UMVRDC Turns 50!
The UMVRDC is celebrating 50 years of service! On Tuesday, July 25th, you and a guest are invited to join us for an open house, entertainment, and dinner located at the UMVRDC Office, 323 W Schlieman Ave, Appleton, MN. Events will begin at 4:00 p.m. We look forward to celebrating with you! Please RSVP by July 11th by clicking on the button below.RSVP
Congratulations and Welcome, Paige!
Paige Meyer was awarded the 2023 UMVRDC Community Development Scholarship for $2,500. Paige is a 2023 Lac qui Parle Valley graduate and plans to attend South Dakota State University in the fall for Community and Regional Planning.
Paige will also be interning with the UMVRDC this summer! Her main focus will be working on the UMVRDC Developable Property Inventory. She will also be getting a variety of experience working with all different staff in the office on grant management, transportation, broadband, the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway, and more.Scholarship Details
Regional Food Grant
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced selections for the USDA Regional Food Business Centers. Twelve projects were funded nationally including one led by Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) in Staples who has been working in their region to develop local food networks for more than a decade. Region 5 developed a collaboration between other regional and state entities in MN, SD, and ND including the UMVRDC and all the other Regional Development Commissions in Minnesota. Nationally, this project will be the North Central Regional Food Business Center, locally dubbed the “MiNKota RFBC,” which will serve Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota over the next five years.
MinKota Regional Food Center Partners include:
- 10 Minnesota Economic Development Districts (Minnesota based regional development organizations)
- 6 South Dakota Economic Development Districts
- 8 North Dakota Economic Development Districts
- Creating Community Consulting
- Latino Economic Development Center
- North Dakota Women’s Business Center
- North Dakota Local Food Development Alliance
- North Dakota Rural Electric Coop Foundation
- Akiptan CDFI
- South Dakota Specialty Producers Association
- Value Added Agricultural Development Center South Dakota
- Minnesota Farmers Union
- North Dakota Farmers Union
- South Dakota Farmers Union
- Sprout Minnesota
The goal is to support resilient farm and food practices, specifically focusing on the development of critical infrastructure for small and mid-size livestock processing, fruit and vegetable processing and warehouse space and storage operations. This will mean connecting producers, processors, aggregators, distributors, and other businesses within the food supply chain.
This project focuses on expanding small and mid-sized agricultural value chains in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Activities include technical assistance to create new value chain connections, expanding supply to and demand from new and existing markets, improving viability, and increasing market value of products, and boosting Upper Midwest regional food systems in response to supply chain weaknesses, small business challenges, and other difficulties exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.
Between July and December 2023, the UMVRDC will engage regional stakeholders to develop a custom action plan for this region that builds on a significant regional foundation of local foods development. This action plan will identify areas in need of technical assistance and investment that would build additional regional capacity to support a local food system. This could include things like aggregation/distribution networks and systems, specialty crop processing, local food hub development, new markets for local food at local groceries, food shelves, schools, and hospitals. This plan will be fine-tuned and improved over a five-year period.
MnDot Funding Supports Walking and Biking to School Plan
The Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (CGB) School District was awarded $38,515 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to work with the UMVRDC to create Safe Routes to School plans for Clinton and Graceville school buildings. Through public outreach and assessment of current infrastructure and program, the Safe Routes to School team was able to identify a list of potential infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions to help more children walk and bicycle safely to school.
The Safe Routes to School plan for each community can be found on the UMVRDC website.
The CGB School District also received $5,000 from MnDOT to pay for bike racks and a bike fix-it station to be installed in the summer of 2023.
UMVRDC Designated as a Digital Connection Committee
The UMVRDC was recently designated as a Digital Connection Committee by the DEED Office of Broadband Development (OBD) and has partnered with them and digital connection committees across the state as the OBD develops the statewide digital equity plan to understand what the real digital inclusion needs and goals are in Minnesota. Digital Connection Committees serve as key partners in ensuring the plan reflects the goals and needs of all Minnesotans, especially underserved populations such as:
- People from low-income households
- People aged 60 or older
- People who are incarcerated
- People with disabilities
- People learning to speak or read English
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
- People living in rural communities
This plan is important because it will determine how the state invests future funding in digital inclusion activities and the UMVRDC wants to ensure that our region is represented!
The UMVRDC received a mini-grant to assist in the development of the state’s digital equity plan, by collecting input and information in three ways. In May and June, staff:
- Collecting information on issues with technology access/use at home, barriers to broadband access, and using technology through a regional public survey. (To take the survey, click here.)
- Conducted a focus group discussion on June 6
- Collecting an inventory of the available technology assets/services in our region as well as identifying any gaps/needs in those areas through a targeted survey. (To take the survey, click here.)
This work will conclude by the end of June, at which time staff will submit collected data to the OBD to be included in the state’s digital equity plan. The UMVRDC plans to share the findings from the region in July and will also share updates about the progress of the state’s plan as they become available in the coming months.
What is digital inclusion? It includes internet service access/affordability, device access, and digital skills. These three facets work together to build a “digitally equitable” Minnesota in which all Minnesotans have the option and opportunity to adopt and use technology in ways that bring meaning to their daily lives.
EDA Announces Notice of Funding Opportunity for Regions Impacted by Natural Disasters
The U.S. Economic Development Administration is now accepting applications through the FY2023 Disaster Supplemental Funding Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The awards are designed to support those regions that were impacted by natural disasters of 2021-2022, including the strong winds that impacted our region in May 2022. Only counties included in FEMA’s federally declared disaster areas are eligible to apply for this funding and this includes all five of our counties. UMVRDC partnered with our regional Chicago EDA office to host an informational webinar on the available funding back in April.
The awards made under this NOFO are designed to address economic challenges in those areas where a Presidential declaration of a major disaster has been issued. Funding will help communities devise and implement long-term economic recovery strategies through a variety of construction and non-construction projects.
Eligible applicants include Tribal nations, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, district organizations of an Economic Development District (EDD), and state, county, or city subdivisions engaged in economic or infrastructure activities. Individuals and for-profit entities are not eligible for funding under this NOFO. If you have questions about the program or a project in mind, contact Kevin Ketelsen at the UMVRDC.
2023 Meander Brochures Available!
The 2023 Meander Art Crawl brochures are hot off the press! This year’s cover art was created by Jean Menden. There will be 42 artists participating this year in studios across the five-county area.
The brochures are available on the Meander website. You can also receive brochures by contacting the UMVRDC office. The 2023 Meander is September 29th, 30th & October 1st.
Funding Available for Business Start-Ups or Expansions
There is currently $1,145,000 in loan funds available in the UMVRDC’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). Since 1988, 157 loans have been made in our region for a total of over $10 million providing access to affordable capital through gap financing for business start-ups or expansions. Buying or creating a small business takes money. Many times, the people with the passion and idea to start a business don’t have the dollars. Gap financing through the UMVRDC can help.
The UMVRDC Revolving Loan Fund is designed to provide gap financing for business and industries starting up or expanding in the five-county region of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine. The primary focus of the program is manufacturing and industrial-related businesses that will create or retain jobs. Contact Dalen Roe at the UMVRDC for more information.RLF Webpage
The UMVRDC is looking for a municipality representative for both Swift and Big Stone Counties. The vacancy must be filled by a mayor or city council representative. If you are interested in learning more about this position, please contact the UMVRDC office at 320.289.1981 x 100.
UMVRDC offices will close at 2 p.m. on Fridays from May 1st – September 30th.
Monday – Thursday | 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
July 3 & 4: UMVRDC Office closed for Independence Day Holiday
July 25: UMVRDC 50th Celebration, Annual Meeting & Tour
Appleton || 1:00 p.m.
August 22: UMVRDC Monthly Meeting
Appleton Civic Center || 6:30 p.m.
September 4: UMVRDC Office closed for Labor Day Holiday
September 26: UMVRDC Monthly Meeting
Appleton Civic Center || 6:30 p.m.