NOVEMBER 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 10
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-8o

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD:

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Grant Program  Grants to eligible organizations to cover all or part of the costs associated with purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program  Grants to promote the planning and development of rural healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2018.

Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge Funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, and other community-oriented initiatives. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2018.

–SAFER BRAND is offering funding to start a school garden with the goals of encouraging children to be active outside and to engage students in learning about nutrition and the environment. Deadline: 12/1/2018. Click here to visit the website for more information about this grant.

2018–2019 Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest  The American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation is sponsoring its 9th annual video contest for banks to encourage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host local competitions and select winners to compete in a national competition where more than $10,000 in prizes will be awarded. Student entries must be submitted by December 3, 2018.

Farm to School Grant Program are to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Application Deadline: Dec 4, 2018.

–Apply now for a MPCA grant to buy electric-powered landscaping equipment.  Up to $300,000 in grant funding available to switch from your old, 2-cycle gasoline to electric-powered landscaping equipment.  The maximum grant amount is $24,000. There is 50% matching funds for scrapping your equipment to be replaced, and a 70% match to keep your current equipment. Example equipment: pole saws, string or hedge trimmers, leaf and backpack blowers, mowers, and chain saws.

Eligible applicants include all Minnesota-based businesses under 500 employees, governmental agencies, educational institutions, non-profits, or trade groups/associations. Special consideration given for targeted applicants in environmental justice and highly urbanized areas.

The easy, 2-page application has a calculator to help you figure out emissions — all you need to know is the horsepower, hours used annually, and estimated remaining life left on your gas engine. The calculator does the rest! Apply now! Deadline: December 5, 2018. Projects of all sizes encouraged to apply! Find grant materials on the MPCA grants to improve air webpage. For general questions, contact kari.cantarero@state.mn.us or 651-757-2875.

–Corporation for National and Community Service is offering funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities in 2019 include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and public safety. Deadline: Letter of Intent 12/12/2018 (optional); application 1/30/2019. Click here to review program guidelines.

Youth Garden Grant awards funding and gardening supplies to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Application Deadline: Dec. 17, 2018.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $5,000 for projects that repair, modify, weatherize, or otherwise improve low-income and/or transitional housing or community facilities. Deadline to apply: 12/31/2018. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)  provides funding to small rural hospitals, through their State Office of Rural Health, to help them do any or all of the following: purchase equipment or training to attain value-based payment and care goals; join or become an accountable care organization; and purchase health information technology, equipment, or training. Application Deadline: Jan 3, 2019.

–RURAL LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

–THE MILBANK FOUNDATION is offering grants with the following priorities: consumer-focused, community-based initiatives that empower people with disabilities and foster independence and self-sufficiency; the rehabilitation and re-integration of veterans, especially veterans with disabilities; helping seniors to age in the place of their choice through non-institutional, community-based health and social services; and market-oriented, patient-centered healthcare reforms across the country. Deadline: nonprofit organizations may submit letters of inquiry throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the grant guidelines and application procedures.

–Venn Foundation Launches “$1 Million by 2020” Seed Capital Drive.

Venn Foundation, with support from Bush Foundation, this month formally announced a bold new initiative to drive $1 million of seed capital to early-stage social businesses in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and the 23 native nations that share this geography before January 1, 2020. The goal is to help make this region the best place in the country to launch and grow businesses that officially commit to solving social problems. For more information go to: https://www.vennfoundation.org/

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Millennials Live Here–Reversing Brain Drain in Rural Places. Free Webinar. Free webinar! Going Big in Small Places: Millennials Make Their Mark in America’s Towns, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1-2 p.m. Eastern. (Can’t make the live call? Register and we will send you the recording!)  https://tinyurl.com/y79edcaq

Millennials, the group that range in age from 22 to 37, more than any generation before them, live lives driven by technology. Technology has given them freedom to work anywhere and keeps them constantly connected to friends and family. Place, it seems, is irrelevant. So, it might seem counterintuitive that Millennials would choose rural towns. But many of them are—and in numbers defying conventional wisdom. Researcher Ben Winchester sets the stage for an insightful discussion with three Millennials who have chosen towns and small cities and are contributing to the vibrancy of the places they live in a big way. Featuring: Ben Winchester, senior research fellow, University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality; Whitney Kimball Coe, coordinator, National Rural Assembly, Athens, Tennessee; Brittany Grimes, director of public relations and marketing, Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg, Illinois; Bree Henderson, owner, Polished & Proper Barbershop & Shave Parlor, Laconia, New Hampshire.

Register for the 2018 Minnesota Scenic Byway Workshop  The 2018 Scenic Byway Workshop will be held Nov.14-15 in Fergus Falls, hosted by the Otter Trail Scenic Byway.

–November 14 and 15 at the St. Paul RiverCentre is the MCN’s Annual Conference: Choosing Hope in Times of Disruption.

–Rural Health and Safety Education webinar series, “Combating Opioids,” is hosted by Purdue University Extension and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD). “Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here” will be held December 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET. To join the webinar, click here.

— Learn what’s happening at Minnesota’s largest foundations on December 18. Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) in one of seven locations throughout Minnesota on December 18 for Minnesota Foundations 2019—annual analysis of the trends, staffing, program shifts and financial outlooks of more than 50 of Minnesota’s most active private, community and corporate foundations. This forward-looking session focuses on foundations with statewide giving priorities, as well as those with a regional focus (depending on workshop location). Participants receive a copy of MCN’s 2019 Minnesota Grants Directory.

Minnesota Foundations 2019 will be held on Tuesday, December 18 from 1  – 4:30 p.m. in St. PaulBemidjiDuluthFergus FallsMankatoRochester, and St. Cloud. The workshop will also be available in Marshall on Wednesday, December 19.

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Location Announced Explore Minnesota is excited to announce the 2019 Tourism Conference will be held in Minnesota’s capital city, St. Paul, on Feb. 4-6, 2019.

–The 95th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF) will take place February 21-22, 2019 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The event will offer a platform for exchanging ideas, information and best practices among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both domestic and foreign. Click here for more information and to register.

–MN Campus Compact Summit and Presidents’ Awards Luncheon will be held April 10, 2019 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.  For more information go to: https://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

OPPORTUNITIES

Country Doctor of the Year Award  is to a physician who best exemplifies the spirit, skill, and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners. Application Deadline: Nov 15, 2018.

–SODEXO Stop Hunger Foundation is offering Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships that recognize student innovation and youth-led solutions to fight hunger across the country. Applicants must have demonstrated ongoing commitment to their community by performing unpaid volunteer services impacting hunger in the United States within the last 12 months. Students between the ages of five and 25 are eligible to apply. The winners receive a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a $5,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice in their local community. In addition, regional honorees receive a $1,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice. Deadline: 12/5/2018. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the Official Rules and Factsheet, and to access the online application.

–Dec. 7 2019 Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award

–NBCC FOUNDATION is offering scholarships for students residing in rural areas who are currently enrolled in a master’s level counseling program and are committed to practicing in rural communities after graduation. Deadline to apply: 12/15/2018. Click here to review program guidelines.

Bloomberg Fellows  is a fellowship for individuals who want to achieve a Master’s or PhD degree in Public Health, as well as on-the-ground training and experience. The program is looking for leaders working in the areas of addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health, and violence. Application deadline is December 30, 2018.

Native American Congressional Internship A summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Application Deadline: January 31, 2019.

Udall Scholarship  Scholarships for Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, self-governance, native health, or the environment. Application Deadline: March 7, 2019.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge  The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6-12. LifeSmarts celebrates 25 years of empowering teens to become smart, savvy consumers. Each month, LifeSmarts focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Students compete online and in-person throughout the year to win scholarships and prizes. Experts in LifeSmarts subject areas are also needed to serve as judges and officials at the state and national competitions.

NGPF Nationwide Scholarship Contest Next Gen Personal Finance sponsors this scholarship contest for high school students. Ten $5,000 and numerous $500 Honorable Mention scholarships will be awarded nationwide.

MISCELLANEOUS

— Census 2020 – why is it important for rural Minnesota? The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790 and to this day the goal of the census is to count every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place. Why is the census important? Here are three reasons from the Minnesota State Demographic Center:

  • Equal representation. Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts. It is possible that Minnesota may lose one district (it currently has 8). One less voting district means each district would have to represent about 100,000 more people.
  • Fair distribution of resources. The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. That means, for instance, that at least $1,532 per person is allocated by the federal government to Minnesota each year.
  • Data to make smart decisions. Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, which create jobs. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality–of–life and consumer advocacy.

Rural areas often face challenges in delivering an accurate census count. Let’s make sure all areas of Minnesota are accurately represented. Visit the Minnesota State Demographic Center’s Census 2020 website to learn how to support and get involved in planning for the next United State’s Census!

DEED Launches Tool to Measure and Report Broadband Access.  DEED Launched a new tool that will allow Minnesotans to test, map and report various broadband internet speeds across the state.CheckSpeedMinnesota.com is a benchmarking tool designed to gather information about the high-speed internet consumer experience in Minnesota. Follow the link to take the test.

Rental Housing for a 21st Century Rural America  Analyzes seven indicators to describe the supply, demand, and affordability of housing in rural areas by census tracts. Offers suggestions on future rural rental housing needs and policy recommendations.

–The NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates recently launched LocalHousingSolutions.org, an interactive resource dedicated to helping counties, cities, and towns create and implement strategies to increase the supply of affordable housing and promote housing affordability. The site serves as a one-stop shop for local leaders to understand the housing needs of their communities and policies effective at addressing those needs. Access the resource by clicking here.

Rural Education Levels Are Increasing, but Still Lag Behind Urban Areas  Bar chart comparing rural and urban education levels for adults aged 25 and older in 2000 and 2016.

Rural Pharmacy and Prescription Drugs We’ve updated our Topic Guide on Rural Pharmacy and Prescription Drugs. Check it out for new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on telepharmacy, key contacts on rules and regulations on pharmaceutical services in rural healthcare facilities, and more. Also features updated statistics throughout.

–An article in U.S. News and World Report, “Rural Pharmacies Are Closing: Where Does That Leave Patients?” discusses rural pharmacy closures and the wide-reaching impact these closures can have on their communities. The article also touches on some of the causes of closures including bigger chain pharmacies and low reimbursement rates. Click here to read the article.

–The state of Minnesota launched a new assistive technology website guide to help make sense of all the options available to people with disabilities. Assistive technology is any technology designed to help people with disabilities. Each disability can come with its own set of unique challenges and therefore requires its own unique technology to help people adapt. The Minnesota Guide to Assistive Technology exists to help people with disabilities find the specific device they may need.

–Annie E. Casey Foundation is offering 2018 Kids Count Data Book that looks at trends in child wellbeing, revealing improvements in some economic indicators. Thirteen percent of the nation’s children still live in high-poverty communities, and the Data Book can help support advocacy, agenda-setting, and fundraising efforts. Get the Data Book here.

–Living Cities has published “Facilitator’s Guide for Continuous Improvement Conversations with a Racial Equity Lens.” The racial equity guide provides information and tools on applying a racial equity lens to projects and achieving population-level change. Click here to get the guide.

–Release of a new community assessment tool that allows users to access data on the opioid epidemic in counties across the county, see the epidemic’s relation to demographic and socioeconomic factors, compare county-level data to the rest of the state and country, and track how data has changed over time.

Map to Prosperity  Discusses the potential of broadband’s effects on the rural economy, especially for farming operations and small businesses. Describes broadband access in rural areas. Includes rural versus urban comparisons for rural broadband access and funding and technical assistance programs to increase broadband adoption.

National Food Affordability: A County-Level Analysis Explores sociodemographic factors contributing to food affordability, with emphasis on differences between rural and urban areas. Features statistics on select food-related characteristics of U.S. counties, with breakdowns by rural or urban location and by Appalachian or Delta counties and other counties.

–Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting took the first step in moving toward Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) reform. The OCC issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on CRA that asks for input on a number of questions. The entire ANPR can be found and comments can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov by searching for “Docket ID OCC-2018-0008”.

–Fed Governor Randy Quarles gave a speech on the particular issues faced by community banks in rural areas at the Fed’s annual conference on community banking.  Quarles discussed the generally positive performance of rural banks, and the impacts felt when these rural community banks fail. Continue reading here.

–Benefits of public transportation survey.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation is funding a study, conducted by researchers at North Dakota State University, about the benefits of public transportation in Greater Minnesota. Individuals across the state are invited to complete this survey by copying and pasting this link in your browser: https://ndstate.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1ZKe7s5ldYKVaWF. For more information about the project, please contact Sara Dunlap at 651–366–4194, or Jeremy Mattson at 701–231–5496.

–The latest issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Development Innovation Review presents opportunities for community development to play a role in mental health promotion; including emerging themes such as the prevalence of trauma, community resilience in the face of climate change, and the power of arts and culture to engage and activate a community. Get the publication by clicking here.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!

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MN Rural Partners Rural Roundup September 2018: Info on grants, opportunities, events

VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6TH!

OCTOBER 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 9
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-8i

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD: Community Development Turns 50!  Call for Presentations closes November 15

If you’ve been doing community development that involves civic engagement and interconnections between sectors and across disciplines, or community leadership development, or community entrepreneurship development, or community change, community improvement, and/or community innovation work, or community, economic, urban, rural and/or international development work in general, you will want to join your colleagues and head to Columbia, Missouri, next summer  (July 14-17, 2019) for the 50th anniversary of the Community Development Society (CDS) and annual international conference, Coming Home to Cultivate the Future.   (By the way, Minnesota boasts three past-presidents of this august organization: Brent Hales, John Kuester, and Jane Leonard, and a slew of past board members and past and current members.)

You can be a part of presenting that community development history and can help cultivate the future, too, if you get your presentation proposal in by November 15, 2018!  Please read more about the 2019 anniversary theme and submit  your presentation, paper, roundtable, poster, Impact of CDS session, and preconference workshop proposals at: https://www.comm-dev.org/networking/2019-conference/call-for-presentation-2019 

And, PLEASE FORWARD this message far and wide to others to SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend the 50th Anniversary of the Community Development Society & Annual International Conference,July 14-17, 2019, Columbia, Missouri, USA.

Born in Missouri on the Mizzou campus, and now spread worldwide, the founding of CDS brought together many disciplines 50 years ago and started a movement making clear that  community development is “a radical profession….based on the belief that people can give purposeful direction to their collective future. How this occurs is based on the community, the issues, the current capacity of people and the resource base that is present…Community development is gaining knowledge and empowerment through a process of collaboration and action.” (Practicing Community Development, Donald W. and Doris P. Littrell, University of Missouri Extension, 2006).

The 50th anniversary year is a golden opportunity to express and explore the extreme relevance and responsibility of the community development field and CDS to be proactive change agents, to help create conditions for and help foster shared and welcoming communities. It’s a chance to remember and re-embrace the ideals with which our founders also struggled, to articulate what was happening and what they could do to help amidst the chaotic changes of the 1960s. Much is the same as 50 years ago: waves of radical action and radical grace in the face of community and world-wide disruptions. Much has changed. We are more fragmented even as we are more widely and thinly connected. Community is fragile, beloved, and yearned. How can we help cultivate a future seeking and needing community to thrive?

Questions?  Please contact Jane Leonard, CDS VP of Programs and 2019 Program Chair at jane@growthandjustice.org

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

–MPCA offers $1.1 million in grants to upgrade non-road diesel equipment.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) encourages private and public owners of older non-road diesel equipment to apply for MPCA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act Grant (DERA). The $1.1 million grant funding will focus on non-road diesel equipment such as forklifts, cranes, excavators, barge towboats and locomotive engines that operate in Minnesota. The grant money will dramatically help cut pollution by replacing old, dirty, diesel engines with new, far-cleaner engines. In some cases, funds can help to replace the entire machine. Visit the DERA webpage for all application materials and details. The application period ends October 23, 2018.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans  Financing and grant funding for agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements. An example of a potential project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs. Application Deadline: October 31, 2018.

Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants are to nonprofit organizations that provide services to improve the daily lives of people with paralysis and their families. Application Deadline: Oct 31, 2018.

–The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to announce to all local artists, organizations providing arts programming, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs) that there are five November 1 art grant deadlines! There will also be two additional grant deadlines for fiscal year 2019 which are February 1, and April 1.

November 1, 2018, 11:59 p.m., is the East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) grant application deadline for:

* Art in Our Schools Grants: School districts may apply for special arts-related funding up to $3,000.

* Small/Art Project Assistance Grants: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $500-$5,000.

* Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $5,000-$15,000.

* Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E and need to have an open to the public event.

* ECRAC Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts project funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E.

For the grant application materials, information on past grants, and the link to the online grant application portal go to: ECRAC Grants Page!

The online grant application processes for November 1 are open now. For further information, please call 320-396-2337 extension 2 or email: grantinfo@ecrac.org

America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project  Farmers enroll for a chance to direct $2,500 to local nonprofit organizations that are important to them and their communities. Geographic coverage: Available in selected counties in 41 states. Application deadline is November 1.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens are to develop edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food. Application deadline is November 1.

Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Funding to develop and support Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) projects for volunteers 55 years and older in serving specific local and community needs in areas that currently do not have an RSVP grant. Application Deadline: Nov 7, 2018.

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program  Grants to promote the planning and development of rural healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2018.

–SAFER BRAND is offering funding to start a school garden with the goals of encouraging children to be active outside and to engage students in learning about nutrition and the environment. Deadline: 12/1/2018. Click here to visit the website for more information about this grant.

Farm to School Grant Program are to plan, establish, and/or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Application Deadline: Dec 4, 2018.

–Corporation for National and Community Service is offering funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities in 2019 include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education, and public safety. Deadline: Letter of Intent 12/12/2018 (optional); application 1/30/2019. Click here to review program guidelines.

Youth Garden Grant awards funding and gardening supplies to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs. Application Deadline: Dec 17, 2018.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $5,000 for projects that repair, modify, weatherize, or otherwise improve low-income and/or transitional housing or community facilities. Deadline to apply: 12/31/2018. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP)  provides funding to small rural hospitals, through their State Office of Rural Health, to help them do any or all of the following: purchase equipment or training to attain value-based payment and care goals; join or become an accountable care organization; and purchase health information technology, equipment, or training. Application Deadline: Jan 3, 2019.

–RURAL LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–BroadbandUSA is offering a webinar, “Federal Broadband Funding: Policies and Programs to Connect America” on October 17, 2018 at 02:00 PM EDT. Speakers will provide an overview of federal funding options to support increased broadband access in communities across the United States, and recent program and policy updates from officials representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). Click here to register.

Attend the Annual Minnesota Heartland Meeting in Thief River Falls, Oct. 18 The annual meeting of the Minnesota Heartland Association, the regional tourism association for Northwest and Central Minnesota, will take place in Thief River Falls on Thursday, Oct. 18.

–Oct. 22-24 – Eighth Annual Cyber Security Summit, Minneapolis Convention Center, More info and registration.

–Border to Border Broadband: Transforming Minnesota Oct 23-24. Join policymakers, economic and community development professionals and community broadband champions from across the state for this annual opportunity to learn, connect and engage. https://wp.me/p3if7-4E8

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington.

–Registration opens Wednesday for an upcoming conference about the financial, legal and planning challenges associated with redeveloping contaminated sites. DEED is sponsoring Brownfields and Beyond: 2018 MN Redevelopment Conference, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1-2, at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Visit the DEED website for more program details and registration information.

–Minnesota Venture Conference: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 at the Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown.  New format: The conference agenda will feature modules on hot technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and cyber security.

  • Thought leaders and industry experts will lead off each module followed by an investor panel discussion, wrapping with pitches by top start-up companies in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.
  • Investor panels will include venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate/strategic investors, academic institutional investors and federal funding resources.
  • Featured content will shine a spotlight on Minnesota’s tech hubs–medical, financial, ag, food, sports and advanced manufacturing industries.

Look for more opportunities to connect entrepreneurs, investors and service providers throughout the day.  Registration information at http://mnventure.org/

–MnSEIA Midwest Solar Conference dates change to Nov. 12-13!!  The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) will host the fifth-annual MnSEIA Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference on at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn. The conference will focus on the state of solar in Minnesota, the Midwest, and the nation. It will bring together solar industry practitioners from all over the country for education, networking, and MnSEIA’s plans to grow Minnesota’s solar market. To register and for more details, read more.

Register for the 2018 Minnesota Scenic Byway Workshop  The 2018 Scenic Byway Workshop will be held Nov.14-15 in Fergus Falls, hosted by the Otter Trail Scenic Byway.

–November 14 and 15 at the St. Paul RiverCentre is the MCN’s Annual Conference: Choosing Hope in Times of Disruption.

–Rural Health and Safety Education webinar series, “Combating Opioids,” is hosted by Purdue University Extension and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD). “Dreamland: America’s Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here” will be held December 7, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET. To join the webinar, click here.

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Location Announced Explore Minnesota is excited to announce the 2019 Tourism Conference will be held in Minnesota’s capital city, St. Paul, on Feb. 4-6, 2019.

–MN Campus Compact Summit and Presidents’ Awards Luncheon will be held April 10, 2019 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.  For more information go to: https://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

OPPORTUNITIES

–Rural Health Listening Sessions, 2018.  The purpose for our upcoming October rural health listening sessions—in Alexandria, , , Marshall and Waseca—is to gather information to inform our Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex) and other state Office of Rural Health and Primary Care projects. The Flex Program was created to improve access and quality, and focuses on Minnesota’s Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) as the hub of rural systems of care.

The target audience for these rural health listening sessions is anyone who works in, works with or uses rural health care. If you would like to attend or get more information, please contact: Emma Distel at 651-201-3528.

  • Wednesday, October 10 (11:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.)
    MN Agricultural Interpretive Center (MAIC) 7367—360th Avenue Waseca, MN 56093
  • Wednesday, October 24 (11:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.)
    Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center 300 South Bruce Street Marshall, MN 56258
  • Tuesday, October 30 (4:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.)
    Alomere Health (KFA Douglas County Hospital)111–17th Avenue East Alexandria, MN 56308

If you would like to attend or have further questions, please contact: Emma Distel at 651-201-3528.

–Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the 2019 Culture of Health Prize. Up to ten grants of $25,000 each will be awarded in recognition of outstanding community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Deadline: 11/1/2018 (Phase I applications). Click here to review guidelines and to apply.

Country Doctor of the Year Award  is to a physician who best exemplifies the spirit, skill, and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners. Application Deadline: Nov 15, 2018.

Proposals Sought for 2020 Governor’s Fishing Opener  Now in its 72nd year, the Governor’s Fishing Opener is an event established to promote our natural resources, uphold our fishing heritage and shine an intense media spotlight on our communities.

Bloomberg Fellows  is a fellowship for individuals who want to achieve a Master’s or PhD degree in Public Health, as well as on-the-ground training and experience. The program is looking for leaders working in the areas of addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health, and violence. Application deadline is December 30, 2018.

Native American Congressional Internship A summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Application Deadline: January 31, 2019.

Udall Scholarship  Scholarships for Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, self-governance, native health, or the environment. Application Deadline: March 7, 2019.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge  The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6-12. This September, LifeSmarts celebrates 25 years of empowering teens to become smart, savvy consumers. Each month, LifeSmarts focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Students compete online and in-person throughout the year to win scholarships and prizes. Experts in LifeSmarts subject areas are also needed to serve as judges and officials at the state and national competitions.

NGPF Nationwide Scholarship Contest Next Gen Personal Finance sponsors this scholarship contest for high school students. Ten $5,000 and numerous $500 Honorable Mention scholarships will be awarded nationwide.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Different Approaches to Rural Broadband in MN.  The City Pages features RS Fiber, Windomnet, Paul Bunyan and Lake Connections as rural broadband providers that have come up with innovative ways to get local residents the bandwidth they need. https://wp.me/p3if7-4Jh

Poverty declines in Twin Cities, stagnates in greater Minnesota

Poverty rates across the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota have been diverging in recent years. While the Twin Cities has seen sustained declines in poverty since 2014, greater Minnesota’s poverty rate has largely stagnated. See more data on poverty.

–Health insurance coverage drops slightly in 2017.  The latest Census data show a drop in the number of Minnesotans covered by health insurance in 2017. This comes at a time when various policy changes threaten Minnesotans’ ability to see a doctor or get their medication when they need it. In 2017, 4.4 percent of Minnesotans went without health insurance at some point during the year, compared to 4.1 percent last year. Minnesota has long worked towards all of us having affordable health care; we shouldn’t retreat from those goals.  http://www.minnesotabudgetbites.org/2018/09/12/new-census-data-highlights-minnesotas-long-term-progress-in-health-coverage-and-the-need-to-continue-to-invest/

–Minnesotans of color are left out of top-line economic gains shown in Census data.  The latest state-level Census data on Minnesota’s economy show the state continues to perform better than the nation in terms of economic well-being. In 2017, the income of the median Minnesota household increased to $68,388, more than $8,000 above the national level. The share of Minnesotans living in poverty, 9.5 percent, is also well below the national figure of 13.4 percent. http://www.minnesotabudgetbites.org/2018/09/13/more-new-census-data-shows-minnesotas-prosperity-isnt-reaching-all-minnesotans/

–A report from Pew Charitable Trusts, “About a Quarter of Rural Americans Say Access to High-Speed Internet Is a Major Problem,” shares the views of rural residents describing their access to high speed internet and the scope of the problem. Includes information on internet use, smartphone ownership, and home broadband by rurality. Click here to get the report.

–USDA Economic Research Service has published a collection of charts showing data on food insecurity in the pre-recession period of 2001-2007, the 2008-2009 recession, and the 2010-2017 post-recession period. It includes data for metropolitan and nonmetro areas. Click here to review the data. USDA has also published a report on household food security; click here to get the report.

–“Rental Housing for a 21st Century Rural America: A Platform for Preservation,” a report from Housing Assistance Council, indicates that significant numbers of Section 515 properties will no longer be affordable as the loans mature in the next few decades. Over 13,000 rental properties and 415,000 affordable units throughout rural America are financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Rural Rental Housing Loans program, Section 515. Many maturing Section 515 properties are located in markets, mostly in the South and Midwest that are either declining or growing rapidly, putting their affordability at risk.

The Opportunity Atlas  Interactive mapping tool that provides estimates for children’s future earnings, incarceration rates, and other outcomes in adulthood by parental income, race, and gender by census tract. For some low population census tracts, there may be insufficient data to allow for all features.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!

 

MN Rural Partners Rural Roundup September 2018: Info on grants, opportunities, events

SEPTEMBER 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 8
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD: Mast Year for Acorns. Bumper crop harbinger of other amazing occurrences?
by Jane Leonard

I just gotta say that it’s been a loud and busy summer out here in the Oak Savanna. Acorns started dropping mid-summer and are dropping again now, setting off unexpected & loud noises from roofs, gutters, metal-plated vehicles and happy squealing from squirrels and other creatures grateful to have a bumper crop for winter’s storehouse.

The trees somehow know every 3 to 5 to 7 years that they should/could overproduce (10,000 acorns from one mature tree — we have about a dozen such trees close to the house!). The overproduction allows for all the animals to have their food needs met, and for there to be enough seeds to survive and make it through germination to get the next generations of mighty oaks underway.

It makes me wonder if people came out like that in full force once in a regular while to invest in the precious but unseen future together. How might that set up a generation of progress for Minnesota’s humankind (and treekind, too!)?  You can find out this fall while the acorns drop. Find a Thriving by Design community meeting near you, or host one.  Several will soon be underway across the state later this month and into October. Check out www.thrivingbydesignmn.org for more information and then like a mast of acorns, drop by to plant seeds for our shared future.

And in the meantime, check out these web sites for more info on this acorn phenomena:
https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2018/08/31/good-question-nuts-acorns/     http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2018/08/why-are-there-so-many-acorns-this-year/

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Applications Open Aug. 1 for $11 Million in Legacy Grants  Groups that want to restore, protect or enhance public land or land permanently protected by conservation easements can apply for Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants that help pay for work on Minnesota prairies, forests, wetlands or other habitat for fish and wildlife. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to submit applications for traditional and metro grant cycles until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website at mndnr.gov/cpl.

Applicants may request up to $400,000 with a total project cost not exceeding $575,000. Projects also must have a 10 percent match from a source outside a state agency. Potential applicants are encouraged to review the request for proposal and the “how to apply” tab on the website, which guides users through the application process.  Questions can be directed to Jessica Lee, CPL grant program coordinator for the DNR, jessica.lee@state.mn.us or 651-259-5233.

–AARP Foundation has issued the following Requests for Applications (RFAs): The Increasing Social Connectedness for Older Adults RFA will support nonprofit organizations with innovative solutions to bring to scale proven approaches that increase social support and connectedness among low-income older adults. The Tackling Senior Food Insecurity RFA will support nonprofit organizations with innovative solutions to bring to scale proven approaches that increase food security for low-income older adults. The application deadline for both is 9/28/2018. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about each grant opportunity.

–USDA seeks applicants for Rural Broadband Access Loans https://wp.me/p3if7-4xT  Deadline is September 30th.

TARGET is accepting applications for a K-12 Field Trip Program. Grants of up to $700 will be awarded to educators interested in leading field trips for K-12 students. Deadline to apply: 10/1/2018. Click here to review application guidelines.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants through The Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program for programs that support community-based services aimed at improving the health status of children, adolescents, and families in rural and other underserved communities by increasing their access to health services. Deadline: 10/1/2018. Click here for funding guidelines.

2019 Tourism Marketing Grant Guidelines The new 2019 Tourism Marketing Grant Guidelines & Request for Funding forms are available on the Explore Minnesota industry site under “Ways to Get Involved.”  Due October 1, 2018.

Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program tis o support community-based child health projects that improve the health status of mothers, infants, children, and adolescents in rural and other underserved communities by increasing their access to health services. Application deadline is October 1.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund is seeking applications for its Rural Initiative Program in Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Wyoming, as well as the Rio Grande Valley, Deep East Texas, and the Brazos Valley regions of Texas. Through the Rural Initiative Program, the Fund supports efforts that will help to strengthen individual rural towns in the targeted states in a number of civic areas, including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location and support from a diverse cross-section of community members and institutions. Planning grants of up to $5,000 and implementation grants of up to $25,000 are provided. Deadline: 10/3/2018. Review specific grant guidelines and application procedures on the Fund’s website here.

Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for the School Garden Grant Program. Grants of $2,000 are available to help fund garden projects at public and private K-12 schools in the United States. Deadline: 10/15/2018. Click here to review funding guidelines and to apply.

The Laura Jane Musser Fund supports projects that promote mutual understanding and cooperation between groups of community members of different cultural backgrounds through the Intercultural Harmony Initiative. Project planning grants up to $5,000 or implementation grants up to $25,000 will be considered. New programs or projects in their first three years are eligible. Deadline: applications will be accepted online 9/17-10/17/2018. Projects in Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wyoming, and limited counties in Texas will be considered. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans  Financing and grant funding for agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements. An example of a potential project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs. Application Deadline: October 31, 2018.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project  Farmers enroll for a chance to direct $2,500 to local nonprofit organizations that are important to them and their communities. Geographic coverage: Available in selected counties in 41 states. Application deadline is November 1.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens are to develop edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food. Application deadline is November 1.

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program  Grants to promote the planning and development of rural healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole. Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2018.

Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $5,000 for projects that repair, modify, weatherize, or otherwise improve low-income and/or transitional housing or community facilities. Deadline to apply: 12/31/2018. Click here to review funding guidelines.

BNSF Railway Foundation Grants  to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Priority areas include health and human service organizations, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women’s and children’s aid, transitional shelters, hospitals, medical programs, and youth development programs.

— The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning (RCORP)initiative in FY 18. Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one–year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations. The initiative will focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being at risk, as well as other high risk rural communities. The lead applicant must be part of a group including at least three other partners that have committed to forming a consortium or are part of an established consortium. All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for–profit, will be eligible to apply and all services must be provided in rural communities. For more information please contact: Allison Hutchings.

–Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

SEARCH – Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households provides funding to financially distressed rural communities of less than 2,500 people to assist with feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Capital Funding for Rural Healthcare This guide has received its annual update. In addition to providing an overview of what capital funding is and how it can be useful for a rural organization, it also includes a number of grant and loan programs that support capital projects, discusses rules and eligibility for common funding programs, and touches on strategies for fundraising and finding funding opportunities.

— USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of 20,000 people or less. The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace. Time is limited to receive these funds. Qualified applicants have until the end of September 2018 to apply. Contact a USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist in your area today, to see if you qualify.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

September 17-18: 2018 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit  The 2018 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit will be held at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center. Presentations will explore how data and community indicators can increase understanding of issues, influence practices, support informed decisions about policies and programs, and track progress toward sustainable and equitable communities.

September 20: Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit at Bemidji State University. Learn more and register.

NDC will offer a course, “Catalyze Main Street Development” October 2-4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Understanding how to finance mixed-use development as a way to catalyze Main Street, energizing it with shopping, dining, culture, and entertainment, is critical for communities. Older districts have special opportunities for adaptive reuse-with buildings that are ideally suited to multiple uses (retail/office, residential/retail, etc.) in one structure. This course explores debt, equity and public/private financing tools available for Main Street redevelopment. Learn more and register by clicking here. Save up to 25 percent on remaining 2018 courses with promo code: NDC2018-15.

Register for the Minnesota Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus Annual Meeting & Conference  The Minnesota Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus 2018 Annual Meeting & Conference will be held Oct. 2-3 in St. Louis Park.

— The Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2018 Minnesota Hospitality Conference & Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. For more information, visit hospitalitymn.org/expo.

October 11: Annual Minnesota Policy Conference The Minnesota Policy Conference is the premiere opportunity for individuals from all sectors who are involved in policy work to gain insight into policy trends and solutions. Many current and former partners of Minnesota Compass will be presenting at the conference. This year’s program includes sessions about statewide approaches to affordable housing, philanthropy and public policy, fighting the opioid epidemic, mapping prejudice, and climate projections to aid local planning and implementation. Learn more and register.

–Oct. 22-24 – Eighth Annual Cyber Security Summit, Minneapolis Convention Center, More info and registration.   

Border to Border Broadband: Transforming Minnesota Oct 23-24. Join policymakers, economic and community development professionals and community broadband champions from across the state for this annual opportunity to learn, connect and engage. https://wp.me/p3if7-4E8

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington.

–Registration opens Wednesday for an upcoming conference about the financial, legal and planning challenges associated with redeveloping contaminated sites. DEED is sponsoring Brownfields and Beyond: 2018 MN Redevelopment Conference, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1-2, at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Visit the DEED website for more program details and registration information.

Save the date for Minnesota Venture Conference: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 at the Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown.  New format: The conference agenda will feature modules on hot technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and cyber security.

  • Thought leaders and industry experts will lead off each module followed by an investor panel discussion, wrapping with pitches by top start-up companies in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.
  • Investor panels will include venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate/strategic investors, academic institutional investors and federal funding resources.
  • Featured content will shine a spotlight on Minnesota’s tech hubs–medical, financial, ag, food, sports and advanced manufacturing industries.

Look for more opportunities to connect entrepreneurs, investors and service providers throughout the day.  Stay tuned for registration information at http://mnventure.org/

–MnSEIA Midwest Solar Conference dates change to Nov. 12-13!!  The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) will host the fifth-annual MnSEIA Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference on at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn. The conference will focus on the state of solar in Minnesota, the Midwest, and the nation. It will bring together solar industry practitioners from all over the country for education, networking, and MnSEIA’s plans to grow Minnesota’s solar market. To register and for more details, read more.

–November 14 and 15 at the St. Paul RiverCentre is the MCN’s Annual Conference: Choosing Hope in Times of Disruption.

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Location Announced Explore Minnesota is excited to announce the 2019 Tourism Conference will be held in Minnesota’s capital city, St. Paul, on Feb. 4-6, 2019.

OPPORTUNITIES

–Principal Community Scholars Nominate a community-minded student seeking a business-related degree for a $1,000 civic leadership scholarship. Nominations due Sept. 28.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the 2019 Culture of Health Prize. Up to ten grants of $25,000 each will be awarded in recognition of outstanding community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Deadline: 11/1/2018 (Phase I applications). Click here to review guidelines and to apply.

Country Doctor of the Year Award  Award to a physician who best exemplifies the spirit, skill, and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners. Application Deadline: Nov 15, 2018.

Bloomberg Fellows  is a fellowship for individuals who want to achieve a Master’s or PhD degree in Public Health, as well as on-the-ground training and experience. The program is looking for leaders working in the areas of addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health, and violence. Application deadline is December 30, 2018.

Native American Congressional Internship A summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Application Deadline: January 31, 2019.

Udall Scholarship  Scholarships for Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, self-governance, native health, or the environment. Application Deadline: March 7, 2019.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge  The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6-12. This September, LifeSmarts celebrates 25 years of empowering teens to become smart, savvy consumers. Each month, LifeSmarts focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Students compete online and in-person throughout the year to win scholarships and prizes. Experts in LifeSmarts subject areas are also needed to serve as judges and officials at the state and national competitions. This year’s competition begins on September 10.

NGPF Nationwide Scholarship Contest Next Gen Personal Finance sponsors this scholarship contest for high school students. Ten $5,000 and numerous $500 Honorable Mention scholarships will be awarded nationwide.

Openings on Explore Minnesota Tourism Council  The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has posted several open positions on the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council, including a statewide association representative for lodging/resorts.

MISCELLANEOUS

Crop insurance: Helping farmers, but not without consequences.  Higher federal subsidies have increased participation but driven program costs significantly higher.

Human Trafficking: A Rural Perspective Recorded webinar discussing data on the prevalence of human trafficking of rural children in their communities and schools. Covers risk factors and indicators. Describes promising and evidence-based prevention and intervention programs for rural communities and schools. Additional links: Download Video Recording

Insuring Rural America: Health Insurance Challenges and Opportunities 
Details a study focusing on the challenges of designing an insurance market that works in rural America. Looks at the needs of rural people and current health insurance policy.

Rural AAAs Structure and Services: Information & Planning Issue Brief 
Examines differences between rural and non-rural Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), using data from the 2016 AAA National Survey. Features statistics on budgets, budget sources, staff, structure, services, and participation in integrated care initiatives, with breakdowns by rural and non-rural location.

IdentityTheft.gov  This FTC website is the federal government’s one-stop resource to help people report and recover from identity theft. It is available in Spanish at www.robodeidentidad.gov.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!

JULY-AUGUST 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 7
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at: https://wp.me/pkVGJ-8a

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD:

ACROSS THE FIELD: Strengthening towns and regions through our shared humanity

In every MRP Rural Round-up we feature important funding opportunities across sectors and issues for rural areas and small towns. We are taking the extra step this month to spotlight one of the smaller philanthropic organizations in Minnesota that help communities gain strength thru support of cooperation and intercultural understanding. Our mailbox this month included an announcement of two such grant application openings from the Laura Jane Musser Fund, which was established by the estate of Laura Jane Musser of Little Falls, Minnesota, to continue the personal philanthropy which she practiced in her lifetime.

Thank you Laura Jane Musser Fund for your generosity and far-sightedness.

  • Through the Rural Initiative, the Laura Jane Musser Fund encourages collaborative and participatory efforts among residents in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer. Program planning grants up to $5,000 and program implementation grants up to $25,000 will be considered. Applications will be accepted online through the Fund’s website from September 4 – October 3, 2018.
  • Through the Intercultural Harmony Initiative, the Laura Jane Musser Fund supports projects that promote mutual understanding and cooperation between groups of community members of different cultural backgrounds. Project planning grants up to $5,000 or implementation grants up to $25,000 will be considered. New programs or projects in their first three years are eligible. Applications will be accepted online through the Fund’s website from September 17 – October 17, 2018.

The complete guidelines are available at http://www.musserfund.org.

 

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

— The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced a new grant program to fund the construction of 50 KW fast charging stations for electric vehicles. The grants are for 80% of the cost of a project up to $70,000. Entities such as hotels, restaurants, resorts, and convention and visitor bureaus are eligible, as are local units of government. The application deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 2:30 p.m.  For more information go to: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/ev-fast-charging-station-grants

Firehouse Subs First Responder Grants  for life-saving equipment and prevention education tools for first responders and public safety organizations. The Foundation recognizes the needs of rural and volunteer departments throughout the country and will consider their applications despite not being within 60 miles of a Firehouse Subs restaurant. Application deadline is August 30.

–The MPCA released the second Request for Proposal (RFP) for electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations using Volkswagen settlement funds. The purpose of the grant is to reduce air pollution by expanding access to EV charging across the state. The RFP makes available $158,625 to install Level 2 charging stations in Minnesota. These are charging stations used at businesses, public buildings, and multiple-unit dwellings. (A separate RFP for EV fast-charging stations along highway corridors was released earlier this month.)  This amount would fund about 45 Level 2 stations.

Visit the EV Charging Station Grant webpage to learn more about this grant opportunity and download the application forms. All questions should be submitted to grants.pca@state.mn.us using “EV Level 2 charging” in the subject line. Answers to questions will be posted in the Questions and Answers tab on the webpage.

Additional grants for EV and diesel vehicle replacement projects using VW settlement funds will be forthcoming over the next year. To learn more about Minnesota’s plan for VW settlement funds, visit our website and sign up for VW settlement-related emails.Grant proposal submissions are due September 5, 2018.

Foundation for Rural Service Grant Program  Grants for rural communities in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications, with a priority for broadband enabled, technology focused projects. Application Deadline: September 15, 2018.

AARP Foundation has issued the following Requests for Applications (RFAs): The Increasing Social Connectedness for Older Adults RFA will support nonprofit organizations with innovative solutions to bring to scale proven approaches that increase social support and connectedness among low-income older adults. The Tackling Senior Food Insecurity RFA will support nonprofit organizations with innovative solutions to bring to scale proven approaches that increase food security for low-income older adults. The application deadline for both is 9/28/2018. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about each grant opportunity.

–USDA seeks applicants for Rural Broadband Access Loans https://wp.me/p3if7-4xT  Deadline is September 30th.

2019 Tourism Marketing Grant Guidelines The new 2019 Tourism Marketing Grant Guidelines & Request for Funding forms are available on the Explore Minnesota industry site under “Ways to Get Involved.”  Due October 1, 2018.

Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program tis o support community-based child health projects that improve the health status of mothers, infants, children, and adolescents in rural and other underserved communities by increasing their access to health services. Application deadline is October 1.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities Project  Farmers enroll for a chance to direct $2,500 to local nonprofit organizations that are important to them and their communities. Geographic coverage: Available in selected counties in 41 states. Application deadline is November 1.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens are to develop edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food. Application deadline is November 1.

BNSF Railway Foundation Grants  to organizations that operate near a BNSF railway line. Priority areas include health and human service organizations, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women’s and children’s aid, transitional shelters, hospitals, medical programs, and youth development programs.

— The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning (RCORP)initiative in FY 18. Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one–year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations. The initiative will focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being at risk, as well as other high risk rural communities. The lead applicant must be part of a group including at least three other partners that have committed to forming a consortium or are part of an established consortium. All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for–profit, will be eligible to apply and all services must be provided in rural communities. For more information please contact: Allison Hutchings.

–Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

SEARCH – Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households provides funding to financially distressed rural communities of less than 2,500 people to assist with feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Capital Funding for Rural Healthcare This guide has received its annual update. In addition to providing an overview of what capital funding is and how it can be useful for a rural organization, it also includes a number of grant and loan programs that support capital projects, discusses rules and eligibility for common funding programs, and touches on strategies for fundraising and finding funding opportunities.

— USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of 20,000 people or less. The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace. Time is limited to receive these funds. Qualified applicants have until the end of September 2018 to apply. Contact a USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist in your area today, to see if you qualify.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

2019 Affordable Housing Plan Webinar will be Tuesday, August 28 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

–The Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is hosting a series of two online webinars on Disaster Preparation and Recovery. The webinars will cover why disasters are important for housing counseling; the potential effects of disasters on communities, agencies and counselors; and the six areas in which housing counseling has played a key role in disaster recovery to help participants gain a broad understanding of the agency disaster preparation and recovery role, including pre-disaster agency planning, identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders, and recognizing opportunities for disaster recovery housing counseling services. The webinars will take place on September 11 and September 13, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM EDT. Learn more about the webinars and register here.

September 17-18: 2018 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit  The 2018 Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit will be held at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center. Presentations will explore how data and community indicators can increase understanding of issues, influence practices, support informed decisions about policies and programs, and track progress toward sustainable and equitable communities.

September 20: Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit at Bemidji State University

Learn more and register.

Register for the Minnesota Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus Annual Meeting & Conference  The Minnesota Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus 2018 Annual Meeting & Conference will be held Oct. 2-3 in St. Louis Park.

— The Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2018 Minnesota Hospitality Conference & Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. For more information, visit hospitalitymn.org/expo.

Border to Border Broadband: Transforming Minnesota Oct 23-24. Join policymakers, economic and community development professionals and community broadband champions from across the state for this annual opportunity to learn, connect and engage. https://wp.me/p3if7-4E8

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington.

Save the date for Minnesota Venture Conference: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 at the Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown.  New format: The conference agenda will feature modules on hot technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and cyber security.

  • Thought leaders and industry experts will lead off each module followed by an investor panel discussion, wrapping with pitches by top start-up companies in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.
  • Investor panels will include venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate/strategic investors, academic institutional investors and federal funding resources.
  • Featured content will shine a spotlight on Minnesota’s tech hubs–medical, financial, ag, food, sports and advanced manufacturing industries.

Look for more opportunities to connect entrepreneurs, investors and service providers throughout the day.  Stay tuned for registration information at http://mnventure.org/

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) will host the fifth-annual MnSEIA Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference on Nov. 13-14 at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn. The conference will focus on the state of solar in Minnesota, the Midwest, and the nation. It will bring together solar industry practitioners from all over the country for education, networking, and MnSEIA’s plans to grow Minnesota’s solar market. To register and for more details, read more.

–November 14 and 15 at the St. Paul RiverCentre is the MCN’s Annual Conference: Choosing Hope in Times of Disruption.

OPPORTUNITIES

–Deadline is August 30 for the 2019 Bush Fellowship

Rural Health Fellows Program  A year-long, intensive fellowship program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application deadline: August 30, 2018.

—  Nominate Your Town as the Best in Minnesota  Following Bemidji’s win in 2017, the second-annual “Best MN Town” search is launching Aug. 1. From small villages to large cities, Minnesota Monthly is looking to find and celebrate the town that best embodies the spirit of Minnesota. Entries will be accepted online at BestMNTown.com under the tab “Town Portal.” When prompted, enter the code BMT18. The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. CST on Friday, Aug. 31. There is no fee to enter or to win.

Important note: Only one official civic representative may submit the entry. After Aug. 31, the editorial team of Minnesota Monthly will narrow the entries down to 10 finalists. Then, a panel of notable Minnesotans as well as a public vote will select four finalists and one winner. Those five towns will be notified by Nov. 1 and invited to attend the “Best of Minnesota” party on Dec. 5, where the 2018 Best MN Town winner will be announced.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application deadline is August 31.

USDA Invites Comments on the Implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting comments through Monday, September 10, 2018 on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program. This program aims to catalyze private investment and expand broadband access in unserved rural areas of the country. Feedback is sought specifically on ways of evaluating a household’s “sufficient access” to broadband of adequate speed, how service affordability should be factored in, best ways to verify broadband speeds, and best indicators of potential project benefits for rural industries using readily available public data.

Bloomberg Fellows  is a fellowship for individuals who want to achieve a Master’s or PhD degree in Public Health, as well as on-the-ground training and experience. The program is looking for leaders working in the areas of addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health, and violence. Application deadline is December 30, 2018.

Rural PREP Travel Support  A travel support program for individuals presenting at regional/multi-state, national, and international meetings held within the United States with the primary purpose of disseminating rural health professions education research and scholarship.

–Great River Energy offers energy management program for farmers.  Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), Great River Energy (GRE) is offering Energy Wise for your Farm, a program for all types of agricultural producers who are members of the 28 electric cooperatives served by GRE. The program provides farmers with an energy efficiency management program to identify and prioritize energy efficiency opportunities. It covers 75% of the cost for a farm energy audit and provides a comprehensive energy management plan tailored to the farmer’s needs. Rebates and other incentives to help pay for the energy improvements may be available through the farmer’s cooperative. Read more (pdf) or call 800-441-8525 for more information.

–The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) offers a program called “Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota” that offers custom project assistance and tools to farmers and rural small businesses that are interested in pursuing renewable energy projects. The program explores project options, identifies potential funding and financing options, and provides one-on-one assistance. Learn more.

MISCELLANEOUS

The lower 48 U.S. states are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle. Here’s how America uses all that land to feed itself, power the economy and extract value for business and pleasure.

Choose your data adventure: Build Your Own data profile! Learn about four ways you can build, draw, and compare data profiles using the new Minnesota Compass Build Your Own data tool. Read more.

–Minnesota Compass Research shares key regional strengths and challenges identified by participants of the statewide Minnesota Compass listening sessions last fall. Read now.

Current Indicators of Farm Sector Financial Health  Errata: On July 26, 2018, the Amber Waves article “Current Indicators of Farm Sector Financial Health” was reposted to correct data for farm sector net cash income in the first sentence of the fourth paragraph. The first chart was also corrected.

–The Minneapolis Fed’s CD360 Notebook blog is where you’ll find timely briefs on community development research, events, and other happenings. Check out the latest CD360 Notebook posts, which explore the demographics of Opportunity Zones; the effects of education on racial gaps in employment, income, and wealth; and the question, Is college still worth it? Read more

–Preview: Investing in America’s Workforce a chapter of a forthcoming Federal Reserve System book on workforce development is available to preview. In “Results and Returns from Public Investments in Employment and Training,” the role of the public workforce development system in job training is discussed. The chapter is from Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers, which will be released on November 9. Link

It’s an Addiction Crisis: Across Minnesota, the “Opioid Crisis” Is so Much More than Just Opioids   Details the opioid crisis in the state of Minnesota. Includes statistics on overdose deaths and treatment admissions for alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, and other opiates. Covers hospital addition costs and workforce issues posing a barrier to access in rural areas. Reviews three rural community models working to address substance abuse.

Opioid Misuse Resource Map Presents a map of the U.S. which details the opioid resources available by state. Features programs providing emergency services, treatment, and prevention.

RHIHub has published a guide, “Rural Response to the Opioid Crisis.” This new topic guide identifies rural-specific initiatives and funding opportunities, program examples, and tools and resources focused on prevention, harm reduction, and treatment, to help address this crisis in rural communities. Get the guide here.

USDA has launched an interactive map of opioid epidemic resources. Visitors can use an interactive map to learn about, access or replicate actions rural leaders are taking in small towns across the country to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment and recovery opportunities. The interactive map can be viewed here.

–Carsey School of Public Policy has released “The Opioid Crisis in Rural and Small Town America.” The report provides data on opioid mortality rates in 2016 and changes in opioid mortality from 1999 through 2016 for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties. It also provides metropolitan and nonmetropolitan data on drug overdoses by type of opioid- heroin, prescription opioids, synthetic opioids, and unspecified opioids-from 1999 through 2016. Get the report here.

–Introducing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook, a production sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation to advance its mission to develop a new model for inclusive economic development. The draft is here.

–“Growing Up Rural in America” is a report by Save the Children on the state of childhood in rural America. It details challenges rural children face, such as growing up in poverty, adolescent pregnancy, and access to food, and features rural-urban comparisons and state-by-state data. Get the report here.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!

 

JUNE 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 6
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD:

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

–The MPCA is releasing the first Request for Proposal (RFP) under the Minnesota VW Settlement Diesel Replacement Program. The RFP is for grants of $15,000 or $20,000 to school bus owners or their representatives around the state to replace old diesel school buses with new diesel, natural gas, propane or electric school buses.  There is a total of $2,115,000 available under this grant opportunity.

Grants will be awarded based on selection criteria that include emissions reduction, cost effectiveness, health effects, and environmental justice ramifications. Please visit the School Bus Replacement Grant webpage to learn more about this grant opportunity and download application forms.  This is the first grant opportunity under this new program.  Additional grants for a variety of other diesel vehicle replacement projects will be forthcoming in the near future.  To learn more about Minnesota’s plan for VW settlement funds, visit our website.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Provides funding to help nonprofit housing and community development intermediary organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Application Deadline: June 25, 2018.

New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program  Tax incentives for investments in business or economic development projects in distressed rural or urban counties, including capital investments in healthcare facilities. Investors give to Community Development Entities who then offer low-interest financing to businesses; in return for their investment, investors receive a tax credit against their federal income tax.  Application Deadline: June 28, 2018

–The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced the availability of $330,000 in shooting range grants to build or improve trap, skeet, rifle, pistol or five-stand shooting ranges in the state. The application period closes June 29.

Shooting clubs that allow members of the public to shoot at reasonable times and for a reasonable fee are eligible for the grants, which require a one-to-one match.

There are two levels of grants available: small grants, which are between $2,500 and $25,000, and large grants, which are above $25,000. All grantees must verify current female participation data and show an intent to improve future diversity opportunities.

–The National Park Service announces that it is now taking applications for community assistance in planning park, trail and conservation projects through its Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Apply by June 30 to receive technical assistance with project elements, such as: park and trail planning, visioning and goal setting, partnership building, organizational development, resource analysis, community outreach, facilitation, priority setting, consensus building, and developing funding strategies. If accepted, your project team will receive assistance for a year or more from an experienced Outdoor Recreation Planner at no cost.
Click here for more information, or contact holly_larson@nps.gov or 651-293-8444.

–Charles A. Frueauff Foundation awards grants in the areas of education, human services, and health. Specific project initiatives include food and hunger; economic development; daycare programs; hospital and healthcare agencies; health screenings; health education; AIDS/HIV prevention and education; and equipment for healthcare facilities. Deadline: 7/1/2018. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

–The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), a joint initiative between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, is offering grants to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and school districts involved in youth baseball or softball to finance a new program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for youth baseball or softball programs. Grants average $40,000. Deadline: 7/1/2018. Visit the BTF website here to learn more about the grant criteria and application process.

–Department of Justice is offering grants to expand/enhance access to opioid prevention among youth. Deadline: 7/2/2018. Click here for application materials.

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program  Secured, direct loans and loan guarantees for eligible water infrastructure projects, with 15% of funds set aside for small, rural, and tribal communities.  Application Deadline: July 6, 2018. Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

–The Home Depot Foundation is offering grants to nonprofit organizations through the Veteran Housing Grants Program for the new construction or rehabilitation of multifamily, permanent supportive housing, and transitional facilities for veterans. Grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 are available solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans (hard costs), and the grant amount must comprise less than 50 percent of the total development cost of the project. Nonprofit organizations that have been in existence at least five years and have a current operating budget of at least $300,000 are eligible to apply. Deadline: 7/13/2018. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the funding guidelines and take the online eligibility quiz.

–Minnesota Innovation Loans for Entrepreneurs (MILE) was launched by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).  It is a new competitive loan program for high-tech startups based in Minnesota, with interest-free loans ranging from $20,000 to $50,000, which require a one-to-one match from another funder and are to be repaid within four years. Apply for first round of loans by July 16. More info is here.

Vulnerable Rural Hospitals Assistance Program  Funding for a single entity to provide targeted in-depth assistance to vulnerable rural hospitals within communities that are struggling to maintain healthcare services. Application Deadline: July 16, 2018

BUILD Discretionary Grants for capital investments in unmet surface transportation infrastructure needs with an emphasis on rural areas and tribal lands.  Deadline: July 19, 2018.

–USDA is seeking applications for grants under the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant program. The purpose of this program is to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives and cooperative development centers. This program supports Rural Development’s mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to direct agency resources to those who most need them. A socially-disadvantaged group is one whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. A majority of the applicant’s board of directors or governing board must be comprised of individuals who are members of socially-disadvantaged groups.

For FY 2018, USDA plans to award up to $3 million in grants. The maximum grant award is $175,000. Grants may be used to develop and operate a Rural Cooperative Development Center that could provide the following technical assistance and other services to rural businesses:

  • Conducting feasibility studies
  • Developing business plans
  • Providing leadership and operational improvement training

Paper applications are due July 30, 2018. Electronic applications are due July 24, 2018. Questions about the application process may be directed to your local Rural Development Area Office.  For more information, see page 24719 of the May 30 Federal Register or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.

–USDA is seeking applications for grants under USDA’s Rural Cooperative Development Grant program (RCDG).  This program helps improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses. Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. Public bodies, for-profit business and individuals are not eligible. USDA expects to award up to $5.8 million for FY 2018.

The maximum grant award is $200,000. Grants may be used to develop and operate a Rural Cooperative Development Center that could provide the following technical assistance and other services to rural businesses:

  • Conducting feasibility studies
  • Developing business plans
  • Providing leadership and operational improvement training

Questions about the application process may be directed to your local Rural Development Area Office. Paper applications are due July 30, 2018.  Electronic applications are due July 24, 2018. For more information, see page 24726 of the May 30 Federal Register or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.

–National Endowment for the Arts is supporting creative placemaking projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes through its Our Town grants program. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life for existing residents through arts engagement, cultural planning, design, and/or artist/creative industry support, or to build and disseminate knowledge about how to leverage arts, culture, and design as mechanisms for strengthening communities. All applications require partnerships that involve at least two primary partners: a nonprofit organization and a local governmental entity. One of the two primary partners must be a cultural (arts or design) organization. Our Town offers matching grants starting at $25,000 for Place-Based and Knowledge Building projects. Deadlines: submit SF-424 by 8/9/2018; submit materials to Applicant Portal 8/14-21/2018. Click here to learn more and apply.

— USDA’s Direct Home Loan Program offers financing to qualified very-low and low-income applicants that are unable to qualify for traditional financing. No down payment is required, and the interest rate could be as low as one percent with a subsidy. Applicants must meet income and credit guidelines and demonstrate repayment ability. The program is available in rural communities of 20,000 people or less. The maximum loan amount for repair is $20,000 at a one percent interest rate, repayable for a 20-year term and can be used to improve or modernize homes and do essential repairs. Grants of up to $7,500 are available to homeowners 62 and older and must be used to remove health or safety hazards, such as fixing a leaking roof, installing indoor plumbing, or replacing a furnace. Time is limited to receive these funds. Qualified applicants have until the end of September 2018 to apply. Contact a USDA Rural Development Housing Specialist in your area today, to see if you qualify.

–USDA seeks applicants for Rural Broadband Access Loans https://wp.me/p3if7-4xT  Deadline is September 30th.

— The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning (RCORP)initiative in FY 18. Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one–year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations. The initiative will focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being at risk, as well as other high risk rural communities. The lead applicant must be part of a group including at least three other partners that have committed to forming a consortium or are part of an established consortium. All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for–profit, will be eligible to apply and all services must be provided in rural communities. For more information please contact: Allison Hutchings.

–Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

SEARCH – Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households provides funding to financially distressed rural communities of less than 2,500 people to assist with feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–The 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Conference – Community: The heart of health – is dedicated to our rural community citizens, advocates, organizations and rural health systems. The theme is inspired by rural communities working together to ensure healthy communities. This year’s conference will be held June 25–26 in Duluth. Conference registration has opened

–Thriving by Design – Rural & Urban Together, to create the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint – June 27-29, 2018, Prairie’s Edge Casino & Resort, Granite Falls, MN. Shorthand names: RU Together MN, Granite Gathering.  For more info contact jane@growthandjustice.org or brett1mn@gmail.com   and go to: http://www.growthandjustice.org/thriving-by-design

— The Community Solar Power Summit will be held July 18-19 at the Radisson Blu Downtown Minneapolis. The Summit, produced by the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), brings together leading community solar businesses, utilities, nonprofits, and policymakers for a two-day event featuring in-depth conversations with national community solar leaders from CCSA, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and other industry leaders. Read more.

–The second webinar in the 2018 Rural Behavioral Health Webinar Series: “The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children and Youth in Rural Communities-How Schools and Communities are Responding” will be held July 19, 3:00-4:30 PM EDT. Click here to register in July.

–The Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is hosting a series of two online webinars on Disaster Preparation and Recovery. The webinars will cover why disasters are important for housing counseling; the potential effects of disasters on communities, agencies and counselors; and the six areas in which housing counseling has played a key role in disaster recovery to help participants gain a broad understanding of the agency disaster preparation and recovery role, including pre-disaster agency planning, identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders, and recognizing opportunities for disaster recovery housing counseling services. The webinars will take place on September 11 and September 13, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM EDT. Learn more about the webinars and register here.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) will host the fifth-annual MnSEIA Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference on Nov. 13-14 at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington, Minn. The conference will focus on the state of solar in Minnesota, the Midwest, and the nation. It will bring together solar industry practitioners from all over the country for education, networking, and MnSEIA’s plans to grow Minnesota’s solar market. To register and for more details, read more.

Border to Border Broadband: Transforming Minnesota Oct 23-24
Join policymakers, economic and community development professionals and community broadband champions from across the state for this annual opportunity to learn, connect and engage. https://wp.me/p3if7-4D6

OPPORTUNITIES

–Each year, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits seeks nominations for individuals to represent their communities and serve on the MCN board of directors. Leaders of MCN member nonprofit organizations are encouraged to nominate themselves or a colleague for a board position.

Nominations are now open, and MCN’s board nominating committee is seeking at least five candidates for nominated for three open positions. Voting will open in October. Three-year terms for the newly elected board members will start in January 2019.Hurry and nominate yourself or a colleague now – nominations close on July 27, 2018!

–2018 Tekne Awards – The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) announced categories for our 19th Annual Tekne Awards. Applications will be accepted until August 3, with the Tekne Awards ceremony to be held November 29.

Tekne Awards recognize the leaders in Minnesota’s innovation economy and cutting-edge innovators in science and technology. The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in discovering new technologies that educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world.

2018 Tekne Award categories are:

  • Biotech/Pharmaceuticals
  • Building Design and Infrastructure
  • Clean Tech/Energy
  • Community Impact
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Food/Ag Tech
  • Health IT
  • IT Solutions Consulting
  • Medical Device
  • Science & Technology Startup
  • Software—Established
  • Software—Small and Growing
  • STEM Workforce Development

Learn more.  Also, on June 20 at 9 a.m. there is a Tekne Award Webinar.  MHTA will be hosting a webinar to provide advice and answer your questions on award categories, eligibility, important dates and more. A past award recipient and Tekne judge will also provide their perspectives. Register here for the webinar.

Smart Rural Community Showcase Award honors rural communities that have achieved high levels of broadband activity and have used it to support innovative practices in industry sectors, such as healthcare, safety and security, and economic development. Application deadline is July 1, 2018.

NTIA: Improving the Quality and Accuracy of Broadband Availability Data  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is requesting comment on ways to improve the quality and accuracy of broadband availability data, particularly in rural areas. Information will be used to identify gaps in availability which can then be used to improve policymaking and inform public investments. Comments are due by July 16, 2018.

–Educational Research Center of America is calling on high school students to present original ideas which address a pressing need in their community. First place will receive $5,000, two runners up will receive $2,500, and 15 students will receive $1,000 to be used for higher education expenses. Deadline: 7/25/2018. Submit your idea here.

–Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2019 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. This event is held annually and is coordinated by Explore Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a host community/tourism organization. Event dates are Oct. 11-12, 2019 and will mark the opener’s ninth year. This year’s opener is being held in Luverne.

Proposals will be accepted from community organizations such as chambers of commerce, convention and visitors bureaus, or a committee formed specifically for the event. A specially formed committee must show documentation of active support from local organizations. Extensive community involvement and support is necessary for a successful event.

All proposals must be received by Wednesday, August 1. For information about the Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener and to receive a copy of the proposal guidelines, please contact Lisa Havelka at 507-389-2683 or lisa.havelka@state.mn.us.

Rural Health Fellows Program  A year-long, intensive fellowship program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application deadline: August 30, 2018.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application deadline is August 31.

Rural PREP Travel Support  A travel support program for individuals presenting at regional/multi-state, national, and international meetings held within the United States with the primary purpose of disseminating rural health professions education research and scholarship.

MISCELLANEOUS

What Unites and Divides Urban, Suburban and Rural Communities  Report highlights different outcomes and opinions of people in rural, suburban, and urban communities on a number of topics, including demographic shifts, urgent problems, and life satisfaction, among others. Features demographic data, a county level breakdown, and a case study highlighting a rural, suburban, and urban county.  Additional links: Full Report

–The Walton Family Foundation published a report featuring case studies of how smaller communities in the Heartland have outperformed communities in other parts of the nation. “Micropolitan Success Stories from the Heartland” examines five micropolitan areas that are experiencing strong economic growth, and explores the ingredients of their success and how the achievements are combined to form unique economic recipes. Get the report by clicking here.

–The Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report that identifies recreation, which makes up a bigger share of the U.S. economy than agriculture or mining, as a critical engine for the national economy, and highlights rural communities and small business owners as a key ingredient in the growing economic engine. Read more about the report and the economic potential for this industry in rural communities in the Daily Yonder article here.

Rural Response to the Opioid Crisis This new topic guide identifies rural-specific initiatives and funding opportunities, program examples, and tools and resources focused on prevention, harm reduction, and treatment, to help address this crisis in your rural community.

Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit This toolkit, created in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and the University of Minnesota’s Rural Health Research Center, has received an update. It is designed to help organizations identify and implement sustainable health promotion programs in their rural communities.

Providing Access to Mental Health Services for Children in Rural Areas  Policy brief discussing options for improving access to mental health services for rural children, including telemedicine, integration of behavioral health and primary care, and school-based care. Features three brief case studies.

Preventing Suicide In Rural America  Policy brief focused on rural suicide prevention. Provides an overview of rural suicide rates and key suicide risk factors for rural residents. Identifies policy options for preventing suicide in rural areas and includes two brief case studies.

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2018  Provides a national and state-by-state overview of population health for older adults across 34 measures, as well as two supplemental measures new in 2018: suicide rate and risk of social isolation. Includes a special focus on persistent health disparities and challenges facing rural seniors.
Additional links: Executive Summary

CMS Announces Agency’s First Rural Health Strategy The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their first Rural Health Strategy. This agency-wide strategy is intended to provide a proactive approach to healthcare issues to ensure access to high quality, affordable healthcare by applying a rural lens to CMS programs and policies, advancing telehealth, improving access through provider engagement and support, empowering rural patients to make decisions about their healthcare, and leveraging partnerships to achieve these goals. A fact sheet is also available.

Mobility & Aging in Rural America: The Role for Innovation Outlines challenges facing older people, people with disabilities, and people in areas with few mobility options. Includes a section on funding strategies for rural transit. Describes successful programs, defines mobility as a social determinant of health, and explores approaches for improvement, including new partnerships with healthcare providers and telehealth.

–Introducing Fed Small Business  Check out FedSmallBusiness.org, a new website featuring small business research and analysis from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, including findings from the annual Small Business Credit Survey.

–Explore more from the Fed. Looking for more information on community development issues and best practices? Connect to hundreds of resources from the Federal Reserve System at FedCommunities.org, an online portal that can be browsed by Federal Reserve District, resource type, or topic.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!

MAY 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 5
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Access the newsletter online

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD:  Help Minnesota Thrive by Design: Rural, Urban, Suburban, Exurban, Micropolitan & Metropolitan — all pulling together for shared sustainable prosperity

Join us at the Upper Sioux Community Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort and in the City of Granite Falls, June 27-29, for Thriving by Design – Rural & Urban Together, to help create the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint. Get current overviews of the state of our state. Get updates on essentials to community and economic vigor such as broadband & other physical infrastructure, childcare, small business development, education & workforce, water quality, arts, health care, the environment and more. Then, with your neighbors from across Minnesota, start assembling the Equity Blueprint, a next-generation inclusive community & economic development policy agenda based on equity as the smart growth strategy, to propel Minnesota and Minnesotans towards shared, sustainable prosperity.

Co-hosts Growth & Justice and OneMN.org and their planning team have gathered topnotch speakers and presentations, including some of the most knowledgeable people in the region on our demographic and economic disparities, and how to fix them.  Among them: Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey; State Demographer Susan Brower; Cornelia Flora Butler, co-creator of the Community Capitals Framework and a highly respected expert in rural community development; and Craig Helmstetter, managing director of the American Public Media Research Lab.  Kate Searls, Research Director at Growth & Justice, will give an update on rural urban economic linkages. The Theater of Public Policy troupe will be in residence and presenting a show on June 28.  Most importantly, hear from folks who have devised local & regional solutions to the thorny issues and waiting opportunities of our time and into the future. Out of this “data download,” attendees will begin creating a comprehensive new policy framework — a unifying “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint’’ — a social contract to heal our divisions and help us strive for more equitable economic growth and climate action over the next decade.

We need you there!   Registration is open!  Registration is $195 for the entire June 27 to June 29 gathering, including 6 meals. Or register for one day, Data Download Day, June 28, for $100. Registration options include participating as an official delegate to this Equity Blueprint gathering in June and in the follow-up six-month blueprint development process, or, sign up as a general participant for the June gathering only.   Those who sign up as delegates are eligible for scholarships to help support the costs of participation.

Please spread the word, even if you cannot attend.  The Blandin Foundation and the McKnight Foundation are helping to underwrite the conference and the community convening process. (Sponsorship opportunities are still available!) The League of Minnesota Cities and the MN Association of Development Organizations are also partners, along with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

USDA Rural Utilities Service has announced the availability of funding through the Community Connect Broadband Grant Program which provides grants for communities without broadband service to provide residential and business broadband services and connect facilities via broadband facilities such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries, and schools. Deadline: 5/14/2018. Click here to review application guidelines.

— Minnesota Housing and its partners are pleased to announce the availability of funding to build and preserve affordable housing across Minnesota.  Visit the Minnesota Housing website for applications and instructions for the Consolidated 2018 Multifamily and Single Family Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and 2019 Housing Tax Credits (HTC).  Applications must be received by Minnesota Housing by the following due dates to be eligible for funding consideration:

  • Preservation Pre-Application: May 15, 2018 by 4:30 p.m.
  • Intent to Apply (required for all Multifamily applicants): May 31, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.
  • 2018 Single Family RFP: June 12, 2018 by 12:00 Noon
  • 2018 Multifamily RFP/2019 Housing Tax Credits Round 1: June 14, 2018 by 5:00 p.m.

All funding recommendations must be approved by the Minnesota Housing board. Funding partner proposal recommendations will be made at their respective board meetings.

AARP Community Challenge  Grants for projects that work to improve livability for all residents of a community. Application Deadline: May 16, 2018.

— Apply now for a clean air grant to reduce VOCs! MPCA grant funding is now open for cost-effective projects that reduce volatile organic compound emissions (VOCs) in a range of Minnesota-based organizations. VOCs come from solvents, inks, coatings, cleaners, and vehicles as well as process or maintenance equipment used every day across the state. Using alternatives can save money and protect employee and community health.
Eligible applicants:

  • Small businesses under 500 employees (e.g. manufacturers, printers, industrial finishers, automotive, metal casting, etc.)
  • Governmental agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Non-profits
  • Trade groups
  • Associations

The maximum grant award is $24,000 with a 50% required match. The most cost-effective projects will score highest. Special consideration will be given for innovative projects from targeted applicants in environmental justice and highly urbanized areas. Deadline May 18, 2018.  To review grant materials, frequently asked questions, and the short two-page application, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/voc. Send RFP or application questions to grants.pca@state.mn.us  If you need help developing a VOC-reducing project or calculating the cost-effectiveness or impact of your project, contact Matt Domski, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program, 612-624-5119 or domsk004@umn.edu.

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program provides funding to community-based, outreach education and extension programs at land-grant colleges and universities that provide individuals and families based in rural areas with information on health, wellness, and prevention, including the prevention and reduction of opioid misuse and abuse.  Application Deadline: May 24, 2018.

BEST BUY is offering grants through its Community Grants Program provides support to community-based organizations that are located within 25 miles of a Best Buy facility. Grants focus on out-of-school time programs that create access to technology education and tools that teens will need to be successful in their future schooling and careers. Programs should include hands-on learning opportunities and engage the youth, ages 13-18, in experimenting and interacting with the latest technologies to build 21st century skills. Deadline: 5/31/2018. Click here to visit the program’s website for application guidelines.

Innovations in Accessible Mobility  Grants for innovative projects that increase accessible transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities. Application Deadline: May 31, 2018.

The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation Homeownership Counseling Grant Program supports local nonprofit housing organizations nationwide that help create affordable and sustainable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. The program focuses on homebuyer counseling, homebuyer education, and foreclosure prevention activities. Deadline: requests may be submitted from 6/1/2018 through 6/30/2018. Visit the Wells Fargo website here for more information about the program.

Department of Defense is offering funding through the Wounded Warrior Service Dog Program for programs that provide assistance dogs to service members or veterans with disabilities. Deadline: 6/4/2018. Click here for more information and to apply.

— Minnesota Housing and the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness are pleased to announce the anticipated availability of funds for the Homework Starts with Home program.  This initiative will support collaborative efforts between schools, housing organizations, and local governments to identify, engage, and stabilize students experiencing homelessness and their families. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 4, 2018.  Learn more about this opportunity

Applications due on June 4th for USDA RUS Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Programhttps://wp.me/p3if7-4yj  The program helps rural communities use capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, the program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or healthcare through telecommunications including: most state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes, non-profits, for–profit businesses, and consortia of eligible entities. Applicants are required to provide a minimum 15% match and awards can range from $50,000 to $500,000.

Tribal Colleges Extension Grant Program: Capacity  grants to establish and strengthen capacity to equip, train, and deploy extension educators and specialists to carry out tribal extension needs assessments and outreach activities. Application Deadline: June 6, 2018.

FUEL UP TO PLAY 60 invites applications for K-12 Healthy Food Programs. Grants of up to $4,000 will be awarded to qualified K-12 schools to jumpstart healthy changes in the lifestyles of young people. Deadline: 6/13/2018. Click here to review application guidelines.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Provides funding to help nonprofit housing and community development intermediary organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas. Application Deadline: June 25, 2018.

Charles A. Frueauff Foundation awards grants in the areas of education, human services, and health. Specific project initiatives include food and hunger; economic development; daycare programs; hospital and healthcare agencies; health screenings; health education; AIDS/HIV prevention and education; and equipment for healthcare facilities. Deadline: 7/1/2018. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Program  Secured, direct loans and loan guarantees for eligible water infrastructure projects, with 15% of funds set aside for small, rural, and tribal communities.  Application Deadline: July 6, 2018. Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

BUILD Discretionary Grants for capital investments in unmet surface transportation infrastructure needs with an emphasis on rural areas and tribal lands.  Application Deadline: July 19, 2018.

–USDA Seeks Applicants for Rural Broadband Access Loans https://wp.me/p3if7-4xT  Deadline is September 30th.

— The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning (RCORP)initiative in FY 18. Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one–year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations. The initiative will focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being at risk, as well as other high risk rural communities. The lead applicant must be part of a group including at least three other partners that have committed to forming a consortium or are part of an established consortium. All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for–profit, will be eligible to apply and all services must be provided in rural communities. For more information please contact: Allison Hutchings.

Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

SEARCH – Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households provides funding to financially distressed rural communities of less than 2,500 people to assist with feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit will be held May 16th from 9am to 4pm in Mankato.  Learn more  MCN is pleased to host our eighth annual conference for nonprofits in small towns and rural communities, this year in Mankato. This day-long event is designed to bring together staff, board members and volunteers from across Southern Minnesota to learn, network and strategize.

The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) is putting on a series of 30-minute webinars in 2018, with the first webinar on May 17 to feature PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing for commercial properties. The webinar will describe PACE, where it is currently available, and how you can help in PACE expansion and how it can benefit your community. The webinar is from 1:30-2:00 p.m. and is hosted by Peter Lindstrom, CERTs Public Sector & Community Engagement Manager. Read more to register and for more information on the PACE webinar.

— Free Webinar: How Small Towns Give Poor Youth a Head Start.  New research shows that children from poor families in rural communities earn more by their mid-20s than their urban peers, contrary to stereotypes about the disadvantages of growing up rural. A major study of individual incomes by The Equality of Opportunity Project, found that poor children who grow up in three-quarters of rural counties earn more than the national average by their mid-20s. Find out about what researchers call “neighborhood effects” and the lifelong advantages of growing up in places with less income disparity, good schools, and strong civic life. Hear about newly released research on how community matters to poor youth.  Register Now!  Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern.

— Every month, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Partnership Program hosts free webinars. You must register for them.

-Creating high reliability in patient safety. Thursday, May 17, 2:00 – 3:00 PM CDT.

-Navigating a value-based world as a small or rural hospital. Friday, May 18, 2:00 – 3:00 PM CDT.

National Rural Assembly “Building Civic Courage” will be held May 21-23, in Durham, North Carolina.  For more information go to:  http://ruralassembly.org/2018-rural-assembly/

2018 Tribal Public Health Summit.  The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting the 9th annual Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS) for public health professionals, elected leaders, advocates and researchers May 22–24 in Prior Lake. The conference theme Balance, Harmony, Culture, Health will feature solutions for Indian Country. Topics include:

  • health promotion and disease prevention
  • public health policy, infrastructure, and capacity
  • substance misuse and behavioral health
  • climate change and environmental health
  • cancer prevention and treatment

–The 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Conference – Community: The heart of health – is dedicated to our rural community citizens, advocates, organizations and rural health systems. The theme is inspired by rural communities working together to ensure healthy communities. This year’s conference will be held June 25–26 in Duluth. Conference registration has opened

Thriving by Design – Rural & Urban Together, to create the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint June 27-29, 2018, Prairie’s Edge Casino & Resort, Granite Falls, MN. Shorthand names: RU Together MN, Granite Gathering. Registration and delegate application begins on April 16. For more info contact jane@growthandjustice.org or brett1mn@gmail.com   and go to: http://www.growthandjustice.org/thriving-by-design 

— The Community Solar Power Summit will be held July 18-19 at the Radisson Blu Downtown Minneapolis. The Summit, produced by the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), brings together leading community solar businesses, utilities, nonprofits, and policymakers for a two-day event featuring in-depth conversations with national community solar leaders from CCSA, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and other industry leaders. Read more.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington.

NACRHHS Policy Brief on Understanding the Impact of Suicide in Rural America The webinar on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services’ Policy Brief on Understanding the Impact of Suicide in Rural America.

OPPORTUNITIES

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is seeking nominations for its annual Mission Awards, including awards for Advocacy and for Anti-Racism mission work. Staff members, board members, volunteers, program participants, donors, or other supporters may nominate a nonprofit for a Mission Award. The deadline for nominations is Monday, May 21. To learn more, visit the Mission Awards page on the MCN website.

Know Someone Doing Amazing Work With Little Recognition? Nominate them for a Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Award!

We are excited to announce its fourth annual awards program in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation seeking to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Four Minnesotans, two from the Twin Cities metro and two from Greater Minnesota, will each receive $10,000 in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the state of Minnesota and its communities.

The criteria for the award is simple. A Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero is an individual who has had a significant impact on the state of Minnesota and its communities. This individual:

  • Has played a significant role on creating a positive impact on Minnesota and its communities.
  • Has not been widely recognized for his/her work in the past.

For more information on the award and to nominate someone, visit our websiteNominations are open until May 25!

–Blandin Foundation is now accepting applications for its Blandin Broadband Communities program, which supports rural community efforts to improve both access to and use of broadband that enhance community vitality. Selected communities will participate as a cohort with other Minnesota communities over a 24-month period, will have access to up to $75,000 in project grant funds and will receive priority for up to $25,000 in grant funds from the Foundation’s Robust Network Feasibility Fund program. Applications are due May 31.  —The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships provides scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate Tribal College students. Application deadline is May 31.

Nominations are open for the 2018 Veterans’ Voices Award. These actively engaged former and current military service members are thriving and making significant contributions that improve the lives of people in their Minnesota communities and beyond. Take a moment to recognize a veteran in your community. Nominations are due June 7.

Smart Rural Community Showcase Award honors rural communities that have achieved high levels of broadband activity and have used it to support innovative practices in industry sectors, such as healthcare, safety and security, and economic development. Application deadline is July 1, 2018.

Educational Research Center of America is calling on high school students to present original ideas which address a pressing need in their community. First place will receive $5,000, two runners up will receive $2,500, and 15 students will receive $1,000 to be used for higher education expenses. Deadline: 7/25/2018. Submit your idea here.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application deadline is August 31.

 MISCELLANEOUS

The Minnesota Department of Human Services Crisis Text Line is offering text–based suicide prevention services across Minnesota. People who text MN to 741741 will be connected with a counselor who will help defuse the crisis and connect the texter to local resources. Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Take the Digital Readiness Survey, Please!  Communities across Minnesota rely on high-speed Internet access to compete in today’s economy, yet critical gaps exist. Rural Minnesotans have an opportunity to help identify those gaps through the Digital Readiness Survey, offered by the Purdue Center for Regional Development and supported by Blandin Foundation and Growth & Justice. https://wp.me/p3if7-4zg

Rural Development Innovation Center  Website provides information about the Rural Development Innovation Center, which features resources and best practices for rural communities seeking to improve quality of life through job creation, infrastructure improvements, community partnerships, and more.

Rural Data Visualizations Looking for state-specific data? Struggling to find data for your rural county? These new tools compile data from federal and other publicly-available sources in a variety of formats to best fit your needs. Check out our Chart Gallery with national and state-specific charts and our Rural Data Explorer, an interactive map with county-level data that is printable for your convenience.

Population & Migration  Nonmetro areas in some parts of the country have experienced population loss for decades. However, 2010-16 marks the first period with an estimated population loss for nonmetro America as a whole. The number of people living in nonmetro counties increased by 33,000 between July 2016 and July 2017, ending 6 years of modest population losses. However, opportunities for population growth and economic expansion vary widely from one nonmetro county to the next, and new regional patterns of growth and decline have emerged in recent years.

Natural Decrease Counties, Before and After 2010  Map identifying counties that had a natural population increase (births exceeding deaths), a natural decrease that was new since 2010, and a natural decrease in 2000-2009.

Population Change, 2010-17  Map showing counties that lost population between 2010 and 2017, counties with an increase less than 5%, and those with a population increase of 5% or more.

Rural Poverty & Well-being research on this topic focuses on the economic, social, spatial, and demographic factors that affect the poverty status of rural residents.

Annual Figures Show Slight Rise in Rural Jobs, But Gap With Metro Widens 
Details annual job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which revealed that rural counties have yet to return to the levels of employment from before the Great Recession, with 750,000 fewer jobs in 2017 than in 2008. Although rural employment did increase from 2016, the gap between rural and urban counties continues to increase over time.

— The ORHPC has released the 2017 Snapshot of Health in Rural Minnesota. This snapshot provides an overview of key health indicators, behaviors and social determinants of health that are important in understanding rural communities and addressing health disparities. This is the third in a series of rural health status reports and is a follow-up to the 2011 report The Health Status of Rural Minnesotans. For more information, contact Emma Distel at (651) 201–3528.

— The 2017 Minnesota Statewide Health Assessment tells the story of health in Minnesota. Each section of the assessment links data on social, economic and environmental conditions with rates of disease or individual health behaviors to strengthen the understanding of what creates health and health equity. The themes of opportunity, belonging and nature that frame the data in the assessment are new for many public health audiences. A discussion guide is now available on the MDH 2017 Minnesota Statewide Health Assessment Discussions website. Questions about the assessment, discussion guide, overview handout and an available PowerPoint presentation may be directed to dorothy.bliss@state.mn.us or jeannette.raymond@state.mn.us.

Preventing and Treating Cancer in Rural America  Policy brief focused on rural cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and cancer survivorship. Provides an overview of rural-specific issues related to cancer. Identifies policy options for addressing cancer in rural areas and includes four brief case studies.

Social Determinants of Health: Transforming the Buzz Phrase to a Rural Action Item
Two healthcare organizations demonstrate how the social determinants of health and social risk assessment can be used as a framework for transforming a rural “health delivery system to a true health system.”

AWEA 2017 wind report: Minnesota ranks 7th in wind generation. Wind power now supplies more than 30% of electricity in four states and more than 10% in 14 states, including Minnesota, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) newly released U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017. Minnesota generated 18.2% of its electricity from wind in 2017, ranking it seventh in the nation. Overall, wind accounted for 6.2% of electricity in the United States. To download the report’s executive summary, read more.

New Wind Turbine Database is available. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the American Wind Energy Association, released the United States Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) and the USWTDB Viewer to access this new public dataset. This new Wind Turbine Database is a comprehensive dataset of U.S. wind turbine locations and characteristics that is easily accessible, more accurate, and updated more often than existing wind turbine datasets. Read more.

For the first time, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has issued state-by-state energy and water flow charts in one location so that analysts and policymakers can find all the information they need in one place. LLNL worked with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to produce the atlas of hybrid energy/water Sankey diagrams for each of the states. These diagrams depict energy use and water flow during the year 2010, the latest year for which comprehensive data is available. See the flow chartsRead more.

“A Compass for Families: Head Start in Rural America Report” details the importance of Head Start programs to rural communities. The report details the services Head Start provides for rural families, such as child care, connection to health services, and transportation, among others, and features county level data and rural-urban comparisons. Get the report from the Center for American Progress by clicking here.

Planners4Health has published “Emergency Preparedness and Recovery: A Toolkit for Rural Communities” that provides information and resources to assist a long term recovery group (LTRG) responding to a disaster and implementing recovery plans in a rural community. The Toolkit addresses the infrastructure and health needs of rural residents in a disaster. Get the toolkit here.

— Lessons from the Kresge Foundation’s Journey to Creative Placemaking – the integration of arts, culture, and resident-engaged design into community development and planning – are highlighted in a series of white papers launched recently by the Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program. The papers are geared toward helping grantmakers and creative placemaking practitioners more successfully integrate arts and culture into community development. Read the papers here.

— The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s “Grow Your Own, Entrepreneurship-Based Economic Development” is a free publication available for those interested in entrepreneurship-based economic development. Get the publication here.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!

APRIL 2018 – Volume XVI — Number 4
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Access the newsletter online

  • ACROSS THE FIELD
  • FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
  • TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • OPPORTUNITIES
  • MISCELLANEOUS

ACROSS THE FIELD:  Celebrating a life well-lived: Jane Freeman, First Lady of Minnesota and Minnesota Rural Partner extraordinaire

by Jane Leonard

We mourn the loss of a wonderful friend & mentor, Jane C. Freeman, who passed away last month at the age of 96. Last Saturday witnessed an incredible gathering of her family, friends, and colleagues at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. They came across the decades and across political parties to honor Mrs. Freeman and celebrate her life.

She was eulogized by her son, current Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, and her daughter, Connie Freeman, an international development expert, who said that “three key adjectives capture well Jane’s essence: passion, presence, and pragmatism.”

Mrs. Freeman knew me since I was born; my Dad was press secretary to Jane’s husband, Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman, and we followed the Freemans out to Washington when Governor Freeman became U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Kennedy & Johnson.

We stayed in touch over the years and when the Freemans returned to Minnesota for good in the 1990s, Mrs. Freeman began attending and supporting every one of the 10 Minnesota Rural Summits that MN Rural Partners organized between 1997 and 2007. She was an avid reader of this newsletter, too, and would often send us “well done” notes and encouragement on the work we were doing. She was intensely interested in helping people improve our state and our world, all the way to the very end of her life. She lives on in all of us whose lives she touched and we will carry on her “passion, presence, and pragmatism.”

And to that end: Minnesotans, Your State Needs Your Passion, Presence & Pragmatism, too! Help out today and in future planning by….

  1. Take the just out Digital Readiness Survey: This research will measure Minnesotans’ online access and skills to inform economic development strategy.

Why take the survey? Communities across Minnesota rely on high-speed Internet access to compete in today’s economy, yet critical gaps exist. YOU have an opportunity to help identify those gaps through the Digital Readiness Survey, offered by the Purdue Center for Regional Development. Supported by Blandin Foundation and Growth & Justice, all Minnesotans are invited to take the survey. The 20-question survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and is available here:  https://purdue.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6g2CYwO18MIVy2F

  1. Then sign up to be a delegate to help create the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint

RU Together, MN?! You are needed to help develop the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint! Apply starting April 16 to be a delegate to the kickoff convening, Thriving by Design – Rural & Urban Together, to be held in Granite Falls, June 27-29, 2018. You can apply to be a delegate and can also register for the gathering at: http://www.growthandjustice.org/thriving-by-design (On and after April 16.)

The Blueprint creation is a key part of the MN Rural Equity Project, an ambitious effort funded by Blandin Foundation and organized by the non-profit group, Growth & Justice and several other partners in early 2017 to shine a light on persistent socioeconomic and public investment gaps throughout rural and Greater Minnesota.

Starting in June 2018, Growth & Justice, along with co-host OneMN.org, is kicking off a six-month community engagement process with Minnesotans to create a comprehensive policy agenda for decision-makers — the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint — for achieving rural-urban and racial economic equity and inclusive growth. The blueprint is meant to serve as a roadmap for policy makers and community members in Minnesota going forward – together – over the next several years.

The delegation and other participants in Granite Falls will learn about the issues before us as a state and begin to build the outlines of the Equity Blueprint, using the Shared Sustainable Prosperity (SSP) model and Community Capitals Framework (CCF) as a way to both comprehensively organize the policy framework and measure subsequent outcomes over time.

In the six months following the June gathering in Granite Falls, delegates will host further community input on the draft blueprint through regional meetings and network of networks dissemination. At a concluding statewide gathering in December 2018, delegates will finalize the One Minnesota Equity Blueprint to present it to the new Governor, Legislature, and back out to the wider One Minnesota Equity Blueprint network of networks.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

–HUD has released the Notice of Funding Announcement (NOFA) for the FY 2017 Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). The purpose of the YHDP is to promote comprehensive systems of care to address youth homelessness. YDHP will select up to 11 communities, including at least five rural communities, to support them in developing and implementing a coordinated community plan to prevent and end youth homelessness.  Applications are due 4/17/2017. More information about the opportunity is available on the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ website here.

— Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP)  provides grants to tribal colleges and universities for research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities, including projects that focus on health, environment, and agricultural production needs of remote reservation communities through research.  Application deadline is April 23, 2018.

Newman’s Own Award offers grants to organizations working to improve the quality of life for military members and their families, including programs for job training, housing, caregiver support, and mental health. Application deadline is April 25, 2018.

Mary Kay Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program  provides grants to support domestic violence shelters.  Application deadline is April 30, 2018.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Grants and Guaranteed Loans  Financing and grant funding for agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements. An example of a potential funded project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs.
Application Deadline: April 30, 2018.

Department of Veterans Affairs is offering grants to nonprofit and other organizations for programs to support adaptive sports activities for veterans within their home communities, as well as more advanced Paralympic and adaptive sports programs at the regional and national levels. Deadline: 5/2/2018. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)   Grants for projects that assist in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer‐to‐consumer market opportunities.  Application Deadline: May 7, 2018

USDA Rural Utilities Service has announced the availability of funding through the Community Connect Broadband Grant Program which provides grants for communities without broadband service to provide residential and business broadband services and connect facilities via broadband facilities such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries, and schools. Deadline: 5/14/2018. Click here to review application guidelines.

AARP Community Challenge  Grants for projects that work to improve livability for all residents of a community. Application Deadline: May 16, 2018.

— Apply now for a clean air grant to reduce VOCs! MPCA grant funding is now open for cost-effective projects that reduce volatile organic compound emissions (VOCs) in a range of Minnesota-based organizations. VOCs come from solvents, inks, coatings, cleaners, and vehicles as well as process or maintenance equipment used every day across the state. Using alternatives can save money and protect employee and community health.

Eligible applicants:

  • Small businesses under 500 employees (e.g. manufacturers, printers, industrial finishers, automotive, metal casting, etc.)
  • Governmental agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Non-profits
  • Trade groups
  • Associations

The maximum grant award is $24,000 with a 50% required match. The most cost-effective projects will score highest. Special consideration will be given for innovative projects from targeted applicants in environmental justice and highly urbanized areas. Apply now! Deadline May 18, 2018.  To review grant materials, frequently asked questions, and the short two-page application, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/voc. Send RFP or application questions to grants.pca@state.mn.us  If you need help developing a VOC-reducing project or calculating the cost-effectiveness or impact of your project, contact Matt Domski, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program, 612-624-5119 or domsk004@umn.edu.

Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program provides funding to community-based, outreach education and extension programs at land-grant colleges and universities that provide individuals and families based in rural areas with information on health, wellness, and prevention, including the prevention and reduction of opioid misuse and abuse.  Application Deadline: May 24, 2018

Tribal Colleges Extension Grant Program: Capacity  grants to establish and strengthen capacity to equip, train, and deploy extension educators and specialists to carry out tribal extension needs assessments and outreach activities. Application Deadline: June 6, 2018.

Charles A. Frueauff Foundation awards grants in the areas of education, human services, and health. Specific project initiatives include food and hunger; economic development; daycare programs; hospital and healthcare agencies; health screenings; health education; AIDS/HIV prevention and education; and equipment for healthcare facilities. Deadline: 7/1/2018. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

RURAL LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click here for more information.

SEARCH – Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households provides funding to financially distressed rural communities of less than 2,500 people to assist with feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

– Broadband Day on the Hill: April 12th, MN State Capitol – Please join the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition and your fellow broadband advocates from across the state for our Day on the Hill event! The Day on the Hill provides you with an opportunity to participate in St. Paul for a day of broadband advocacy and networking with colleagues and legislators. https://wp.me/p3if7-4ww

–Minnesota Campus Compact 2018 Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 19, at Hamline University.  For more information go to: http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/
Attend the Northwest Minnesota Tourism Conference  The Northwest Minnesota Tourism Conference, presented by Riverland Association, will be held on Tuesday, April 24, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston.

— The 2018 Midwest Solar Expo returns to Minneapolis for its 5th annual conference, exhibition and Smart Energy Symposium on April 30-May 2 at DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis Hotel, Park Place. Attendees will gain insights about the Midwest solar industry, hear from solar experts, receive hands-on product training, and enjoy networking with over 400 solar professionals from across the solar industry. The Expo combines with the Smart Energy Symposium, a one-day speaker series dedicated to the smart, connected grid ecosystem, exploring how emerging smart energy technologies will interact with city infrastructure. For information and to register, read more.

–National Rural Assembly “Building Civic Courage” will be held May 21-23, in Durham, North Carolina.  For more information go to:  http://ruralassembly.org/2018-rural-assembly/

–2018 Tribal Public Health Summit.  The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is hosting the 9th annual Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS) for public health professionals, elected leaders, advocates and researchers May 22–24 in Prior Lake. The conference theme Balance, Harmony, Culture, Health will feature solutions for Indian Country. Topics include:

  • health promotion and disease prevention
  • public health policy, infrastructure, and capacity
  • substance misuse and behavioral health
  • climate change and environmental health
  • cancer prevention and treatment

–The 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Conference – Community: The heart of health – is dedicated to our rural community citizens, advocates, organizations and rural health systems. The theme is inspired by rural communities working together to ensure healthy communities. This year’s conference will be held June 25–26 in Duluth. Conference registration has opened! Early bird rates are available until May 4. Make sure you sign up for email conference updates when you register so that you receive continual information about the conference.

-SAVE THE DATE: Thriving by Design – Rural Urban Together – OneMN Blueprint 2040 (you heard it here first, folks, shorthand names: RU Together MN, Granite Gathering…) – June 27-29, 2018, Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort, Granite Falls, MN. For more info, contact jane@growthandjustice.org or brett1mn@gmail.com  

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held October 25-26 in Bloomington.

OPPORTUNITIES

— 2017-2018 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announces the 30th Annual Student Essay Contest open to all high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Essays are due April 20.

National Native American Youth Initiative (NNAYI)  A summer program designed to prepare American Indian and Alaska Native high school students to pursue careers in healthcare or biomedical research. Application Deadline: April 30, 2018.

–The MDH Rural Health Awards. It’s time to nominate an individual or a group of people you feel deserves to be honored for their work in rural health. The Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care bestows three rural health awards annually: the Minnesota Rural Health Hero Award, the Rural Health Team Award, and the Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Awards is distinguished from the other two awards in terms of length of service and breadth of impact. It is meant for individuals who, over the span of their career, have made a lasting or significant contribution to improving rural health. Nominees for all the awards will have made positive or innovative contributions in the areas of rural health policy, education, legislation, patient care, services, or health care systems within their communities or at a state level. Nominations are due May 1. All the awards recognize outstanding contributions to rural health in our state. They will be presented during the 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Conference Awards Breakfast on June 26 in Duluth.

–MRHA Emerging Rural Health Leader Award.  This award, bestowed by the Minnesota Rural Health Association, recognizes a health profession student who demonstrates outstanding desire and effort in rural health leadership (i.e., a student willing to “lead the charge” for improving rural health and health care on a regional and/or statewide basis; seen as an emerging leader on rural health issues). The MRHA Emerging Rural Health Leader Award Nomination is due May 1.This award will be presented during the 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Conference Awards Breakfast on June 26 in Duluth.

— Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship  Financial support for American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities who are interested in attending the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health’s Summer and Winter Institute courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Application Deadline: May 1, 2018.

The American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarships provides scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate Tribal College students. Application deadline is May 31.

Smart Rural Community Showcase Award honors rural communities that have achieved high levels of broadband activity and have used it to support innovative practices in industry sectors, such as healthcare, safety and security, and economic development. Application deadline is July 1, 2018.
–Educational Research Center of America is calling on high school students to present original ideas which address a pressing need in their community. First place will receive $5,000, two runners up will receive $2,500, and 15 students will receive $1,000 to be used for higher education expenses. Deadline: 7/25/2018. Submit your idea here.

Rural Hospital Leadership Award provides an educational stipend to a small or rural hospital administrator or chief executive officer to attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Application deadline is August 31.

— Rural and Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance  Technical assistance for tribes and rural communities of less than 50,000 people to plan system start-up, transit service improvements, facility development, marketing, transportation coordination, and staff training.

–The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) recently launched “Solar Possible,” a cooperative purchasing effort to facilitate more state agencies, local governments, and schools to acquire solar for their facilities. Collaborative procurement is an effective approach to reduce barriers, learn together, and drive projects to successful completion. This initial effort is geared toward jurisdictions in Xcel Energy territory. Read more.

 MISCELLANEOUS

— Research will measure Minnesotans’ online access and skills to inform economic development
Communities across Minnesota rely on high-speed Internet access to compete in today’s economy, yet critical gaps exist. Rural Minnesotans have an opportunity to help identify those gaps through the Digital Readiness Survey, offered by the Purdue Center for Regional Development.

Supported by Blandin Foundation and Growth & Justice, all Minnesotans are invited to take the survey. The 20-question survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and is available at  https://goo.gl/ZHfAyK

Farm Bill Portal The Farm Bill affects all Americans, whether they work in agriculture or not. IATP created a new resource full of information on the history and impact of this critical legislation.

2018 Compass Points now available The annual indicator report includes data and analysis about notable trends, key demographics, and a dashboard that highlights how Minnesota is doing in key topic areas. The information is useful for policymakers, business and community leaders, and others working to ensure the health and well-being of all Minnesota residents and communities. Download the pdf here.

Little or no growth expected in Minnesota’s working-age population  Statewide, we expect no growth in our working-age population (age 18-64) over the next two decades. By region, the working-age population is only expected to grow in the Twin Cities. All other regions of the state expect to see declines through 2030. Check out this and other featured trends.

Rural Public Health Agencies This topic guide has been updated with new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on challenges and opportunities, workforce, and how rural providers and public health workers can collaborate on population health. We also have a new FAQ on accreditation, including research related to costs and barriers in rural areas, and an updated FAQ on public health infrastructure and governance.

2018 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report  Analyzes health factors and outcomes to report on county-level health disparities throughout the U.S. Discusses a variety of health measures, including low birth weight, residential segregation, child poverty, and teen birth. Covers key findings, and calls to action and community guidance to improve health outcomes for all health measures.  Additional links: 2018 State Health Reports

HHS Strategic Plan FY 2018 – 2022  Identifies the strategic goals and objectives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Strategic Goals 1 and 2 discuss healthcare access and health workforce in rural and tribal communities, including access to mental health and substance abuse care.

–The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a policy brief focused on preventing rural opioid overdoses and reducing overdose deaths in rural areas. The brief identifies policy options and includes three brief case studies. Get the brief here.

Leading a Faith-Based Charge Against Opioid Abuse: How a Minnesota Rural Health Organization Became a National Leader  Describes prescription drug abuse treatment efforts of CHI St. Gabriel’s Health, a multi-facility rural health organization in Little Falls, Minnesota.

–The Minnesota Department of Health has released county tobacco profiles for each of Minnesota’s counties. These profiles show commercial tobacco’s toll in each county in one year. They also include local and statewide data on products stores sell, youth tobacco use, and tobacco use during pregnancy. These profiles are an excellent tool for public health professionals to talk about the burden of tobacco use to stakeholders in the community. Contact: Parker Smith at (651) 201–5496 or parker.smith@state.mn.us.

Healthy Children, Healthy Nations: Charting Pathways on Early Childhood Development and Nutrition for Minnesota’s Native Children  Report discusses the health of Native American children in Minnesota. Features state and national data about Native American children’s health, as well as interventions in children’s nutrition, early childhood development, and childhood trauma.

Trends Report: 2017 Transportation Trends Topic Spotlight: Rural Travel Training 
Presents a report on rural travel training programs. Discusses the challenges and opportunities rural elderly and disabled people face in navigating their communities. Features several examples of programs exhibiting best practices.

Rural Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Toolkit  Provides information and resources to address rural transportation safety issues. Discusses crash countermeasures, traffic management, operations and maintenance, emergency services, surface transportation and weather, rural transit and mobility, and tourism and travel information.

Guide helps schools achieve zero energy.  A new publication is now available to empower owners, contractors, consulting engineers, architects, designers and administrators of K-12 school buildings to cost effectively achieve advanced levels of energy savings. The resource, “Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings – Achieving Zero Energy,” is the first in a series of guides that is tailored to the design and creation of zero energy buildings. Zero energy is defined as a building that, on an annual basis, draws from outside resources equal or less energy than it provides using on-site renewable energy sources. The guide is available as a free download at www.ashrae.org/freeaedg.

Resource Guide for Explore Minnesota Programs Now Available  The Explore Minnesota Resource Guide is a free publication designed to inform the Minnesota tourism industry about all the ways to get involved with Explore Minnesota programs and promotions.

2018 Tourism Fact Sheet Provides Summary of Industry’s Importance  The 2018 edition of Explore Minnesota’s Tourism and Economy Fact Sheet provides the latest available data that points to the importance of Minnesota’s travel and tourism industry.

Reports on Impact of Broadband and Economic Development. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that in 10 years the digital economy grew 5.6 percent compared to overall economic growth of 1.5 percent. https://wp.me/p3if7-4wL The National League of Cities releases a report that calls out broadband as a tool to bridge the rural-urban economic divide. https://wp.me/p3if7-4wB The Foundation for Rural Service reports that transactional value of the Internet in rural American is nearly $1.4 trillion. https://wp.me/p3if7-4wm

“Design, innovation, and rural creative places: Are the arts the cherry on top, or the secret sauce?” was published in PLOS One. This article was produced by a partnership between the Economic Research Services, USDA, and the NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis. The study identifies the local factors associated with a strong design orientation, and estimates the impact that a strong design orientation has on the local economy. Get the report here.

–National Endowment for the Arts has published a data profile on rural arts, a research report and a series of research briefs based on a collaboration with the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Although the focus is on “rural arts, design, and innovation,” some of the findings pertain to performing arts organizations in rural communities. Get the report here.

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!