University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
Menu Menu

Extension > Leadership and Civic Engagement Alumni > March 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Program to Support Distressed Farmers


Less than one percent of Minnesotans work in the agricultural sector yet we all feel its economic impacts.    As Minnesota’s farmers prepare for the 2017 planting season many of them are also facing financial struggles due to on-going low prices and other factors.  University of Minnesota Extension has announced that it will begin offering one-to-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress. 

The Extension program is expected to run for two years and will augment other services currently available in Minnesota such as the Farmer-Lender Mediation program and the Minnesota Farm Advocates assistance program.  Farmers who participate in the new program will have the opportunity to work with retired agricultural business professionals, who have updated training, and are available across the state.  All of the professionals will also work closely with current Extension educators and Extension's Agricultural Business Management program. 


To learn more about the program and set up a confidential appointment call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Central and Northwest RSDPs Seek Idea Briefs


The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect greater Minnesota communities to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities.  RSDP works to connect knowledge, resources, and seed funding to drive sustainability in its four core areas of agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.  There are five regional partnerships within Minnesota.  At this time the Central RSDP and Northwest RSDP are seeking idea briefs for seed funding they have available to support projects in their areas that leverage community participation and build strong partnerships with University of Minnesota.  Individuals, organizations, and groups are encouraged to apply.

The Central RSDP serves Central Minnesota including Becker, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena Counties.  Idea briefs are due by March 31, 2017 and implemented in the summer of 2017.  To discuss your project contact Molly Zins at zend0007@umn.edu or 218-828-2332.


The Northwest RSDP is not defined by county boundaries but generally serves Kittson, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Clearwater, Beltrami, Polk, Norman, Mahnomen, Clay, and Wilkin counties as well as Ottertail and Becker for food system work.  Idea briefs are due by April 3 for request of $1500 or less.  Project requests larger than $1500 can also be submitted but require a full proposal.  Contact Linda Kingery at 218-281-8697 or kinge002@umn.edu to learn about submitting a full proposal or with questions on idea briefs.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Minnesota's Township Day is March 14, 2017


Minnesota is made up of 1,790 townships and represent a key piece of our state's history.  The township model is a carryover from Europe but was used as Minnesota’s original form of government dating back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.  Townships were originally plotted to represent 36 square miles but this has changed as cities have grown and areas have been annexed and merged.  Despite these changes the democratic process and leadership shown at the township level are important.  The work done at the township level has been described by the Association of Minnesota Counties as a way to experience democracy at its purest form.

The second Tuesday of March offers citizens the opportunity to participate in this grassroots form of democracy.  Every township must hold an annual meeting on the second Tuesday, which in 2017 is March 14.  The meeting will include election of one or more supervisors who serve a three year term.  Even if you did not meet the filing time for township office, there is generally a write in line on all township ballots that allow a write-in candidate.  The meeting will also include reports on various committees and a review of the audit.  Township members that are present have the opportunity to ask questions on the reports and information shared as well as vote on the tax levy.

Participating in government at the township level is an opportunity every Minnesotan has to lead.  Although many think townships are only in rural areas, townships are in urban centers as well.  To find out what township you live in visit your county’s website or contact your county Auditor’s office.  You can also find out the meeting location and time by checking your local newspaper.  Each township is required to post this information for the public.


The Association of Minnesota Townships can help you  learn more about the work done within townships and how to be involved.  They also have a great resource to answer questions you may have about serving on your township board.

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy