Frozen Farm Forum – Hemp Survey Results

Do you remember that very cold day last winter when we gathered to talk about hemp? The 2018 Frozen Farm Forum? We were delighted to have more than 80 people brave the elements to join us.

We wanted to share the results of the our feedback survey:

How did you hear about the conference?
Radio 6
Social Media 3
Newspaper 13
Word of Mouth 13
Did you find the speakers relevant/ informative?
Less than Desirable 2
As Expected 14
Better than Expected 15
Consistently Better 1
Was there enough time to ask questions?
Less than Desirable 0
As Expected 11
More than Expected 18
Consistently Better 3
Overall Conference Experience…..
Less than Desirable 1
As Expected 10
Better than Expected 18
Consistently Better 3
Satisfaction of facility and meals?
Less than Expected 0
As Expected 10
More than Expected 15
Consistently More 7


And some comments:

– Very good and informative on something I am new to. Would come again if I have the chance.

– Shorten the lunch break so we can keep it moving.

– Facility was too drafty.

– Thank you for putting this together.

– Real time information on dollars involved in end products after processing… potential

– Make a Facebook post (group)

– Very informative… excellent presenters.

– Well done! Great presentations/ speakers.

Women in Agriculture meeting July 17 in Madison MN

Here is your chance to learn and share with other women involved with agriculture:

Tuesday, July 17 , 2018
5:00-7:00 pm
Lac qui Parle County Annex
Multi-Media Room
422 5th Avenue
Madison, MN

Bring a dish to share! We will provide  bottled water, plates and napkins. Bring a friend. All attendees will be entered in a drawing to win a door prize!

Contact the County for more info – 320-598-7976

Thriving by Design Conference this week!

We will be at the Thriving by Design conference this week. We’re very excited and so apparently is the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Here’s what they had to say about it…

Nearly every community in Minnesota is looking for ways to benefit from the momentous and accelerating statewide shift to local and renewable energy. Wind and sun are particularly abundant in our southwest corner, and the Southwest RDC is out front guiding the transition. It has helped develop a unique Property Assessed Clean Energy program that allows businesses and farmers to find upfront capital by borrowing against future tax assessments. SRDC also has been a leader of an innovative, new 18-county Rural Minnesota Energy Board, and it works closely with the highly effective statewide Clean Energy Resource Teams, which are helping build a growing list of certified rural “Green Step” cities.

Affordable housing in the Headwaters

Consensus is overwhelming that an affordable-housing shortage is hindering rural economic development, and the Headwaters RDC in the north-central region is among the most creative and ambitious players filling that need. Among initiatives: partnerships with both the Bemidji and Blackduck high schools in which students learn construction trades and actually build a house every year; building affordable multiple-family housing; providing financing to restore substandard single-family units; offering down-payment assistance; and delivering a Home Stretch program that helps low-income folks on the path to homeownership.

Highways, mobility and safe routes in the Arrowhead

Rural Minnesota desperately needs a major transportation funding package to improve highways and bridges, but many regions are as focused as urban communities on transit service and mobility, also promoting the health benefits of walking and bicycling. The Arrowhead RDC in northeastern Minnesota is a leader in developing the Safe Routes to School program and promoting projects that emphasize an active-living approach, with positive impact on both health and natural-resource preservation. The RDC is also helping develop scenic byways to take advantage of the region’s traditional allure to tourists and vacationers, including a lesser-known Avenue of the Pines route from Deer River to Northome.

Equity and welcoming in South Central

Growing racial diversity in this region is offsetting white population loss and aging trends, filling labor demands and lowering the average age in some counties. Thanks to a large Latino workforce, for instance, St. James and Watonwan County now rank among the most diverse places in Minnesota. In alignment with the DevelopMN strategy to “embrace emerging populations” as assets, Region Nine in south-central Minnesota is building a framework for more inclusive and welcoming communities. In 2018, in partnership with the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Community Vitality, Region Nine launched a seven-month project convening 45 entities from five communities to explore best practices and, through education and relationship-building, to facilitate community action.

Further exploration of DevelopMN strategies will be a focus of a June 27-29 gathering in Granite Falls called “Thriving by Design: Rural and Urban Together,” to which the public has been invited; space is still available. The event is being organized by Growth & Justice and, a statewide business-minded coalition of leaders working toward racial equity and keeping Minnesota “open, inclusive, welcoming, innovative and creative.”

We know that candidates, news media and social media in coming months are likely to feature divisive issues, regional enmity and simplistic solutions. But we also know there is an emerging private-public-nonprofit sector consensus around attractiveness and place-making as an essential theme for a comprehensive “One Minnesota” development strategy.

Critical Business Transitions Business Owner Seminar – July 10

“Critical Business Transitions”
Business Owner Seminar
Tuesday, July 10th
8:30 to 11:30am
1707 Technology Drive NE, Willmar MN 56201

Register now!

Business owners go through many different types of critical transitions. How do you navigate the decisions, changes, and events that come across your path? This seminar features critical, up-to-date information and resources from experts in the education, business consulting, and investment banking fields working across all industries and regions in Minnesota. You’ll walk away with current market data for Minnesota businesses, some resources to guide you, and an introduction to best practices for accessing these resources.

The Hemp Consortium presents the LqP Summer 2018 Summer Hemp Conference

UPDATE – the conference has been postponed due to conflict. We will get back soon with more details.

July 23, 2018
Madison Minnesota
Register now!



This class is tailored to communities who want to invest in Industrial Hemp. Farmers, investors and government planners would benefit from the course.

We review farming and necessary changes to make your farm viable for hemp. Processing plants and acreage to supply a facility, legal issues, insurance, financing and more.

The class is more in-depth in order to help community leaders decide if they should take the next step.

Class schedule subject to change based on the needs of the community. If you don’t see a schedule that works for you, contact us and we will put a program together for your area.

Group discounts available.

Register Now for “Thriving by Design, Rural & Urban Together,” June 27-29, in Granite Falls

PJ is attending and we hope to see some local there!

We’ve recently confirmed three new outstanding speakers for our historic gathering in western Minnesota this summer which features some of the most knowledgeable people in the entire region on our demographic and economic disparities, and how to fix them.    Kevin Jensvold, Chairman of the Upper Sioux Community, will deliver our opening welcome on June 27, Diana Anderson, President of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, will open our proceedings on June 28, and Dr. Bruce Corrie, Director of the City of St. Paul’s Planning and Economic Development and co-founder of, will discuss the Shared Sustainable Prosperity framework and process.  Other speakers previously announced include:   Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin LindseyState Demographer Susan Brower; Cornelia Flora Butler, co-creator of the Community Capitals Framework and a highly respected expert in rural community development; Craig Helmstetter, managing director of the American Public Media Research Lab, and Tane Danger, (Growth & Justice board member) and his Theater of Public Policy troupe.    Participants in this event will help create a unifying “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint,’’ a new social contract that heals our divisions: the rural-metro divide, racial injustice, overall economic inequality and environmental degradation.   Registration options include participating as an official delegate in the six-month blueprint development, or as a general participant.   Please register now – space is filling up. Registration Fees, including meals, are $195 for the entire gathering or $100 for June 28 only. Some scholarships are still available to help cover registration, lodging, and travel for participants who commit to being an Equity Blueprint delegate. More information on “Thriving by Design, Rural & Urban Together,” is available on our website.    Our partner in this event is, an organization focused statewide on building our “ethnic capital” and working toward racial equity in business and economic development.  Their motto — “Building Shared Sustainable Prosperity’’ — resonates strongly with our own mission statement.   Please spread the word, even if you cannot attend.