Local Group Sees Hope for Region-Wide Broadband with New State Initiatives
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Region Five is part of the Blandin Broadband Community
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State of Rural Minnesota 2014
Each year, the Center for Rural Policy and Development assembles the latest demographic and economic data to create the State of Rural Minnesota report. Please click the link below or visit www.ruralmn.org for more information.
North Central Economic Development Association and the USDA
The 501c3 North Central Economic Development Association –based in Staples, MN, received a $99,500 USDA Local Foods Promotion Program (LFPP) grant for the “SPROUT Marketplace”.
In 2013, 600 residents from the region developed the Resilient Region Plan which recommends strong support of local foods. Morrison County and Community Development along with SPROUT MN an existing food hub network of 40+ growers have partnered together to develop a food processing facility and indoor SPROUT Marketplace in Little Falls, Minnesota as part of the regional local food hub.
Once fully operational, the SPROUT Marketplace will allow growers to transform their fresh commodities to value-added locally processed (frozen, dried, canned, baked) products that expand the seasonal markets. It will also allow buyers/consumers to shop indoor year-round at the SPROUT Marketplace during cold winter months when farmers markets are not in operation.
This award offers the opportunity to locate the Marketplace at the Little Falls Manufacturing Development Center, which is a strategic, centrally-located site with access to the trunk highway system. Additionally, the project will engage local artists to create a Marketplace that not only encourages healthy eating but also supports the local arts and rural cultural experiences.
“Local and regional food systems provide a wealth of opportunities for rural residents,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer. “USDA has found that virtually all revenues generated in a local food system, stay local, and are reinvested into the community – creating a great economic driver for rural America. As new markets develop, jobs are created, healthier foods are more readily available, and rural communities can continue to thrive.”
Resilient Region and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Project Request
Region Five Development Commission is assembling a list of viable projects that create economic vitality, environmental stewardship and regional quality of life. A series of questions have been created via a survey with the intent to stimulate identification and creation of a Resilient Region project list.
This comprehensive list will be prioritized by a group of diverse regional leaders from the private, public & non-profit sectors and offered to multiple funding agencies/partners in efforts to encourage these partners to invest in projects that meet our regional targets. Region Five will seek funding for the projects that are ranked as regional "vital projects," however, a submittal of an idea does not guarantee funding of project.
Wealth Works Economic Development Program
“WealthWorks is an important part of any economic development toolbox. I am pleased to announce that SPROUT and R5DC were one of only five teams nationally to receive a scholarship to participate in the WealthWorks training program. This training is focused on practical application of new skills and perspectives on economic vitality, which will lead to increased opportunities for people in rural areas,” said NADO President Peter Gregory, Executive Director of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission in Woodstock, VT.
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CORE4 Business Planning
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Resilient Region Web-Site
The Resilient Region website is an excellent source of information pertaining to economic vitality, environmental stewardship and quality of life factors gathered for Private (individuals & businesses) Public (local municipalities & communities) and Non-Profit agencies (social advocates & philanthropic agencies) who choose to explore the sustainability efforts that have been vested in the Central Minnesota five county region.