Our Annual Business Meeting will be Oct. 20 at MSU (more detail under MACDEP Happenings). I will present our State of the Association Report, followed by the Treasurer’s Report and Election of Officers for the 2010 term. Many thanks to members for your continued support of the Association!
MACDEP Happenings/Member News
MACDEP Business Meeting
Our Annual Business Meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 7 to 8:15AM at the SUB at MSU. You can view past minutes and our current Draft Agenda at the MACDEP web site. If you would like to add any items to the Draft Agenda, please send your request to . Also, we will have an informal Roundtable Discussion on Monday, Oct. 19 from 4-6PM at Santa Fe Red's, 1235 N 7th Avenue, to talk about general CD programming, past, present, and future. The meeting is open to all; those in Extension as well as other interested individuals are encouraged to attend.
NACDEP Reviewers Needed
Abstract reviewers are needed for all tracks for the upcoming National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) Conference. Please e-mail with your track preference today.
Abstracts due for Community Development Society Conference
The Program Planning Committee will accept Abstracts for proposed presentations for the 2010 Conference (July 25-28, 2010 in New Orleans, LA). Abstracts involving partnerships between practitioners and academics are especially encouraged. Deadline for Submission of Abstracts is October 30, 2009.
Nonfarm Business Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for First Half of 2009
Data is now available at the BLS website thru the second quarter of 2009, indicating that output per hour is up this year, unit labor costs are down, and real hourly compensation took a deep cut, but has started to rise again.
New Census Data Shows 175,621 Montanans without Health Insurance Coverage in 2008
New U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 175,621 Montanans, or 18.5% of the population, lacked health insurance coverage in 2008. That number would be significantly higher without public health care options such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance. An additional 234,834 Montanans, or 24.7% of the population, were covered by public health insurance. According to the Montana Budget and Policy Center, the numbers for 2009 will likely be much worse because we are now deeper into the recession.
USDA Launches 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' Initiative to Connect Consumers with Local Producers to Create New Economic Opportunities for Communities
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan recently announced a new initiative - 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' - to begin a national conversation to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity. To launch the initiative, Secretary Vilsack recorded a video to invite Americans to join the discussion and share their ideas for ways to support local agriculture. The video, one of many means by which USDA will engage in this conversation, can be viewed at USDA's YouTube channel.
Poverty Rose, Median Income Fell, & Job-Based Health Insurance Weakened in 2008 across US
As summarized by the Center on Budget and Policy Center (CBPP), poverty increased, median household income fell, and the percentage of Americans with employer-based health coverage continued to decline in 2008, according to Census data for 2008 issued on Sept. 10, 2009.
Annual Estimates for Housing Units in 2008
The Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) has recently released the annual estimates for the number of housing units in Montana counties for last year in an Excel document.
Bozeman in Top 10 US Real Estate Markets For 2009
The top ten US real estate markets for 2009 are not large metropolitan areas, but rather small communities with strong prospects for growth. This list of high potential housing markets may not appreciate in the short term, but have the highest likelihood of long term appreciation.
Community Development “In the News”
Montana Residents Air Concerns About Asphalt Plant, Gravel Pit
Residents of Red Lodge raised concerns about the effect a proposed asphalt plant and gravel pit on the western edge of the Montana town will have on the town's air quality and water resources. Billings Gazette; Sept. 28
Montana on Track to Use All Federal Stimulus Funds for Roads
Montana Department of Transportation officials said the state had 69 projects approved by the Legislature for funding under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and that 61 of those projects have been put out for bids. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 27
U.S. Job Seekers Outnumbers Jobs Available by Record Ratio
The number of job seekers outnumber jobs available in the United States by a six-to-one ratio, the worst ratio since the government began tracking open positions since 2000. New York Times; Sept. 27
Snowy Mountain Development Gets Grant for Economic Development in Rural Areas
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that the Lewistown economic development group was one of 58 groups that will receive a portion of $8 million as part of the rural business enterprise program. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 25
An Inside Look at the Decline of America's Rural Communities
Rural areas have been losing population for decades, creating what some are calling a "rural brain drain". According to this article, the hollowing out of these rural areas will have negative impacts beyond the borders of those small towns. Chronicle of Higher Ed; Sept. 24
Montana, Wyoming Wind Power Sought for $3B TransCanada Lines
The two lines would move 3,000 megawatts of power from each state. That's more than three times as much wind power as Wyoming currently produces and eight times what Montana has. Washington Examiner; Sept. 24
“Seeing to Learn” Plant Tour Event
October 8, Morgenstern Hangar, Lewistown. Special guest Jim Roscoe, Chairman of the Board at Roscoe Companies, will speak about the Lean Manufacturing Advantage now underway at the more than 50-year-old Roscoe Steel and Culvert plant in Billings, as well as at plants in Missoula and Casper, Wyo. He will address the group during an evening meal that features foods grown and raised in Montana.
Embracing Uncertainty - Claiming a New Strength: The Art & Practice of Adaptive Leadership
October 9, 9am - 3pm Holiday Inn - Gallatin Room in Bozeman $25 includes lunch. How do we move ahead and make progress in an uncertain world? How do we creatively and effectively adapt to stressful, changing conditions? What does leadership mean if we shift our focus away from the seductions of authority, fixing, power, and personality? How do we respond to the enduring call for economic justice and environmental sustainability? What kind of educational leadership will create the political will to serve the common good? This workshop with Dr. Sharon Daloz Parks will provide ways of thinking and acting in response to these kinds of questions. Dr. Parks will also give a free public lecture at MSU on October 8 at 7 p.m. Please print and mail the workshop registration form.
World Famous BioTech Pioneer & Montana Native Dr. Lee Hood
October 9, 12 pm, Bozeman, Rockin TJ Ranch. TechRanch and partners are pleased to present an afternoon with the World Famous BioTech Pioneer and Montana Native Dr. Lee Hood who will share his thoughts on the future of biomedicine and how Montana can build its life sciences and biotech community.
4th Annual Real Estate and Development in the Northern Rockies
October 12-13, Missoula. Don’t miss this unique gathering of prominent developers, financiers, government officials, real estate agents, architects, attorneys, journalists and non-profit leaders from around the region. View the full preliminary agenda.
Biodiesel Production Series Of Workshops: Fuel Performance
October 15 - 17, 8:30 am, Havre, MSU-Northern Bio-Energy Innovation and Testing Center. The BioEnergy Center is hosting a series of biofuel workshops, designed to give participants hands on experience with the fundamentals of biofuels. This session includes a lecture and discussion on the fundamentals of diesel engines, a discussion on engine design technologies in relation to federal and state regulations, with an emphasis on exhaust emissions, and a discussion on EPA regulated and non-regulated gases, including their environmental and human health impacts.
2009 Small Business Conference
November 3 - 4, Billings, Holiday Inn Grand. Operating a business is a challenge. The 2009 Small Business Conference is what small business owners need to push past the status quo. Even in difficult economic times, businesses can flourish. This conference will give business owners tools to better manage their businesses.
Associate Director, Local Government Center
Montana State University Local Government Center seeks a dynamic and innovative individual for the position of Associate Director. The Associate Director participates in conducting outreach workshops, technical assistance programs, research conducted by the Center, and in programs focused on community dialogue, leadership development, visioning and strategic planning in Montana communities. For further information contact: Dan Clark, Director, Local Government Center and Search Chair Phone: 406.994-6694 or Email:
Montana Nonprofit Connections Assessment Grants
Assessment Awards provide an experienced consultant to conduct a comprehensive organizational review, including such topics as board governance, human resource management, planning, financial management, and fundraising.
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
The primary goals of the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) are to: (1)Meet the food needs of low-income individuals; (2)Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities; (3)Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and (4) Meet specific State, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: (a) Infrastructure improvement and development; (b) Planning for long-term solutions; or (c)The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers. Deadline: November 19, 2009.
Montana Department of Commerce is Accepting Applications for Historic Preservation Grants
Montana cities, towns, counties, non-profit organizations and private entities are encouraged to apply for the more than $3.6 million available through the Program. The deadline to submit applications is November 16th, 2009.
State Energy Sector Partnership Grant Information
This State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) grant has been announced by the U.S. Department of Labor & Industry, Employment and Training Administration and grant is one of the five Green Job Training grants being offered.
Two Montana Tribes Each Get $12M to Build New Jails
The Chippewa Cree Tribe and the Fort Peck Tribes in Montana will each get $12 million in federal stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Justice to build new jails. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 24
Green Energy Developers Put Off by Montana PSC Inaction
Developers of small, renewable energy projects said the inability of the Montana Public Service Commission to put consistent standards in place and set timely rates is forcing developers to look elsewhere for sites for their projects. Helena Independent Record; Sept. 21
Small Wind Projects Get Better Price in Idaho Than Montana
In Idaho, small wind power projects can sell their electricity to the local utility at prices that are higher and more predictable than in Montana. Those prices are set by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Missoulian; Sept. 19
Creating Communities To Grow Old In
Meeting the needs of aging residents has been a challenge for many cities. Some suburban communities are pioneering the conversion to an elder-friendly layout. Wall Street Journal; Sept. 19
Thousands of New Jobs in Montana Drives Down Jobless Rate
Montana's unemployment rate dipped a bit, down 0.1 percent to 6.6 percent in August, the first time the jobless rate has dropped since December, 2007. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 19
EDA/EDC Plan to Court Alternative Energy Firms
The Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) are launching a new look and marketing approach, as well as adding a new focus to their development efforts. The opportunity for renewable energy development is great for Billings, said EDA/EDC Director Steve Arveschough. Big Sky Business Journal; Sept. 18
Montana Company Helps Missoula Students Eat Local Food
Montana Food Products works with local producers to process carrots and zucchini and beef, as well as some locally produced sauces, for use in school lunches at Missoula County Public Schools. Missoulian; Sept. 16
Personal Wind Turbines Face Blast of Local Resistance
Consumers interested in generating their own wind power are finding local governments and ordinances tough to overcome, and some are simply abandoning that route to energy independence. New York Times; Sept. 14
Montana's Rocky Mountain Front to Sprout Another Wind Farm
When the 210-megawatts Glacier Wind Farm goes online in a few weeks in Montana, it will enjoy a short-lived distinction as the state's largest wind farm, as NaturEner unveiled its plan for a second, 309-megawatts facility just 25 miles away from Glacier Wind Farm. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 13
Montana Mine Loads Up First Coal Train
Exactly one year to the day that Signal Peak broke ground on a mine at the site of the former Bull Mountain Coal Mine, a 115-car Burlington Northern Santa Fe train was loaded with coal and headed to Chicago, with its final destination FirstEnergy's coal-fired power plant in Ohio. Billings Gazette; Sept. 11
The Role of Artists in the Creation of Public Space
Public space plays an important role in cities. Essential to creating good public spaces, according to this commentary from The Nation, is the art community. The Nation; Sept. 11
Conservation Expert Urges Diligence at Montana Preservation Workshop
Edward M. Norton, a senior environmental adviser to TPG Capital, L.P., was the keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Statewide Preservation Workshop in Montana Thursday, where he lauded local groups' work to secure federal protection of public lands and efforts to fend off ongoing threats to those lands. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 11
Stimulus Money to Help Expand Broadband in Montana’s Rural Areas
Montana's many rural communities could receive over the next few years millions of dollars in stimulus money intended to spread high-speed Internet to communities on the wrong side of the digital divide. Billings Gazette; Sept. 10
Wikiplanning a City
As part of their Envision 2040 process, the City of San Jose is soliciting user input through a web-based wiki. Government Technology; Sept. 8
Montana DEQ Gives Natural-Gas Plant Preliminary Approval
Southern Montana Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative got preliminary approval from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for air quality permit for its proposed power plant near Great Falls. Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 4