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Happenings newsletter

A busload of insight into rural grocery stores

By Greg Schweser, Associate Director Sustainable Local Foods, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP)

bus-small.jpgOn June 8, 19 rural grocery store owners, farmers, Extension educators, economic development specialists, and local food advocates from Minnesota got on a bus to Manhattan, Kansas for the Rural Grocery Summit held on the next two days. With financial support from Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, RSDP organized the charter bus, picking up riders in Brainerd, Willmar, and Jackson.

RSDP connects Main Street Project to U of M Resourceschickens.jpg

Is it possible to create a small-scale sustainable agricultural system in today's food market, which is dominated by large producers and processors? In partnership with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) and many others, the Main Street Project, based in Northfield, is experimenting with a scalable, integrated poultry and crop production system that could utilize plots as small as a quarter of an acre.  

Mary J. Page (1934-2013) was a trailblazer and a leader who fought to give a voice to rural Minnesota. Whether it was as the first woman Mayor of Olivia, MN, or as the commissioner of Renville County, she worked tirelessly to promote the needs of Greater Minnesota through her citizen-driven service.

Deep Winter Greenhouse Enriches Wadena Community, Youth

The organizers of the brand new deep-winter greenhouse in Wadena, Minnesota picked an especially harsh winter to open for their first season. The greenhouse has been in operation since its grand opening on November 20th, 2013, and is already producing vegetables like radishes, lettuce, and peas--even through the worst of this winter's polar vortex.

Arlene Jones

Truckin' local foods with biofuel

A one-ton refrigeration truck will soon be motoring along the rural roads of central Minnesota, providing a valuable service to local farmers but also serving as a constant reminder of the importance of sustainable agriculture, local foods and biofuels.

Kids in a stream

Going wild with RSDP in Jackson County

Jackson County in southwestern Minnesota stretches along the Iowa border in what once was one of the largest expanses of tall grass prairie in North America. The region's rich soils have given rise to some of the most productive farmland in the country and its strong, steady winds have helped make Minnesota third in the nation for wind energy production.

Bringing diversity, sustainability to Finland's economy

Finland may be a tiny Minnesota town with an economy that faces significant limitations but it has a high quality of life and support from the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) and, more recently, a Bush Foundation fellowship that was awarded to a local advocate and community activist.


National Trout Center to cast message of water quality, conservation with new facility

The trout that inhabit southeast Minnesota's Root River system can be small and delicate but in relation to the impact they have on the area's economy they might as well be record-sized lunkers.

Noreen Thomas

Licensed kitchen to cook up new markets for family farmers

Minnesota's Red River Valley, with some of the most fertile soil in the state, is home to a diverse cropping system that includes soybeans, corn, wheat, potatoes and sugar beets. Within this strong agricultural industry, new levels of diversity are emerging. Noreen Thomas is one of the family farmers focused on local food production and its role in sustaining rural communities.

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