Aug 31

LqP County flexes its vitality muscle with increase of nonprofits

RuralDispatches250_0How do you measure vitality in a rural community? According to Ben Winchester, the health of the local nonprofit sector is a good way to start. And Lac qui Parle county’s nonprofit sector has been growing, according to Winchester and noted by MinnPost

According to the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, the number of nonprofit organizations in rural Minnesota has increased over the past few decades. Here in Lac qui Parle County, a triangle of prairie, small towns and farmland tucked between the Minnesota River and the South Dakota border, the number of nonprofits increased 19 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Extension demographer Ben Winchester conducted the research, crunching numbers provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Charitable Statistics. (Winchester’s research on this topic and others has fueled a rethinking of the rural narrative, which was covered in an earlier installment of Rural Dispatches).

And while it’s easy to think that an increase in nonprofits refects a community need, that’s not necessarily the case…

The trend suggests that nonprofits are really a reflection of a community’s interests and demographics rather than a response to needs that aren’t being served by government or the private sector. “Our rural areas are much more diverse economically, socially and culturally than they used to be,” he said.

While Lac qui Parle’s population declined 10 percent between 2000 and 2010, the number of nonprofits in the county increased from 69 organizations to 82, the research shows. Just to the east in Kandiyohi County, meanwhile, where the population increased 3 percent during that same decade, the number of nonprofits rose 17 percent. And in Houston County in far southeastern Minnesota, where the population declined 3 percent, the number of nonprofit organizations jumped by 42 percent.

Arts is offered as a possible support to the rural growth…

The trend suggests that nonprofits are really a reflection of a community’s interests and demographics rather than a response to needs that aren’t being served by government or the private sector. “Our rural areas are much more diverse economically, socially and culturally than they used to be,” he said.

While Lac qui Parle’s population declined 10 percent between 2000 and 2010, the number of nonprofits in the county increased from 69 organizations to 82, the research shows. Just to the east in Kandiyohi County, meanwhile, where the population increased 3 percent during that same decade, the number of nonprofits rose 17 percent. And in Houston County in far southeastern Minnesota, where the population declined 3 percent, the number of nonprofit organizations jumped by 42 percent.

The article ends with a caution. We are pleased to see LqP featured in a state-focused publication for our vitality; we are proud of the people highlighted in the article. We all know who they are because they have been such leaders – but leaders can’t do it alone! It’s a reminder to all of us to get involved – become a leader.

The trend suggests that nonprofits are really a reflection of a community’s interests and demographics rather than a response to needs that aren’t being served by government or the private sector. “Our rural areas are much more diverse economically, socially and culturally than they used to be,” he said.

While Lac qui Parle’s population declined 10 percent between 2000 and 2010, the number of nonprofits in the county increased from 69 organizations to 82, the research shows. Just to the east in Kandiyohi County, meanwhile, where the population increased 3 percent during that same decade, the number of nonprofits rose 17 percent. And in Houston County in far southeastern Minnesota, where the population declined 3 percent, the number of nonprofit organizations jumped by 42 percent.

Aug 28

LqP County Fair Sep 10-13

Are you ready? The Lac qui Parle County Fairr is right around the corner. We’ll post the basics today – and details closer to the event. Mark our calendars!Lac qui Parle County Fair – entertainment, carnival, live music

  • HOURS:

    Gates Open at 9 a.m. Daily

  • GATE ADMISSIONS:

    $4.00 Adults (age 12 or older)
    FREE under 12 years of age
    FREE for Active Military Personnel w/Military ID
    $10.00 Season Pass
    (includes parking for one vehicle)

    GATE ADMISSION is charged for everyone entering the Fairgrounds. GATE ADMISSION does NOT cover entrance into special events such as: Demo Derby, Races, etc.

  • PARKING at the Fair:

    On the Fairgrounds
    $1.00 per day per vehicle
    FREE with Season Pass

Aug 24

Looking to Reward Healthy Communities Nationwide ($25,000)

Something to think about…

From GrantStation.com – GrantStation Insider

Healthy Communities Nationwide Recognized
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Culture of Health Prize
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize honors outstanding community efforts and partnerships across the United States that are helping people live healthier lives. Up to ten winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their success stories celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country. For the purposes of this prize, “a community” is defined as one of the following: town/village, city, county, tribe or tribal community, Native Hawaiian organization, or region (such as contiguous towns, cities, or counties). The Phase 1 application deadline is November 12, 2015. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the call for applications.

Aug 19

How two Minnesota companies got into the Internet of Things

It’s always interesting to see a company jump on the bandwagon at just the right time as Reemo and Hidrate have done. Minnesota Business Magazine reports in…

Two of the big areas of IoT development are home automation and health applications, which are the specialties of two new Minneapolis startups, Reemo and Hidrate, respectively. Reemo makes a wearable technology — a wristband — that enables a person to control household appliances and objects through broad gestures. Hidrate’s product is a “smart” water bottle that lights up when it “thinks” you have forgotten to drink water.

So what got them thinking about IoT?

The founders of Reemo and Hidrate have much in common. They were students at the University of Minnesota who knew each other, helped each other and both competed in various competitions on campus. Their youth is definitely a factor in their openness to IoT.

“Smart phones came out around the time when we were all in middle school or high school and that fact just made us so comfortable with using them and using anything that’s connected to a smart phone,” says Hidrate co-founder and CEO Nadya Nguyen. “Information comes easier to us.”

Another coincidence is that founders of both companies were more interested in people than things. Reemo co-founder and chief science officer Muhammad Abdurrahman says Reemo began as a general idea, not a specific product. He toyed with the idea of helping develop a loyalty program, but it didn’t maintain his interest. “I realized that while it might be potentially lucrative to save somebody 50 cents on their latte,” Abdurrahman says, “it would be much more satisfying to do something else. I’ve had my fill of doing things that didn’t really mean something to me. I want to do something that’s actually going to matter.”

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