Sunday, September 30, 2007

Stevens County Stewardship Initiative looking for leaders

excerpted from Chokio Review, 9-27-07

The Stevens County Stewardship Initiative is calling for the county's five cities and 16 townships to come together to achieve their shared aspirations. The initiative was launched earlier this yea rby Stevens County commissioners Paul Watzke and Neal Hofland. A local steering group lead by Watzke is recruiting 15-20 Stevens County leaders to move the initiative forward. The group will think hard about where the region wants to be in 15-20 years and how to get there. "Our population is declining, our school enrollment is declining. If we don't do something now, what will our county look like 10 or 15 eyars down the road," said steering committee member Brad Fehr of Riverview Farms. In the end, the steering group says, the Stevens County Initiative is about builidng a vibran region for coming generations. "We want to retain our young people," Fehr said. "And as parents, we want opportunities for our kids."

For more information about the initiative, or to nominate someone, contact Roger McCannon at 589-1692 or 287-0882, or e-mail him at

Friday, September 28, 2007

Organic cost share again offered by MDA

excerpted from Alexandria Echo Press, 9-26-07

Organic farmers and processors can receive a partial rebate for the cost of organic certification through a Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) program.

Organic growers and processors who sell more than $5,000 of organic agricultural products are legally required to annually retain an accredited third-party certifier at their own expense.

Info packets are available by visiting the MDA's Web site, or by calling Meg Moynihan at 651-201-6616.

Osakis industrial park gets many upgrades

excerpted from Osakis Review, 9-25-07

Over the summer, Osakis' Richard Krough Industrial Park received $630,910 in improvements including water and sewer lines, curb and gutter, and a blacktopped road surface. The city also added a street extension and a water retention pond to the project.

Nine losts are available in the park. They range in size from one-half acre to 1.75 acres and adjoining lost are available. For more information on these losts, call Osakis City Hall at 320-859-2150.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jobs in computers, math strong in state

excerpted from the Alexandria Echo Press, 9-21-07

More than 60,000 jobs in a wide variety of sectors were available statewide during the second quarter of this year, according to the Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey conducted by DEED. Of the 22 major occupational groups, severn saw increases in the number of job vacancies as compared to a year ago. "The availability of jobs involving computers and mathematics was especially strong," said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. "Opportunities there were up 75 percent over last year, which is a big gain considering that they are very well paying jobs."

Read more.

Increased grant funds now available for sustainable farming innovations

excerpted from the Hoffman Tribune, 9-20-07

The Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) will award $150,000 in Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants to help farmers, researchers and educators implement new sustainable farming systems. The 2007 Minnesota Legislature increased that amount by an additional $80,000.

Examples of eligible projects include fruit and vegetable production, conservation tillage and weed management, integrated pest management, livestock production, organic farming, alternative energy crop production and use of cover crops.

Grant projects are highlighted in the Greenbook, which is free and available at, or by calling 651-201-6012.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Exploring High-Demand, High-Pay Occupations in West Central Minnesota

Which jobs are available where I want to live? Different types of jobs are available in different parts of Minnesota. The PDF supplement below highlights the high-demand jobs in the West Central region of the state.

EDR 4_West Central Region_Supplement 2008

Friday, September 14, 2007

Housing takes centerstage in Frazee and Perham

excerpted from Frazee Forum and Perham Enterprise Bulletin, 9-13-07

The Frazee City Council adopted an incentive program for those building new homes inside the city limits. The plan includes $1,200 in free services.

In Perham, the city council approved a detailed housing analysis to be conducted by a contracted research firm. More than 268 jobs have been created in Perham in just the past two years. But because of Perham's lack of a diversified housing inventory, from rental to homes at various price points, the town has not gained residents at the same pace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New York Mills group pursues thrift store idea as part of community visioning

excerpted from the New York Mills Herald, 8-30-07

Tod Cameron, superintendent of schools in New York Mills, has been leading a community-based think tank to bring new ideas to New York Mills, and at the same time help fight poverty in the area.

A small group met to discuss the thrift store idea, which came about through an action forum held in April. At the forum a top-seven list of ideas was established and ranked by participants. The list:
  1. Recruitment of businesses;
  2. Mentoring program;
  3. Thrift store;
  4. Job counseling;
  5. Community pride, trash pick-up;
  6. School business;
  7. Community newsletter, information center.

On Oct. 27 at 6 p.m., NY Mills and the University of Minnesota Extension Office, which oversees the Horizons program, will hold a strategic and visioning meeting. If 150-200 people attend, the town stands to receive $10,000 from Horizons to improve the community.

Minnesota State Legislature - What's New

Alexandria Echo Press

Breckenridge/Wahpeton Daily News

Detroit Lakes Tribune

Fergus Falls Daily Journal stories

IN-FORUM: Fargo-Moorhead

Morris Sun Tribune : Morris

Perham Enterprise Bulletin : Perham

Pope County Tribune

News & Features from Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota Legislature from Minnesota Public Radio