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Click here to see this online
 
 
 

June 11, 2021

 

 
 
Crop Sciences 
 

With a growing number of states legalizing the sale and personal cultivation of cannabis, including medical and recreational marijuana and hemp, farmers and home growers need to know the ins and outs of the crop. Now, enthusiasts and full-scale producers alike can learn to classify and manage cannabis production in an online course through the University of Illinois. “We cover classification and taxonomy, which is critical for proper production of any given cannabis product. How you grow and manage diverse varieties depends on whether you’re targeting THC for medical or recreational marijuana, for non-psychoactive compounds like CBD, or for hemp fiber, protein, and oils,” says DK Lee, instructor for the course and director of online programs in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I, part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Anyone can take the cannabis course, including members of the public with a basic understanding of plant biology. The course is also open to current students enrolled in the department’s undergraduate, graduate, and online master’s degree programs. Register here to enroll for the fall semester.

 

 
 
 Cooperatives Services Branch of USDA
 

According to the Cooperatives Services Branch of USDA, many rural communities struggle with food insecurity; either due to limited access to a grocery or through closures. This loss has impacts well beyond access to food; jobs are lost, other businesses around the groceries close, soft skills and creation of wealth in the community diminishes. The traditional economic development practice of recruiting a business may be successful, provided there is enough profit to attract an investor. However, the limited potential for profit may be the reason the store closed.  Some communities and economic development professionals are taking a closer look at the cooperative business model as a solution. Conducting business cooperatively can solve an economic need, create wealth, and develop leadership skills in the community; a win-win solution. For more information about setting up a cooperative, contact the Illinois Cooperative Development Center.

 

 
 
Build Back Better 
 

USDA will invest more than $4 billion to strengthen the food system, support food production, improved processing, investments in distribution and aggregation, and market opportunities. Through the Build Back Better initiative, USDA will help to ensure the food system of the future is fair, competitive, distributed, and resilient; supports health with access to healthy, affordable food; ensures growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar; and advances equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation. While the Build Back Better initiative addresses near- and long-term issues, recent events have exposed the immediate need for action. With attention to competition and investments in additional small- and medium-sized meat processing capacity, the Build Back Better initiative will spur economic opportunity while increasing resilience and certainty for producers and consumers alike.

 

 
 
 LGE Webinar Series
 

Rural Partners is hosting two webinars on Illinois Extension’s Local Government Education platform next week. On Wednesday, June 16 at Noon CT, Steve Kline, President/CEO of the Economic Development Group, and Herb Klein, President/Attorney at Law of Jacob and Klein, will address the fundamentals of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Illinois and provide examples of innovative uses of TIF for assisting small business development. On  Thursday, June 17 at Noon CT, Matt Dunne, Founder and Executive Director of the Center on Rural Innovation, will share how he and his team are advancing inclusive rural prosperity and supporting rural economic development leaders and change agents in small towns across the country. Building Digital Economies in Rural America will address how COVID-19 has helped shift the national narrative about what's possible in rural America and what community leaders must now do to seize this moment. Both webinars will conclude with an open Q&A.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

June 15 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 1): The Community Role in Post-Pandemic Broadband Deployment

June 16 - TIF Fundamentals for Small Business Development (Rural Partners)

June 25 – Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

June 29 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 2): Broadband 101

June 30 - Illinois Extension Housing Toolkit (Rural Partners)

July 13 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 3): Funding and Partnerships

July 27 - Developing Broadband Leadership (Part 4): Moving a Broadband Project Forward

 
 
 
 
 

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