Category: Blog

child with paint on hands

It’s time.

With the pandemic on the wane and people ramping up their transitions back to full-time work, childcare will be right back where it was before the pandemic—under-resourced and hard to find, especially in rural areas. And it has a real impact on our economy.     By Marnie Werner, Vice President, Research & Operations Here ...

Hospital margins before the pandemic

  By Kelly Asche, Research Associate If the pandemic has made us realize anything, it’s the importance of hospitals and access to health care across Minnesota. They played a crucial role in deploying vaccines, taking care of our sick, and being a hub of information while the pandemic played out. And now that we are ...
Farm field with clouds

Can high farmland values be too much of a good thing?

by Marnie Werner, VP Research & Operations Between 2000 and 2015, the price of farmland went on a tear. Prices climbed to levels unseen before, making people nervous. Now, after a respite between 2015 and 2020 where prices stayed fairly level, the farmland market is heating up again. These record prices have implications not just ...

Navigating a transition to renewable energy

Whitney Oachs, Research Associate Tomorrow, I publish a new report, “Shifting Energy Infrastructure and Rural Minnesota,” which outlines the progress and barriers associated with a shift toward renewable energy. In conducting the research for this report, I heard many different perspectives on renewables, ranging from support for 100% green energy to a desire to continue ...

State of Rural – 2021 Update

Each year, the Center for Rural Policy and Development provides a brief update on various economic and demographic data pertaining to rural Minnesota. As policy discussions concerning rural Minnesota unfold, it is important to understand the past, present, and potential futures of rural regions. This report provides historical data points that illustrate how rural conditions ...

State of Rural Highlight 3 – job vacancy rates higher than ever

Every year the Center publishes the “State of Rural” report—a brief overview of demographic and economic trends from a rural perspective. This year’s report will be published in December 2021. Over the next few months, we will be writing here on our blog about some of the trends we’re looking at, taking a deeper dive into the data ...

A bit more on retail trends

By Kelly Asche, Research Associate Look around your community or even your nearby economic center where you do your shopping, and you may conclude that the retail sector is tanking. And yes, brick-and-mortar retail firms have been declining. But that doesn’t necessarily mean shoppers are spending less money at our physical retailers. In fact, we are spending more. And that has meant that the surviving retailers are performing rather well.  In our recent research report, “The ...

Polluted Waterways in MN: Even the St. Croix isn’t safe

By Whitney Oachs, Research Associate This week the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) announced its 2022 draft list of new proposed impaired waters. Among the 305 new waterways added to that list is the St. Croix River, which is included due to having concerning levels of PFOS, a “forever chemical” used in manufacturing Scotchgard, firefighting ...

Welcome to our new board members

By Julie Tesch CRPD’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 Minnesota House and Senate leadership; all members represent different aspects of rural Minnesota. Remaining members consist of five at-large positions chosen by board members themselves.   The ...