About Us

The Center for Rural Policy and Development is a non-partisan, not-for-profit policy research organization dedicated to benefiting Minnesota by providing its policy makers with unbiased information and evaluation of issues from a rural perspective. 

The Center’s board members come from all over the state, representing a variety of interests. Thirteen are appointed by the Governor and two are appointed by the House and Senate leadership; all members represent different aspects of rural Minnesota. Remaining members consist of five at-large positions chosen by the board members themselves. The board works closely with staff to help guide the direction of the Center, to set research priorities, and to help make the Center a presence in the rural policy community. To view our strategic plan, click here.

Staff

Brad Finstad
Executive Director
Marnie Werner
Research Director
 
     

Board of Directors

Timothy Houle
Chair
Crow Wing County Administrator
Brainerd   

Steve Wenzel
Vice Chair
Central Lakes College
Brainerd

Dave Ladd
Secretary/Treasurer
RDL Associates LLC
Woodbury

 
 
Eunice Biel
Harmony

Dave Chura
Minnesota Power
Duluth

Richard Davenport
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato
     

Wade Fauth
Blandin Foundation
Grand Rapids

Dawn Hegland
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC
Appleton

Vicki Jensen
Minnesota Senate
Owatonna

 

Anne Klein
Pine City
William McCormack
The Schwan Food Co. (retired);
Schwan’s Development Co.;
Schwan’s Venture Group Inc.
Marshall 
Kevin Paap
Minnesota Farm Bureau
Garden City 
     
Joe Schomacker
Minnesota House of Representatives
Luverne
Tony Sertich
Northland Foundation
Duluth
Tim Velde
Minnesota Farmers Union
Granite Falls
     
Ron Zeigler
Community Economic Development Association
Chatfield