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The Rural Developer - 1st Quarter 2010


Quarter I, 2010

In this issue:

Letter from the President

NREDA 2010 Conference

Rural Resources

Membership Highlights

Professional Development

Training Opportunities

2010 Directors & Officers

Rick Nelsen, President
Eric Phillips, First Vice President
Tom Lambrecht, Second Vice President
Dana Baker, Secretary-Treasurer
Henry Fischer, Past President
Jada Ackerman
Jim Bausell
Brad Captain
Andrea Cumpston
Bobby Davis
Ron Ebenkamp
Lori Fischetti
Rand Fisher
Clare Gustin
Randall Jones
Chad Lowder
Hondo Powell
Jim Vermeer
Lynn Harkin, Executive Director
Molly Lopez

NREDA Staff:

Membership dues, billing, and registrations:
Kelly Kipping at

Lynn Harkin

Rural Developer:
Shawnna Silvius

NREDA Conferences:
Sharyn Baudler

NREDA Web Site:
Darcy Watson

Useful links:

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

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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

ED 411
Get support and feedback on your rural development questions. ED 411 links you with a fellow NREDA member who is ready to help you.
Get answers now.

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Effective Lobbying
Download the NREDA Guide to Lobbying your Legislators for advice on how to approach your leaders and present rural development issues in a way that nets results.

Post a Job
NREDA members and non-members may post a position on the NREDA Web site and have a one-time email distribution about the job to NREDA members.
Get more info.

Job Openings
View postings for economic development positions.

Get involved
Serve on an NREDA committee and share your ideas for strengthening your organization through membership, training, conferences and more. More info.

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By Rick Nelsen, CEcD, NREDA President

Winter still has the country in its grip but spring is not too far off and the Annual Conference in Portland is only five months away. I hope you are making your plans to join us for another outstanding conference. Check out the details elsewhere in this newsletter.

Contrary to most futurists the future of America is bright according to one visionary. I just finished reading The Next Hundred Million, America in 2050 by Joel Kotkin and found his optimistic outlook for the U.S. to be refreshing. His view that as our population continues to increase we will see a greater emphasis on family ties and local community bodes well for our rural and suburban communities.

Telecommunications technology also plays an important role in our future by allowing for online networks and increased numbers of Americans working at home. Our ability to integrate our diverse, growing population puts us in a better position than our biggest projected competitors such as China and India which will face an aging population in the next few decades. The book is a great read and paints a positive picture of what lies ahead for America.

How is the economy in your part of the country- We may not be out of the woods yet but there are some positive signs. The Mid-America Business Conditions Index conducted by Creighton University's Dr. Ernie Goss shows a growing confidence among manufacturing supply managers in a 9-state region. The index grew to 54.7 in January up from 50.3 in December and 47.5 in November. An index of 50 is considered growth neutral.
Learn more >>

Finally, a big thank you to those of you who responded to our "call for leadership", we have added members to our committees and had great interest in serving on the NREDA Board. I continue to be impressed with the quality of leadership in this organization and that continues with our newest Board members: Jim Bausell, NRECA; Chad Lowder, Tri-County Electric Cooperative; St. Matthews, SC; Randall Jones, Lumbee River Electric Cooperative; Red Springs, North Carolina, and Jim Vermeer, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Humboldt, Iowa. Welcome aboard guys! We did tell you this was a "working" board didn't we-

Till next time,

Rick Nelsen, CEcD
2010 NREDA President

- Portland, OR

"Sustainable Development in Rural America"
Eric Phillips and Dana Baker, NREDA Conference Co-Chairs
Lynn Harkin and Sharyn Baudler, NREDA Staff

The 2010 NREDA Conference will be held at The Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, July 11 - 13, 2010. You're sure to enjoy this beautiful location. The Benson Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon, and provides travelers a truly unique experience. The Benson Hotel is convenient to sightseeing, shopping, performing arts, museums and the Pearl District - an award-winning, internationally recognized leader in urban renewal. Often considered the "gold standard" of live, work and play mixed-use space, the Pearl District is a superb affirmation that a miraculous quality of life can rise from the ashes of urban decay.

The nationally-recognized speakers will provide immediate return on investment, and networking with NREDA members during our special evening events will be well worth the time and travel.


Your Community Is Counting On You!
(Source: Wendi A. Muir, Senior Partnership Specialist, US Census Bureau)

It's nearly that time again - the census. The United States is gearing up for the 2010 Census, and everyone, including you, counts! In 1790, when our forefathers mandated in the U.S. Constitution that a headcount of everyone residing in the United States be taken, a Census was conducted, and it has been carried out every ten years since then. That means that the next Census is quickly approaching!

Census questionnaires will be mailed or delivered to every household in the United States in March of this year, and it is very important that each one is mailed back by April 1st, Census Day. The Census affects your voice in Congress since population totals determine each state's Congressional representation. The data collected also directly affect funding in your community.

Rural and Urban Children Lack Health Insurance More Often than Suburban
(Source: Carsey Institute & University of New Hampshire based on the American Community Survey)

Analysis of new Census Bureau data underscores the need to consider health reform's impact on children. A news brief from Marybeth J. Mattingly and Michelle L. Stransky at the Carsey Institute takes a closer look at the geographic distribution of health insurance for children. Based on recent data from the 2008 American Community Survey, the analysis shows that one in ten children are still uninsured and that insurance rates vary considerably by geographic area. In fourteen states, rural children are least likely to be insured. In another eight states, rural and urban children are insured at about the same rate, significantly lower than suburban children. Further, the data also shows rural children are least likely to be covered by private insurance and most likely to depend on public plans for their health care. Click here to learn more about the study and to see your state data.

Rural Poverty Rate Increasing Faster Than in Metropolitan Areas
(Source: & US Census Bureau estimates)

In the past five years the level of poverty in rural America has increased at a rate five times that of the poverty increase in metropolitan areas. Since 2003 the rural poverty rate jumped by 17 percent, while the metropolitan poverty rate climbed by about 3 percent. Between 2003 and 2008, the number of American's living below the poverty line increased by more than 3.2 million. In 2008, newly released figures from the US Census Bureau indicate that 13.2% of Americans were living in poverty; this is the highest rates since 1997, and in rural counties, this percentage increased to 16.3%.

The increase in rural poverty since 2003 reverses a trend from the 1990s when the gap between rural and metropolitan poverty rates decreased. Click here to read more about the findings and to review ranking by counties across the nation.

Minnesota Launches Rural Urban Connections Project
Submitted by Henry Fischer, Past President

In January, 2010, the team at Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc. started the first phase of the Rural Urban Connections project - collecting stories, examples, and reflections on rural-urban connections, collaborations and partnerships.

Why Rural Urban Connections- Minnesota has always been a place where the economy depends on rural urban interdependency - the interconnections of urban and rural people, ideas, places, resources, and enterprises. It hasn't always been viewed this way because people have become accustomed to the perception of rural-urban differences and separation. Rural urban interdependency is what has fueled the economy and community building from before statehood to the present day, from the ox-cart days of trading between Hudson Bay and St. Paul, to the rural wheat that anchored the world-class urban milling industry in Minneapolis, to the rural iron ore that powered our country through two world wars and 20th century industrial and urban development, and more.

Rural Areas Recognized Asset of "Outdoors"
(Source: United Stated Department of Agriculture)

The rural outdoors has become a major asset for rural communities - and a key advantage that some rural areas have over urban areas. The rural outdoors can be enhanced through the construction of recreation facilities, but undeveloped rural landscapes have appeal on their own, both for recreation and as attractive places to live. This briefing room looks at the appeal of rural landscapes, the importance of forest landscape preferences, and the role of scenic amenities across the rural-urban continuum. Click here to learn more.

Nation's First Commercial-scale Hybrid Cellulosic Ethanol & Power Plant Agreement Announced
By Clare Gustin, NREDA Director

In January, Abengoa Bioenergy and Mid-Kansas Electric Company LLC announced that an agreement has been reached concerning the development of the nation's first commercial-scale hybrid cellulosic ethanol and power plant. The agreement between both entities identifies the terms of a power purchase agreement for 75 megawatts of baseload electricity. The electricity will be generated at the electric generation and cellulosic ethanol plant to be constructed in Stevens County, Kansas and will use biomass from crop residue as a fuel source. The facility is estimated to cost $550 million and will have the capability to generate electricity and produce cellulosic ethanol. The construction project will require nearly 100 full-time workers during the 24-month building project and it is estimated to generate $17 million in construction wages. After completion, approximately 90 full-time employees will be required and the plant will purchase $13 million in biomass annually from area farmers, as well as purchase an additional $3 million other goods and services. This project diversifies electric generation in Kansas and will help power the state's growing demand for energy using Abengoa Bioenergy's state-of-the-art, integrated bio-refinery technology and Mid-Kansas' service capabilities. Click here for the full press release or to learn more about Abengoa Bioenergy and Mid-Kansas Electric Company.

Solar Energy Resources
(Source: Blog: Sean Kinney referencing

How does your state score with regard to solar legislation- Find out about solar power rebates, tax credits and incentives by states on this blog site. Click here to learn more and/or to provide your feedback.


NRECA Honors Union Rural Electric Cooperative in Ohio
(Source: Press Release, Tracy Warren, NRECA & Rick Shortell, NREDA Member)

CSA Union Rural
Roger Yoder, CEO, accepting the Community Service Award for Union REC, Inc.
Photo Credit: Michael Lynch
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) at it's recently concluded conference honored Union Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (URE) with the Association's National Community Service Award in recognition of the co-op's impressive economic development initiative that has brought jobs and growth to Union County and Marysville, Ohio. The award was accepted by Roger Yoder, Chief Executive Officer of Union Rural Electric Cooperative.

In 2000, Union REC joined with municipal governments and local companies to create a new public-private economic development organization for Union County, Ohio. There are now 24 entities in the organization, generating $280,000 annually for economic development. The cooperative made economic development a priority, incorporating both economic development and quality of life strategies into strategic plans, and invested both time and money into the new organization. Beginning in 2005, the organization invested $20,000 per year for the first three years and $25,000 per year for the following three years for a total investment of $135,000 by 2010.

Iowa Area Development Group receives MAEDC Honors
By Rand Fisher, NREDA Director

(l to r) Pat Langan, 2009 MAEDC President; Rand Fisher, IADG President;
Ron Starner, Executive VP and General Manager, Site Selection Magazine
Iowa Area Development Group was recently recognized by the Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC) in the category of "special events." The Iowa Venture Award ceremony received first place honors in the large category competition. The Iowa Venture Award ceremony began in 1988 and is among the most enduring and prestigious business recognition events in Iowa. Iowa Area Development Group has recognized and honored over 170 of Iowa's finest business leaders and companies with the prestigious Iowa Venture Award.

Remembering Bob Davis, NREDA Member

The board and staff of NREDA express our sincere condolences to friends and family of Robert (Bob) S. Davis. Bob passed away unexpectedly on December 22, 2009. He was a member of NREDA and was granted honorary status and he was a leader in Economic Development in Oklahoma and Missouri. Bob was also a U.S. Navy Veteran. His wife Kaye and their family are in our thoughts.

NREDA Welcomes Our Newest Members!

Dan Boysel
Dan Boysel
Dan Boysel
Key Accounts Executive
Consolidated Electric Co-op
4993 State Route 521
Delaware, OH 43015-0630
(740) 363-2641

Dan works as the key accounts executive with the Cooperative's large accounts in an expansion/retention and customer service relationship. He is also responsible for community/economic development initiatives and grant writing. Dan earned his BS degree in Agriculture Education/Economics at Ohio State University and his MBA from Ashland University. Dan is a Licensed Auctioneer and he holds a Real Estate License. Dan's MBA coursework was with Executive Management. Dan is also a commissioner for the Preservation Parks of Deleware County Park system. Dan enjoys making a positive impact in the community assisting members and business owners in economic development. Dan seeks to learn what part should be played by the Co-op in building a thriving and successful community. Dan has been married for 27 years to his wife Kerry. They have raised two young men Josh (23) and Nathan (21). He is active as a Commissioner for the County Park System and his family enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. Dan says he can be found most Saturday's in the fall at an Ohio State Football game or tailgate. He also works as an auctioneer selling real estate, chattels and at fund raising events.

Jennifer Gruis
Executive Director
Swift County Rural Development Authority
301 14th Street North, PO Box 288
Benson, MN 56215
(320) 842-4769

Sharon Hueftle
Executive Director
South Central Economic Development District
PO Box 79, 502 East Avenue
Holdrege, NE 68949
(308) 995-3190

Welcome to NRECA Members:

Jim Bausell
COO, Touchstone Energy
4301 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 907-5500
Jim will also be serving as NRECA's Ex-Officio Board Member to NREDA.

Mary McLaury
Vice President, Education and Training
4301 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 907-5557

Did you know...

NREDA members can renew membership online by logging in, clicking on your profile name (top right-hand corner) and choosing "Billing". If you have dues billed in the database, they will show on this screen and you can pay them from here. We accept MasterCard or Visa.

Post Job Listings: A new job posting was recently added to the website.
- Economic Development Council of Holmes County, Ohio is looking for an Executive Director.

NREDA Membership Campaign
By Bobby Davis, Director/Membership Committee Chair

Calling All Members! NREDA is embarking on a national membership campaign and we need your help. We will be targeting approximately 1000 individuals who are involved in rural economic and community development. We will begin our promotional mailings around the first of March, follow up with an email, and would then like to begin making personal contact with a phone call to the prospects around the first of April. We need individuals who will agree to take on the role of a State Captain and would assist in this personal follow up for their state or

If you would consider helping in this very important endeavor, please feel free to contact: Membership Committee Chairman Bobby Davis at (800) 842-5871,, Eric Phillips, NREDA Vice-President at (937) 642-6279, or NREDA Executive Director Lynn Harkin at (515) 284-1421 or

Thank you for your help in growing NREDA and helping make NREDA the premier economic and community development organization for rural America

Seeking 2010 Rural Development Leadership Awards Nominations
By Dennis Mingyar, NREDA Nominations Committee Chair

Do you know someone who should be recognized for his or her outstanding leadership in the field of rural economic development- If so, the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) seeks to honor deserving individuals for that purpose with their Rural Economic Development Leadership Awards program.

At the 2010 NREDA Annual Conference (July 10-13, 2010 at the Benton Hotel, Portland, Oregon) outstanding individuals will become the recipients of the 2010 Rural Economic Development Leadership Awards.

If you know an exceptional candidate, please log onto NREDA's website and click on Leadership Award Nomination Form on the left hand side. Complete and return along with the appropriate support materials to NREDA no later than May 1, 2010. Please contact Dennis Mingyar at (614) 430-7876 or via Email at if you have questions. Thank you for considering a nomination for this important award!


Utilize Your NREDA Social Networks
Submitted by Nikki Knox, Director

NREDA is not only on LinkedIn, but now we're on Facebook and Twitter too. Watch in the next issue for more information about the intended uses of each of these communication sources and how NREDA will incorporate them into our communication strategy.

If you're not already connected to our LinkedIn Group, go to your profile, search for us and submit a request to join. Most likely, we will be using this tool the most in the future. If you would like to connect using Facebook or Twitter, click on the word.

Rural Development Leadership Network Application Program
Submitted by Henry Fischer, Past President - (Source: Rural Development Leadership Network)

The Rural Development Leadership Network supports the combined development of rural people and rural communities. People are a community's most important long-term resource. In the RDLN program, participants implement practical projects in their own communities. They may also work toward an RDLN certificate, bachelor's degree or master's degree through related mentored independent study. RDLN is forming a cohort of rural development practitioners to work toward a Ph.D. degree. Apply immediately for rolling admission. Learn more >

Webinar Series:
The Heartland Center for Leadership Development in collaboration with the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce a new webinar series with the theme "Strategies for Community Prosperity." The five-part webinar series began in January with Rural Communities Can Thrive in the 21st Century and in February with Entrepreneurial Coaching - From Crisis to Economic Growth. The series will conclude in May. Remaining schedule and topics include:
  • March 18, 2010 Plowing New Ground-Refreshed Leadership Development for Revitalized Economies
  • April 15, 2010 Energized Youth-Energized Communities
  • May 20, 2010 People Count-Rebuilding Rural Communities with People Attraction Strategies
Each webinar is will start at 12:00 p.m. (Central) and end at 1:00 p.m. The training team includes Milan Wall, Vicki Luther and Kurt Mantonya from the Heartland Center and Don Macke and Craig Schroeder from the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. The cost of each webinar is $59.99 but if you purchase the entire webinar series at one time, the cost is $250.00, a savings of $49.95.

For more details and registration information about this exciting webinar series, please visit the Heartland Center's webinar page.


The Rural Developer E-Bulletin is published
monthly for members of the
National Rural Economic Developers Association
100 East Grand Avenue, Suite 330 Des Moines, IA 50309
Tele: 515-284-1421 FAX 515-243-2049

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