NREDA Conference 2007: Prepare for a Knowledge Explosion
The best is yet to come! NREDA 2007 Annual Conference promises just that. If you have to choose to attend one conference, you will get the best value for your investment of money, time and energy in Myrtle Beach, November 4-6 for Enhancing Rural America: National, State and Local Initiatives.
Of all the conferences, Enhancing Rural America offers you the most opportunities to hear about the latest trends and programming in local and rural community and business development.
Promises of Enhancing Rural America:
And you can earn credits toward the International Economic Development Council's certification. NRECA Key Accounts CEUs are available, as well.
- Learn the new set of regional development protocols being tested and some early results.
- Hear about new developments on the Food, Fuel and Feed front.
- Use the Open Space Technology time to discover options to address a challenge at work.
- Find out how you and your community can take advantage of Brownfield financing and know-how to address one of your "eyesores" back home.
- See why the Kellogg Foundation selected HomeTown CompetitivenessTM for having the choice ingredients for promoting entrepreneurial activity and hear about other winners throughout the country.
- Find out from one state how and why it is positioning itself as a leader in Bioscience.
- Hear how one cooperative committed to a Platinum LEEDTM certification for its new headquarters and what that entails.
- Learn why the Arts are no longer a stepchild of economic development, but a front-runner.
Believe it or not, Myrtle Beach in November is very popular! Water temperature is perfect ... so are the golf courses and day trips. Make your room reservations today at the Marriott at the Grande Dunes 1-800-228-9290, or register online, Here. Reserve your room by October 5, 2007. Mention NREDA for the discounted room rate. For conference registration and agenda, visit NREDA, http://www.nreda.org.
Meet new NREDA members
New to NREDA? Don't miss the New Member Orientation, which takes place at the NREDA Conference on Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 3:30 pm. This social gathering is a great way to meet fellow members before conference activities get underway. See you there!
New officer appointed
At its June meeting, the NREDA Board appointed Rick Shortell from Union Rural Electric Cooperative in Ohio to serve as Secretary-Treasurer. Earlier this year, First Vice President Bruce Hensley resigned from the NREDA board due to work-related responsibilities. Second Vice President Pat B. Merritt, CEcD agreed to move into Bruce's position as First Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer Henry Fischer agreed to accept responsibilities as Second Vice President this year. For a complete listing of NREDA Board Members and Officers, please visit the NREDA website.
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Farm Bill 2007: Proposals, complaints and comments
The Farm Bill 2007 proposals are on the table, and the comments range from enthused to outrage. Rural economic developers should read up on these proposals because the outcome of this important legislation will impact their programs, their communities and their consumers. A good place to begin is the USDA Farm Bill fact sheet, http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1UH?contentidonly=true&contentid=2007/01/0019.xml.
For information on the USDA 2007 Farm Bill Proposalâ€“ Title IX: Energy, the USDA Energy Matrix and News Releases, Audio, Transcripts, visit http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1UH?contentidonly=true&contentid=farm_bill_energy_kit.xml.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johann's responds to comments during the first Farm Bill Forum held on July 7, 2005 in Nashville, TN. Photo/USDA.
New rules proposed for co-op borrowers
On July 13, 2007, Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issued an extensive list of proposed accounting policies and procedures for RUS Electric Program Borrowers. The objective of the proposed rule is to reconcile accounting requirements with the Uniform System of Accounts as presented by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Read up on the proposed rule and submit your comments to RUS by September 11, 2007. http://www.usda.gov/rus/index2/Comments.htm
Get hip: Art is good for small towns
A community that appreciates and supports the arts is the community that will attract attention, entrepreneurs, and will be around when others have long gone. Americans for the Arts conducted a study that estimates the average arts event attracted 61 percent locals and 39 percent interested outsiders.
The move to advance the arts is happening in small towns across America. If it's not happening in your small town, then maybe it's time to get started. Attend the NREDA Annual Meeting in Myrtle Beach, Nov. 4-6 and hear Indiana University's Michael Rushton discuss Using the Arts as an Economic Development Tool. Complete agenda and registration: www.nreda.org.
An excellent online publication, A 101 in Rural Arts, offers step-by-step guidelines and case studies. http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/RURALARTS.pdf.
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RUS Taking Rural Broadband Grant Applications
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has announced the availability of $8.91 million in grants through its Community Connect program. This program is separate from the much larger Broadband Loan Program. Community Connect provides grants that range from $50,000 to $1 million to provide broadband to rural areas with a focus on connecting completely unserved and low-income areas. Applications are due Aug. 20.
Rural Areas Show Strong Broadband Growth Rates
Rural consumers and other demographic groups that lagged in broadband Internet service in past years have become the areas of fastest subscriber growth, according to the Home Broadband Adoption 2007 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project . According to the report, rural subscribers increased 24 percent from March 2006 to March 2007, just as overall broadband adoption nationwide began to slow. Americans in all demographic categories increased broadband adoption by just 12 percent in the past year compared to 40 percent from March 2005 to March 2006.
From NRECA Community Catalyst
Rural Community Development Funds Available for Capacity Building
Through USDA's Rural Housing Service, the Rural Community Development Initiative, will award $6.3 million to intermediaries to develop capacity in housing, community facilities as well as community and economic development projects.
RCDI grant funds are available to eligible organizations that can provide a dollar for dollar match. Qualified intermediaries include public or private organizations that have been legally organized for at least three years. Applications due by September 6.
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