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The Rural Developer - 3rd Quarter 2006


3rd Quarter - 2006

In this issue:

>NREDA Updates

>Rural Resources

>Grants & Funding

>Conferences & Training

NREDA Conference
September 6-8
San Antonio, TX
Hotel reservations: 800-HILTON (445-7661)
Hilton Palacio del Rio
Conference info and registration:

Hilton Palacio del Rio

NREDA members save on shipping!

Welcome New Members!
NREDA welcomes the following new members to our organization:

Dennis Hughes
Navopache Electric

Jada Ackerman
Blue Valley
Tele-Communications, Inc.

JoAnn Rodenbiker
Northern Plains Electric

Dana Baker
GVNW Consulting

Mike Peters
Kansas Electric
Power Co-op

Karen Baldwin
Kauai Island Utility

Ray Paler
Kauai Island Utility

David Altman
Lumbee River Electric Cooperative

We look forward to meeting you at the 2006 Conference!


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NREDA Conference: Late Registrations Are Welcome!
If you've been too busy to think about early conference registration, breathe easy. NREDA welcomes everyone to the Annual Conference, including last minute attendees. "We understand how rapidly plans change," said Molly Lopez. "If a window opens up for someone, by all means join us at the conference!"

The 2006 event will cover key development issues including:

  • Trends in site selection
  • Cultural diversity and its impact on your economy and organization
  • Downtown revitalization: how to do it step by step
  • Legislative issues you should know about and more!
For fun, conference goers will enjoy pre-conference opportunities! Schedule a Riverwalk Development tour/luncheon cruise or enroll in a TexMex cooking class.

All conference details are found at

New to the Conference or NREDA? Attend the Orientation.
If you're new to NREDA or the Annual Conference, please join us for the New Member and First Time Attendee Orientation on Wednesday, September 6th. This pre-conference option will introduce you to the organization, bring you up to speed on NREDA benefits and explain how you can get the most value from your membership. The orientation takes place from 3:15 - 4:00 pm, immediately preceding the conference kickoff.

Last Minute Business
The NREDA 2006 Annual Business Meeting/Luncheon and Awards Recognition will take place on Thursday, September 7 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. To familiarize you with motions made at the 2005 meeting, please review the
2005 Business Meeting Minutes

Looking Ahead: Conference Committee Needs Your Suggestions
Do you have suggestions or ideas on how to improve the NREDA Annual Conference? If so, Conference Chairman Bruce Hensley would like to hear from you. Please contact him at
brehensley@aol.comor (660) 265-1719.

The Conference Committee traditionally meets via conference call once a month throughout the year and active participation is encouraged. If you'd like to participate on the committee, please contact Molly Lopez at

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United REMC's Soybean Oil Project Aids Farmers
NREDA member Sherry Rose reports Indiana installed its first all soybean oil run substation at United REMC. How will this impact the local economy? "More agri-business for our farmers here in Indiana," says Rose. It's also an environmentally friendly program that positions United REMC as an innovative utility. For full report on the soybean project, visit the NREDA website.

Send your Small Businesses to SBU
Rick Whalen, NREDA member and director of community and economic development for Butler County REC, Allison, IA, implemented a new program to help small business owners. The program, called the Small Business University (SBU) is the first online academy created especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs. SBU teaches the "3Ms" of business-money, marketing, and management-via 24 core courses including Creating a Loan Package, Attracting Investors, Promotions and Marketing 101 and Buying a Business. "SmallBizU has become a valuable Web-based tool for small businesses in our community," says Whalen.

SBU's Internet-based curriculum is available for free to electric co-ops and their members through the NRECA C&ED community. Visit the C&ED section at for details.

Tell Your Communities: The World is Flat
I know this is OLD news to most people, but I have been "CD-reading" The World is Flat by Friedman. It is fantastic! I had heard and heard about it, but had not read it. The theories are not rocket science, but I wish that many of the rural communities we work with would read it and realize that we live in a large global world and it is getting flatter and flatter all of the time."
From Sherry Rose, NREDA member.

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Fitzgerald appointed Rural Development Chief of Staff
In July, Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Thomas Dorr announced the appointment of James F. Fitzgerald as chief of staff for USDA Rural Development.

Prior to his appointment as chief of staff, Fitzgerald, a native of Washington State, served as state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Spokane, Wash. Before that, he was president and owner of Fitzgerald Farms, Inc. of Clarkston, Wash., which has been in his family for four generations. He also previously worked for Federal Land Bank offices in Chehalis, Wash. and Lewiston, Idaho. Details:

More Earth Angels
Individual angel investors continued to form organized investor groups with the number of angel groups increasing by nearly 60 percent in the past three years, from an estimated 150 in 2002 to 250 last year, according to an analysis by the Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The survey also revealed that the average angel group invested $1.45 million and that the average angel group invested $266,000 per round and $387,000 per company during calendar 2005. While investments by angel groups are a small fraction of the estimated $23.1 billion in total angel investment last year, the analysis indicates that the professionalism and sophistication of angel groups is increasing along with the number of groups. The analysis was released at the ACEF's recent annual North American Summit and the PowerPoint noting the statistics is available at

CKAE Fast Track Program Is in October
Attention rural electric key account executives: The Certified Key Account Executive (CKAE) Fast Track Program will take place October 16-20 in Dallas, TX. The course will address account management, sales and marketing techniques, problem solving and successful negotiation. Participants seeking CKAE certification can complete all required coursework and take the exam in one week. For more details, go to the Training & Accreditation section at, or contact Susan Johnson at 703-907-5642 or

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From the NRECA Community Catalyst
USDA Funds Innovative Small Businesses Research
Small businesses contribute innovations in all sectors, including agriculture. USDA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funds small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop innovative research and development projects that address critical agricultural problems. With grants ranging from $80,000 to $350,000, small, for-profit firms can develop models for the agricultural community that encourage technological innovation, broader availability of technology and the adaptation of these technologies by minority and women-owned firms. Applications are due September 1. Details:

$6 Million for Rural Technical Assistance Organizations
Rural organizations that need help in developing effective housing, community facilities and economic development projects, should check out USDA's Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI). The program will award over $6 million dollars to intermediary organizations to train local non-profits, community-based groups and recognized tribes in community building. To be eligible for RCDI funds, intermediary organization must provide a dollar for dollar match and have experience in providing community development training for eligible recipients and target communities. Details and application forms are posted at Deadline is October 10.

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August 18- Lincoln, NE
Value-Added Food Processing Training
Jill Gifford at
jgifford1@unl.eduor 402.472.2819.

September 6-8 - San Antonio, TX
2006 NREDA Conference

October 26-27 - Washington, DC
Exploring Rural Entrepreneurship:
Imperatives and Opportunities for Research

2007 - Dallas, TX
NTCA Broadband Conference

January 17, 2007 - Fargo, ND
Marketplace for Entrepreneurs

February 4-7, 2007 - Orlando, FL
NTCA Annual Meeting and Expo

February 6-8 2007 - Orlando, FL
Net 2007 New & Emerging Technology Conference

March 21, 2007 - Las Vegas, NV
CFC Annual Meeting

November 4-6, 2007 - Myrtle Beach, SC
2007 NREDA Annual Conference

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The Rural Developer E-Bulletin is published
monthly for members of the
National Rural Economic Developers Association
431 East Locust Street, Suite 300 Des Moines, IA 50309
Tele: 515-284-1421 FAX 515-243-2049

NREDA | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway | Ankeny, IA 50023 | Phone: (515) 284-1421 | Fax: (515) 334-1174