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. To view our most recent 990 report, click here. To see our policy regarding corporate support, click here.


Julie Tesch
President & CEO
Marnie Werner
VP, Research & Operations

Kelly Asche
Research Associate

Board of Directors

Steve Wenzel
Central Lakes College

Anna Boroff
Vice Chair
MN Cable Communications Association
St. Paul  

Tim Houle
Crow Wing County Administrator
Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News
Eunice Biel

Patrick Costello

Richard Davenport
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Dawn Hegland
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer
Minnesota Senate
Big Lake
Anne Klein
Pine City
Dave Ladd
RDL Associates LLC
Rep. Todd Lippert
Minnesota House of Representatives
William McCormack
The Schwan Food Co. (retired);
Schwan’s Development Co.;
Schwan’s Venture Group Inc.
Kevin Paap
Minnesota Farm Bureau
Garden City
Mark Phillips
Iron Range Resources &
Rehabilitation Board
Tim Velde
Minnesota Farmers Union
Granite Falls