R5DC presents MFU with Exceptional Regional Partner award

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) thanks Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) for presenting the organization with its 2022 Exceptional Regional Partner of the Year award.

The award recognizes MFU’s work on a mobile meat processing project in central Minnesota that would expand meat cutting technical training programs underway at Minnesota state colleges. MFU worked in partnership with multiple allies including Cass County, Community Development of Morrison County, Happy Dancing Turtle, Central Lakes College, the Small Business Development Center, Agriculture Utilization Research Institute and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The North Central Economic Development Association (NCEDA), the private sector led lending arm of R5DC, assisted the project by providing access to capital to help this project proceed.

“This MFU partnership with Central Lakes College that successfully secured a $2.9 million EDA grant will have significant impact to our region’s agricultural economy,” said Cheryal Hills, R5DC Executive Director. “The truly collaborative project approach that brought together a multitude of agencies who took action directed by local livestock producers has been a prime example of how inclusive community/economic development should be done. The project leveraged county, state, federal and Central Lakes College investments in addition to locally borrowed funds (NCEDA/R5DC) and a sizeable financial commitment from the Minnesota Farmers Union Foundation. We are fortunate to have authentic relationships that foster great projects in our region, and R5DC applauds the Minnesota Farmers Union’s leadership.”

“Since Minnesota Farmers Union started in 1918, it’s been working for fairness. Our work on this workforce development project is an off shoot of this work,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “Vibrant rural communities need farmers, independent businesses, workers and consumers. All are important to keeping the rural economy rolling along. That’s why we are so proud to partner with Region 5 on rural economic development, particularly this meat cutting project.”

About Minnesota Farmers Union

Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MFU is a nonprofit membership-based organization. Membership is open to everyone. Learn more and join at www.mfu.org and follow MFU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).