker Economics
  • Attracting and retaining workers in rural communities, Cornhusker Economics, May 2010
  • Animal Welfare: Perceptions of Nonmetropolitan Nebraskans, July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 2011

icon-business-chartResearch & Grants

  • Community Prosperity Collaboration, NU Rural Futures Institute


  • Brain Gain in the Rural Great Plains, University of Minnesota, Webinar

icon-bookmark-starAwards & Honors

  • Friend of Community Development, Community Development Society, 2010

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