1. “Family Business Succession: The Future of Rural Towns Depends on It”
Less than 30% of successful family businesses make it to the 3rd generation. That’s because they only address legal and economic decisions of succession and not transfer of management decision authority. Worksheets to assist the older and younger generation start this transfer of decision authority process is the core of this session.
Presenter: Sharon Danes - University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science
2. “Keep your Community Thriving: Cooperatives are not just for Agriculture”
The cooperative model is proving successful in solving current challenges in communities. By banding together for scale and to meet local needs, a wide range of applications are emerging.
Moderator: Amy Fredregill – Cooperative Network
3. “Building Partnerships: Rural Urban Connections for Innovation and Wealth Creation”
Relationships and connecting ideas drive innovation, the underlying catalyst for progress and economic growth. In this session, participants will learn about examples of rural urban connections and how and why being more aware of and intentional about them can strengthen a community’s (and our state’s) social and economic well-being. Presenters will provide an overview of a new pilot project underway in Minnesota to identify, support and encourage more rural urban connections, including research on education and workforce connections and an opportunity to provide feedback on a developing rural urban connections mapping tool and the formation of a Rural Urban Partnering Council/Network.
Moderator: Jane Leonard - Minnesota Rural Partners
4. “Community: Capacity Building Process and Visioning”
This session provides overviews of three unique community capacity building models based in Minnesota that lead to more sustainable and vibrant communities. They include: Strong Towns, a model for growth that allows towns to become financially strong and self-sufficient; GreenStep Cities, a new assistance program for all Minnesota cities that supports and recognizes implementation of 28 sustainable development best practices; and the Center for Community Stewardship, which focuses on helping communities identify, grow and support strong leaders to harness their community’s energy and passion and reach success by having the entire community to work together.
Moderator: Jean Burkhart – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
5. “Local Government: Doing More with Less – LGA, Leadership, and Communications”
A session looking at how local governments find resources to meet the wants and needs of their citizens through discussion on where we have been, where we are today, and where we are going tomorrow.
6. “The Economic Impact of the Latino Members of our Society Filling Storefronts”
Hear the stories of panelists who are doing exactly that - building businesses and economic development in rural Minnesota by recognizing and serving the growing ethnic diversity in their communities. Panelists include small business owners and an ethnic economic development coordinator.
Presenter: Eduardo Martinez - Mexican Village Too Restaurant; St. Cloud, MN
Edna Mars - La Tienda Grocery Store; Morris, MN
Roberto Valdez – Willmar Area Multicultural Market
7. “Saving Money and Energy for the Future”
This session examines energy usage and infrastructure changes that result in energy and monetary savings. Participants will discuss the cost-saving impacts of conservation and the practical actions that households, businesses, and organizations can do. The panel will provide information about measuring energy usage at existing buildings to identify cost–saving energy upgrades; employee education on energy-saving habits in the workplace; and local renewable energy projects at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Soils Lab and the West Central Research and Outreach Center.
Moderator: Troy Goodnough – Center for Small Towns
Presenters: Mike Reese – University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center
Abdullah Jaradat – USDA Agricultural Research Service
Chris Droske – MN GreenCorps
8. “Rebuilding a Local Economy with Locally Grown Foods”
An interactive session with rural and urban communities that have embraced the local foods movement as an economic development strategy to rebuild their local economy.
Moderator: Dorothy Rosemeier – U of MN West Central Partnership
Presenters: Steve Lawrence – Pope County
Linda Grover - Winona Economic Development Local Foods Sub Committee