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Center of Everywhere podcast

Season 4, Episode 8: An update from Otter Tail County’s Big Build Initiative

On this episode, Kelly Asche, Senior Researcher at the Center for Rural Policy and Development, speaks with Amy Baldwin, Community Development Director at Otter Tail County, about their housing initiative – The Big Build. Housing is one of the biggest problems when it comes to attracting people to Greater Minnesota and fill our workforce needs. ...

MinnPost: Research project that found elevated food insecurity levels in Stevens County expands to a five-county region

EXCERPT: “After seeing the economic pressures people were facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Small Towns – an organization connected to the University of Minnesota – Morris – began looking into what challenges their community faced when it came to food security. The team found that many people in Stevens County experienced food insecurity. ...

An update to Rural Urban Continuum Codes

The USDA – ERS has released the new Rural-Urban Continuum Codes for each county. Kelly Asche, Senior Research April 2024 People love classifications—the ability to split things into separate, distinct groups makes them easier to measure, providing some clarity when creating policy. Although we agree that most classifications aren’t perfect, we also don’t give enough ...

Almanac: Greater Minnesota housing crunch

EXCERPT: “While St. Cloud is looking to help people without homes find a permanent place to live, many businesses in greater Minnesota are having difficulty hiring employees because they can’t find adequate housing. But few developers are willing to build in areas with low population density. Kaomi Lee found one west central builder trying to help, ...
Farm field with clouds

Census of Agriculture – Lots of variation across Minnesota

The recent Census of Agriculture shows that ag in rural Minnesota isn’t monolithic. Kelly Asche, Senior Researcher April 2024 A topic that is frequently discussed among rural residents, particularly in agricultural areas, is how much farming has changed over the last 50 years. The technology being used, the crops that now dominate the landscape, and ...

MPR: Road construction: 193 projects on tap for 2024 season

EXCERPT: “This summer’s most fashionable color will be orange. Again. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has 193 road and bridge construction projects on tap for this spring, summer and fall in pretty much every corner of the state: Edina, East Grand Forks, Duluth, Litchfield, Minneapolis, Monticello and lots of other spots. ‘Drivers throughout Minnesota can ...

KSTP-TV: Lawmakers continue fight for more EMS funding

EXCERPT: “Although Gov. Tim Walz and DFL legislative leaders agreed to spending targets last week that include $16 million for emergency medical services, many state lawmakers from Greater Minnesota continue to fight for much more to keep the system from collapsing. ‘There’s a crisis before us,’ says Rep. Dave Lislegard, DFL-Aurora, ‘and ambulance services that ...