Recently in Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) Category

Free screening of innovative design documentary at UMC July 30, 2014

The film "If You Build It" will be shown at a free public screening on Wednesday, July 30 at 8:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargent Student Center , University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC). Tickets are not required.

The independent documentary chronicles two designers as they lead rural North Carolina teens through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it demonstrates how design thinking, an innovative yet practical approach to problem solving, can re-invent not just these teens' down-on-its-luck town but their own sense of what's possible.

Slate called "If You Build It" "A heartening story about the power of design!" Variety reviewed it as "Well crafted and unexpectedly moving." Salon said it was "Provocative, inspiring ..." Director Michael Creadon is best-known for the quirky "Wordplay," a film that told the story of a crossword puzzle championship interspersed with clips of well-known Americans, such as former President Bill Clinton and filmmaker Ken Burns, who regularly solve crosswords. 
 
The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) are sponsoring the screening as part of a rural design conference, which will use design thinking to explore a number of challenges and opportunities facing rural communities. The conference, titled Thriving by Design II, is sponsored by RSDP (part of UMN Extension); UMN Center for Rural Design; University of Minnesota Crookston; EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Center for Prevention. More information on the conference is available at http://z.umn.edu/rdcii

RSDP connects greater Minnesota communities to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. Northwest RSDP offices in Crookston and is led by Executive Director Linda Kingery and a board comprised of community and University representatives.  

Contact: Dan Gilchrist, (612) 626-9827, dang@umn.edu

The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) will host "Thriving by Design," a rural design conference at the University of Minnesota  Crookston on Wednesday and Thursday, July 30-31, 2014.  The event will be held from the evening of Wednesday, July 30, 2014, through the afternoon of Thursday, July 31.   

Registration is available online at rsdp.umn.edu. In-person registration opens Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at 4 p.m. and Thursday, July 31 at 7:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom in Sargent Student Center. The registration fee is $75. 

Design process inherently takes a systematic approach to defining problems and developing solutions.  The system connects various components across sectors and disciplines as well as geographic and time scales.  This conference will focus on three tracks or lenses through which to view these systems, and the challenges to be addressed. 

Nature-based recreation and tourism focuses on the natural landscape and habitats, and the many ways people enjoy time in nature. 

Food system explores cropping systems, food production at garden and farm scales, and the decisions people make individually and collectively about food choices. 

Extension Reconsidered offers an opportunity to reflect on the role of University of Minnesota Extension over the past century and to consider the ways Extension can meet the challenges Minnesotan communities will face in the coming decades. 

  
Dewey Thorbeck, director for Center of Rural Design, says, "Rural and urban futures are inextricably linked through design thinking integrating human, animal, and environmental wellness."

A discussion featuring several panel guests from a variety of professions and areas of expertise will take place on Thursday, July 30 at 9:00 a.m.  This discussion will address areas of concern within each track followed by a question and answer period.  Breakout sessions will run from 12:30 p.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Breakout sessions will provide participants an opportunity to learn how to apply design thinking and the design process to address the challenges faced by a community or organization through an iterative and collaborative approach to problem solving.

A traveling rural design exhibit will also be displayed throughout the conference.  

Community leaders, elected officials, and planners, especially those from rural and small 
Rural Design Exhibit.jpg
urban areas, designers, and anyone interested in learning about the use of design and design thinking as a problem-solving opportunity are encouraged to attend. You will gain experience in visualizing and using design to achieve, sustain, and strengthen community vitality across our region. By using design and design thinking techniques, you will help create, select, and frame ideas and goals that can inform Minnesota's community development.

The conference is sponsored by The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, a part of UMN Extension; the UMN Center for Rural Design; University of Minnesota Crookston; the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Center for Prevention. 

For more information contact Linda Kingery at 218-281-8697.

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.

In the photo: A traveling rural design exhibit will be displayed throughout the conference. 

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) will host the Rural Design Conference at the U of M Crookston Campus on Wednesday and Thursday, July 30 and 31, 2014.  This Rural Design Conference event will bring together people from many different disciplines to lift up design and design thinking as essential parts of planning and development for rural economic prosperity. It will emphasize the connections, interactions, and inter-dependencies between rural and urban people and places. The event will be held at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) from the evening of Wednesday, July 30, 2014, through the afternoon of Thursday, July 31st, 2014.   

Registration is available online at http://rsdp.umn.edu. In-person registration for the conference opens Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at 4 p.m. and Thursday, July 31 at 7:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom in Sargent Student Center at UMC. The registration fee is $50 and will go to $60 after July 7, 2014.  A reception and light dinner will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The program begins at 7 p.m. with opening remarks by Dean Beverly Durgan (University of Minnesota Extension) and a keynote address by Dean Thomas Fisher (University of Minnesota College of Design).

Beverly Durgan (in photo, right) is dean of U of M Extension. Durgan conducts research and provides 

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leadership for extension programs in small grain weed management systems. She also teaches one undergraduate course every other fall semester. She earned her bachelor's degree in agriculture business from Montana State University in 1981, her master's in agronomy/weed science from North Dakota State University in 1983 and her doctorate in agronomy/weed science from NDSU in 1985.  Thomas Fisher (in photo, left, below) is a professor of 

FisherTomDean1.jpg

architecture and Dean of the College of Design. Fisher received his education at Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history. He has lectured or juried at over 40 schools and 60 professional societies, and has published 35 book chapters or introductions and over 250 articles.

On Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the conference continues with plenary session in the morning and design workshop in the afternoon. Workshop topics include nature-based recreation and tourism, food systems and role of Extension in the future of our communities.

On Wednesday, July 30 from 1:00-4:00 pm, attendees can take part in a tour of regional activities, including paddling on the Red Lake River, learning about birds and flood mitigation in Warren, and learning about fruit trees and high tunnels in Mentor. Space is limited depending on the tour, please register ahead of time to secure your spot. On Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the conference continues with panel discussions in morning and design workshops in the afternoon. Workshop topics include nature-based recreation and tourism, food systems and role of extension in the future of our communities.

The conference is sponsored by The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, a part of UMN Extension; the UMN Center for Rural Design; University of Minnesota Crookston; the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Center for Prevention. 

For more information contact Linda Kingery at 218-281-8697.

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.


Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Riverland Tourism Conference to be held May 6, 2014

Riverland Tourism Association will be holding a tourism conference entitled "Developing Tourism in NW Minnesota... One Story at a Time" from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 6, 2014. The conference will be held in the Bede Ballroom at the University of Minnesota Crookston in Crookston, Minnesota. The day-long seminar is designed to provide tourism education in Northwest Minnesota. A wide variety of sessions focusing on marketing, tourism development and digital trends will be presented.

Presentations include "Sharing Your Story in a Digital Age" by Phil Seibel, Vice President of Revenue Development, Brainerd Dispatch; "Marketing the Great Outdoors" by Kristi Coughlon, NW Region Information Officer, MN DNR; and "Service After the Sale" by Cynthia Messer, Extension Professor, University of Minnesota Tourism Center. 

The conference will also include a panel highlighting "Big Successes in NW Minnesota" featuring the following panelists: Meghan Palubicki, Owner of The Red Poppy; Cheri Reese, Co-owner of Far North Spirits Distillery; and Terri Widman, Executive Director of the Region 2 Arts Council. Dave Bergman, Explore Minnesota Tourism Travel & Tourism Representative will also share information on the agency's new campaign/special programming.

The cost of the conference is $35.00 which includes registration, lunch and breaks. Contact Riverland President, Laura Anderson at 218-686-9785 or trfcvb@mncable.net to register. 

The event is made possible by the financial support of the Northwest Regional Sustainable Partnership. 

Riverland Association is a regional tourism organization comprised of six communities in Northwest Minnesota: Crookston, East Grand Forks/Grand Forks, Fertile, Red Lake Falls, St. Hilaire and Thief River Falls. Go to www.visitriverland.org for more information.

Contact:
Laura Anderson, President
Riverland Association
P.O. Box 692
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
218-686-9785
trfcvb@mncable.net

Contact: Laura Anderson, 218-686-9785, trfcvb@mncable.net

Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) is seeking community members in Northwestern Minnesota to serve on its board of directors. 

"We are one of five Regional Partnerships across the state that connects local communities and citizens with the resources of the University of Minnesota. In recent years our board has supported innovative projects in Northwest Minnesota such as Connecting Children and Nature and Promoting Farmers Markets.  We seek forward-thinking and active board members who will help us contribute to a more vibrant and sustainable Minnesota, now and into the future," says Mike Moore, current board chair. 

Each of the five Regional Partnerships (Southeast, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Central) is citizen-driven, building community-University partnerships that create new opportunities and solve problems in Greater Minnesota. The Partnerships are a division of University of Minnesota Extension.

According to Linda Kingery, executive director, board members function as a team, working with local communities to identify and implement projects that foster sustainability in agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.
 
Members of the NWRSDP board also:

solicit, evaluate, and vote on proposals
participate in regular boards and focus area work group meetings--both in-person and by         conference calls--contributing time, energy, and insight to projects 
serve for three years with mileage and honorarium for agreed upon meetings and special         assignments provided. 

Board membership is open to residents of Greater Minnesota and University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students. To be considered for a position, please submit your application by Thursday, April 24 for terms starting in July of 2014.

For more information, see "Board members information and application" at http://RSDP.umn.edu. 

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.


Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Northwest Minnesota Celebrates Farmers Markets

Things went off without a hitch at this year's second Farmers Market celebration. The event was held in Bede Ballroom at the U of M Crookston campus on February 27, 2014. Celebrating the success of local farmers markets and the continued support from various communities brought special "bright spots" from participants. 
The phrase comes from Dan and Chip Heath's book, Switch: How to make change when change is hard.  Heath asks, "When is my organization being its best self?"  

A common reply from participants was that they were at their best when customers are happy with the products they receive. They are also at their best when they bring in new attractions like bringing in classic cars from the 50s and 60s. Another "bright spot" shared by participants was combining food and art in a winter market, which allows them to reach out to customers during the winter. Lastly, members shared that they are more productive when using resources provided to them from Minnesota Grown. 

Minnesota Grown is a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. The Minnesota Grown Program has over 1,100 diverse members including farmers' markets, CSA farms, garden centers, wineries, fruit & vegetable growers, pick-your-own farms, livestock producers, meat processors, Christmas tree growers, and producers of honey, wild rice, maple syrup, cheese, and other gourmet products.

Paul Hugunin, Executive Director of Minnesota Grown, spoke about the importance of using social media and other venues to reach out to more diverse customers.  Lynda Annoreno, Market Manager for Fresh Start Market in Baudette, gave tips on how to strategically lay-out a farmers market location in order to enhance the flow of customers. Terry Nennich, Commercial Food and Vegetable Specialist with U of M Extension, presented on the Minnesota Famers Market Association (MFMA) and provided information on new legislation for providing proper food sampling. He also talked about the educational development offered by MFMA and the services it offers to members as far as being properly insured. 

The Minnesota Farmers' Market Association (MFMA) is a non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to supporting the growth and development of farmers' markets across the state of Minnesota.

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

U of M Extension Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NW RSDP) joins 6 organizations to bring natural play spaces to connect children and nature in Polk, Norman, and Mahnomen Counties. 

Even a generation ago, children spent more time outside because it was the normal thing to do. We can all remember the days when we would listen to the birds sing, play in the rain, and use our imagination to contrive games. 

These experiences are important as they provide a connection to nature and a way to use the imagination.  

NW RSDP was recently selected to receive $25,000 in Community Engagement Innovation funding from the Center for Prevention (the Center) at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. This support will be used to connect children and nature in Northwest Minnesota. 

The grant will provide funding for a project called Tree Cookies and Mud Pies: A Recipe for Community Health.  Engagement activities will focus on four communities: Fosston, Crookston, Ada, and Mahnomen. 

This project engages in the development and use of natural play spaces in support of health equity and active living strategies. The NW Regional Partnership and its partners in public health, early childhood education, youth development, parks and rec, and resource management, will use storytelling, activity mapping and design workshops to enable communities to create and utilize natural play spaces. 

NW RSDP has leveraged partners from various disciplines and agencies.  A new partner this year is Alysa Zimmerle, serving with Conservation Corps MN & IA  as the Community Mapping and Outreach Specialist with Project Get Outdoors (Project GO), an organization that works to reintroduce kids to their natural environments. Collaboration with Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) staff in the region continues with Kristen Fagerlund, Tammy Carlsrud, and Kelsey Borgen representing Polk, Norman-Mahnomen counties. SHIP works to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives by working with communities to gain better access to healthy foods and implement a healthier way of life.  

Sarah Reese, director of Polk County Public Health works to connect resources to community members and university partners interested in connecting children to nature.  Eric Castle, assistant professor at the U of M Crookston will work to facilitate the planning, design, and implementation of the natural play spaces. 

"This project has been a great way to connect university resources to the community.  Students in my classes and student researchers have been able to apply what they are learning in real world settings, said Castle."

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  For more information on Project GO initiatives visit www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Get-Outdoors-Inc/137770441949

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. 

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Funding from the Center for Prevention will help the Northwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) engage people in improving the health of their community. 

NWRSDP was recently selected to receive $25,000 in Community Engagement Innovation funding from the Center for Prevention (the Center) at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. This support will be used to connect children and nature in Northwest Minnesota. 

This project engages in the development and use of natural play areas in support of health equity and active living strategies. The NWRSDP and its partners in public health, early childhood education, youth development, parks and rec, and resource management, will use storytelling, activity mapping and design workshops to enable communities to create and utilize natural play areas. 

"We are very pleased that the Center for Prevention has decided to support our initiative," said Linda Kingery, executive director of the Northwest Regional Partnership "This funding will help support our efforts to ensure that community members are helping to design and drive changes that will promote health in our communities."

Engaged and involved community members are a key component to creating a healthier Minnesota. In recognition of this, the Center awarded funding to 18 projects that will be shaped through community input and participation. The funds, which total nearly $450,000, will be used to help organizations engage community members in authentic and culturally relevant ways.

"People matter when it comes to creating community change," said Janelle Waldock, director of the Center. "We know that efforts to change community health are more sustainable and successful when the people who are most impacted by the change are involved in the process."

Information on each program and its accomplishments will be updated periodically on preventionminnesota.com

To learn more about the work in Natural Resources, Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food Systems go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) gives communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. 

About the Center for Prevention 
The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota delivers on Blue Cross' long‐term commitment to improve the health of all Minnesotans by tackling the leading root causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Funded through proceeds from Blue Cross' historic lawsuit against the tobacco industry, we collaborate with organizations statewide to increase health equity, transform communities and create a healthier state. Visit preventionminnesota.com for more information.  

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota  
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com), with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not‐for‐profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.   

Contact: Christian Knights, communications, Center for Prevention, 651-662-0458, (christian g knights@bluecrossmn.com); Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697, (kinge002@umn.edu)

They are looking for ideas from you. The University of Minnesota's Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NW RSDP) seeks innovative ideas in two areas: Those with the potential to improve food access and availability, and/or strengthen community food systems or that connect people and nature or sustains natural resources on working lands in Northwest Minnesota. Seed funding is available to support projects that leverage active citizenship and create a robust partnership with the University. 

The Idea Brief is the first step; selected projects will be asked to submit a proposal.  The briefs for each of the two areas are due January 23, 2014, and will be reviewed by work groups in February. Recommendations will be forwarded to the NW RSDP board for its March meeting. 

Learn more about the work in Natural Resources, Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food Systems along with information about each of the focus areas at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  

Contact Linda Kingery for more information at 218-281-8697 (kinge0002@umn.edu).

Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships facilitate the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of their region by encouraging citizen-driven ideas through coordinating and leveraging the resources of the University of Minnesota and other partners.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Join us for the 2014 Local Foods College. The series of 8 sessions is designed for gardeners and farmers that are part of the growing community-based food system.  Sessions focus on production, food safety and marketing skills. 

The first session of the series will be held on the evening of Tuesday, January 21, 2013, and will continue on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. The series will be available via webinar at several locations throughout northern and central Minnesota, and may also be viewed at a home computer. Registration is FREE with print-your-own materials.  If you prefer to purchase printed materials, they are available, $30 for printed materials for the entire series mailed to you, and $25 for the Beginner Growers Manual. 

Session topics include: Soil Quality and Fertility; Specialty Products: Asparagus, Garlic, Wild Foods, Harvester Handbook;  Tree Fruit and Berries in High Tunnel; Post Harvest Handling and Storage, Peddling you Pickles Safely, Food safety for Famers Markets; Marketing Local Foods: and Commercial Kitchens for Processing Local Food.   

Participants will learn from practitioners, educators, and those involved in the growing movement to build resilient local foods systems. Participants will choose their level of participation and viewing location. 

The Local Foods College is part of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. The 2014 Local Foods College is supported by University of Minnesota Extension, the Statewide Health Improvement Program and North Country Community Transformation Grant.

For more detailed information and registration, visit: http://localfoods.umn.edu/college or call 888-241-0781. 

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Four free workshops, open to the public, will be held across Northwest Minnesota in July and August and will focus on making community and school gardens a success. The workshops were developed by the American Community Garden Association (ACGA). Workshops will be held on Wednesday, July 24 from 3-7 p.m. at the Thief River Falls Public Library; Saturday, July 27 from 10:30-2:30 p.m. at the Pelican Rapids Public Library; Tuesday, July 30 from 3-7 p.m. at the Rail River Folk School in Bemidji; and Thursday, August 1 from Noon-4 p.m. at the White Earth Tribal College in Mahnomen.  Preregistration is strongly encouraged to allow for discussion on important topics, and can be done at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Reg_Comm_Gardens.

Participants in the workshops will learn how to develop community building and organizational skills to make their gardens successful. The workshops are based off of a series of mini-grants, aimed at building and maintaining community and school gardens in Northwest Minnesota, and will be conducted by Abby Gold and Noelle Harden.

Gold and Harden attended a two-day workshop titled Growing Communities Workshop that was held last January in Fargo and was put on by the ACGA and supported by the Northwest Rural Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP). The ideas that they learned from the workshop are the basis for these community workshops. Harden stated that they wanted to "take the best activities and boil them down into four hour workshops." The workshops will focus less on food and what variety to plant in the gardens, and focus more on community organization, networking, boards of directors, and fundraising work.

A major part of the workshops is networking with other gardeners and community-oriented people. The workshop that will be held in Bemidji on July 30 is in conjunction with Bemidji's Sustainable Tuesday group. Part of the reason for the collaboration, according to Harden, was the idea of "how to tap into the energy and creativity from high school students and get them involved in the gardens." Participants at each of the workshops will have the ability to meet and network with a variety of gardeners and community members. Gold noted that these workshops are a "rare opportunity" to learn new ideas to continue a successful push for community gardens.

For questions or more information, call 218-280-5253 or e-mail Noelle Harden at harde073@umn.edu.

The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) serves the people in northwestern Minnesota as they experiment with innovative ideas, build and strengthen relationships and take practical steps into a hopeful future.  For more details see http://rsdp.umn.edu/northwest.

Contact: Noelle Harden at 218-280-5253 (harde073@umn.edu)

University-Community Forum in Warren, Minn., on Saturday, April 27, 2013

The annual Community Connect Forum, coordinated by the University of North Dakota Center for Community Engagement, will be hosted this year by Warren, Minn. on Saturday, April 27.  Community members, faculty, and students from around the region will gather for this year's theme of "Sustainable Communities".  

Registration for the forum is free, and can be found at http://communityengagement.und.edu.  The website also includes a schedule for the day of the forum. Dan Svedarsky, director of the U of M, Crookston Center for Sustainability, and Chris May, NW Clean Energy Resource Team coordinator, are panelists.  Deb Zak, Extnsion Regional Director, and Linda Kingery, executive director of the NW RSDP, will facilitate an afternoon session, as will Ben Anderson, Extension Regional director in the Moorhead office. 

The forum will focus on civic, economic, and environmental sustainability, addressing topics such as smart government, new business ownership models, and changes in agriculture and energy.  As hosts of the forum, Warren will have the opportunity to showcase its own town story and their efforts toward creating more sustainable practices in their community such as becoming a GreenStep City.  Warren will also highlight their unique assets with their downtown businesses and nearby Audubon wildlife preserve.  Participants will have the opportunity to network and view exhibits of different regional projects, agencies, and resources.  

The forum will be held in the Warren-Alvarado-Oslo School.  There will be free transportation available for UND participants on the day of the forum to travel to Warren; the bus will leave Memorial Union at 8 AM.  Warren is about 30 miles northeast of Grand Forks.  

About the Center:  The UND Center for Community Engagement links academic resources with community needs by connecting students and faculty to teaching and research projects off campus.  It was created by an act of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education in 2004.  The Center serves as a catalyst for faculty and students to learn from and with nonprofit organizations, rural communities, tribal communities, and other public partners through local and regional initiatives.  

About Community Connect:  The Community Connect project provides opportunities for rural communities to work together with UND faculty and students on the challenges and opportunities in our region.  There are three components to the Community Connect project - a community-university forum, a print journal, and a website with an online academic journal.  

About our sponsors:  The Community Connect project is supported in part by a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation and sponsorships from the United Valley Bank, the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, the Farmers Union Insurance, and private donations. 

Contact: Lana Rakow; lana.rakow@und.edu; 701-777-2287

The University of Minnesota, Crookston is launching a project in Fosston, Minn., to design a natural play space somewhere along the Fosston Inspiration Trail (FIT). Eric Castle, assistant professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, teaches landscape design and construction courses on the Crookston campus.  Castle and Mitch Sledge, a junior majoring in horticulture from St. Louis Park, Minn., will be assisting Fosston in this project.  A design workshop to engage the community is scheduled for March 5 in Fosston starting with supper at 6 pm.  All are welcome.  Contact Chuck Lucken at City Hall for details at 218-435-1959. 

Funding for the design project comes from the U of M's Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP) and Polk County Public Health's Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).  

Polk County Public Health is focusing on active living through its Statewide Health Improvement Plan work, and natural play spaces are an excellent way for families to be active together.  

A natural play space is a playground that uses things found in nature - the kind of things that children used to find on their own.  Getting help with the design of the space will ensure that it is not only fun, but also safe, and aesthetically pleasing.  The design portion of the project will be completed by May 1 in time for the community to move from design to action during the summer of 2013.  This coincides with progress on the FIT trail.  

"Fosston aspires to be one of the best communities in the state of Minnesota to live and do business.  That's why the Fosston Economic Development Authority (FEDA) went after the natural play space grants," said Mark Finstad, FEDA board chair.  Fosston City Administrator Chuck Lucken agrees, saying "Fosston has a long tradition of finding ways to improve the community.  This project will provide a safe natural play space for children and their families and friends of all ages."  

The Fosston Athenian Club, a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, voted at their December meeting to take the lead for engaging the community in the process of designing the natural play space.  Club president Sue Balstad said, "This project is a perfect match with our Club Collect to be large in thought, word, and deed.  We look forward to convening a meeting to engage the Fosston community in this important project."  

The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) serves the people in northwestern Minnesota as they experiment with innovative ideas, build and strengthen relationships and take practical steps into a hopeful future.  For more details see http://rsdp.umn.edu/northwest. 

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Apples, cucumbers, and tomatoes are the top three most popular Minnesota fruits and 
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vegetables among K-12 students, according to an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy survey of school food service leaders. Getting these locally grown foods on the menus of schools and other institutions such as hospitals and childcare centers requires cross-sector partnerships, community support and relationship building. The Northwest Region Workshop  is one of eight Farm to Cafeteria workshops taking place across the state between February and April. 

The Northwest Regional Farm to Cafeteria Workshop will be held at the White Earth Tribal College in Mahnomen on Monday, February 4, 2013, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

The workshops are designed to meet the needs of the region and strengthen connections to advance partnerships between local farmers and community institutions. Farm to Cafeteria builds strong communities, healthy people and resilient local farms, creating a "win-win" for all parties. This year's gatherings build on an earlier round of Farm to Cafeteria workshops. In 2010, more than 600 Minnesotans attended eight regional workshops that were aimed to inspire, inform and build support for local food to local institutions.

The workshop in Mahnomen will include peer-learning though presentations of practical experience and innovation in the region; panel discussion about making farm to cafeteria work for the farmers and the cafeterias; presentation on contracts and agreements between farmers and cafeterias; and tools and resources for strengthening community food systems.  We'll enjoy a supper meal and generous time for networking.  

"When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs nd economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities," said USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about
where food comes from and how it's produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating
choices."

The 2013 workshops are coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with
the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Statewide Health Improvement Program and Renewing the Countryside, and funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

For more information and to register, visit www.extension.umn.edu/go/1132. Contact Linda Kingery at kinge002@umn.edu or 218-281-8697 for more information on the Northwest Regional Farm to Cafeteria Workshop. 

For information on Minnesota Farm to School, visit www.extension.umn.edu/farm-to-school.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Join us for the 2013 Local Foods College. The series of 8 sessions is designed for farmers to increase the capacity of farm operations by building production, business, and marketing skills. 

The first session of the series will be held on the evening of Tuesday, January 22, 2013, and will continue on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. The series will be available via webinar at several locations throughout northern and central Minnesota, and may also be viewed at a home computer. Registration is FREE, $25 for printed materials for the entire series mailed to you, and $15 for the Beginner Growers Manual. 

Session topics include: "Beyond the Soil Survey Book"; "Efficient Irrigation"; "Weed Suppression and Control"; "Seeds and Seed Selection"; "Business Planning"; "Working Together for a Regional Food Hub"; "Preservation"; and "Farmers' Markets and Merchandising". 

Participants will learn from practitioners, educators, and those involved in the growing movement to build resilient local foods systems. Participants will choose their viewing location as well as the sessions they wish to attend. 

Host sites will be available in Bagley, Baudette, Bemidji, Crookston, Fergus Falls, Moorhead, Park Rapids, Staples, and Thief River Falls. The series may also be viewed at your own location. 

The Local Foods College is part of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. The 2013 Local Foods College is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Statewide Health Improvement Program. To learn more, visit www.localfoods.umn.edu. 

For more detailed information and registration, visit: http://localfoods.umn.edu/college or call 888-241-0781. 

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Wholesale Success with Produce Workshops

January 4, 2013 at Beltrami Electric Co-op, Bemidji

Join Atina Diffley, former co-owner of Gardens of Eagan and now official WholesaleSuccess trainer, for a day-long workshop devoted to learning about wholesale marketing and post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables:  cleaning, cooling, packing, storage, transport, sanitation, and more!  Atina draws on her decades of experience in large-scale vegetable production and marketing to provide operators of produce farms of any size with useful, practical, profit-making guidance on how to achieve the highest quality produce for sale.

Workshop attendees will receive a free copy of Wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Selling, Post-Harvest Handling, and Packing Produce, published by FamilyFarmed (www.familyfarmed.org).  Normally a $55 value, this 250+-page manual is newly updated, revised, and in its third printing. It includes more than 100 crop profiles with crop-specific information on harvesting, cooling, storing, and packaging according to industry standards.

Farmer-Buyer Networking will be part of the day's events, coordinated by Renewing the Countryside. Farmers and potential wholesale buyers will have an opportunity to meet each other, learn about each other's interests in locally grown produce, and exchange contact information. These sessions will take place during the last hour and a half at each location. Farmers and buyers who want to attend just the networking session may attend that session only for free.

Workshop co-sponsors and collaborators include the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, FamilyFarmed.org, Renewing the Countryside, Riverwalk Market Fair, Crow River Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association, Minnesota Farmers Market Association, the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and University of Minnesota Extension; with funding support from the USDA Risk Management Agency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Cost to attend the workshop will be $15 per person; refreshments and lunch will be provided. An online registration form and workshop brochures are on the MISA website at www.misa.umn.edu.  You can also register with MISA by phone:  800-909-6472; or by email: misamail@umn.edu.  

For more information about these workshops, contact the MISA office, 800-909-6472 or misamail@umn.edu

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, contact USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, D.C., 02050-9410 or call  1-866-632-9992 Toll Free; or  1-800-877-8339 Federal Relay Service;  or  1-800-845-6136 (In Spanish); or 1-800 795-3272 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; or (TDD) 720-2600. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Contact: MISA office, 800-909-6472 or misamail@umn.edu

U of M, Crookston Torch & Shield Award Recipients for 2012 Honored

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Honoring those who have aided in the development of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC), and Extension is the purpose of the Torch & Shield award. This celebration of leadership is the highest honor presented by the Crookston campus and a special recognition event was held on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, on the campus.

The Torch & Shield award recipients for 2012 include Alan Cattanach, general agronomist at American Crystal Sugar Company in Moorhead, Minn.; Wayne Goeken, director of the International Water Institute's Center for Watershed Education; and Otter Tail Power Company, whose headquarters are located in Fergus Falls, Minn.

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Alan Cattanach (left) has worked in cooperative research efforts in the past with 8 scientists from Northwest Research and Outreach Center and 6 from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. He has served on U of M search committees and Extension planning teams and committees. He has participated in numerous sugarbeet and soil fertility extension meetings with other U of M Extension specialists and county extension agents and served as liaison to NWROC and St. Paul campus scientists for Sugarbeet research programs of interest to American Crystal Sugar Company.

Working as part of the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota, Cattanach has helped to provide extensive funding of projects at the NWROC and to St Paul campus scientists, as well as involved in an EPA grant partnership with NWROC (Biological control of Cercospora Leafspot) and provided gift funds to NWROC in support of sugarbeet research projects.

He earned his doctorate in soil science from the University of Minnesota, and master's of science, and bachelor's of science also in soil science from North Dakota State University (NDSU) and University of Wisconsin-Madison respectively. He has been general agronomist at American Crystal Sugar Company since July 1998 and prior to that worked for North Dakota State University and the U of M as Extension sugabeet specialist. 

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Over the years, Wayne Goeken (left) has worked with a number of personnel at the U of M, Crookston primarily with River Watch and watershed education and monitoring efforts. Recently he has worked with associate professors Katy Smith and Brian Dingmann on a river sediment research project involving high school and university students. 
Goeken has been involved in ongoing work with the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and Executive Director Linda Kingery in promoting the Red Lake River Enhancement Project, including leading a canoe/kayak trip of the entire 195-mile length of the Red Lake River to raise awareness of its cultural attributes and recreational potential. He continues to work with the NRSDP on development of initiatives to connect people to nature, especially children, including promoting nature-based interactive play spaces for children.

He coordinates the annual River Watch Forum on the U of M, Crookston campus during spring break, with high school River Watch teams coming from 25 schools throughout the Red River Basin to share their results and learn about current topics in watershed science. He also conducts annual training and certification workshops each spring for personnel from natural resource agencies who are involved in water quality monitoring, the only certification program of its type in Minnesota.

Goeken earned his bachelor of science in agribusiness and his master of science in economics from South Dakota State University in Brookings.
 
Named for the river that provided its first source of power, Otter Tail Power Company was 
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incorporated in 1907. The company began producing electricity in 1909 at Dayton Hollow Dam on the Otter Tail River near Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and home to the company's headquarters.

Today, Otter Tail Power Company is a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation. Its approximately 790 employees provide electricity and energy services to more than 129,000 customers in 422 communities and in rural areas in an un-crowded 70,000-square-mile service area in western Minnesota, eastern North Dakota, and northeastern South Dakota. The company has customer service centers in Crookston and ten other communities in its service area.

Otter Tail Power Company's mission is to produce and deliver electricity as reliably, economically, and environmentally responsibly as possible to the balanced benefit of customers, shareholders, and employees and to improve the quality of life in the area in which we do business. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com.

Otter Tail Power Company has supported the University of Minnesota, Crookston over the years through scholarships, the Campus Energy Challenge, and various sponsorships. 
Cris Oehler director of public relations for Otter Tail, accepted the award on behalf of Otter Tail Power Company. 

The Torch & Shield Award honors contributions of significance to higher education, the Crookston campus, and the region; recognizes champions of the U of M, Crookston, NWROC, and Extension for their impact on the region through teaching, research, and outreach; and distinguishes both high profile individuals and those who have been "quiet" contributors to the success of the Crookston campus. For more information, visit www.umcrookston.edu/torchandshield.
 
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, at top, Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M, Crookston, Goeken, Oehler, Cattanach, and Albert Sims, director of operations at the NWROC. 

Contact: Corby Kemmer, director, development and alumni relations, 218-281-8434 (ckemmer@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A day of discussion and presentations on creating nature-based community play spaces will be held at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. A $15 registration fee includes lunch and participants may complete their registration online at http://z.umn.edu/NaturalPlaySpace. The workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The morning offers presentations by staff from the U of M, Crookston and local partners covering planning, installation, and the programming aspects of nature-based play spaces. In the afternoon, break-out discussions will address specific areas of interest to help move projects forward no matter what stage they are in currently. 

For more information, contact Marlne LeBlanc at the Extension Regional Center at 218-281-8696 or mleblanc@umn.edu. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Marlene LeBlanc, Extension Regional Center, 218-281-8696 (mleblanc@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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Abbey Wemimo II, a junior majoring in business management and organizational psychology at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, is motivated through many principles he learned from his mother and a passion for research. Wemimo is working this summer on an internship with the University in the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP). An international student from Legos, Nigeria, Wemimo has been fascinated with the area of business since high school. 

Selling candy bars for fundraising initiatives in Nigeria, business was engrained into Wemimo at an early age. He highlights his time at the U of M, Crookston as a privilege and an opportunity to continue one of his many passions. During his experience thus far at UMC, Wemimo has been involved in many clubs and organizations such as the Crookston Student Association (CSA), Students' in Free Enterprise (SIFE), National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Lion's Club. 

"I'm an ardent believer that servant leadership should be a strong core of a businessman", Wemimo says. Quoting a practice of leadership from Robert K. Greenleaf, Wemimo prioritizes his efforts to give back to the community and country back home.

 Being an international student he still remembers difficulties in sourcing water, food, and even shelter; all the necessities that our society today often takes for granted. Recognizing an obligation to give back, Wemimo engages in his greatest core competency, research. 

During his attendance at UMC, Wemimo has been granted opportunities that span far beyond his imagination. In collaborative research with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Crookston (UROC), Wemimo has received two grants to conduct research projects regarding various topics of his choice. Following completion of the first research project, Wemimo was graciously selected as one of two students in the entire University of Minnesota system to travel to Edmonton, Canada, to present their projects for the country to see. 

"UMC has offered me a lot and research is just one of them and the privileges to work on campus and conduct research has been beyond my imagination and just wonderful", Wemimo says. 
 
Wemimo heard about an internship on campus through UMC e-mail highlighting the importance of research. Of course, without hesitating, Wemimo jumped on the opportunity and applied. Following a series of formal interviews, Wemimo was granted the internship and began work inside the NWRSDP office with fellow UMC students Tashi Gurung, Alex Buscher, and Kate Holmquist. While Wemimo's internship position is research focused, work efforts have included qualitative data comparisons and research papers highlighting residential communities, food availabilities, and energy consumption through data sets ranging from 1992 to 2010.

The University of Minnesota Crookston offers on-campus internships for students of all majors and minors. To learn more about the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and how sustainability is applied across the Northwest region visit: http://www.rsdp.umn.edu/northwest/index.htm. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu. 

In the photo: Business instructor Kenneth Johnson (left) joins Abbey Wemimo during the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Symposium held on April 18, 2012. 

Contact: Sean Rozell, communications intern, 218-281-8446; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Feel like it's been a hot summer?  Looking to cool off? How about spending the afternoon in an ice arena and learning about how they keep it cool - while curbing their energy bills?
 
Northwest Clean Energy Resource Team (NW CERT), Minnesota Ice Arena Managers Association (MIAMA), and Minnesota Association of Small Cities (MAOSC) are co-hosting a free event for local units of government August 15th 1pm - 4pm in East Grand Forks. This free event will focus on financing tools and opportunities that are currently available to assist local governments and public school districts in funding clean energy projects in northwestern Minnesota.  We'll hear from folks at East Grand Forks Ice Arena and other ice arenas to learn how they have saved energy and money, and how your community can do the same!
 
This free event is relevant for counties, cities, municipalities, school districts, townships, municipal utilities, and other local units of government in northwestern Minnesota. 
 
We'll discuss: What funding is available? How do you do it? How have other local governments approached and accomplished such projects? 
 
Learn more, see the agenda, and register online at http://nwlocalgovt.eventbrite.com
or call 612-626-0555.

The Clean Energy Resource Teams--or CERTs--are a non-partisan, non-advocacy group that works with citizens across the state to strengthen their communities by supporting money-saving energy efficiency projects and building entrepreneurship around Minnesota's growing renewable energy industries. 

Contact: Margaret A. Kozak, Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) Event Programming Coordinator, 612-626-0555.

Alex Buscher, a junior majoring in business management at the University of Minnesota wemimo_a and_buscher_a.jpgCrookston, recently acquired an internship working in part with the University in the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP). Arriving at UMC as a freshman, Alex sought the field of business after considering other options. With a strong feeling that a business degree would offer greater career flexibility, she has continued her exploration as both a student and future professional.  

During her experience thus far at the U of M, Crookston, Buscher has been involved in many clubs and activities such as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), where she has held positions as vice president, president, and currently treasurer.

"I like exploring and that's what I'm doing in my major at UMC" said Buscher. "At the same time I intend to do the same in my clubs and activities as well."

Buscher, a 2010 Brainerd High School graduate, started applying for internships in the fall of 2011 to just about anywhere that offered an internship position relative to the business field.  She learned about the NWRSDP internship via e-mail sent by Jack Geller, head of the Liberal Arts and Education Department on the Crookston campus, which notified Alex and corresponding business students of an opening in the NWRSDP. At that point, Buscher wasted no time in responding to the e-mail request and was interviewed and later accepted for the internship.

"I really wanted this on-campus internship. I was excited about it and do love the idea of sustainability since it's highly relevant in our world today," Buscher said.

Working inside the NWRSDP office, Buscher is joined by fellow U of M, Crookston students Abbey Wemimo, Tashi Gurung, and Kate Holmquist. While each of the students has his or her own job description, Buscher finds herself exploring her career field while assisting with technology-oriented tasks on a daily basis. Helping the office extend their projects to the Web allows Buscher to utilize, learn, and apply new methods of technology she aquired over the course of her education and internship.

buscher_wemimo_with_rozell.JPGCurrently, Buscher is video editing a series of Interactive Televison (ITV) lectures broadcast this spring on more than eight campuses entitled "Local Food College." The goal of the lectures was to educate the surrounding communities on practices in gardening, agriculture, backyard poultry, and vegetable production to name a few. However, while the videos served an educational purpose, a need arose for compilation and editing of the videos to extend beyond the intended lectures. Recognizing the need, Buscher was given the video files and asked to compile them using the knowledge she attained thus far. These kinds of opportunities make her internship a relevant, real-world experience for her and one that benefits her employer as well.

To learn more about the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and how sustainability is applied across the Northwest region visit www.rsdp.umn.edu/northwest. To learn more about the business major at the U of M, Crookston, visit www.umcrookston.edu/business.

Abbey Wemimo and Alex Buscher talk about their internships with NWRSDP:

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photos, at top: NWRSDP summer interns Abbey Wemimo (left) and Alex Buscher (right) are shown here in their respective offices at the University of Minnesota Crookston campus

Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership summer interns Abbey Wemimo (left) and Alex Buscher (middle) sit down for an interview with e-communications and public relations assistant Sean Rozell (right) to discuss their current internship positions and personal backgrounds.

Contact: Sean Rozell, communications assistant, 218-281-8446 (rozel010@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

extension.jpgAs of July 2, 2012, the Regional Extension Office of Crookston, which includes the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, has moved to the Valley Technology Park just north of University of Minnesota, Crookston campus. The Valley Technology Park's newest tenants began the move late last month and have officially vacated their prior occupancy at the U of M, Crookston in favor of the new location.

Though they have moved, all staff phone numbers and e-mails remain the same. The increasing growth at the U of M, Crookston campus and the need for more office facilities created the opportunity for the change.

The new location will allow easier access to regional Extension staff. When asked about the move from the U of M, Crookston to the Valley Technology Park, Deb Zak, Northwest Regional Extension director, is nothing but smiles, "the chance to relocate presented itself as an opportunity for our office to improve in many ways. We have almost doubled our work space and are now much more accessible to the public." Visitors can pull into the parking lot at the Valley Technology Park and enter the Extension office through the east entrance of the building.

In addition to easier access for the community, Zak has other reasons for being a fan of the move, "I love the new offices. It is the first time in my career I have been able to design new offices and order new furniture."  Working with the CHEDA, the U of M, Crookston and Extension made it possible to complete the move without missing a day of operation.  

The new address for the Regional Extension Office of Crookston is 510 Country Road 71, Crookston, Minn., 56716. Their phone number is 888-241-0781.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo, left to right: Deb Zak, director, Crookston Regional Office, U of M Extension; Marlene LeBlanc, executive administrative specialist; Bill Craig, Extension educator/instructor; Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership; Karen Myszkowski, community program specialist; DeeAnn Leines, Extension educator/assistant professor; UMC student workers/summer interns Alex Busher, Brooke Novak, and Abbey Wemimo.



Contact: Deborah Zak, Regional Director, Northwest, Extension Regional Office, Crookston. Phone: 218-281-8684 or 1-888-241-0781. E-mail: dzak@umn.edu; Austin Czichotzki, communicatons assistant, 218-281-8446 (czich003@crk.umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assista

Northwest Minnesota Farmers Markets Return

Summer is here and the markets across the northwest region of Minnesota will once again localfoods.jpgoffer locally-grown, fresh produce and the hours of operation are now even more convenient for customers. The products are high quality and exceptionally fresh which appeals to many who are searching for a healthy option to feed themselves and their families.  Farmers markets are an integral part of the community/farm connection due to the increasing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. Customers can expect to find farm-fresh produce, baked goods, poultry, meats, eggs, honey, and plants.

The day, locations, and times of the markets within the rivers and prairie region can be located in the Minnesota Grown Directory custom cover page which are available at a community extension office. The information for various markets is also available for viewing on the Minnesota Grown website by clicking on the "farmers market" link or liking us on Facebook under Northwest Minnesota Farmers Market.

The direct distribution of products through farmers markets continues to increase in popularity across the country. Food in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to the kitchen table. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources, especially fossil fuels, which contributes to pollution, and creates excess trash with extra packaging. Much of this pollution could be reduced just by buying locally-grown food.

Today, there are nearly 4,800 farmers markets operating throughout the nation. Marketing food directly from producers to consumers in the food supply chain has many benefits. For consumers, direct distribution initiatives are providing people with locally grown, fresh, healthy and, in many cases, organic food at affordable prices. Through buying locally grown produce, consumers are giving their support to local producers as well as helping to revitalize rural economies. Creating markets where people can buy produce from local farmers and growers reduces the distance that food travels between producers and consumers, which in turn decreases global environmental pollution.

There are many benefits for consumers to purchase from farmers market. First is the freshness of the product, people want to have produce that is crisp and fresh.  Another important attribute is consumers are able to identify the source of the product which boosts the credibility of the market. They have the ability to pinpoint which farm the produce comes from which in turn makes them feel good about their purchase and know that they are supporting local farmers. Finally, many people want to support their local economy and see it thrive. Purchasing products from a farmers market is a very positive and perceptible way to sustain the local economy and put money back into the community.

Useful information can also  be found on the USDA's site:"Know your Farmer, Know your Food," which provides viewers with information regarding local foods. In addition, tune into Crookston's KROX 1260, Mahnomen's KRJM 101.5 FM, Ada's KRJB 106.5 FM, Grand Forks' KNOX 1310 to acquire information about the markets and stay connected to what is going on in northwestern Minnesota.

Watch for the Minnesota Grown Rivers and Prairies logo and we hope to see you at the farmers markets in this region.

Contact: Linda Kingery, 2900 University Ave Crookston, MN (218-281-8697) kinge002@umn.edu

2012_4_Chuck and Barbara 9x7 0264.jpgA reception in honor of University of Minnesota, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey and First Lady Barbara Muesing will take place on Thursday, June 14, 2012. The reception, which is open to all, will take place in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center from 2 - 4 p.m.  Crookston Mayor Dave Genereux will announce June 14 as Chancellor Charles H. Casey and Barbara J. Muesing Day at 3 p.m. the day of the reception.

Casey began his appointment as chancellor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston on September 12, 2005. Prior to his appointment he served as dean and director of the University of Minnesota Extension Service. From 1979 to 1991, he was a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and from 1989-1991 served as chair. He was the vice chair of the North Central Extension Directors, as well as serving on the University of Minnesota Foundation Board, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute Advisory Board, and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Board.

Barbara J. Muesing began working for the U of M in 1965, serving as an extension educator, program leader, and district director. She also served ten years as the executive director and corporate secretary to the U of M Board of Regents. She has dedicated herself to a variety of pursuits including University outreach, continuing education, rural health, and vital aging.

Chancellor Casey and Barbara have worked diligently throughout the years on behalf of the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Their service, leadership, and dedication have benefited the campus in countless ways. We thank them for their support and wish them the best in the future.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo: First Lady Barbara J. Muesing and Chancellor Charles H. Casey

Contact: Andrews Svec, director of communications, 218-281-8438, (asvec@umn.edu); Ruth Navarro, communications assistant, 218-281-8446 (nava0085@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) is offering mini-grants for gardens for communities and schools. The mini-grants can be used for gardening supplies, equipment and tools, and communication and outreach activities, up to a maximum award of $500. The application deadline is March 26, 2012, by 5 p.m. Grant awards will be determined by March 30. The application form is available at www.rsdp.umn.edu/northwest

The grants are part of an effort to strengthen a gardening culture and engage new gardeners in northwestern Minnesota. The mini-grants are funded through a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota and its Growing up Healthy Program.

The NWRSDP connects University resources and citizen leaders in support of regional aspirations for natural resources, clean energy, agriculture and food systems, and resilient communities. Linda Kingery serves as the executive director.  For more information, visit http://rsdp.umn.edu/northwest.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

If you are interested in growing more of your own food or scaling up production to market garden scale, the upcoming Local Foods College is designed for you. The series, which begins on January 24, 2012, will offer an overview of the basics, from planning to soils, fruit and vegetable production and business planning. The series, available via interactive television (ITV) at several locations across northwestern Minnesota, continues on Tuesday evenings through mid-March. Registration is $10 per session or $50 for the entire series.

Participants will learn from practitioners and educators and share personal experiences with others who are part of the growing movement to build resilient local food systems. Registration can be completed online by visiting www.rsdp.umn.edu/Northwest and payment sent to the Regional Extension Office Crookston, 2900 University Ave, Crookston, Minn., 56716.

Participants will choose the location as well as select the sessions they wish to attend and may bring a family member or partner along for no additional cost. Host sites include the University of Minnesota Crookston; Bemidji State University; Minnesota State University Moorhead; Northland Technical College in Thief River Falls; Central Lakes College in Staples;
Clearwater County Courthouse in Bagley; Lake of the Woods High School in Baudette; and
Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls. Check the locations for the Local Foods College sites.

Session topics will include: Whole farm planning, nutrient cycles and interactions; soils and composting; vegetable production and planning a market garden; starting and managing an apple orchard; small fruit production; backyard poultry; and farm business management. For more detailed information or questions, visit www.rsdp.umn.edu/Northwest or call 888-241-0781.

The Local Foods College is sponsored by the University of Minnesota; Statewide Health Improvement Program; Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; and North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education.

The Local Foods College is one aspect of a movement to strengthen local and regional food systems. It encompasses healthy foods for healthy people, stronger demand for healthy local foods, available accessible and affordable healthy local foods, and marketing and policy support for farmers and food producers. To learn more, visit www.localfoods.umn.edu.

The Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership serves the people in northwestern Minnesota as they experiment with innovative ideas, build and strengthen relationships and take practical steps into a hopeful future. They connect university resources and citizen leaders in support of regional aspirations for natural resources, clean energy, agriculture and food systems, and resilient communities. The Northwest region encompasses Kittson, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Norman, Mahnomen, Clay and Wilkin counties.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: : Linda Kingery, executive director, NWRSDP, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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