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The Rural Developer - 4th Quarter 2008


Quarter IV, 2008

In this issue:

Green Jobs need co-ops

NREDA award winners

NREDA/NADO host EDFS training

Entrepreneurship opportunities

Obama's rural development policy

Grants and funding


2008 Board of Directors
& Committee Chairs

Pat Merritt, president
Henry Fischer, 1st vice president
Rick Nelson, secretary-treas.
Sherry Rose, past president
Fred Baughman
Andrea Cumpston
Brad Captain
Bobby Davis
Lori Fischetti
Mark Gaddy
Clare Gustin
Niki Knox
Tom Lambrecht
Jane Marden
Bob Muirhead
Eric Phillips
Linda Salmonson
Stan Williamson

NREDA Staff:

Membership dues, billing, registrations, and Administrative Support:
NREDA Association Information:
Lynn Harkin at
Rural Developer Newsletter:
Editor Mary Logan Wolf at
Annual Regional Conferences:
Sharyn Baudler or Lynn Harkin at
Administrative Support:
Kelly Kipping,
Website - Web Master:
Darcy Watson at

Useful links:

Statistics & Demographics
Economic Development Courses
Government Sites
Business & Economic Information
Regional Economy
National Economy
Sites to Help You Find Things
Search Engines

DHL Delivers Savings
NREDA members can save up to 25% on DHL's full suite of shipping services, including next day, 2nd day, ground, and international delivery services. Set up a
free accountor call 1-800-MEMBERS (800-636-2377), 8am-6pm EST.

NREDA members appreciate sharing ideas, suggestions, and development solutions. What's going on in your area? Is there a resource or solution you think other member should know about? Let us know:

Member Updates
Update your membership information at

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Green economy needs cooperative leadership
The "green" economy could change the way we do business in the U.S., and rural cooperatives are poised to lead this growing movement. Michael Peck, founder of the MAPA Group and keynote speaker at the 2008 NREDA Conference in Kansas City, laid out his vision for growing greener, more sustainable communities via green jobs.

Among Peck's comments, "RECs must be the initiators of the green economy. The only other option is outsourced, investor-driven corporations where profits are also exported. The cooperative business model is the mainstream business model for the green economy."

Peck's comments, while controversial, offered food for thought.
Get the full story >>.

Green jobs? Find out where they're growing.
Henry Fischer, NREDA vice president, shares a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors that includes a solid synopsis of the green jobs economy. More specifically, Fischer notes the report "references existing and potential green job growth in all of the major metro areas across the U.S." To find out what's in store for your area, view the full report >>

Hot topics from the NREDA Conference
If you missed the NREDA Conference in Kansas City, you can still benefit from the wealth of information presented by conference speakers. Find conference "Educational Handouts" in the Members Only section of the NREDA Web site.

To access the Members Only section, you'll need your user name and password. If you don't know this information, follow the instructions and your login information will be mailed to you. Remember to logout when you're through.

NREDA award winners
At the 2008 NREDA Conference, the following individuals received special awards. NREDA honored these individuals for their rural leadership and tireless dedication to rural development.

Lynn Harkin appointed NREDA executive director
NREDA and Association Management Ltd (AML) named Lynn Harkin as NREDA's new executive director. Harkin is an account executive at AML with extensive association management experience.

AML President Molly Lopez, who served as NREDA's executive director for 13 years, said she must relinquish her position to focus on AML's growing client base.

NREDA members at the 2008 conference honored Lopez with a standing ovation and an overview of her impressive service record. Harkin's appointment is effective January 1, 2009. Welcome aboard, Lynn!

NREDA regional training is June 24-25, 2009
NREDA's regional training program will take place June 24-25, 2009 at Great River Energy headquarters in Maple Grove, MN. The facility recently earned its Platinum LEED Certification, making it the perfect place for this particular training program, "Save Energy, Save Your Community." Find details and registration info on the NREDA Web site >>

NREDA, NADO sponsor EDFS conference
NREDA is pleased to co-sponsor the upcoming National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation's Economic Development Finance Service Conference.

The Economic Development Finance Service (EDFS) Conference will be held March 25 - 27 at the Chateau Bourbon Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. NREDA members receive the discounted registration price!

The conference will feature a special pre- conference workshop entitled, "Structuring Deals Using Small Business Loan Funds," March 24 - 25. This course will demonstrate how small business loan funds can play a pivotal role in leveraging public and private sector capital for businesses that need more than the loan can provide. The class will also include case studies that teach participants how to structure deals using a range of capital options. Find conference details here >>.

ED 411 needs you
NREDA has implemented a new program to enhance the value of your NREDA membership by making networking easier. ED411 is a tool available at Driven from the "Members Only" section on the NREDA website, ED411 lets you search most effectively for ED professionals with specific experience or skills.

ED411 offers other benefits as well: mentoring services for new members in their first year, and mentoring for others members who would appreciate the support of a veteran developer and NREDA peer.

To make this tool effective, NREDA needs you to please:
Go to
  1. Click on the ED 411 button and log in. (If you haven't created a login, just follow the directions. It's easy.)
  2. Consider volunteering to be a mentor, or ask for a mentor.
  3. At the top right of the screen, click on your "Profile."
  4. Update your contact information.
  5. Update your areas of experience (Use Ctrl - Click to select multiple areas.)
The areas of experience and expertise have been expanded significantly to make ED411 a much better tool. Go to the membership directory and search by "State" or "Area of Expertise" for fellow NREDA members who have experiences to share. Try a few searches while you are there.

NREDA's LinkedIn puts you in touch with members
Is your community considering a community foundation? Is your area technologically disadvantaged? Where do you find funding for infrastructure needs? These are just a few of the issues NREDA members deal with everyday. Now you can tap into NREDA's network via LinkedIn, ask questions, and share your experiences. Recent discussions focused on technology in rural areas and broadband over power lines.

What's on your mind? Post a question or comment on a topic that interests you. Visit LinkedIn and follow the online instructions.

Is anyone out there? How to use LinkedIn.
NREDA members are getting regular invitations to connect with peers and friends via the business networking sites LinkedIn or Plaxo Pulse. As you login and click "Connect," you may be wondering if it's really worth it.

Here's a book that might help you: I'm on LinkedIn -- Now What??? © 2007, by Jason Alba, Happy About® Books. The book promises to help readers walk away with a better understanding of LinkedIn, why they should use it, tips to get started, and how LinkedIn can fit into their networking and career strategy.

Source: Blane Canada, Ltd.

Welcome new NREDA members
Gerri Lawing, Guadalupe Valley Electric Co-op, Gonzales, TX 78629, (830) 857-1207,
Lori Capouch, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Co-ops, Mandan, ND 58554, 701-663-6501,
Robert A. Nelson, RAN Enterprises, Inc., Plano, TX 75025, (972) 998-0072,
Saralyn Stafford, Georgia Academy for Economic Development, Douglas, GA 31534, (912) 393-3690,
JoAnne Lewis, Douglas-Coffee County Economic Development Authority, Douglas, GA 31533, (912) 384-1873,
Niki Knox, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, Atlanta, GA 30308, (404) 521-7631,
Don Macke, RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Lincoln, NE 68503,(402) 323-7339,
Lonnie Larson, Humboldt County Development Association, Humboldt, IA 50548, (515) 332-2557,
Timothy Ware, Mid-East Commission, 1385 John Small Avenue, Washington, NC 27889?(252) 974-1825,
Craig Thompson, Marion Can Do, Marion, OH 43302, (740) 387-2267,
John M. Schultz & Todd Thoman,, Agracel, Inc., Effingham, IL 62401, (217) 342-4443, and
Daric Smith, Adams County Rural & Industrial Development Commission, Friendship, WI 53934, (608) 339-6945,
Frank Bennett, Sage Fundraising Solutions, Jacksonville, FL 32202, (904) 651-3210,

Member News welcomes submissions
The NREDA Rural Developer will kick off a new "Member News" section in 2009. This section will cover member achievements, job promotions, retirements, and other news worth sharing. We hope this section will offer a "pat on the back" to deserving members, and help NREDA members stay informed about their friends and economic development peers. Submit your news to Mary Logan Wolf,, or Lynn Harkin,

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SBA study: more new jobs from older companies
NREDA member Dave Kozlow shares a recent study from the Small Business Administration that finds "most new jobs in our economy are coming from high impact firms that range from small startups to larger companies, and that average being 25 years old," Kozlow summarized.

Ed Bee, Taimerica, further explains these findings in this article >>.

Biosciences: Opportunities in All 50 States
What employment subdivision grew twice as fast as the private sector overall and paid an average salary of $71,000? Bioscience. The recent State Bioscience Initiatives 2008 reports the rapid growth of jobs and salaries associated with biosciences that include pharmaceuticals, energy, technology, medical and others. Curious about bioscience activities in your state? Scroll down to read the individual state reports that cover four major bioscience subsectors:

  • Agriculture and chemicals;
  • Drugs and pharmaceuticals;
  • Medical devices and equipment;
  • Research, testing and medical laboratories.
Source: NRECA Community Catalyst

Entrepreneurship education in Arkansas
Eight of Arkansas' 22 two-year colleges now offer a business degree option and certificate in entrepreneurship. In addition, the Arkansas Delta Training and Education Consortium (ADTEC) is partnering with Arkansas State University to develop a career pathway in entrepreneurship to be delivered to 12 counties in eastern Arkansas through the ADTEC University Center, located at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis. The pathway will include multiple entry and exit points at the high school, community college, and university levels, including a certificate of proficiency, technical certificate, associate degree, and baccalaureate degree.

Get the details. >>

Source: Rural Entrepreneurship Newsletter

Entrepreneurs share experiences on video
If your local high school or junior college is considering an entrepreneur program, you should share this information: Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) in the School of Engineering at Stanford University hosts a website with more than 1,200 free, high-quality podcasts and video clips of entrepreneurial thought leaders from Silicon Valley and beyond. The Entrepreneurship Corner (ECorner), sponsored in part by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, features clips recorded during guest lectures at Stanford University. More than 200 speakers, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of HP, offer insights on creativity and innovation; opportunity recognition; finance and venture capital; leadership and adversity; and other related topics. The new Entrepreneurship Corner is available at

Game for kids simulates small business startup
Share this news with local educators and your kids: The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation has recently unveiled a new online game called "Johnny Money." The game is a free small business simulation that can be used in classrooms or by kids working on their own. It allows kids to set up an online business and make the day-to-day decisions that often face new entrepreneurs. Get the details. >>

How to encourage entrepreneurship
From the Aspen Institute come recommendations to help policymakers foster entrepreneurship in rural areas. Recommendations include taking specific action at the local, state and federal level, as well as encouraging local business people to join the effort. Successful programs require cooperation at all levels of government and key involvement from the private sector. These recommendations are outlined in the Policymakers Action Guide that was presented November 18th during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Discount software and tech training
The Microsoft NGO Connection website provides nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) a place to go to learn how to use technology more effectively and to access the resources Microsoft and its partners offer. The website provides free or discounted software applications, training and certification information, and NGO discussion forums. The goal of the website is to help NGOs achieve their organizational goals more efficiently. Visit the Microsoft NGO Connection to learn more about this new online resource, and share the information with your community partners.

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New National Rural Development Plan
The plans for rural development by the Obama campaign will now have the opportunity to become Obama initiatives since the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. The details of Obama's plan are included here. >>

Methane Tax for Cows
EPA recently issued an "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" earlier this summer, calling for public comments on the idea of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, as well as other human-related sources. Read the story. >>

These other sources include cattle, which tend to reside in rural parts of the country. The Nov. 28 deadline for public comment on the "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" is over, but the EPA still will post late comments on the docket if the EPA moves forward with any rulemaking to the Clean Air Act. To post a comment, visit the EPA and click on "EPA regulatory changes." Globally, ruminant livestock produce about 80 million metric tons of methane gas annually, accounting for about 28 percent of global methane emissions from human-related activities. In the United States, cattle emit about 5.5 million metric tons of methane per year, accounting for 20 percent of U.S. methane emissions. - From the Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Kansas.

Economic Stimulus Package offers aid
The Center for American Progress has released a study suggesting ways that the economic stimulus package can both benefit the economy and the environment. Many initiatives included in the plan may provide funding for rural groups. Read the story and referenced report. >>

Tracking Farm Energy Policy
NREDA members may find this Web site worth a bookmark: The Environmental Law and Policy offers a site that provides information on the Energy Title programs of the federal Farm Bill, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Their Farm Energy News page dissects the 2008 Farm Bill, details the USDA's new restrictions on REAP, and offers an in-depth look at key energy policy issues. Visit >>

Farm Bill leaving rural development behind?
On June 18, 2008, Congress completed action on the 2008 Farm Bill, editing the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (HR 6124, Public Law 110-246). It contains $35 billion in commodity subsidies and $25 billion for conservation programs. In comparison it allocates just $150 million in mandatory spending for three rural development programs. See what the Center for Rural Affairs has to say about the Farm Bill on their website. >>

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Rural broadband, telecommunication loans
NREDA member Linda Salmonson shares this information from the USDA: More than $342 million is being awarded to 18 communication firms in 22 states. The funds will bring new and improved telecommunication services to rural residents and businesses. The USDA press release includes a list of recipients and the amount they received.

Grants for Rural Cooperative Development centers
USDA announced in October its plans to provide $4.5 million in grant funds for 23 Rural Cooperative Development Centers in 22 states. The grants can be used to finance up to 75% of the costs of establishing and operating centers to help improve rural economic conditions. In addition, two new rural cooperative development centers will be established with the funds: the Resource Center for Value Added and Alternative Agriculture at North Carolina State University, and the Appalachian Forest Resource Center in Clarke County, Ohio.

$4 million available for "micro entrepreneurs"
The 2008 Farm Bill created the Rural Micro Entrepreneur Assistance Program. The new program will be run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and will make grants to organizations that provide training, technical assistance, or make small loans to new and existing rural small businesses. There will be $4 million available for fiscal years 2009-2011 and $3 million for 2012.
Find more details at the Center for Rural Affairs. >>

Investing in Rural America's future
The CHS Foundation is committed to investing in the future of rural America, agriculture, and cooperative business through education and leadership development. The foundation supports national efforts related to its mission as well as programs within the CHS trade territory for regional, multi-state, or statewide projects. The foundation funding focuses on the following program areas: Cooperative Education, Rural Youth and Leadership Development, Farm and Agricultural Safety, Returning Value to Rural Communities, and University Partnerships. All applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, with the exception of Cooperative Education applications, which are due in the fall of each year. Visit the Web site for a description of each grant category and online application instructions.

Contributed by Henry Fischer, NREDA vice president

Grants encourage rural teamwork
The Rural Initiative, a component of the Laura Jane Musser Fund supports collaborative efforts among citizens in rural communities in Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wyoming. Grants are provided for programs that will help to strengthen rural towns and regions in the targeted states in a number of civic areas including economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate the rural characteristics of its location. Planning grants of up to $5,000 and implementation grants of up to $25,000 are provided. Complete funding guidelines are available on the Laura Jane Musser Fund's website. >>

Contributed by Henry Fischer, NREDA vice president

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January 4-7, 2009 - Anaheim, CA
National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship 6th Annual Conference

January 13-14, 2009 - Bismarck, ND
Marketplace for Entrepreneurs

January 20-22, 2009 - Tucson, AZ
NET2009 Conference

January 15, 2009, 2 pm - Free Webinair
Integrating Service Networks to Enhance your Rural Loan Fund
Contact Mike Bellamente,

February 4-6, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference & Expo

February 17, 2009 - New Orleans, LA
CFC Annual Meeting

February 19, 2 pm (EST) - Free Webinair
Connecting with Angel Investors to Boost Your Loan Portfolios
Integrating Service Networks to Enhance your Rural Loan Fund
Contact Mike Bellamente,

March 25 - 27, 2009 - New Orleans, LA
NADO & NREDA Economic Development Finance Service Conference
Conference Registration Form (PDF)

June 24-25 - Maple Grove, MN
NREDA 2009 Regional Professional Development Conference "Save Energy! Save Your Community!"
Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott ($119) - (763) 425-5355
Holiday Inn ($99) - (763) 425-3800
November 8-10, 2009 - South Destin, FL
NREDA 2009 Annual Conference

The Rural Developer E-Bulletin is published
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National Rural Economic Developers Association
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Tele: 515-284-1421 FAX 515-243-2049

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