Newsletter – Rural Round Up


April 2017- Volume XV, Number 4
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING
–Corporation for National and Community Service is offering funding to Indian Tribes for programs that are designed to strengthen tribal communities and solve local problems through service and volunteering. Deadline: Letter of Intent (optional) 4/19/2017; application 5/10/2017. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines.

–The United Fresh Start Foundation (UFSF) is providing grant opportunities to organizations interested in increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables outside of school. UFSF is looking for creative methods to get fresh produce to children during the summer months, after school, and on the weekends. Deadline: 4/20/2017. Learn more about the initiative here and download the application here.
— Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program  Grants to city, county, and state governments to expand opioid abuse prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery. Application Deadline: Apr 25, 2017.

–Bush Foundation is accepting applications for the Bush Prize for Community Innovation. Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to community-based organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota with a track record of making great ideas happen. Deadline: 4/27/2017. Click here for an application.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

–The Singing for Change Charitable Foundation is dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations that inspire personal growth, community integration, and the enhanced awareness that collectively people can bring about positive social change. The Foundation provides grants to progressive, community-based nonprofit organizations nationwide that address the root causes of social or environmental problems. The Foundation primarily provides grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for projects that serve children and families, the environment, and disenfranchised groups. Priority is given to inclusive, grassroots organizations that rely strongly on volunteer efforts, where Foundation support makes a significant difference. Deadline: letters of interest by 5/1/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review the funding guidelines and to submit an online letter of interest.

–Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation and Military Times are offering $200,000 in grants to recognize volunteer and nonprofit organizations supporting military families. Eligible applicants to the Newman’s Own Awards Program must be comprised primarily of volunteers and/or be a nonprofit organization, and be working with Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve units, veterans, and their families. Applying organizations will be evaluated on their innovative plans for improving the quality of life for members of the military and their families. Grants of up to $50,000 are provided. Deadline: 5/2/2017. Visit the program’s website here to submit an online application.

–The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is offering six grants of $60,000 to support teams building healthy, child-centered communities through its Raising Places initiative. Raising Places catalyzes local momentum for cross-sector collaboration, engaging diverse partners to build healthier communities where all children and their families can thrive. Deadlines: the full application is now released and will be due 5/5/2017. For more information and to apply, click here.

–Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7
— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

–Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC provides 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.

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

Riverland Tourism Conference Held April 18 in Crookston The Riverland Tourism Association will be holding a conference titled “Building Your Business One Visitor at a Time” on Tuesday, April 18, at the University of Minnesota in Crookston.
–The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

Save the Date for a Tourism Research Showcase The U of M Tourism Center celebrates National Travel & Tourism Week by hosting a Tourism Research Showcase and lunch event on Monday, May 8.

–Minnesota High Tech Association Spring Conference registration is open for our May 9 Spring Conference! This year’s conference will be held at the Minneapolis Depot Renaissance and feature more than 15 breakout sessions and 40 exhibitors in addition to our keynote speakers. Conference tracks will focus on digital transformation, cybersecurity and Minnesota’s leadership in the next wave of innovation. LEARN MORE
— On May 16-17 the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota. https://digitalinclusion.org/netinclusion2017/

— Early Bird Registration Open for the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit  The 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit will take place June 6-8 at the University of Minnesota – Morris.
— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference Shaping Sustainable Solutions will be held June 19-20 in Duluth.

— Economic Development Association of Minnesota is hosting the 2017 Summer Conference June 28-30 at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Please go to http://z.umn.edu/1d2w for more information.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

OPPORTUNITIES

–Minnesota Cup launches 2017 competition. The nation’s largest startup startup contest, has opened applications — with $450,000 in total prizes! Participants have until April 28 to submit applications. LEARN MORE

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Minnesota Rural Health Awards! There are three awards to be considered:

  • The MN Rural Health Hero Award recognizes one individual who has made an positive or innovative contribution to rural health
  • The MN Rural Health Team Award recognizes an organization or a group of individuals who have made a positive or innovative contribution to rural health
  • The MN Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes one individual who has made a lasting contribution to improving rural health over the span of his or her career

All the awards will be presented during the Conference Awards breakfast on June 20 in Duluth. To nominate someone for an award, please complete and return the nomination form by May 1 to maria.rogness@state.mn.us

If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call to check on the receipt of the nomination form at 651-201-3863. For more information about the conference, view the MN Rural Health Conference website.

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, 2017.

–The 2017 Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Application cycle is now open. Applicants may view the 2017 Application and Program Guidance and the on-demand 2017 NURSE Corps Scholarship Technical Assistance Webinar. The webinar provides you with more information on the application process and the service requirements. The application deadline is May 11, 7:30 pm ET.
Apply to Host the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener  Explore Minnesota is seeking proposals to host the 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener.
MISCELLANEOUS

–The Department of Health and Human Services released its annual poverty guidelines update to account for the last calendar year’s increase in prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Get the guidelines and further information here.

–Minnesota Compass held its annual meeting in February, and shared information about important data and trends affecting communities around the state. Go to: http://www.mncompass.org/_pdfs/compass-points-2017.pdf

–Public Health Data Access Portal  Find data, charts and maps at the MN Public Health Data Access portal to help advance your public health initiatives. Information about environmental hazards and public health risks are updated and maintained by the MN Environmental Public Health Tracking Program at the Minnesota Department of Health. Download your quick reference guide outlining the available topics.

How We Can Help Children in Rural Communities Thrive Discusses challenges facing rural families and children with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders. Highlights steps that states, healthcare systems, and primary care providers can take to support them.

Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development: A Policy and Practice Primer This report offers a framework for moving equitable development policy across multiple sectors – aided by and strengthening the use of arts and culture practice.

Minnesotans with Disabilities: Demographic and Economic Characteristics  This brief provides a primer about persons with disabilities in Minnesota, to better understand their demographic characteristics and experiences.

State of the State’s Housing 2017  This report spotlights key trends in Minnesota housing like the gap between housing costs and salaries, ranks counties on benchmarks like renter cost burden, and showcases issues like aging housing stock with dynamic maps. Building on the county profiles released each year since 2009, this report continues to benchmark progress at the state, region and county levels.

–The Washington Post released an interactive tool that allows readers to find out how many structurally deficient bridges are in their counties using the latest data available from the 2015 National Bridge Inventory. There are more than 130,000 structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges across the country. Access the tool here.

–Census Bureau’s new OnTheMap Tool can be used to better understand Indian reservations’ employment and housing markets and infrastructure needs, including where American Indian reservation residents work, where reservation workers live, and the resulting commuting patterns to and from a reservation. Learn more about this usage here, and click here to access the tool.

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

March 2017- Volume XV, Number 3

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

This newsletter is also available online: http://wp.me/pkVGJ-7l

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

— THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is offering grants to nonprofit groups and public agencies through the Upward Bound Math and Science Program. Grants will be awarded for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college and, ultimately, careers in math and science. Deadline: 3/22/2017. Click here to review program guidelines and an application package.

–USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $8.8 million in funding to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program promotes and strengthens HSI programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences work force. Deadline to apply: 3/22/2017. Click here to learn more about these grants.

–USDA has announced requests for applications for the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and the Local Food Promotion Program to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Deadline for both programs: 3/27/2017. Click here for information on the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and here for the Local Food Promotion Program.

–Health Equity in Action Grants. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation will award a total of up to $1,000,000 to further health equity in communities across the state of Minnesota. Healthy Communities 2017: Health Equity in Action provides grants up to $100,000 per year, and applicants can apply for one- or two-year grants. An optional webinar and community workshops will be held throughout the state in February and early March. The deadline to submit applications through the online application system is March 30, 4 p.m., Central Time.

–Management Improvement Fund. Many nonprofits struggle to finance their day-to-day operations, let alone invest in long-term planning and management consultants. The Management Improvement Fund, a community initiative of The Saint Paul Foundation, is dedicated to strengthening the internal operations of organizations. Grants are now available statewide thanks to support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. Grants may be used to finance management consultants, training services and other programs that improve service to the greater community. Before applying, all interested applicants must contact Stephanie Battle, director of Community Impact, at 651-325-4236 to ensure that the Fund fits the requested need.

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.  Application Deadline: March 31, 2017.

–Minnesota Festival Support is a grant program of the Minnesota State Arts Board designed to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts. The program provides funding for sponsoring or presenting organizations to feature Minnesota individual artists and Minnesota arts groups in arts festivals, or in the arts component of broader, community festivals. The program is open to Minnesota 501(c)(3) organizations, unincorporated groups with at least one paid staff person and a Minnesota 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, and public agencies.

All applicants must have produced the proposed festival at least once before, prior to the March 31st deadline. Grants range from $5,000 to $75,000, with a 25% cash match requirement. Program guidelines, sample applications, webinar registration information, and contact information for the program officer can be found on the Arts Board website at http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/machf-mfs.htm.

–East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to remind to all local artists, art organizations, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs) that there is an April 1st grant deadline for all of these grant programs.

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

– Small/Art Project 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 project funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

– McKnight Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related project funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

The link to the online application processes can be found at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants    For further information, please call 320-396-2337 extension 2 or email: grantinfo@ecrac.org.

— Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are April 7, June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

School Grants for Healthy Kids awards funding to support school breakfast and physical activity programs. Application Deadline: April 7, 2017.

— THE SPARKPLUG FOUNDATION is offering grants to start-up nonprofit organizations or new projects of established nonprofits that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing. In the Music category, the Foundation supports emerging professional musicians or music-development programs. In Education and Teaching, the Foundation funds projects that deal with “the whole student” and with learning as a community activity. Through Grassroots Organizing, the Foundation encourages activist strategies for addressing institutional injustices and for building a reasoned, just society. The current focus is on ground-level community organizing at the intersection of utilities/energy infrastructure, housing/community resources, and racial justice. Deadlines: online questionnaires must be completed by 4/10/2017; letters of intent are due 4/17/2017; and the deadline for final applications is 5/5/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review its mission and funding guidelines as well as the online application instructions.

Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program  Grants to city, county, and state governments to expand opioid abuse prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery. Application Deadline: Apr 25, 2017.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Free e-Learning Courses. Normandale Community College and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health are jointly offering free e-Learning courses designed for busy, working adults to upgrade their skills in the transforming healthcare industry. Short e-learning courses are available for Healthcare Data Analytics, Population Health, and Value-Based Care. Courses are appropriate for all roles and levels of work within healthcare. Training is provided by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Normandale Community College through a federal grant opportunity. To register, begin by viewing the Course page. Training is free and available until capacity is met or until May 2017.

— Broadband Day on the Hill March 15: Minnesota Broadband Coalition members have come together to organize Minnesota’s first ever Broadband Day on the Hill on March 15. The Coalition’s goal is to bring directly to legislators rural perspectives on the critical role that broadband plays in Minnesota rural communities’ economic vitality and quality of life. http://wp.me/p3if7-3T

–AURI Invites You to Register for its New Uses Forum Today!  The forum, scheduled for March 22 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN, is bringing together experts and entrepreneurs across the new uses arena, including university and industry R&D experts, Minnesota business and agbioeconomy partners, as well as the financial community. Together, they will participate in open discussions about the latest innovations and opportunities for developing new uses for Minnesota grown crops and agricultural processing byproducts. The day’s events include:

  • Industry panel discussions
  • Minnesota’s activities and resources,
  • Regional and global research efforts,
  • Networking opportunities, and
  • Keynote addresses tailored to the interests of MN agriculture.

AURI is inviting you to register today.  Learn More

— Starting a Business in MN workshop is being hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development at the Workforce Development Center in Duluth on March 28 from 2-4 PM. There is no charge, but you may register at http://z.umn.edu/1d2x.

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

–13th Annual Worthington Bioscience Conference will be held April 6-7, 2017 in
Worthington, MN.  The Worthington Regional Bio Conference is an annual gathering of industry professionals, research scientists and business leaders. This annual event highlights the deep roots of bioscience in Minnesota as it relates to farming and animal health. What evolves out of one area of bio-tech often has implications in other areas of importance to overall quality of life.

Who should attend?  Farmers, farm and energy cooperatives, researchers, teachers and students, human and animal health professionals, veterinary medicine practitioners, financial institutions, policy makers, business and economic development professionals.  This year’s conference will focus on “Research and Development” and is full of quality speakers and presentations.  In addition to a full schedule of speakers, highlights of the event include a technology and entrepreneurs showcase and an exhibit hall.

Register Now!

— The 10th annual International Biomass Conference & Expo, North America’s largest and fastest growing biomass conference, taking place April 10-12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 2017 agenda — featuring four comprehensive tracks — is tightly focused on leading edge developments in the biomass industry, from feedstock cultivation, harvest and storage to conversion technology, project finance and regulatory guidance.  For more information go to: http://www.biomassconference.com/ema/DisplayPage.aspx?pageId=Home

— The 13th annual Small Wind Conference will be held April 10-11 at the Crown Plaza AiRE in Bloomington, Minn., near the MSP airport. The Small Wind Conference connects installers, site assessors, manufacturers, supply chain stakeholders, national labs, and more. This gathering of distributed wind industry leaders is a source of continuing education and shared information to power homes, schools, farms, businesses, and transportation with clean, local wind energy. Visit the conference website to register.

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

— Registration is now open for the Minnesota High Tech Spring Conference on May 9th. Neel Kashkari, President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, will be the Keynote Speaker. This year’s conference will be held at the Minneapolis Depot Renaissance and feature more than 15 breakout sessions and 40 exhibitors in addition to our keynote speakers. Conference tracks will focus on digital transformation, cybersecurity and Minnesota’s leadership in the next wave of innovation. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

— SAVE THE DATE May 16-17 the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota. https://digitalinclusion.org/netinclusion2017/

— SAVE THE DATE!  Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

— Economic Development Association of Minnesota is hosting the 2017 Summer Conference June 28-30 at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Please go to http://z.umn.edu/1d2w for more information.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

OPPORTUNITIES

— Hand Your Website Strategy to a Nerd!  Applications are now open for The Overnight Website Challenge, a volunteer-run program of The Nerdery Foundation. This event is aimed at maximizing the community impact of nonprofit organizations through digital strategy and custom software design and development—all pro bono. How could a group of nerds further your organization’s mission through better use of interactive technology? Between now and March 17, apply and let them know—your organization could be chosen to participate!

For more information on The Overnight Website Challenge and to apply, visit the event website. The Twin Cities Overnight Website Challenge is taking place on April 22 – 23, 2017.

— Event Scholarships from Bush Foundation.  The Bush Foundation is offering scholarships for individuals from Minnesota, the Dakotas, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography to attend national events and conferences. Deadlines: March 22, 2017. DETAILS

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

— MINNESOTA HOUSING PARTNERSHIP has opened a call for local organizations to take advantage of their Strengthening Rural Communities Program. This program provides technical assistance to rural communities to overcome impediments to successful planning, and implementation of affordable housing and community development projects. From innovative planning practices, to knowledge of complex federal housing programs, this program gives organizations the ability to build and preserve housing and community assets. Deadline: 3/31/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.

–This is the 30th year of IMAGE, an annual judged art show, sponsored by the East Central Regional Arts Council.  ECRAC will host the show at its office and gallery in downtown Braham, MN. The show opens Saturday evening, April 22, 2017, and will be open for viewing through Friday, April 28. There is no fee to attend or participate in IMAGE. However, artists wishing to exhibit a work of art at the IMAGE Art Show must read and complete this online entry form and submit it before or on the deadline date of Monday, April 3, 2017. For more information on IMAGE Art Show 2017 go to:   http://www.ecrac.org/news/image-art-show-2017

You can also call us at 320-396-2337 extension 1, or email info@ecrac.org

— Innovation acceleration: Midwest Cleantech Open is accepting applications.  Do you know a Cleantech entrepreneur who could benefit from mentoring by experienced investors and from competing for up to $200,000 in the Midwest Cleantech Open’s 2017 Accelerator? Encourage them to apply now. The Cleantech Open welcomes companies of all stages (from concept to commercialized) with a mission to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems through clean tech and sustainable solutions. See the Cleantech Open Midwest website for more opportunities. The Cleantech Open is the oldest and largest cleantech startup accelerator program, with the mission to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs with ideas to solve the greatest environmental and energy challenges.

MISCELLANEOUS

Managing Agricultural Risk Under Different Scenarios: Selected 2014 Farm Act Programs (Amber Waves feature article)  The 2014 Farm Act introduced several new programs for crop and livestock producers. A recent ERS study analyzed how these programs provide options for risk management under different scenarios.

Growing Organic Demand Provides High-Value Opportunities for Many Types of Producers (Amber Waves feature article) In 2015, the Organic Trade Association estimated U.S. organic retail sales at $43.3 billion, showing double-digit growth during most years since 2000, when USDA set national organic standards. Since setting national organic standards, USDA has streamlined trade arrangements with multiple foreign governments to expand international markets for U.S. organic producers.

FAR Codes Added to Am I Rural? Tool by The Rural Health Information Hub.  These Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) codes have been added to the list of rural definitions provided in their popular Am I Rural? tool. Type an address into the tool to see if your location meets the FAR criteria.

–The Minnesota Department of Health has published a Dental Therapy Toolkit (PDF) for prospective employers of Dental Therapists (DT) and Advanced Dental Therapists (ADT). The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations who are considering or planning to hire a Dental Therapist and integrate this emerging profession into their team.  The Dental Therapy role is a “mid-level” dental provider educated to provide evaluative, preventive and dental care within their scope of practice and to serve underserved populations. Dental Therapists can:

  • expand the population served by a clinic,
  • improve efficiency,
  • increase volume, and
  • allow supervising Dentists to provide more complex procedures.

The toolkit and background resources are available on our Toolkit webpage at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/toolkit.html

Rural Health Workforce Maps These new maps show county-by-county data on Health Professional Shortage Areas for Primary Care, Dental Care, and Mental Health Care. Nonmetropolitan and micropolitan shortage areas are identified with a separate color scale from metropolitan shortage areas.

— 2016 National Solar Jobs Census: Solar jobs increase by 44% in Minnesota.  Solar jobs in Minnesota increased 44% from November 2015 to November 2016, according to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census conducted by The Solar Foundation. Minnesota now employs 2,872 people in the solar industry, up from 1,995 a year ago. Over the last three years, state solar jobs have increased by 253%, from 814 in 2013 to its 2016 total. Minnesota ranks 25th among all states. Nationally, solar jobs increased 25%, the fourth straight year in which solar employment grew by about 20% or greater. One out of every 50 new jobs in the United States over the 12-month period was created by the solar industry. The Jobs Census is available at The Solar Foundation’s website.

— USDA has released an Applicant Orientation Guide Video to assist Section 502 Direct Housing Loan program applicants with the process. The program helps low- and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Access the orientation video here.

Rural Poverty & Well-being  ERS research in this topic focuses on the economic, social, spatial, and demographic factors that affect the income and poverty status of rural residents. The poverty analysis has been updated to reflect the most recently available (2015) data.

February 2017- Volume XV, Number 2

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

This newsletter is also available online: http://wp.me/pkVGJ-7h

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

–The MPCA Small Business Environmental Loan Program has low-interest loans for small businesses to upgrade old equipment that meets regulations or reduces environmental impact, and for costs related to site clean-up.  The program offers financial and technical help with your environmental project. Other common benefits are a healthier workplace, lower waste bills, and simpler permits and/or cost savings from reduced regulatory obligations.  Typical loan programs only offer 4 to 5-year payback options, while the MPCA small business loan offers up to a 7-year payback. With its competitive interest rates, easier application process, and flexible collateral options, it is a good choice for your next environmental project.

Many business types can apply. An applicant must have:

  • an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or association,
  • less than 50 full-time employees
  • an after-tax profit of less than $500,000
  • a net worth of less than $1 million

The terms:

  • loan amount between $1,000 and $50,000
  • current interest rate of 4 percent
  • repayment term up to seven years
  • flexible collateral options

The application process is now shorter and awarded throughout the year. Applicants are evaluated on their ability to secure and repay the loan, and the project’s expected environmental benefits. All projects costs must be pre-approved and cannot be made until the application process is complete. Borrowers must report on the project’s realized environmental and economic benefits. For more information and to apply contact Eric David: 651-757-2218 or eric.david@state.mn.us.

— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is offering grants through Art Works 1 for FY 2018. An organization may submit only one application through one of the following two FY 2018 categories: Art Works 1 or Challenge America. An organization may submit one additional application under the FY 2018 Art Works category for a Creativity Connects project. Deadlines: Art Works 1; 2/16/2017; Challenge America; 4/13/2017. Click here to review application guidelines for an Art Works 1 grant. Click here for guidelines on Challenge America grants.

2017 Day of Service Grants  for day of service projects in observance of September 11th and/or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Projects may focus on child welfare, safety, and health; healthcare access; assistance to veterans and active duty military families; and human services such as the provision of housing and emergency food.
Application Deadline: Feb 22, 2017.

— DNR Park and Trail Grants. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota.  Go to: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/news/emt-express/emt-express-details/?nid=1379&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

–Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and economic development areas. Applications for this grant round are due February 28, 2017, with awards announced in May. Full guidelines and online application can be found at www.smifoundation.org. For more information email Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at jenniferh@smifoundation.org; or call 507-455-3215.

–Applications for the fourth year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program are open until Feb. 28, 2017. The 10-year, $150-million program helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. During the first three years of the program, funding was awarded for 1,048 solar electric projects and 36 solar thermal installations. The solar electric projects equal about 15 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity. Read more (pdf) for information on how to apply, application guidelines, and more.

Community Connect Broadband Grant Program  grants for communities without broadband service to provide residential service and connect facilities, such as police and fire stations, healthcare, libraries, and schools. Priority will be given to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services. Application Deadline: March 13, 2017.

Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Grants awards grants in the areas of education, human services, health, and hospitals. 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.  Application Deadline: March 15, 2017.

–USDA has announced requests for applications for the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and the Local Food Promotion Program to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Deadline for both programs: 3/27/2017. Click here for information on the Farmers Market Promotion Program, and here for the Local Food Promotion Program.

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.  Application Deadline: March 31, 2017.

–Minnesota Festival Support is a grant program of the Minnesota State Arts Board designed to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts. The program provides funding for sponsoring or presenting organizations to feature Minnesota individual artists and Minnesota arts groups in arts festivals, or in the arts component of broader, community festivals. The program is open to Minnesota 501(c)(3) organizations, unincorporated groups with at least one paid staff person and a Minnesota 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, and public agencies.

All applicants must have produced the proposed festival at least once before, prior to the March 31st deadline. Grants range from $5,000 to $75,000, with a 25% cash match requirement. There will be a Webinar and conference call on February 28th at 3:00pm for anyone interested learning more about the program. Program guidelines, sample applications, webinar registration information, and contact information for the program officer can be found on the Arts Board website at http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/machf-mfs.htm.
–East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to remind to all local artists, art organizations, and schools within Region 7E (the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs) that there is an April 1st grant deadline for all of these grant programs.

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

– Small/Art Project 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 project funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

– McKnight Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related project funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents in Region 7E.

The link to the online application processes can be found at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants    For further information, please call 320-396-2337 extension 2 or email: grantinfo@ecrac.org.

— Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are April 7, June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

School Grants for Healthy Kids awards funding to support school breakfast and physical activity programs. Application Deadline: April 7, 2017.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

— 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 21st in Minneapolis! You’ll dive into nonprofit strategies for everything from branding to cloud computing, from podcasting to website redesigning and much, much more.  Learn more

–Save the Date! Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation’s 2017 Annual Meeting will be Monday, March 6, 2017 from 11:30am – 1:15pm at the Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, Baxter.

— Broadband Day on the Hill March 15: Minnesota Broadband Coalition members have come together to organize Minnesota’s first ever Broadband Day on the Hill on March 15. The Coalition’s goal is to bring directly to legislators rural perspectives on the critical role that broadband plays in Minnesota rural communities’ economic vitality and quality of life. http://wp.me/p3if7-3TO

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:

http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

–AURI Invites You to Register for its New Uses Forum Today!  The forum, scheduled for March 22 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth, MN, is bringing together experts and entrepreneurs across the new uses arena, including university and industry R&D experts, Minnesota business and agbioeconomy partners, as well as the financial community. Together, they will participate in open discussions about the latest innovations and opportunities for developing new uses for Minnesota grown crops and agricultural processing byproducts. The day’s events include:

  • Industry panel discussions
  • Minnesota’s activities and resources,
  • Regional and global research efforts,
  • Networking opportunities, and
  • Keynote addresses tailored to the interests of MN agriculture.

AURI is inviting you to register today.  Learn More

— SAVE THE DATE May 16-17 The National Digital Inclusion Alliance and the St. Paul Public Library welcome digital inclusion practitioners, advocates, academics, Internet service providers and policymakers to Net Inclusion 2017: The National Digital Inclusion Summit. St. Paul, Minnesota http://www.digitalinclusionalliance.org/netinclusion2017/

— SAVE THE DATE!  Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

2017 Nonprofit Fundraising Conference  co-hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, Brooklyn Center

2017 MCN Annual Conference will be held Thursday – Friday, October 12 – 13, 2017 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, Saint Paul.

OPPORTUNITIES

–The National Rural Assembly needs YOUR input now!  We are working on a “big ideas” initiative with support from The Duke Endowment. We are convening a diverse group of 40 rural leaders, February 21-23, for some creative and intense brainstorming. We’ll ask them to put forward their best thinking around how we achieve a stronger, more just nation, and we hope to emerge with one or more “big ideas” that can be carried forward in rural America.

You can participate in this initiative and in the ensuing work from your desk! Please complete one or all of these steps:

  1. Fill out the initialparticipant questionnaire. Your responses will be shared on the Rural Assembly Big Ideas webpage and with those gathering in February.
  2. Give us your big idea: Just open with, “What If We…” andemail it to us. We’ll share your Big Ideas with meeting participants, and we may ask you to expand it as a blog post.
  3. Follow the Big Ideas Forum on our Facebookand Twitter platforms. Use #ruralbigideas

–Comment now on possible changes to MPCA air quality rules affecting small facilities. There is currently a comment period open on possible changes to air quality rules for exempt sources and insignificant activities. The request for comments was published in the State Register on January 9th, 2017. Stakeholders should provide comments by February 23, 2017.

Small facilities that may be impacted by these changes include auto body finishing shops, wood working manufacturers, coating operations, and others. This rule change may make it easier for small shops to know if they need an air permit and simpler to stay in compliance.  Read the proposed rule change ideas, review questions the MPCA has for stakeholders, find public comment opportunities, and watch the webcast at www.pca.state.mn.us/air/exempt-source-conditionally-insignificant-activities.

— MN companies: Green chemistry and engineering intern grant, $9,500 is available to support the placement of the intern at a Minnesota facility this summer.  Intern activities this type of grant has supported, beyond what “green chemistry & engineering” might suggest:

  • Compare life cycle impacts of candidate materials;
  • Support safety and/or performance testing of alternative materials or designs;
  • Work with design, manufacturing, and cross-functional teams to assess candidate materials and their supply and cost feasibility;
  • Catalog supplier safety data sheets and certifications as part of green/sustainable purchasing initiatives;
  • Update inventories of chemical regulations and support audits of internal and supply chain compliance;
  • Learn and perform hazard and alternatives assessment processes;
  • Support sales and marketing of new or improved products.

Product chemistry or design change is a complex process of many steps over time, and this internship can support one or more of those steps.  Please consider how an intern could help your company, and ask clarifying questions through p2.pca@state.mn.us.  Application materials are available here.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

— The Energy Department released a request for proposal (RFP) for colleges interested in participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2018. The organizers will select 10 to 12 teams of students to compete in the challenge, co-located with the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference in Chicago on May 7–10, 2018. Interested students and faculty can learn more about the RFP and its requirements by visiting the FedBizOps listing and watching an informational webinar.

— Submit Your Location for Possible Film, Television or Commercials Do you have a one-of-a-kind Main Street in your town, a neighborhood of beautiful homes or picturesque parks, or even spooky abandoned buildings?

— Show Off Your Postcard-Worthy Destination or Attraction  Explore Minnesota is actively seeking postcards from tourism destinations and attractions to show off our picturesque state.

MISCELLANEOUS

HHS: Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines   The updated 2017 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) federal poverty guidelines for the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, and Hawaii, which took effect January 26, 2017. The HHS poverty guidelines are a simplified version of the poverty thresholds issued by the U.S. Census Bureau and are used to determine eligibility for a number of federal programs.

Rural HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Toolkit  this new toolkit, developed by the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities implement HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. Browse program models and examples that span the HIV/AIDS care continuum. Learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results.

Capital Funding for Rural Healthcare  this guide has been updated to include new information and frequently asked questions related to capital funding for rural facilities. Find resources to help you run a successful capital campaign, as well as funding sources that support capital projects.

Measuring our children’s well-being   Minnesota’s Risk and Reach, a new section within the Early Childhood topic of Minnesota Compass, takes a county by county look at potential risks to the healthy development of young children and the reach of public services to address areas of need. In this new Insight article, Risk and Reach project directors Elizabeth Carlson, University of Minnesota, and Richard Chase, Wilder Research, explain why it matters and suggest ways you might use this information. Read now

Veterans in Rural America: 2011-2015 reports detailed demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural veterans, based primarily on 2011–2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Includes comparisons of rural veterans to both urban veterans and rural nonveterans. Topics addressed include health insurance coverage, disability status and service-connected disability, and use of VA healthcare.

Food Access Research Atlas The Food Access Research Atlas (formerly the Food Desert Locator) is a mapping tool that allows users to investigate multiple indicators of food store access. This tool expands upon previous estimates of food desert census tracts, incorporating alternative estimates of low income and low access census tracts, and by offering contextual information for all census tracts in the U.S.

–Solar capacity in Minnesota increased more than seven-fold in the past year, from 33 megawatts (MW) in 2015 to 250 MW at the end of 2016, according to preliminary findings compiled by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The majority of the new solar electric capacity came from two utility-scale projects for Xcel Energy: the 100-MW North Star solar project in Chisago County, which began operation in December, and the 100-MW Aurora solar project, with 14 of its 16 sites generating power in 2016. Community solar gardens and residential and commercial rooftop solar systems make up the remainder of solar growth in 2016. In a Dec. 25, 2016 Star Tribune article, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said it expects Minnesota to add more than 1,200 MW of solar in the next five years. Xcel Energy says 400 MW of that will come from its Community Solar Garden program in 2017 and a total of 668 MW of community solar from Xcel is expected by 2020.

–The MPCA recently released its biennial report on air quality, The Air We Breathe: The state of Minnesota’s air quality, 2017.  The report looks at the state’s air quality, and what the MPCA and its partners are doing to protect the health of all Minnesotans. Overall, Minnesota’s air quality is good.  Levels of outdoor air pollution have been going down for 30 years, even while the gross state product increases.  Nonetheless, air pollution still impacts people’s health, especially lower-income communities and communities of color, who are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution.  The MPCA is working to reduce air pollution across the state, with particular emphasis on reducing exposures in overburdened communities.  To learn more, check out our report website.

–The International Downtown Association and Springboard for the Arts have launched a toolkit “Guide for Business Districts to Work with Local Artists” to support creative placemaking partnerships between artists and local business initiatives. This work is made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts from its Our Town program. To access the toolkit, click here.

January 2017- Volume XV, Number 1

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

This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –CORRECTIONS

ACROSS THE FIELD – A milestone reached; learning from our past – by Jane Leonard

Wow! Fifteen years straight publishing the MRP Rural Round-Up e-newsletter, all thanks to the talent and dedication of volunteers Ann Treacy and Deb Miller Slipek, my co-editors/compilers since the beginning of this one-stop compendium for rural-related info that helps you help your community be and stay strong.

Agricultural and rural journalism have figured in my background since I was a little kid, in awe of my Dad’s collection of USDA yearbooks, which went back to the 1840s, before there was even an official USDA, when the function of reporting on agricultural improvements and collecting seeds fell somewhere between the U.S. Patent Office and the State Department.

Agricultural journals, books, experimental and showcase farms and fairs were the lifeblood of information exchange and knowledge development in those early years before the 1862 creation of USDA and even after. The first several Secretaries of Agriculture were farm journalists.

I wrote my master’s thesis comparing the USDA yearbooks and the ag journals as agenda-setters and/or reporters of agricultural and rural trends. The American Agriculturist stood out for me as an exemplar in the comprehensive exchange of both agricultural and rural life know-how for when I began my life’s work in rural journalism and eventually community, rural, and economic development.

Thirty-eight years since that start, I still come back to a quote I found in the March 1856 issue of the Agriculturist. It’s a timeless reminder of how to be a helpful person in a world sorely needing wisdom, grace and compassion:

“GENTILITY is neither in birth, wealth, manner nor fashion – but in the mind. A high sense of honor, a determination never to take a mean advantage of another, an adherence to truth, delicacy, and politeness towards those with whom we have dealings, are its essential characteristics.”

FUNDING

–The MISSION CONTINUES is seeking applications for Post-9/11 Veteran Nonprofit Fellowships. Service fellowships, which include a cost-of-living stipend, are awarded to post-9/11 veterans to enable them to volunteer with nonprofit organizations in their community as an extension of their service to the country. Deadline: 1/17/2017. Visit the website here to review program guidelines.

— The UNFI Foundation funds nonprofit organizations across the United States that support the development of healthy, organic foods and food practices, and promote the health of the planet. The focus is on organizations that work to increase organic agriculture, provide research and science to develop organic farming practices, protect the biodiversity of our seed supply and the stewardship of genetic resources of organic seed, teach organic farming practices that promote conservation of resources, and foster the next generation of organic farmers. The first two letter of intent deadlines in 2017 are 1/19 and 4/27. Visit the Foundation’s website here to review guidelines and learn more about the application process.

–BIG READ is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations for programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Grants of up to $20,000 each will be awarded to nonprofit organizations for community-wide reading programs. Deadline: 1/26/2017. Click here to review program guidelines.

–U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. Grants will be awarded to programs that support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded $30,000 each. Deadline: 1/31/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Program provides grants for school improvement projects, including school gardens, physical fitness areas, walking trails, and meeting the basic needs of students. Application Deadline: Feb 9, 2017.

— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is offering grants through Art Works 1 for FY 2018. An organization may submit only one application through one of the following two FY 2018 categories: Art Works 1 or Challenge America. An organization may submit one additional application under the FY 2018 Art Works category for a Creativity Connects project. Deadlines: Art Works 1; 2/16/2017; Challenge America; 4/13/2017. Click here to review application guidelines for an Art Works 1 grant. Click here for guidelines on Challenge America grants.

2017 Day of Service Grants  for day of service projects in observance of September 11th and/or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Projects may focus on child welfare, safety, and health; healthcare access; assistance to veterans and active duty military families; and human services such as the provision of housing and emergency food.
Letter of Intent (Optional): Feb 8, 2017. Application Deadline: Feb 22, 2017.

— DNR Park and Trail Grants. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota.  Go to: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/news/emt-express/emt-express-details/?nid=1379&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

–Applications for the fourth year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program are open until Feb. 28, 2017. The 10-year, $150-million program helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. During the first three years of the program, funding was awarded for 1,048 solar electric projects and 36 solar thermal installations. The solar electric projects equal about 15 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity. Read more (pdf) for information on how to apply, application guidelines, and more.

— Blandin Foundation Broadband Grants: Broadband Innovation and Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant award amounts range from $1,000 to $25,000, and matching funds are required. Grant application deadlines for 2017 are April 7, June 23 and September 22. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M7

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Developing Healthy Places.  The Kresge Foundation provides funding to improve the places that shape health, including programs that promote healthy housing and neighborhoods, food systems for low-income communities, and equitable transportation and land use. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

–The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity announcement for up to $6 million to install energy efficiency measures and deploy clean energy systems on Indian lands. The Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes and tribal energy resource development organizations to install energy efficiency measures and clean energy systems on tribal buildings and deploy clean energy systems on a community scale.

–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) FY17 solicitation of applications. REAP offers two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants to state, tribal, or local governments; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or public power entities. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants of $20,000 or less and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. For assistance with applications, interested parties in Minnesota should contact Ron Omann, Rural Development Energy Coordinator, at 651-602-7796 or ron.omann@mn.usda.gov.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

— Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) will host a webinar, “Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC): Accomplishments and Outlook,” Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Click here to register.

— Lobbying? Yes! You Can!  Join this FREE webinar on Friday, January 20th from 10-11a.m. to learn the rules that govern advocacy and lobbying, how advocacy can further your organization’s mission, and the ingredients for a successful legislative lobby visit. Participants will learn important definitions, the federal and state laws related to lobbying, understand reporting requirements and engage with peers across the state. Learn more

Registration Now Open for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  You are cordially invited to join us Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017, at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference: The Next Big Event!

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

— 2017 Nonprofit Communications & Technology Conference will be held on Tuesday, February 21st in Minneapolis! You’ll dive into nonprofit strategies for everything from branding to cloud computing, from podcasting to website redesigning and much, much more.  Learn more

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to:

http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

— MCN and Nonprofits Assistance Fund will be hosting the sixth-annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference on Thursday, April 13 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center. This year’s conference will feature a keynote addressing charitable endowments by Alan Cantor, consultant and frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Philanthropy; 20 timely breakout sessions and opportunities to network with sector peers.  Early Bird rates for MCN members are available until February 24. Scholarships and team registrations specials are also available. Learn more!

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

— SAVE THE DATE!  Springboard for the Arts, the Center for Small Towns, and the Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota will host the 2017 Rural Arts & Culture Summit, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

— SAVE THE DATE!  2017 Nonprofit Leadership Conference to be held at the University of MN in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

OPPORTUNITIES

Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference Sponsorships Now Available for the 2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference that will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2017, at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront in downtown St. Paul.

— Morris K Udall and Steward L Udall Foundation is offering a 10-week fully funded summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Deadline to apply: 1/31/2017. Visit the Foundation website here for guidelines and an application.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

— The Energy Department released a request for proposal (RFP) for colleges interested in participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2018. The organizers will select 10 to 12 teams of students to compete in the challenge, co-located with the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference in Chicago on May 7–10, 2018. Interested students and faculty can learn more about the RFP and its requirements by visiting the FedBizOps listing and watching an informational webinar.

Submit Your Location for Possible Film, Television or Commercials Do you have a one-of-a-kind Main Street in your town, a neighborhood of beautiful homes or picturesque parks, or even spooky abandoned buildings?

Show Off Your Postcard-Worthy Destination or Attraction  Explore Minnesota is actively seeking postcards from tourism destinations and attractions to show off our picturesque state.

MISCELLANEOUS

— The U.S. Census Bureau released its five-year American Community Survey data with a major focus on rural America. The data shows that people who live in rural areas are more likely to own their own homes, live in their state of birth, and have served in the military than their urban counterparts, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Read the press release from the Census Bureau here, and access the data here.

–Minnesota City profiles now provide updated and more in-depth information

Geographic profiles across the state for cities with populations of 1000+ have been redesigned and updated. Now find more in-depth information on residents, housing, poverty, workforce, and how people get around. Check out your city of interest.

–The White House recently announced the creation of a network of 48 charging corridors on the nation’s highways. The network will cover 25,000 miles and include 55 different interstate highway systems, including I-94 in Minnesota, spanning 35 states. It is designed to place a charging station approximately every 50 miles. The Administration is partnering with 28 companies and organizations on the project, and the Federal Highway Administration will manage the devices. Read more.

–Report documents the benefits of renewable energy for Midwest states. The Center for Rural Affairs has released “Link to Rural Development and a Renewable Future,” a report authored by Rural Affairs Climate Program Associate Lucas Nelsen. The report looks at the benefits of wind energy for the Midwest and Great Plains regions and discusses the need to update the transmission system to accommodate the new wind capacity. Read the report (pdf).

A Quiet Crisis: Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage. The Center for Rural Policy and Development analyzes child care need and capacity by Minnesota region and discusses the implications of a child care shortage.

Access to Care for Rural People with Disabilities Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities improve access to care for people with disabilities. Browse program models and examples, and learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community and disseminate program results.

–The Minnesota Department of Health has published a Community Paramedic (CP) Toolkit (PDF) for prospective employers.

The purpose of the toolkit is to assist employers and organizations who are planning to hire Community Paramedics. The CP role leverages the medical and community expertise of paramedics and, through additional training, applies their skills to primary care settings. CPs are able to:

  • reduce overall health care costs by helping patients avoid more acute care such as hospital readmissions,
  • improve health outcomes for specific populations, and
  • improve patient experience.

The toolkit and background resources are available on our Toolkit webpage at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/toolkit.html

–Economic Impact Reports sponsored by the National Center for Rural Health Works   provide a broad overview of the impact the healthcare sector has on rural communities, along with two studies that examine specific aspects of the rural healthcare system:

Safely Aging in Place in Rural America discusses the health challenges faced by older Americans as they age in place in rural communities, including issues such as limited access to care, social isolation, and higher rates of chronic illness and poverty. Going forward, providing individually tailored support, connecting to local resources, and offering services via telehealth will be necessary to meet the healthcare needs of America’s aging rural population.

— New Minnesota Broadband Maps.  The Office of Broadband Development published a heat map of broadband availability in Minnesota. The map indicates that Statewide availability of broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up is 90.15%, while rural availability within the state is 78.04%. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Mb

— Broadband is Different Market in Urban than Rural Markets.  A recent report from the FCC indicates that cable is the dominant broadband in urban areas and DSL is dominant in rural areas. http://wp.me/p3if7-3M1 Optimistic predictions for wireless technologies, such as 5G, say faster speeds may be available as early as 2020 in urban areas but with increased cost and limited reach, 5G will not be a major player in rural areas. http://wp.me/p3if7-3LY

— HUD had released a new CDBG technical assistance product, “How to Use CDBG for Housing Activities.” In this six-module video, HUD explains the kinds of housing activities that can be funded with CDBG, how to use CDBG to meet the housing needs of the community, and the key elements to be considered in housing program design. Access the video modules here.

— The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has published “How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development.” The book features 28 essays from thought leaders active in arts-based community development as well as 13 case studies of projects funded through the NEA’s creative placemaking program, Our Town, and is intended as a primer for those interested in bringing the arts to the community development table as a tool – along with housing, transportation, public health and other sectors – to advance revitalization efforts in an authentic way. Download the pdf of the book from the NEA website here.

— The National Association of Development Organizations has published “Measuring Rural Wealth Creation: A Guide for Regional Development Organizations.” The paper presents concepts and samples to assist in the creation of a plan for measuring progress in rural wealth creation for rural development organizations (RDOs) involved in community and economic development. Get the paper here.

Corrections

Using the ERS County Economic Types To Explore Demographic and Economic Trends in Rural Areas (Amber Waves article) On December 15, 2016 a correction was made to a chart in the Amber Waves article “Using the ERS County Economic Types To Explore Demographic and Economic Trends in Rural Areas.” In the chart “Rural median household incomes were highest in recreation counties,” the correction fixes the colors for the lines corresponding to recreation counties and Government dependent counties, which were inadvertently reversed.

Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition on December 21, 2016, Rural America at a Glance, 2016 Edition was reposted to correct the classifications of some counties in the map.

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

This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING

–U.S. Bank Places to Play is a collaboration between U.S. Bank and the Minnesota Vikings that provides grant funding to nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations and schools in low- to moderate-income communities in Minnesota to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local play spaces. As part of U.S. Bank’s Community Possible platform, this grantmaking initiative focuses on creating or improving parks, playgrounds, indoor/outdoor athletic facilities and repairing existing trails over three years. Proposals are due November 17. For more information go to: https://www.usbank.com/splash/placestoplay/index.html

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) offers grants to fire departments and EMS organizations for equipment, training, personnel wellness programs, capital funding, and collaboration efforts.  Application Deadline: Nov 18, 2016.

–THE U.S. Department of Education is offering grants to nonprofits, LEAs, public agencies, and IHEs for a wide array of activities to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and go on to college through the Upward Bound program. Deadline to apply: 11/28/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–USDA is offering funding through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program. The program provides support to meet the food needs of low-income individuals, increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their food needs, and promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review program funding guidelines.

— HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program. Up to ten communities, including four rural, will be awarded funds to design and implement a community response focused on ending youth homelessness. $33 million is available for the program. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Safer School Garden Grant provides funding to start a school garden. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.

Phyllis and Milton Berg Family Respite Care Grant funding to help alleviate the cost of respite care for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.  Sponsor: Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge provides funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, or other community-oriented initiatives.  Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.  Sponsor: NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association

AmeriCorps State and National Grants funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps member in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 7, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017.

–USDA is offering funding through the Farm to School Grant Program for efforts that improve access to local foods in schools. Grants are made for planning, implementation, support services, and training. Deadline: 12/8/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will begin accepting proposals for the Capacity Building Grant Program on November 10, 2016.  Proposals must be received by DEED no later than 4:30 pm. on December 9, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered. Request for Proposal

CT Scanner Replacement Initiative offers funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Health Program to qualifying hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the purchase of a new 32 slice or higher CT scanner. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 9, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 27, 2017.

–The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is offering funds to schools where a minimum of 85 percent of the student body qualifies for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program to enable them to extend, update, and diversify the book and print collections. Grants of up to $7,000 are available to pre-K-12 school libraries throughout the United States, the American territories, and Department of Defense schools in other countries. Funds are provided solely for books, e-books, or magazines and serials in print, Braille, or audio form. All grants are made to individual schools rather than to school districts, foundations, or other entities. Deadline: 12/12/2016. Online application information is available here.

–USDA has announced the availability of grant funding to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by families and households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The funding will be awarded to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. Applications may be submitted in three categories: pilot projects requesting less than $100,000 over one year, multi-year community-based projects requesting less than $500,000 over no more than four years, and multi-year large-scale projects requesting $500,000 or more over no more than four years. Deadline: 12/12/2016. For application materials and guidelines, click here.

–The Environmental Protection Agency is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies for either: 1) developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfields sites, or 2) cleaning up contaminated brownfields sites. Deadline: 12/20/2016. Click here for program guidelines and to apply.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–The National Institutes of Health is offering grants to rural nonprofit and public agencies for programs that help control the opioid epidemic in the United States. Deadline: 01/10/2017. Click here for grant materials.

–THE MISSION CONTINUES is seeking applications for Post-9/11 Veteran Nonprofit Fellowships. Service fellowships, which include a cost-of-living stipend, are awarded to post-9/11 veterans to enable them to volunteer with nonprofit organizations in their community as an extension of their service to the country. Deadline: 1/17/2017. Visit the website here to review program guidelines.

–The Department of Health and Human Services is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

–THE KRESGE FOUNDATION is offering grants through its Arts and Culture Program to anchor institutions in any sector that have a stake in and are located in a low-income, disinvested community, and to nonprofit community partners, nonprofit artist collaboratives, and government entities. Support is provided for cross-sector/cross-disciplinary projects that embed arts and culture into local systems such as municipal departments, community financial networks, comprehensive planning efforts, human services networks, regional food hubs, etc. Deadline: online applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Arts and Culture Program.

— Rebate opportunities for solar thermal systems remain available to all Minnesota residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of the 2016 Made in Minnesota (MiM) Solar Energy Incentive Program.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Grant Program offers grants to eligible organizations to cover all or part of the costs associated with purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED). Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org.

–Save the Date:  2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul January 31- February 1, 2017.

–The 27th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo being held Feb. 20-22, 2017, in Duluth, Minn.  For more information go to: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/eSites/206400/Login

–Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas. Join colleagues from across the state both to celebrate good work and to discuss opportunities for advancing our civic commitments even more powerfully together. Campus selections for the Presidents’ Awards for community partners, student leaders, and faculty/staff civic engagement stewards will be due February 24, 2017. Questions or to sponsor a team with a designated table at the awards luncheon, contact Julie or go to: http://mncampuscompact.org/event/2017-state-summit-and-awards-luncheon/

–SAVE THE DATE!  The National Housing Conference will host “Solutions for Housing Communications 2017” will be April 27-28, 2017, in Minneapolis.

OPPORTUNITIES

— Morris K Udall and Steward L Udall Foundation is offering a 10-week fully funded summer internship for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian country. Deadline to apply: 1/31/2017. Visit the Foundation website here for guidelines and an application.

2016‒2017 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis sponsors this contest for high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Students answer the question: “Can the U.S. economy still grow the way it once did?” to win monetary prizes. Essays are due by March 31, 2017.

Tesla Offers Chargers to Hotels and Resorts across Minnesota hoping that owners of Minnesota hotels and resorts will want to attract drivers of Tesla vehicles to their properties by joining Tesla’s destination charging network.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

MN2050 State of the Infrastructure.  At the request of MN2050, the Minnesota Department of Transportation worked with Wilder Research to conduct a survey to gather information about the characteristics and management of Minnesota’s infrastructure.

–A “Housing Development Toolkit” has been developed by the White House. The document highlights actions that states and local jurisdictions have taken to promote healthy, responsive, affordable, high-opportunity housing markets. Get the toolkit here.

— USDA Rural Housing Service has introduced a new website, “PolicyMap”, which shows public investments in rural communities through interactive maps. With these maps, the federal government can make better analytical decisions about how investments should be made, and more effective reports to track the work as it is getting done. PolicyMap helps the public to see Multi-Family, Single Family, and Community Facility Program investments against the spectrum of PolicyMap indicators ranging from renter cost burdens, to HMDA home purchase prices, to critical care hospital locations. Visit the PolicyMap website here.  For more information about PolicyMap, click here.

–In an attempt to support the Open Government Initiative and build a more transparent government, USDA has developed a Rural Development Dataset website that offers datasets for public use. Datasets include: Multi-Family Housing Data, Single Family Housing Data, Community Facilities Data, RD Obligation and Disbursements, and many others. Access the website here.

Palliative Care in Rural Minnesota: Findings from Stratis Health’s Minnesota Rural Palliative Care Initiative describes a 6 year initiative directed by Stratis Health supporting palliative care in rural areas of Minnesota. Features a palliative care development initiative in the rural city of Mora, Minnesota, and describes the Rural Palliative Care Measurement Pilot Project testing standardized quality measures in 5 rural communities.

–NOVEMBER 17th is 2016 Annual National Rural Health Day

— Broadband Communities Conference: Tips for communities and providers

The Broadband Communities Magazine held their Midwest Regional Conference in Minnesota. They made the case for broadband in a community http://wp.me/p3if7-3IE, emphasized the impact of local support http://wp.me/p3if7-3IG, and offered advice for partnership. http://wp.me/p3if7-3IK At the event, the Institute for Local Self Reliance had suggestions for how Minnesota could smooth the road for community networks. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Ja

–The White House Rural Council released a memo with the subject line “Rural Strategies That Work: Lifting up Federal Policies That Are Responsive to the Assets and Challenges of Rural America.” The memorandum outlines strategies for the design and delivery of programs in rural America to meet the unique challenges faced by rural communities, and discusses how policies can address the issues of geographic isolation (including travel to healthcare), limited financial resources, low population density, and poverty. Read the document here.

–In the PEW Charitable Trusts’ newsletter, Stateline, an article titled “Can the Arts Help Save Rural America?” the author discusses how the arts are helping a handful of rural communities reverse a negative economic and cultural trajectory. To be successful, the article says, a rural community must figure out what makes it unique – a gorgeous natural landscape that can serve as the backdrop for a writers’ retreat, an old opera house, or a tradition of local storytelling – and capitalize on that. Read the article here.

–An essay by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack lays out the work being done by the White House Rural Council to support life in rural America. The essay includes examples of successful cross-community projects that have benefited from federal support, including the Farm/Art D’Tour in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, which has received Our Town funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the full essay here.

— “How Migration Impacts Rural America” is the title of a brief from the Applied Population Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The authors find that rural migration patterns reflect the social, economic, and environmental conditions across rural America, which have significant implications for population structure, service needs, and community and economic development potentials of rural communities. Understanding distinct migration patterns can help community leaders to develop strategies to improve the well-being of their communities. Get the brief here.

–The Democracy Collaborative has published “Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economy,” designed as a guidebook to explain the financing of broad-based enterprises, and to show how these enterprises can be positioned for job-creating growth. Worker-owned companies, social enterprises, and related models with broad-based ownership are increasingly being seen as highly valuable tools for stemming and reversing rising economic inequality. Get the report here.

–WINDExchange offers new installed wind capacity maps.  WINDExchange recently announced the availability of new interactive wind energy installed capacity maps for the United States. Three capacity maps are available: installed capacity, potential wind capacity, and potential wind generation, which highlights the future of wind energy. To learn more about installed capacity from 1999 to 2016, users can scroll to any year using the slider below the maps.

EMPLOYMENT

Industry Position Openings  The Art Colony in Grand Marais is hiring two new full-time positions; a Marketing Manager and a Development Manager.

Visit Bemidji Seeks Group Sales Manager  The focus of this position is to increase group visits to Bemidji through conventions, meetings and events, group sport events, and group leisure travel.  Closing date: November 16th.

October 2016- Volume XIV, Number 9

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

This newsletter is also available online:

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING

–THE KRESGE FOUNDATION is offering grants through its Arts and Culture Program to anchor institutions in any sector that have a stake in and are located in a low-income, disinvested community, and to nonprofit community partners, nonprofit artist collaboratives, and government entities. Support is provided for cross-sector/cross-disciplinary projects that embed arts and culture into local systems such as municipal departments, community financial networks, comprehensive planning efforts, human services networks, regional food hubs, etc. Deadline: online applications may be submitted throughout the year. Visit the Foundation’s website here to learn more about the Arts and Culture Program.

— Asthma Friendly Schools The Minnesota Department of Health’s Asthma Program in partnership with the American Lung Association in Minnesota is offering mini-grant funding to create asthma friendly schools. Grant money up to $1,500 is available to implement a variety of school-based projects in elementary, middle or high school settings. The funds are available to public schools, charter schools, and private schools and can be applied to individual schools or across districts. Six project areas are available to choose from: Asthma Data; Environmental Policy; Partnering with Parents and Caregivers; Teaching an Asthma Self-Management Curriculum; Linking Schools and Health Care; and Health Office Staff Training. Applications are currently being accepted through June 30, 2017. For more information, go to the Minnesota Asthma Program–Asthma Friendly Schools Mini-Grant Program to learn how to submit your application. You may also contact the MDH Asthma Program at 651-201-5909 or asthma@health.state.mn.us

Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of April 1, 2017) Funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Application Deadline: Oct 17, 2016.  Sponsored by the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

— The Mental Health Safety Net Grant program assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Eligible providers must be Community Mental Health Centers or Clinics designated under Minnesota Statute 245.62, or nonprofit Mental Health Clinics designated as Essential Community Providers under Minnesota Statute 62Q.19. Eligible providers must also offer free or reduced-cost mental health care to low-income patients under the age of 21. Applications will be posted on September 12 and are due October 28. For more information, contact Shortage Designation Coordination and Grant Program Manager Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860 or keisha.shaw@state.mn.us.

–WHOLE KIDS FOUNDATION is offering grants to develop school gardens anywhere in the United States. Deadline: 10/31/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

— November 1, 2016, at midnight is the grant deadline for the East Central Regional Arts Council Individual Artists, Art in Our Schools, Small/Art Project Grants, and Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants.  For the grant application materials, information on past grants, and the link to the online grant portal go to: www.ecrac.org/grants

–THE NATIONAL DAIRY COUNCIL is offering “Fuel Up to Play 60: Jump Start Healthy Changes Grants” to schools anywhere in the United States to improve opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here for more information on this program and to apply.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) offers grants to fire departments and EMS organizations for equipment, training, personnel wellness programs, capital funding, and collaboration efforts.  Application Deadline: Nov 18, 2016.

— HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program. Up to ten communities, including four rural, will be awarded funds to design and implement a community response focused on ending youth homelessness. $33 million is available for the program. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

Safer School Garden Grant provides funding to start a school garden. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2016.

–USDA is offering grants to LEAs and nonprofits to bring seasonal, locally sourced and minimally processed foods to public schools. The maximum grant amount is $100,000 and there are 75 grants available. Deadline: 12/8/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps member in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 7, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

–THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grant funds to CDCs for community-based efforts to improve the economic and physical health of people in areas designated as food deserts or where applicants can point to indicators of need, such as poor access to a healthy food retail outlet, a high percentage of individuals with low-income, incidence of diet-related health conditions, or high concentrations of persons eligible for food assistance programs. Through the Community Economic Development (CED) program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the Department seeks to fund projects that implement strategies to increase healthy food access, foster self-sufficiency for individuals and families with low income, and create sustained employment opportunities in communities with low incomes. Deadline: 4/28/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines and download an application package.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Broadband Communities Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3xR (Minneapolis) will be held October 18-20.

— How to Finance your Export Operations seminar hosted by the Minnesota Trade Office and the Central Region SBDC will be held at the SBDC offices at St. Cloud State University’s Welcome Center on October 19th from 8:30AM to 3PM. Registration fee is $35. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/18y4.

— East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has scheduled its upcoming grant information sessions for all artists, arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and non-profit organizations in the Region 7E area. These sessions will include basic information about all ECRAC arts-related grant programs, as well as recent changes to the grant application process. Individual appointments with staff are available immediately after the group sessions.

Friday, October 21, 2016; 9:30-10:30 a.m.

30 minute individual meetings are available after the above sessions at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30 upon request.

Thursday, December 1, 2016; 1:30-2:30 p.m.

30 minute individual meetings are available after the above sessions at 2:30, 3:00, and 2:30 upon request.

Advance registration is required.  To register, please call the East Central Regional Arts Council office at (320) 396-2337, or email info@ecrac.org.

These sessions will be held at the East Central Regional Arts Council office located at 112 Main Avenue South in Braham, MN.  Don’t want to come to Braham to attend the information session? You can now watch it online!  ECRAC GRANT INFO VIDEO

— Duluth-Starting a Business in Minnesota workshop will be hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development and the Northeast Region SBDC on October 25th from 2-4PM at the Work Force Development Center, Duluth Athletic Building. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/18y7.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org.  Applications and nominations are now open!

–Save the Date:  2017 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul January 31- February 1, 2017.

–Save the Date:  Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas.

OPPORTUNITIES

Tesla Offers Chargers to Hotels and Resorts across Minnesota

Tesla is hoping that owners of Minnesota hotels and resorts will want to attract drivers of Tesla vehicles to their properties by joining Tesla’s destination charging network.

— The Rural Health Advisory Committee (RHAC) has an open appointment for a mid–level practitioner. The committee advises the Commissioner of Health and other state agencies on rural health issues. All members must reside outside the Twin Cities seven–county metropolitan area. The full announcement and application materials are available on the Secretary of State´s Current Vacancies web page. Applications are due to that office by October 24.

Culture of Health Prize  Awards that honor community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Letter of Intent (Required): Nov 3, 2016.  Application Deadline: Jan 20, 2017.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching Offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

— The U.S. Census Bureau its annual report, “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015.” The report reveals that both metropolitan areas and the nation as a whole experienced has released statistically significant decreases in poverty, and increases in median household income, reflecting overall economic improvement. Rural areas, on the other hand, stand out from an otherwise positive report with lower levels of economic gain. Get the report here.

How Migration Impacts Rural America identifies five migration patterns that impact rural counties: youth migration, rural exodus, retirement, destination, and university influence. Discusses how different migration patterns impact the need for services, including healthcare. Part of the publication series Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America.

–“Helping Rural America Catch Up” is a collection of opinion pieces in the The New York Times written by rural experts, and placed in “discussion” with one another concerning the challenges faced by rural America. Topics include access to health resources, poverty, economic development, and technological infrastructure. Access it here.

–The FrameWorks Institute has released two studies looking at the conversation about the link between housing and health, education, and economic outcomes. “A House, a Tent, a Box: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Healthy Housing” compares public and expert understandings of housing, and offers strategic guidance for how communicators can help ordinary Americans better appreciate the connections between affordability, quality, and health. The other study is titled “Not Telling the Whole Story: Media and Advocacy Discourse about Affordable Housing.” FrameWorks researchers conducted a systematic analysis of the frames used by the media and by influential housing reform organizations. The result is a carefully drawn map of the narratives in play—with directions for navigating it strategically. Download both studies here.

–The Democracy Collaborative has developed a toolkit series “Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities,” produced with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and designed to help hospitals and health systems build community wealth through inclusive hiring, investment, and purchasing. The first toolkit in this series, “Inclusive, Local Hiring,” can be accessed here.

–The White House has published a Housing Development Toolkit, discussing local land use strategies to increase supply like inclusionary zoning and by-right development, as well as barriers like lengthy approval processes, parking requirements, and limits on accessory dwellings. While the Toolkit focus is on urban/suburban areas, some policies could be applied to rural areas. Get the Toolkit here.

–“Opportunities for Promoting Credit for Affordable Housing in Rural America” is a report from the Center for American Progress that summarizes findings from a roundtable convened by the White House Rural Council and USDA’s Rural Housing Service and facilitated by the Center for American Progress. The issue brief provides an analysis of the areas of opportunity for improving access to credit in rural communities gleaned from discussions at the roundtable. Download the brief here.

–Housing Assistance Council published an overview of rural housing finance in its magazine Rural Voices. Read the issue here.

— An article in the Federal Bank of Minneapolis’ newsletter on preserving USDA-RD 515 units titled “Key housing organizations take coordinated approach to preserving rural Minnesota’s affordable rentals,” discusses the collaborative effort among government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota that aims to preserve rural affordable housing. Read the article here.

— In an update to the issue of maturing rural multifamily mortgages, USDA released a loan level database of all rural multifamily loans and their projected “exit” or maturity date. Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has links to the data and a summary on its website here.

–“Bridging Farm and Table: The ‘Harvest to Market’ Innovation” is the title of a brief from The Carsey School of Public Policy that highlights a Social Venture Innovation Challenge winner. In the brief authors Andrew Walters and Edie Allard describe their new online platform, Harvest to Market, which makes it easier for small farmers to sell their products directly to local consumers. Consumers visit the Harvest to Market website and find “markets” in their area. Download the brief here.

— USDA has published “Household Food Security in the United States in 2015.” Researchers report on household food security, food expenditures and use of federal food and nutrition assistance programs in 2015. The report includes food insecurity statistics for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Get the report here.

— Minnesota currently imports 72 percent of the energy it consumes, mostly fossil fuels such as coal and oil. However, results of a two-year project called the “Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan” (pdf) show that the state has ample opportunity to decrease these imports and increase clean, affordable, reliable, and resilient energy while boosting the state economy. The 2025 Energy Action Plan was funded through a competitive grant awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy and compiled by the Rocky Mountain Institute. It centers on consensus-driven, near-term strategies that add value to Minnesota’s dynamic energy landscape. Strategies are recommended under five categories:

  • Transportation
  • Energy supply and grid modernization
  • Efficient buildings and integrated energy systems
  • Industrial and agricultural processes
  • Local planning and action

The Action Plan was coordinated by a multisector team that included the Rocky Mountain Institute, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Legislative Energy Commission, Great Plains Institute, and LHB, Inc. The project team worked closely with a multidisciplinary group of more than 50 stakeholders across the state to collect input on energy technologies and strategies.

— A compendium of resources on community solar gardens has been compiled by the Central Region of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). The resources include Guides & Reports, Articles & Websites, Tools & Resources, and Videos from national sources like the National Renewable Energy Lab and Smart Electric Power Alliance. Read more.

— The Disability Resource Center (DRC) at the University of Minnesota recently released an informative resource for Creating Accessible & Inclusive Meetings or Events.  The tip sheet includes event-related guidelines your organization should be aware of when planning an event, including information on venue selection, marketing and communications, presenter consideration, food offerings and other considerations.

Read the DRC’s full tip sheet to discover ways to make your events more accessible and inclusive for all. If you have any questions, please contact the Disability Resource Center at 612-626-1333 or drc@umn.edu.

Grant Writing for Rural Healthcare Projects This newly updated topic guide provides tips on searching for rural-specific funding, grant proposal preparation, building successful funding relationships, and planning for program sustainability.

— This year’s National Rural Health Day is Thursday, November 17. This sixth annual celebration allows the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and our partners to showcase rural America and highlight the unique health care needs of rural communities.

EMPLOYMENT

Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota Seeks Executive Director

The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is searching for a new Executive Director to lead the museum in achieving the established strategic goals and shaping the future of the organization.

Visit Cook County Administrative Manager Position Opening

Visit Cook County is searching for a new team member.

September 2016- Volume XIV, Number 8

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

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS
  • –EMPLOYMENT

FUNDING

— HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program. Up to ten communities, including four rural, will be awarded funds to design and implement a community response focused on ending youth homelessness. $33 million is available for the program. Deadline: 11/30/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

— The Minnesota J1 Visa Waiver Program will accept applications for FY 2017 beginning September 15 through 4:30 p.m., November 30. Physicians who wish to be considered for a waiver slot must submit their application by the due date. For more information about the J-1 Visa Waiver Program, contact Workforce Grants Administrator Darwin Flores Trujillo at 651-201-3850 or darwin.flores.trujillo@state.mn.us.

–Dual-Training Grants Application Available Now! Employers can now apply for grants to help create or expand dual-training programs in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services and information technology industries. Dual-training grants are part of the Minnesota PIPELINE Project, which was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2014 to expand dual training and apprenticeship programs. This is the third round of grants released for this program. Thus far, 37 employers have received grants totaling $1,428,439 to support the training of 274 students/employees. Applications due September 23, 2016 at 5 pm CDT.  LEARN MORE

— LOWE’S Charitable and Education Foundation is accepting applications for Toolbox for Education grants for projects with the potential to have a permanent impact on a K-12 school community, such as facility enhancement or landscaping/clean-up projects. Deadline: 9/26/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is requesting applications for the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Program. The program provides funding to local nonprofit corporations that will use these funds to make loans to Minnesota businesses majority-owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities.  The Request for Proposal

Proposals must be received by DEED no later than 4:00 pm. on September 30, 2016. Late proposals will not be considered.  For more information contact Bob.Isaacson@state.mn.us or 651-259-7458.

— October 1st is the deadline for Best Buy grants for Technology Programs for Underserved Teens Funded http://wp.me/p3if7-3EO

–The Target Field Trip Grants program provides funds for K-12 field trips in order to give students throughout the country the opportunity to explore more of the world outside the classroom. Grants of up to $700 each will be awarded to educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and classified staff who are employed by accredited K-12 public, private, or charter schools. Deadline: online applications will be accepted through 10/1/2016. Visit the Target website here to learn more about the program.

Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant provides funding to dental hygienists for projects aimed at improving oral health or providing oral health education. Application Deadline: October 1, 2016.

–Border to Border Grants.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Office of Broadband Development, will be soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Development Grants. The application deadline is 4:00 p.m., Monday, October 3, 2016. Details are available http://wp.me/p3if7-3CQ as are updated maps. http://wp.me/p3if7-3Cw

— NIFA Announces $8.3 Million in Available Funding to Support Innovative Small Businesses.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced more than $8.3 million in available funding to support small businesses in the creation of advanced research and development projects that will lead to innovative solutions for American agriculture. This funding is available through the Small Business Innovation Research program, administered by NIFA. Applications are due October 6th.  Learn more

–The Tourism Marketing Grant Program is designed to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the state of Minnesota, increase the number of resident and nonresident travelers to our state, grow travel-related sales and employment in Minnesota, generate increased sales tax revenue from travel-related industries, and develop industry partnerships to expand marketing reach.  Grants are offered to Minnesota non-profit organizations formed for the primary purpose of tourism promotion and to scenic byway groups incorporated as a non-profit organization. Grants are to be used for marketing and promotional projects or to conduct research to help in this endeavor. To request tourism marketing grant funding, applicants must complete the Grant Request Form and return it to your regional representative by October 14, 2016. Grant guidelines and applications can be found at: www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/ways-to-get-involved/

Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of April 1, 2017) Funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Application Deadline: Oct 17, 2016.  Sponsored by the Bureau of Primary Health Care.

— The Mental Health Safety Net Grant program assists mental health centers and clinics that treat the uninsured. Eligible providers must be Community Mental Health Centers or Clinics designated under Minnesota Statute 245.62, or nonprofit Mental Health Clinics designated as Essential Community Providers under Minnesota Statute 62Q.19. Eligible providers must also offer free or reduced-cost mental health care to low-income patients under the age of 21. Applications will be posted on September 12 and are due October 28. For more information, contact Shortage Designation Coordination and Grant Program Manager Keisha Shaw at 651-201-3860 or keisha.shaw@state.mn.us.

–The Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC) grant program, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, distributes grants annually to providers of clinical medical education. The next application cycle is expected to open in late August 2016 and will be due on October 31st. For more information, contact Diane Reger at 651-201-3566.

—  USDA Rural Development is soliciting applications through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides guaranteed loan and grant financing for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. USDA reminds eligible applicants that set-aside funding is available for grant requests less than $20,000 and may offer priority scoring for projects located in underserved areas and/or benefiting underserved populations. USDA also guarantees loans for a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $25 million. Applicants are encouraged to apply through the loan guarantee program for larger-scale projects. Grant and guaranteed loan combinations are also available. The next application deadline for grants under $20,000 is October 31, 2016. For details on how to apply, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn, contact USDA Rural Development State Energy Coordinator for Minnesota Ron Omann at ron.omann@mn.usda.gov or (651) 602-7796, or see page 78029 of the December 29 Federal Register.

— The Laura Jane Musser Fund is offering funding to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements and education. Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming may apply. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of their location. Deadline: 11/2/2016. Click here to review further guidelines and to apply.

AmeriCorps State and National Grants funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps member in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Letter of Intent (Required): Dec 7, 2016. Application Deadline: Jan 18, 2017.

–THE HOME DEPOT Foundation Community Impact Grants Program provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using volunteers to improve the physical health of their communities. Proposals for the following community improvement activities will be considered: repairs, refurbishments, and modifications to low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities (schools, community centers, senior centers, etc.); weatherizing or increasing energy efficiency of low-income or transitional veteran’s housing or community facilities; engaging veterans as volunteers to help other veterans in their community through service projects focusing on the renovation, repair, and improvement of homes and other properties serving veterans; and planting trees or community gardens or landscaping community facilities that serve veterans. Requests will be accepted through 12/31/2016. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online application.

Grants Aim to Help Increase Number of Hunters and Anglers The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources created the Angler and Hunter Recruitment and Retention Grants Program in 2015 to help local groups support Minnesota’s angling and hunting heritage.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Festival & Event Management Course Offered Online The University of Minnesota Tourism Center will be offering the Festival & Event Management (FEM) online course again in Fall 2016.

— SEPTEMBER 16 is the NE Minnesota STEM Conference (Duluth) http://wp.me/p3if7-3ET

Register Today for the 2016 Hospitality Expo  Hospitality Minnesota invites you to attend the third-annual Minnesota Hospitality Expo at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Region Nine Development Commission: September Grant Opportunities Forum will be Thursday, September 29, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at South Central Service Cooperative in North Mankato. Presentations from the event sponsor, Mayo Clinic Health System Foundation, and Mardag Foundation, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Minnesota Compass will conclude the event with a training on navigating the MNCompass website and how to include data in your grant writing. Free. More

— University of Minnesota to host climate change seminar on Oct. 1st.  A seminar titled “Energy from Renewables: Confronting Global Collapse” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Electric and Computer Engineering Building (Keller Hall) on the University of Minnesota East Bank campus. The objective of the seminar is to discuss our use of energy and its environmental consequences leading to climate change. Ned Mohan from the University’s Electrical Engineering Department has recruited key leaders on climate action to present at the daylong seminar. Speakers participating are from the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, Caltech, Purdue University, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, PluginConnect, WindLogics, Xcel Energy, U.S. Navy, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Registration is $25 per person. Registration information is online. Contact Ned Mohan for more information.

— The Biomedical Engineering Society’s (BMES) Annual Meeting is coming to Minneapolis this fall from October 5th – 8th.  This annual conference features over 2,600 oral and poster presentations highlighting the latest research in the biomedical, and bioengineering fields and 4,000 attendees with diverse backgrounds such as university researchers, professors, industry professionals, and students.

–Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for our 2016 Annual Conference on October 6 – 7, 2016 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.  Learn more and register.

— The Heartland Center for Leadership Development will offer “Helping Small Towns Succeed” October 11-13, 2016, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Baby Boomers Retiring: How Will This Impact our Economy and Overall Business Value?  Event will be Tuesday, October 11th, 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the International Market Square, Studio 185, Minneapolis. Compass Project Director Craig Helmstetter and State Economist Laura Kalambokidis will address the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors event addressing the economic and demographic impact of the transfer of wealth that will happen over the next 2 decades. More

Annual Minnesota Policy Conference will be Wednesday, October 12, 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, Saint Paul  Don’t miss the session moderated by Compass Researcher Ellen Wolter, conference planning committee member, on efforts promoting the health and well-being of infants and children of incarcerated parents and sex trafficking. Conference schedule

–Save the date for the 30th Annual Minnesota Venture Conference — Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors! It will be held Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7:15 am – 5:45 pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  For more information go to: https://www.mhta.org/event/mvc/

— October 13-17 is the Minnesota Telecom Alliance Fall Conference http://wp.me/p3if7-3EF

Broadband Communities Conference October 18-20

A Regional conference on broadband is a great place to learn what folks in and outside of Minnesota are doing as well as get a chance to showcase what we’re doing right in the Midwest.
What You Will Learn:

  • How to successfully plan for, monetize, and manage an all fiber-based broadband investment.
  • Explore best practices for developing broadband strategies for the knowledge economy.
  • Learn the strategies necessary to foster collaboration with economic development agencies.
  • Differentiate your community with advanced broadband connectivity.
  • Discover how your community can become a magnet for the tech industry.

–The annual Many Faces of Community Health Conference will be held November 3-4 in Bloomington.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) recently announced that its 2016 Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton Airport/Mall of America in Bloomington. Information on registration and early bird rate is available.

— The 2016 Tekne Awards will be held on November 16th at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  You can learn more and find the full list of Tekne recipients at tekneawards.org.  Applications and nominations are now open!

–Save the Date:  Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 5, 2017 at the University of St. Thomas.

OPPORTUNITIES

— 2017 Statewide Health Assessment. The Healthy Minnesota Partnership and the Minnesota Department of Health have begun developing the 2017 Statewide Health Assessment. A statewide health assessment shows a picture of health and well-being across the state, revealing “the way things are.” It raises and answers several important questions, including:

  • Who is healthy and who is not?
  • What conditions shape health for all the different populations in Minnesota?
  • What do we have, and what do we need, to assure that all people in Minnesota can enjoy healthy lives and healthy communities?

Please click on this link to fill out the survey: https://survey.vovici.com/se/56206EE360222CA9

–Nominations for 2016 Community Health Awards.  Nominate someone you think deserves a Community Health Award. The awards will be presented by Commissioner of Health Ed Ehlinger on September 28th during the Community Health Conference. For more information, contact Megan Drake-Pereyra at 651-201-3640.

–Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship. The 2017 Fellowship application process is open now! Two fellows are being hired for 2017 – 2019 at The Saint Paul Foundation and the Bush Foundation. The fellowship, which was launched as a partnership with MCF and the Bush Foundation in 2013, will prepare individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. Fellows are employed by MCF and placed in full-time positions at host foundations. Over the course of a three-year appointment, fellows receive significant professional development and networking opportunities.

Learn more and apply on our website. Applications are due September 28 at noon.

— Bush Foundation Fellowships. Deadline: September 29, 2016. MORE

3RNet Recruiting for Retention Academy Online educational opportunity to learn about tools and resources that can assist you in recruiting qualified providers to your rural and underserved areas. Application Deadline: Oct 4, 2016.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) Provides loan repayment assistance to medical students and dental students who agree to provide services in eligible Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of greatest need. Application Deadline: Oct 13, 2016.

–Nominations for Nurse of the Year. The March of Dimes is honored to pay tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community. The Nurse of the Year event will be held October 14. For more information, contact Jonathon McCarthy at 612-326-9441.

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: Oct 15, 2016.

CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking comment by October 17, 2016 on a proposed rule that would revise and update the requirements for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), providing more operational flexibility, removing outdated and redundant information, and codifying existing practice.

Culture of Health Prize  Awards that honor community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Letter of Intent (Required): Nov 3, 2016.  Application Deadline: Jan 20, 2017.

Roadmaps to Health Coaching Offers guidance and support from a community coach for communities who want to improve the health of their populations and work toward building a culture of health. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Rural Impact County Challenge: A National Effort to Combat Rural Child Poverty The Rural Impact County Challenge will recognize and support counties making strides in reducing child poverty in rural communities. The challenge will provide educational opportunities, networking forums, and resources to develop and implement evidenced-based approaches to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty in rural areas.

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Sponsored by the National Association of Counties.

–The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) to be Minnesota host of SBIR/STTR programs. MHTA has been named the host of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program for the state of Minnesota. FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in federally-funded research and development through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. LEARN MORE

Public Health Student Volunteer Program provides a one-semester internship experience for students enrolled in a public health program.  Geographic coverage: Nationwide

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.   Sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

MISCELLANEOUS

— USDA has released a report, “The Comprehensive Property Assessment of the USDA Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Portfolio,” describing the costs to maintain and improve USDA-funded rental housing. Over the next 20 years, properties in the Multi-Family Housing program will need an additional $5.6 billion for capital improvements including roofs, insulation, accessibility improvements, plumbing and electrical and structural repairs. The report also includes a framework for how USDA can collaborate with stakeholders and policymakers to preserve rural rental housing. Get the report here.

— The CDFI Fund has released data collected on New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments across the nation through fiscal year (FY) 2014, along with a summary report. Through the first 12 application rounds of the NMTC Program, the CDFI Fund has made 912 awards, allocating a total of $43.5 billion in tax credit authority to Community Development Entities through a competitive application process. View a summary report and the full data release here.

— Minnesota ranks among leaders in 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report.  Minnesota ranked among the top states in several areas of the recently released 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report. The report provides statistics and analysis of the market along with insights into its trends and characteristics. Minnesota was among the top three states in the nation for small wind deployed in 2015 and for states with most distributed wind capacity deployed since 2003. Read more (pdf).

— Bloomberg issues 2016 Minnesota Energy Factsheet. The 2016 Minnesota Energy Factsheet, released in July by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, provides a fact-based overview of Minnesota’s power sector. The report presents key metrics, highlights recent trends, and discusses the state’s progress toward compliance under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Read more (pdf).

Explore Minnesota Program Guide Now Available The annual Explore Minnesota Program Guide is a free publication designed to inform Minnesota tourism businesses and organizations about all the ways to get involved with Explore Minnesota programs and promotions.

People of color are driving population growth in Minnesota  Every region of the state is seeing growth in their populations of color. In fact, 4 of the 7 regions would have seen declines in population without the increase in residents of color: Northland, Northwest, Southern and Southwest. More

Two Demographic Trends Contribute to the Concentration of Older Populations in Some Rural Counties Rural counties are more likely to have a higher elderly population than urban counties. This is attributed to the tendency for retirees to relocate to scenic destinations that are often rural, the tendency for young-adults to migrate towards more urban locations, or, in some counties, for both of these tendencies to exist simultaneously. Includes map detailing elderly population by county type based on data from the Atlas of Rural and Small Town America.

Land Acquisition and Transfer in U.S. Agriculture (Amber Waves feature article) In 2015-19, just over 2 percent of land in farms is expected to be sold in an arms-length transaction in which the buyer and seller are not related. Most land that will be sold to nonrelatives in the next 5 years was originally acquired in an arms-length transaction, suggesting that the supply of land available for purchase may not vary much over time.

Mapping Broadband Health in America Mapping tool for visualizing broadband access, demographics, and health data at the national, state, and county levels. Includes a rural filter based on the percent of the population that is rural.

AARP—Small Business Administration Webinars  AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

–Rural Diabetes Prevention and Management Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, provides resources and best practices to help rural communities develop and implement diabetes prevention and management programs. Access program models and examples, and learn how to implement, evaluate, sustain a diabetes program in your community and disseminate program results.

Health Workforce Mapper Customizable, interactive tool for accessing healthcare workforce-related data at the state, county, or metropolitan area level. Provides information on Health Professional Shortage Areas, hospital locations, population indicators, and patient health data such as morbidity and mortality rates, health behaviors and social environment, healthcare access, and quality data.

Fostering Futures on the Menominee Indian Reservation The Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin has been deeply affected by trauma for years. A state-wide initiative called Fostering Futures has initiated trainings for clinic and school staff to administer trauma-informed care and build resilience among children.

HHS Report Outlines Problems, Potential of Telemedicine The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report detailing both the struggles with and the potential of telemedicine. Problems cited include costs, licensing, broadband connectivity, and differing policies between facilities, but the report also explored the great capacity of telemedicine to expand and redefine medical services, potentially providing life-altering access to care for underserved populations, including those in rural areas.

Report to Congress: E-health and Telemedicine  Report regarding the current state of e-health and telemedicine after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Includes current policy challenges, discussion of federal level telehealth activity, and a legislative proposal for the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Rural Hospitals in Critical Condition Explores the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural communities, both in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S., and the expectation that this shortage will increase over time as need grows and new health professionals continue to be drawn to urban locations. Also discusses efforts that have been made at the federal level to address the concerns facing rural facilities and the successes of telehealth in meeting rural health needs. This story is the second part of a two-part series; the first part was published on August 11, 2016.

Minnesota Hospital Association Mental and Behavioral Health Data Collection Pilot: Reasons for Delays in Hospital Discharges of Behavioral Health Patients  Results from the first-of-its-kind pilot study to better understand how often and why Minnesotans are unable to access mental health care in the most appropriate settings.  Completed by Wilder Research, Minnesota Hospital Association, August 2016.

Life Lessons from a Small-town Undertaker as White Women Die Younger in America Follows an undertaker through the death of two white women, aged 44 and 59, in rural Kentucky. In McCreary County, Kentucky, there has been a 75% increase over the last 15 years in the mortality rate for white women aged 35 to 59. To compare, national death rates for white women of similar ages have increased only 23%, for white men they have increased 16%, and have decreased for both black and Hispanic men and women.

This is the fifth installment of a multi-part series: part one, part two, part three, and part four.

Federal Interagency Health Equity Team Compendium of Publicly Available Datasets and Other Data-Related Resources  Identifies and describes publicly available data that could be used by projects working to reduce health disparities. Includes datasets and data-related resources from agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Commerce.

EMPLOYMENT

Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway Seeks Dakota Content Specialist

The Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway is requesting proposals for a Dakota Content Specialist to fulfill requirements of a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.

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