Region Nine Development Commission Selected to Participate in the Transatlantic Cluster Initiative-Food Processing Program in Germany

Mankato, MN – Region Nine Development Commission (RNDC) selected by the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest to participate in the Transatlantic Cluster Initiative-Food Processing program supported by the German government.

Germany is the leading player for food processing excellence in the European Union and has a high concentration of food processors.  The Transatlantic Cluster Initiative-Food Processing program connects German and American cluster organizations through targeted events in the United States and Germany. This program establishes best practices with focuses on cluster management, internationalization, skilled workforce recruitment, technological development, digitalization in food processing, resource efficiency, and opportunities for foreign direct investment (FDI) and internal collaboration that could further shape Minnesota’s food processing cluster.

The Food Processing program in Germany will be sending 15 select United States participants  to Germany to visit key stakeholders in food processing from business and research associations as well as the opportunity to interact with leading industry associations and clusters. The program will take place from May 12, 2019 to May 17, 2019.

“It is an honor to be invited by the State of Minnesota to apply and to be selected by the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest to participate in the Transatlantic Cluster Initiative program.  Region Nine is a large and thriving food producing region which we are excited to promote to the German market. Promoting regional assets and championing the nine counties are at the core of RNDC’s  mission, and we believe that opening doors to the foreign markets can only strengthen the local economy.

Region Nine represents strong clusters that encompass robust manufacturing, food production, and innovation throughout sectors that intersect a variety of technological innovation and commodity production.  As highlighted in our recent work on the federal initiative, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), these diverse yet interrelated clusters represent the highest percentage of jobs within Region Nine and also encompass the highest earnings by industry in eight of the nine counties.

Food production, agribusiness, and manufacturing are closely aligned in Germany’s industrial networks, similar to Region Nine, so beyond laying the groundwork for closer trades we also hope to exchange ideas that will benefit the nine-county region as well as our German counterparts,” shared Executive Director, Nicole Griensewic Mickelson. 

“RNDC’s invitation to participate in this exchange serves as recognition of the importance of regional government,” shared Chair of RNDC’s Commission, Steve Rohlfing. “Our nine counties are tied together as an important economic unity in South Central Minnesota, and RNDC’s board is quite pleased that the organization’s work is recognized by the State of Minnesota and their international partners.”


Region Nine Development Commission takes great pride in working with and on behalf of counties, cities, townships, and schools throughout South Central Minnesota. Since 1972, being a partner for progress has led to the development of programs and identification of solutions in the areas of community development, economic development, transportation, healthy communities, business development, and leveraging regional resources.