JUNE 2019 – Volume XVII — Number 7
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Also find online at:  https://wp.me/pkVGJ-8O



–Second school-bus grant round of funding.  Due to overwhelming response to the first school-bus replacement grant using funds from the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement, the MPCA will soon release an additional school-bus grant under Phase I of the VW plan.

The Request for Proposal will be released in mid-June and will target replacement projects in greater Minnesota. As with the previous grants, these will be for $15,000 or $20,000 per school bus, depending on whether the school district has 40% of the students on the free or reduced lunch program.  Funds available for this grant will total $580,000, which should help fund 29 bus replacements.

This second round is in keeping with MPCA’s commitment to keep school-bus grants distributed throughout the state at a 60/40 metro/non-metro split. Projects in the seven-county metro area will not be eligible for this grant. If you are interested in applying for this grant, please visit the VW grants page.

Local Food Promotion Program Grants to support the development, coordination, and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to help increase access and availability to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Application Deadline: June 18, 2019.

STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program  Grants to train school personnel and educate students to prevent student violence, develop and operate anonymous reporting systems concerning threats of school violence, and develop and operate school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams. Application Deadline: June 18, 2019.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia Group Respite and Early Memory Loss Grants  for community-based, social model day programs that provide dementia-specific group activities for participants and respite for family caregivers and care partners. Application Deadline: June 26, 2019.

Transitional Living Program  Grants to implement, enhance, and/or support effective strategies for successful transition to sustainable living for runaway and homeless youth ages 16 to under 22 and/or pregnant and parenting youth ages 16 to under 22 and their dependent children. Application Deadline: July 1, 2019.

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 5, 2019.

Rural Housing Preservation Grants (Section 533) Grants to organizations that work to rehabilitate and preserve affordable housing for rural, low-income homeowners and renters. Priority will be given to projects designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with Substance Use Disorder (including opioid misuse) in high-risk rural communities. Application Deadline: July 8, 2019.

–The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is offering $3.7 million in grant funds to replace heavy duty diesel trucks and transit buses (class 4-8) in Minnesota. The grants are aimed at dramatically reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution. How much funding is available? Up to 25% or $40,000 (whichever is less) per replacement

Who can apply?

  • Any diesel truck owner
  • City and private fleet owners
  • Nonprofit organizations

What is eligible?

  • Class 4-8 diesel trucks and transit buses, including short-haul delivery trucks, refuse haulers, cement trucks, box trucks, and drayage trucks (No long-haul trucks or school buses)
  • The old vehicle must be diesel (1992-2009)
  • New replacement vehicles may be diesel or an alternative fuel such as propane, natural gas, hybrid, or electric (not gasoline)

The application period ends July 9, 4:30 P.M.  All application materials and eligibility details are on the MPCA website. A webinar reviewing the RFP and application forms will be given May 16, 1-2:30 PM. The webinar will be recorded and posted online. Questions must be sent by email to grants.pca@state.mn.us. All questions will be answered and posted on the grant web page under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) tab.

— LOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORT CORPORATION (LISC) has announced the 2019 round of funding for the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Foundation, which provides funding for the Program, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides technical assistance and manages the Program.  The goal of the Program is to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.  The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $250,000 for capital improvement

projects. Deadline:  8/30/2019.  Click here for more information and to apply. An informational web meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 3:00 PM EDT to discuss the RFP process and answer questions.  Register for the web meeting by clicking here.

Foundation for Rural Service Community Grant Program Grants to support a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural communities across America. Focus areas include business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Application Deadline: Sept. 13, 2019.

Kent Richard Hofmann Foundation Grants support community-based organizations providing direct services, education, or research in the areas of HIV and AIDS, with priority given to smaller communities and rural areas. Letter of Intent (Required): July 26, 2019. Application Deadline: Sept 21, 2019.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals  Grants for innovative projects that are working to build a culture of health, ensuring that everyone has access to the care they need and all families have the opportunity to make healthier choices.  Application Deadline: October 15, 2019.

Strengthening the Tribal Response to Violence Against Native Women  Training, technical assistance, and resources designed to help individual tribal governments and tribal communities strengthen the response to effectively address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The Home Depot Foundation’s Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve their communities. The program focuses on support for organizations that serve veterans in local communities, as well as organizations that serve diverse and underserved communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Deadline: requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2019. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.


–Learn more about how to use the Build Your Own data tool from MN Compass for your community? Join a webinar from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and see the presentation for your region.

Central Region: June 13 Register.

Northeast Region: June 26 Register.
Northwest Region: June 27 Register.
Southwest Region: July 10 Register.
West Central Region: July 17 Register.
Southern Region: July 24 Register.

–21st Annual Minnesota Rural Health Conference June 17 – 18, 2019 in Duluth, MN.   Conference Website

–Minnesota Compass is holding a series of free workshops around the state to share what they learned in listening sessions, highlight current demographic trends, and demonstrate how you can use the Minnesota Compass Build Your Own data tool to access data for your city, county, school district, legislative district and more. Space is limited, so register soon!  The final session will be in Austin Wednesday, June 19, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Register.

–The Energy Fair, the nation’s longest-running event of its kind at 30 years, will take place on June 21-23 in Custer, Wis., and will provide a great setting to celebrate the summer solstice (June 21). The Energy Fair is organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and brings together over 10,000 attendees to learn about sustainability and clean energy, connect with others, and take action toward a sustainable future. The event features inspirational keynote speakers; over 200 exhibitors; 200 workshops covering sustainable living topics, energy efficiency, renewable energy and more; and a Clean Transportation Show that features exhibitors, vehicles, and demos. Read more.

June 25: Benefits of Apprenticeship at Ridgewater College, Willmar.  Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry is holding an event for employers to learn about Registered Apprenticeship and how it can help meet workforce needs. Minnesota Compass project director Allison Liuzzi will discuss Minnesota’s changing demographics and implications for workforce development and economic well-being. Learn more and register.

— Collectively Healing: Breaking the Cycle of White Supremacy.  This highly interactive workshop will challenge and inspire you to examine how to heal from white supremacy culture. We will think about how white supremacy harms us individually and organizationally and discuss antidotes for breaking the cycle by reflecting deeply on what we can do to stop perpetuating it. Lastly, we will look for ways we can put in new policies and practices to honor everyone’s humanity and do better work together. For more information, head to our website!
Register today.

–ASES National Solar Conference is Aug. 5-9 in Bloomington, Minn. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) will hold its 48th annual National Solar Conference on Aug. 5-9 at the Crowne Plaza AiRE in Bloomington, Minn. The conference is unique in its delivery of cutting-edge research, trends, and analysis and provides a venue for the exchange of ideas, information, business insights, and perspectives on progress toward greater sustainability. Participants generally represent a broad base of solar and renewable energy professionals and thought leaders. The conference will feature technical sessions, forum discussions, plenary panels, presentations, public solar displays, and networking events. Early bird registration offers a $100 discount and ends June 15. Read more to register and for details.

Registration Open for 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit Registration is open for the 2019 Rural Arts & Culture Summit held Oct. 3-5 at the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids.

–Oct 8-10 – MN Fall Broadband Conference. This three-day conference at the beautiful Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN offers learning and engagement on many aspects of the challenges and benefits of broadband access and use, from “Pursuing Broadband 101,” to digital inclusion tools and strategies for diverse audiences. https://wp.me/p3if7-52i

–Hold the Dates:

  • Nonprofit Fundraising Conference, July 25, 2019, Brooklyn Center (co-hosted with AFP-MN).
  • October 21-22 are the dates for the 2019 Gateway to Solar Conference, the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) has announced. The annual conference is Minnesota’s largest industry-led solar trade group conference and will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. Read more.
  • MCN Annual Conference, October 24 – 25, 2019, Rochester.
  • The Rural Assembly invites you to save the dates for The Rural Women’s Summit in Greenville, South Carolina, October 27-29, 2019. For more information go to: http://ruralassembly.org/blog/2019/3/28/save-the-date-the-rural-womens-summit-october-27-29-2019-greenville-scnbsp


— Reminder: Phase II input sessions started.  If you want a say in how the MPCA spends VW settlement money over the next few years, plan on participating in one or more listening sessions for Phase II of the state VW plan. Sessions are scheduled for:

  • Bemidji, June 12
  • Duluth, June 13
  • Minneapolis, June 17
  • Burnsville, June 25

For details check the VW website.

— Shape the Future of MPR. MPR’s Generation Listen is seeking diverse perspectives to help shape the future of Minnesota Public Radio. As a Generation Listen Advisory Council Member, you’ll be invited to engage with MPR content creators and staff and assist in planning and hosting MPR events that highlight our community’s most pressing issues. Your voice will contribute to a community of engaged listeners and big thinkers. Application is due by Friday, June 21, 2019 at 5pm. For more information and application instructions, head to MPR’s website.

— Do you know an entrepreneur with a social enterprise idea? Explore the Initiators Fellowship program to see if it’s a fit for you or someone you know. By becoming a Fellow, you can transform your vision into a scalable, sustainable venture that diversifies and enriches Greater Minnesota. Applications will be accepted until July 15.

  • What is the Fellowship? Through a friendly yet competitive selection process, the program awards up to seven fellowships and provides wrap-around training, mentoring and guidance—plus $30,000 annually for two years—to support Fellows and their social enterprise ideas
  • Am I Eligible? Applications are encouraged from up-and-coming leaders served by the Initiative Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation and West Central Initiative. Strong character and a passionate drive for social enterprise are qualities that will lead to success
  • How Do I Apply? The application process has three stages: the search stage, the selection stage and the finalist stage. Our goal is to make the process beneficial to all applicants by providing guidance, insights and valuable feedback to fuel individual growth and development
  • Go to: https://greaterminnesota.net/fellows/   For additional questions or additional information, complete our Contact Us form or send an email to Chris Fastner, Initiators Fellowship program manager. Inquiries may also be made by calling (877) 632-9255. The Initiators Fellowship is a program of the Initiative Foundation based in Little Falls.

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design: Request for Host Applicants  Opportunity to host a leadership initiative and/or participate in a learning cohort that connects rural communities to design resources, enabling communities to act on ideas for improvements to a community’s streets, buildings, public spaces, or landscapes to address the specific physical, environmental, social, and economic challenges facing rural areas. Application Deadline: July 22, 2019.

–Tekne Awards – Applications open!  The Tekne Awards recognize science and technology leaders in Minnesota’s innovation economy. The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that play a significant role in creating new technologies to educate and improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world.

MHTA is pleased to announce the 2019 Tekne Award categories.  Are you an innovator in science and tech at a Minnesota organization? We’re looking for you. Applications will be accepted until August 9 with the Tekne Awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday, November 20. Register for the Tekne Application 101 Webinar on Thursday, June 27 to learn more about the Tekne application process.

Below are the 2019 Tekne Award categories. Check tekneawards.org  for more details.

1.         Community Impact
2.         Workforce Development
3.         Startup

4.         Cybersecurity
5.         Cognitive Computing
6.         Cloud Computing
7.         Internet of Things
8.         Industry 4.0

9.         BioTech
10.       CleanTech
11.       AgTech
12.       MedTech
13.       EdTech
14.       FinTech

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program Loan repayment for undergraduate and graduate health professional educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian Health Service programs. Application Deadline: August 15, 2019.

Rural Health Fellows Program A year-long, intensive fellowship program designed to develop a community of rural health leaders. Application Deadline: Aug 27, 2019.

–The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) is seeking proposals for their next Resident Artist. They are looking for artists who will work with staff to identify and design projects across departments that integrate the arts into SWMHP organizational practices. Ashley Hanson, co-founder of PlaceBase Productions and current Bush Fellow, is the current resident artist and can be contacted at 952-486-0533 or at placebaseproductions@gmail.com to answer questions about the Residency.  More information can be obtained by clicking here.

2020 Minnesota Census Jobs, United States Census Bureau


2018 Farm Bill Primer: Rural Development Programs  Highlights the new rural development provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which address rural access to high-speed broadband, rural health, loans and grants for rural water and wastewater infrastructure, economic development, and more. Outlines changes in how rural is defined for these programs.

— Some new pharmaceutical waste requirements and allowances will go into effect starting this August, and others will be phased in over the next three years. Effective August 22, 2019, healthcare facilities, including nursing homes, may no longer sewer any pharmaceutical wastes that are federal hazardous wastes. Group homes with a capacity of six residents or less are exempt from this ban. Controlled substances will no longer be regulated as hazardous wastes, but must continue to meet all U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements. Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy products approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will also no longer be regulated as hazardous wastes. Prescription and recreational nicotine products will remain fully regulated as hazardous wastes when disposed.

Starting in 2022, the MPCA anticipates that all pharmaceutical wastes, including state-specific hazardous wastes, from any business will be banned from sewering. The MPCA will be publishing more detailed information on these changes as soon as possible on its Hazardous Waste Publications webpage.

Rural Telehealth Toolkit This new toolkit, created in partnership with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, compiles evidence-based and promising models and resources to support organizations in identifying and implementing telehealth programs for common rural health challenges.

Panel Discussion: Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide with Broadband Discussion of the need for broadband in rural areas in order to attract and retain residents and businesses and to provide residents with access to jobs, education, and healthcare.

–USDA has released a report, “A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies.” The report finds that deployment of both broadband e-Connectivity and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technology on farms and ranches throughout the U.S. could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year.  Get a copy of the report by clicking here.

2019 Broadband Deployment Report on broadband deployment in the U.S., with information specific to broadband access in rural and tribal communities and the U.S. territories. Includes rural broadband deployment data by state and county. See the appendices for detailed county data. Additional links: Full Report

–2019 MN Tribal Nation Broadband Profiles. Using data and mapping from the Office of Broadband Development, profiles of the broadband situation in reservations in MN:

–A guide to help Minnesota farmers navigate through legal contracts and other issues stalling large-scale solar and wind installations is now available, as reported in the West Central Tribune. The “Farmers’ Guide to Solar and Wind Energy in Minnesota” was developed by the Minnesota Farmers Union and the St. Paul-based Farmers’ Legal Action Group as a resource for farmers considering solar and wind installations on their land. The 32-page guide is intended as a starting point for farmers who are considering large-scale solar or wind projects. Farmers, farm advocates, farm attorneys and others are welcome to consult, download, print or share the guide at no cost. Access the guide.

— Difficult economic conditions have caused many farmers to experience high levels of stress and a sense of hopelessness about saving their business and way of life. The Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline and NY FarmNet are working to improve farmers’ mental health and prevent suicides. Preventing Farmer Suicides through Helplines and Farm Visits

Where Does the Money Go?  Do you ever wonder where Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending ends up? The answers lie in current transfer payments data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) as part of their personal income estimations.

State Fact Sheets. The ERS State Fact Sheets provide information on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and agricultural exports. Data are available for all States, and for metro/nonmetro breakouts within States. Links to county-level data are provided where available. This release adds data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture and provides the latest available (2018) U.S. and State-level population estimates and labor force data.

— A 2018 Census Bureau survey found that knowing that census data collected guides public funding decisions was the most important reason for replying to the census, but only 45 percent of respondents knew that the 2020 Census will be used for this purpose. The 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study included focus groups with American Indians/Alaska Natives, rural communities, and other groups that may not have responded in sufficient numbers for valid statistics in a sample survey. Click here for the full report from the survey.

–“Housing and Hunger: An Intersectional Approach to Address Food Insecurity-Childhood Hunger in Rural America” is a report from the Housing Assistance Council that examines food insecurity among children in rural areas, and describes strategies used by Rural Housing Services and Food and Nutrition Services for addressing gaps in service, including use of Summer Meals programs.  Click here to get the report.

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!