NOVEMBER 2009 – Volume VII, Number 11

Compiled and edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy & Jane Leonard

–Across the Field

ACROSS THE FIELD – Tis the season: Be strategic and compassionate. Give to the Max! by Jane Leonard

A new day dawns in Minnesota today, November 17 — Give to the Max Day. Give online at

Here at Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc. we’re taking a different twist on this special day. We’re not asking you to donate to us. We’re a policy development shop and community/economic improvement organizer. Yes we could always use more financial support. But today we’re asking you think about the organizations that are trying to help the neediest of our fellow citizens in this incredibly difficult time of economic challenges. Today, help those most in need.

Be strategic and compassionate about where you do donate, and do try to donate today because on November 17 donations will be matched. (And if you are reading this after November 17, still give if you can.)

For Give to the Max Day, the Saint Paul Foundation, Minneapolis Foundation and Bush Foundation have committed $500,000 in matching contributions to support community needs in Minnesota and to cover transaction fees so that 100% of all donations go to the nonprofit organizations.

According to the website description, every donation made during Give to the Max Day will receive a portion of the $500,000 match. Any individual may donate. Donations through the site to nonprofit organizations are tax deductible and irrevocable (donations will not be refunded.) Only contributions to Minnesota-based nonprofits through the site will be matched.

You can give anytime, any other day, so keep that in mind as you make your year-end giving decisions. But today, November 17, your donation through will go a little further with the generous match from Minnesota’s philanthropic community.

Give your ideas and experiences: Rurb.Mn is underway

And finally, please give us your input on your own experiences and ideas for rural urban connections, via, which is the online platform (still under construction) for our new project on rural urban partnering & connections.

Rurb.MN is a state of mind, heart, and action that we are all in this together – rural, urban and suburban people, places, and organizations — helping each other and Minnesota thrive. Say it fast enough several times over (without the “dot”) and becomes an interesting way to express the melding of rural, suburban, and urban together.

We are making good headway getting things set up for the next 18 months of this project, with your input being the first phase, through email, and other social media, videoconferences and face-to-face meetings over the next few months, then a statewide gathering in June 2010 to share what we’ve learned and to organize a Minnesota Rural Urban Partnering Council to keep the momentum going.

If you would like to be a part of this project and/or be on the project contact list, email me at, and/or leave a comment on the blog at

–Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Programs for health professionals applications are due December 1. Contact Amy Vallery at or (651) 201-3870 for more information.

–Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program pre-applications are due December 14. Contact Doug Benson at or (651) 201-3842.

–The Minnesota Department of Health is offering mini grants of $2,000 or less to help clinics improve their ability to be patient-centered health care homes. The purpose of these mini-grants is to assist clinics in implementing patient-family-centered involvement in clinic re-design and to assist clinics in implementing health care home standards.
Applications are due December 15.

The expectation is that the projects will be implemented between December 2009 and May 2010. The Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is administering the grants on behalf of MDH. For a copy of the application, go to  


–The Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Minnesota Humanities Center will host listening sessions to obtain public input for a 10-year plan and 25-year framework for the use of funds made available through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) on November 17, 2009, in the Twin Cities and November 18, 2009, in Marshall. All sessions will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. An online survey will also be available at The results of this collaborative planning process will be reported to the legislature by January 15, 2010.

–Blandin Foundation’s 2009 Broadband Conference will be held Wednesday, November 18 – Thursday, November 19, 2009 in Duluth. The theme of this year’s conference is: Realizing Our Broadband Future: Getting from Here to There. It will focus on the future of Minnesota communities, providing community leaders with the information and tools they need to position their communities in the future. Location: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Duluth MN Cost: $105. For more information and to register, click here.

–SW/WC Volunteer Connections will be hosting the following professional development event with speakers on December 7th: “A Time to be Bold: Engaging Volunteers in a Shifting Environment” presented by Mary Quirk. If you have any questions or would like to R.S.V.P., please contact Deb Mortenson at (320) 235-0850, ext. 1114 or at

–2010 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference – “Achieving Success in the ‘New Normal’” will be held January 26-27, 2010 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd. For more information go to: or contact Gayle Junnila at 651 757-1852 or  

–The Home Grown Economy 2010 – Equipping You to Build Community Based Food Systems, will be held at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, on February 15th and 16th. Interactive Video Sessions will be held on Tuesday, February 16th at the following campuses: University of Minnesota, Crookston – University of Minnesota, Morris – Bemidji State University and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls. Watch for further details at:  

–Northeast Entrepreneur Fund will host a two-day Northland Flavor Marketplace in Duluth at the Holiday Inn Conference Center:
Sunday, March 7, noon – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, March 8, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Northland Flavor Marketplace will allow regional artists to display their products to potential retail buyers such as gift shops, bookstores, floral shops, restaurants, jewelers, and similar outlets. To apply for the Northland Flavor Marketplace event, or to register for one or more of the preparatory sessions, go to: For more information on Northland Flavor, contact Suzanne Semborski, NEF Special Projects Manager, or call 218-623-5729.

–Save the Date for the 2010 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference on Wednesday, March 24 in Minneapolis.

–Save the Date! 2010 Minnesota Campus Compact’s Summit and Awards Luncheon will be Thursday, June 17, 2010 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center featured speaker will be Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page.

Minnesota Campus Compact’s 2010 Summit will convene higher education leaders from across Minnesota to celebrate powerful campus-community partnerships that produce positive results for students and for communities throughout the state – and to explore opportunities for developing even deeper partnerships, more engaged institutions and citizens, and a more just, democratic, and sustainable world.

–Save the Date for the Minnesota Rural Health Conference June 28-29, 2010. Help to plan the conference: Contact Karen Welle at or (651) 201-3865.


–Funds Available for Students – Two $1,000 awards are available to full-time students interested in connecting their experiences in the classroom and in the community. Fill out a brief application by November 30th, 2009 to be considered for one of two Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur awards given to Minnesota college and university students. The awards support innovative service learning projects that feature strong partnerships between students, faculty, and community partners. To learn more, visit

–The 2010 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference will be taking place on Wednesday, March 24 in Minneapolis. The planners are seeking proposals and ideas for breakout sessions…if you would like to submit a breakout session proposal or if you have a great idea for a breakout session for the 2010 Nonprofit Technology and Communications Conference, they’d like to hear from you! Submitting a breakout session proposal or idea is easy – you can view the details and instructions at: The deadline for submission is Wednesday, December 2, 2010 at 5 p.m.

–New Careers in Nursing scholarship applications due December 15.

— ORHPC needs Rural Hospital Capital Improvement grant reviewers in January. Contact Doug Benson at or (651) 201-3842 or Cindy LaMere at or (651) 201-3852.

–Minority Nurse Scholarship Program applications due February 1.


–RURAL AMENITIES – The rural outdoors has become a major asset for rural communities—and a key advantage that some rural areas have over urban areas. The rural outdoors can be enhanced through the construction of recreation facilities, but undeveloped rural landscapes have appeal on their own, both for recreation and as attractive places to live. This briefing room looks at the appeal of rural landscapes, the importance of forest landscape preferences, and the role of scenic amenities across the rural-urban continuum. See

–USDA Launches ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ Initiative to Connect Consumers with Local Producers to Create New Economic Opportunities for Communities. The initiative hopes to begin a national conversation to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity. Americans are invited to join the discussion and share their ideas for ways to support local agriculture. USDA will engage in this conversation which can be viewed at USDA’s YouTube channel, . Producers and consumers can comment on the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ YouTube playlist, as well as submit videos or provide comments on this initiative by e-mailing

Editors’ Note: If you have items of news, announcements, etc., for the next MRP Rural Round-Up (scheduled to go to press on Tuesday. Dec 15), please send them to

Jane Leonard
Minnesota Rural Partners
1533 Grantham St.
St. Paul, MN 55108
phone (651) -303-5263