Forum at TCU generates discussions on diversity, racial equity

According to Jessica O’Brien of the Region Nine Development Commission, the white population in Le Sueur County is projected to decrease in the years to come while other racial populations remain the same or increase.

O’Brien offered this information at a forum on race held Monday evening, April 16 in the Tri-City United High School cafeteria. Montgomery was the final stop for YWCA Mankato, an organization that promotes racial justice as well as women empowerment. Previously, the speakers and facilitators had previously visited Waseca, St. Peter, New Ulm and St. James.

“I talked to Jessica the end of last summer,” said Mike Preisler, TCU Community Education director who coordinated the race forum at TCU. “She wanted to know if this was something I thought would be welcome in the community, and I thought it would.”

Continue reading the Lonsdale Area News Review article. 

Broadband can be life or death for rural areas: How are we doing?

NORTH MANKATO — The threat to rural Minnesota used to be measured mostly by the lack of good paying jobs needed to keep young people staying in or moving to small towns.

Bill Coleman says the presence or absence of dependable, speedy broadband service is now the key to rural Minnesota’s success or failure.

“Even the smallest manufacturer now requires a fiber connection before they’ll move to a location,” Coleman, owner of Community Technology Advisors, told leaders from the nine-county region.

And it’s not just the ability to attract businesses and jobs that requires solid broadband service, it’s become a top requirement for young people considering moving to the area.

“More people say they won’t move to a place that doesn’t have connectivity.”

And he said the use of devices for telemedicine, in livestock and crop production, and other areas of daily life are only going to grow in rural areas.

Coleman spoke at Region Nine Development Commission’s Connect Rural Broadband Summit in North Mankato Thursday.

Continue reading the Free Press article. 

March E-Newsletter

There is an increasing trend of workers choosing to delay retirement, whether out of economic necessity or by choice.
 
“Public policy has encouraged workers to stay on the job longer,” shared Kristian Braekkan, Region Nine’s Senior Regional Planner.
 

 

January E-Newsletter

Learn 5 creative ideas for community engagement, share your story on broadband, and more in the latest issue of Region Nine’s E-News. 

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Madelia Comprehensive Plan Open for Review

The draft of the Madelia Comprehensive Plan is ready for public review. The process started in January 2017 with an online community survey, a series of community engagement events and city council meetings. The draft document represents the culmination of all the public input and community effort.

Citizens are encouraged to review the document by visiting Madelia’s website at http://bit.ly/MadeliaCP. The draft document can be downloaded and comments may be submitted directly to City Hall through January 22, 2018.  A hard copy of the draft is available at City Hall or the Madelia Branch Library.

After public review, the draft will undergo a public hearing process and be considered by City Council for adoption on January 22, 2018.

Questions and comments on the Madelia Comprehensive Plan can be directed to Madelia City Administrator, Jane Piepgras by phone at (507) 642-3245 or e-mail at jane.piepgras@madeliamn.com.

November E-Newsletter

What have we been up to at Region Nine Development Commission? Find out in the latest edition of our e-news!

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October 2017 E-Newsletter

Region Nine Awarded First Ever Agriculture Resilience Planning Grant

October 4, 2017 – The Federal Economic Development Administration has awarded Region Nine Development Commission funding to develop and implement the first ever South Central Minnesota Agriculture Resilience Plan.

The project will build on completed regional planning initiatives previous done by Region Nine and work towards creating a cohesive strategy for resilient agriculturally based communities across the region. This will lead to the capitalization on new opportunities and creation of jobs to diversify and strengthen the local economy.

“Agriculture is undoubtedly a major player in economic development in our region,” stated Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, executive director of Region Nine. “This project will provide insight into how the region can become more sustainable. Resiliency is key in ensuring the nine counties of south central Minnesota continue to thrive.”

The funding award was matched by local partners to complete the planning project. Local partners who provided matching funds or in-kind match include Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture/South Central College.

“South Central College Farm Business Management Education, along with our Southern MN Center of Agriculture, are committed to improving the economic vitality in our rural communities and increasing positively the farm resilience across the region,” shared Brad Schloesser, executive director Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture and Dean of Agriculture. “This is great support for strong programs that are needed now at an ever demanding rate.”

“Food and agriculture are the backbone of Minnesota’s economy,” said Matthew Wohlman, Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. “We’re pleased to partner with Region Nine and others to ensure that we strengthen our rural economy, add more value to our farm products, and create good paying jobs.”

“We are appreciative and proud to be able to bring this innovative project to the region with the support of our partners,” expressed Griensewic Mickelson. The project will begin in the winter of 2017 and will conclude in late 2018.

Region Nine Receives NADO 2017 Innovation Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Region Nine Development Commission based in south central Minnesota has received a 2017 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Region Nine Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan.

With support from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Region Nine created a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan to assess south central Minnesota’s vulnerability to climate change and create strategies for the region to adapt to climate change. Region Nine, working in tandem with a Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, identified eight top priority sectors to prioritize the planning process: agriculture, water, human health, energy, transportation, forests, ecosystems, and business and economy. The result of the planning process was real, actionable strategies that can be used as a guide to initiate discussions and begin a planning process in Region Nine communities.

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.  2017 marked NADO’s 50-year anniversary of supporting regional economic development across the country.    

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2017 Annual Training Conference, held September 9-12 in Anchorage, AK.   The 2017 class of award recipients consists of projects spanning 21 states.  These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries, funding information, and partners.  The Story Map is available online at:  https://www.nado.org/innovation-awards/.     

“The Innovation Awards program is an opportunity to recognize the important work of regional development organizations that are promoting economic development and improving quality of life for local residents,” said 2016-2017 NADO President Lynne Keller Forbes, Executive Director of the South Eastern Council of Governments, located in Sioux Falls, SD.  “These projects demonstrate the diversity of work that regional development organizations undertake to benefit the communities and regions that they serve.” 

For more information about this award-winning project, contact Ashley Aukes at (507) 387-5643 or ashley@rndc.org