Jim Kleinschmit directs IATP's Rural Communities program, which focuses on strengthening the link between rural economic policy and local, democratic decision-making in order to aid communities in creating and retaining the wealth that comes from their natural and human resources. Jim grew up milking cows and learning about sustainable agriculture on his family's farm in Nebraska. Before joining IATP in 1995, he worked in the Baltic States and Russia, where he promoted sustainable rural development. At IATP, Jim has worked on a wide array of issues, including sustainable agriculture; water quality and quantity; biofuels, bioenergy and bioplastics; climate change; and rural development strategies. He has an M.A. from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington-Seattle, and a B.A. from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. In addition to his work at IATP, Jim is a member of several organizational boards and steering committees, including Rural Advantage, the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative and the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.