Region Five Five Counties. One Vision. One Source Events Calendar  |  Links & Resources

Cass County

Rich in fish and game, these woods and waters sheltered a succession of native peoples for thousands of years. The most recent of these were the Ojibwe (Chippewa), who now live on the Leech Lake Reservation.

Crow Wing County

The most famous landmark in Brainerd is probably the water tower which was built from 1919-1922. Later, affectionately known as “Paul Bunyan’s flashlight” it was the first all concrete elevated tank used by a municipality in the U.S.

Morrison County

In 1930 Camp Ripley was established as a military training center for the Minnesota National Guard. In 1994 a Veteran’s Cemetery was created by the Minnesota State Legislature adjacent to the Camp.

Todd County

Primarily an agricultural county, Todd County was settled by hard working German, Polish and Scandinavian immigrants. Meat packing and printing have added jobs in the manufacturing sectors.

Wadena County

Old Wadena County Historic Park located on the Crow Wing River was an important hunting and trapping area for Indians and later for the French.

Cass County

Crow Wing County - Brainerd Lakes Area

Morrison County - Camp Ripley

Todd County

Wadena County - Menahga Statue

Current News

Region Five Development Commission to Receive $98,000 Grant from USDA


Staples, Minn. (August 21, 2015) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted the Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) a $98,000 Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to acquire knowledge and develop training modules aimed at informing Economic Development Professionals (ED Pros) and small and medium enterprises (SME) throughout the region and state around MNVest, the recently passed legislation allowing investment crowdfunding in Minnesota.


“Rural Business Development Grants are designed to provide rural small businesses and agricultural producers with resources that promote rural economic growth and sustainability through technical and financial assistance,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer. “Region Five Development Commission has been a long-time leader in economic development throughout their five county region, and this funding will help them continue those efforts.”


The RBDG will allow R5DC to create and host a web portal, create train-the-trainer materials and develop training curriculum that offers information around investment crowdfunding to help businesses and economic development practitioners understand the pros and cons of investment crowdfunding and make a well informed decision on whether it is a good fit for their business or the businesses that ED Pros are working with. In addition to the training materials and website, R5DC will identify up to five new or emerging small to medium enterprises to target for pilot projects.


For more information, please contact Melissa Radermacher or Sandy Voigt at Region Five Development Commission at (218) 894-3233.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)




As you are working to relocate and replace city septic lines homeowners may need to re-route some of their utility lines to connect the new location.  We would like you to provide information to those that may have need for our financing programs. 


The following program is available through Region Five Development Commission.  The Region Five Development Commission was established in 1973 and guided by a governing commission that consists of 23 members representing a cross-section of constituents from around the region, www.regionfive.orgOur mission is To enhance the vitality and quality of life in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties.

There are other approved lenders in the area and homeowners may check with their personal financial institution or contact us directly to discuss and or apply.


Please NOTE that an application with fee of $50.00 must be received and approved prior to individual project start dates!

Septic System:  The ISTS Loan (Individual Sewage Treatment System) Program will be used to repair or replace existing septic systems  and/or mandated connection or hook-up to a city waste-water system.  This program is available in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties and special arrangement with Beltrami County.  Loans at a rate of 3% will be provided to qualified property owners.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has allocated funds to these counties to finance loans.  The Region Five Development Commission will administer these funds.    


Call Sandy Voigt at 218-894-3233 x 2 or email for any questions you may have on how to qualify for the program. 

Broadband Grant


Lt. Governor Tina Smith visited the Brainerd Lakes Chamber last week to announce a $2 million Border-to-Border Broadband Develoment Grant to CTC, which will match the funds to expand broadband service in Crow Wing, Cass, and Morrision Counties. We are so excited and want to thank all those who helped make this possible by working to prepare the proposal, testifying on the video produced and/or writing letters of support. (R5DC CTC Press Release

Hunger Free MN Grant


Region Five Development Commission has been notified by Hunger Free Minnesota that they have been awarded a $50,000 grant to work with schools and child care programs in Todd & Wadena Counties in partnership with Providers Choice ( The grant will be used to establish a consortium of at least 10 programs that are interested in serving a meal after school.


Gail Birch, CEO of Providers Choice says, “When school is out children need a safe place to be with their friends, with structured activities, supportive adults, and good nutrition. Afterschool programs that participate in CACFP give children and teenagers the nutrition they need, and draw them into constructive activities that are safe, fun, and filled with opportunities for learning. These programs will meet this need in Todd and Wadena Counties.”


The grant from Hunger Free MN supports start-up and planning costs that allow for the 10 sites to purchase equipment to serve after school meals.  Providers Choice will help the sites enroll in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program and receive ongoing reimbursement for the meals and snacks.


For more information, please contact Region Five Development Commission at (218) 894-3233

Local Group Sees Hope for Region-Wide Broadband with New State Initiatives 

Click here to read press release.


University of Minnesota Rural Minnesota Network Analysis



This study shows NCEDA/R5DC as a "robustly connected" organization across the state in policy and practice.  Click here to learn more.


Region Five is part of the Blandin Broadband Community


 Click here to read the the announcement.   


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.”


For more information on the SPROUT Marketplace, please call: 218.822.3281




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.

To view the full press release Click Here

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.