Rural Grants

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

Oct. 25, 1996

Rural Communities Eligible for Grants

Editor's Note: This call for community grant proposals has a deadline of Dec. 31. To ensure that interested parties in your community have adequate time to apply, publication of the information in this release should occur by mid-November.

Contact: Linda Jacobson 715\425-0671 or David Trechter 715/425-3129

Groups of rural communities working cooperatively to address local issues in Wisconsin or Minnesota are eligible for up to $9,000 in training and technical assistance through a program at the UW-River Falls Rural Development Institute.

In its third year, the Cooperative Development Initiative is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and provides training and technical assistance to assist start-up cooperative and collaborative ventures through the initial start-up phases, helping to ensure their long term success.

Two projects, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota, will be selected to receive $9,000 in custom designed technical assistance over a two-year period. The initiative will choose groups from several communities that propose projects integrated with cooperation and collaboration. An innovative project submitted by several people from one community will also be considered.

Proposal requests will be available Nov. 1 and are due by Dec. 31. Applicants are asked to outline the issue, goals, community involvement, resources and training, and technical assistance requested. The selected groups will be notified in early February and planning for the training and technical assistance will begin in March.

In past projects, the Cooperative Development Initiative has helped the St. Croix Valley Regional Tourism Alliance promote tourism, the Northwest Minnesota Development Achievement Center Cooperative improve services for developmentally disabled adults. Also funded were the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership to address the shortage of safe, sanitary, affordable rural housing in the area, and the Minnesota Agro-Forestry Cooperative, a producer-owned supply and marketing cooperative of hybrid poplar growers in central Minnesota.

The Initiative stresses the need for communities to work together. "As resources get stretched tighter and problems are beyond the scope or capacity of a single community or organization, more and more groups are choosing to collaborate to resolve common issues," says David Trechter, Initiative director and extension specialist in cooperatives at UW-RF.

For proposal requests or more information, contact Trechter at 715/425-3129 or Linda Jacobson 715/425-0671.

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