The 2013 Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Humphrey Fellows' mid-year retreat was held in Northfield Minnesota in late January this year. The International Fellowship Programs (IFP) staff team organized a day and half retreat that included a briefing, a site visit, and group activities. The purpose of the retreat was to bring Fellows together after the winter break to reflect on the past semester and plan for the Spring term and their upcoming professional affiliations. It was an opportunity for Fellows who traveled over the break to share their experiences. The scenic atmosphere of Northfield, MN and the warmth of an old historic inn where we stayed created a perfect backdrop for a fun and productive retreat.
The highlights of the retreat included a presentation by Mr. Chris Heineman, Director of Economic Development, City of Northfield (and former Humphrey School Policy Fellow). Mr. Heineman spoke extensively about the inner workings of the city government and its focus on economic development, community engagement, and the role of planning in securing economic vitality. Fellows also visited the office and a test site of the Main Street Project (http://www.mainstreetproject.org/), led by Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, who introduced the nonprofit organization's sustainable food and agriculture program that trains immigrant farmers in the southeastern Minnesota region to be "agripreneurs."