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Program Reports

Title Date Description
Economic Impact Analysis reports 2008 – present These reports examine the effects of economic changes in communities, regions and states.
Retail Trade Analysis reports 2008 – present These reports examine the strengths and weaknesses of retail sectors in communities and counties across Minnesota.
Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) summary reports 1990 – present BR&E summary reports feature findings from community interviews with existing businesses about the local business climate. The summaries highlight the strategic actions the communities identified in their BR&E work.
Tourism research reports 2005 – present These reports examine current issues and opportunities for communities and the tourism industry in Minnesota and beyond.

Research Reports

Title Topic Type Date Lead Authors Sponsors

2015 Financial Benchmarks of Local Food Operations (916KB PDF)

A study of the financial performance of 10 commercial vegetable operations in central Minnesota and addendum to the 2014 report.

Community Economics Research 2017
  • Pesch, Ryan
  • Hulinsky, Nathan
University of Minnesota Extension, Issue Area Grant Funds

Local Food Market Analysis (1.9MB PDF)

A study of the market potential for local foods in the Upper Minnesota River Valley RDC area.

Community Economics Research 2017 Pesch, Ryan Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Upper Minnesota River Valley RDC

Mahnomen Market Analysis: Downtown Retail Opportunities (2.9MB PDF)

Downtown retail opportunities based on a consumer and business survey of the Mahnomen region.

Community Economics Research 2017
  • Bhattacharyya, Rani
  • Pesch, Ryan
The City of Mahomen and Northwest Minnesota Foundation

Pastured Poultry Enterprise Analysis

A financial comparison of Main Street Project's pastured poultry system and University of Minnesota's poultry trial.

Community Economics Research 2016 Pesch, Ryan Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota

Financial Benchmarks and Economic Impact of Local Food Operations

A study of the financial performance of 11 commercial vegetable operations in Central Minnesota.

Community Economics Research 2015
  • Pesch, Ryan
  • Tuck, Brigid
EDA Center at University of Minnesota Crookston

Diversity in rural wealth: The many capitals of rural Minnesota

Community Economics Research 2015 Winchester, Ben Center for Rural Policy and Development

Waubun Grocery Market Analysis (3.02MB PDF)

Based on a consumer survey of residents within public school district #435

Community Economics Research 2015
  • Bhattacharyya, Rani
  • Pesch, Ryan
City of Waubun
ISD School District #435
Pappy's Cafe

Deep Winter Greenhouse Enterprise Analysis (1.5MB PDF)

A study of the costs and benefits of operating deep winter greenhouses in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Community Economics Research 2015 Pesch, Ryan
  • University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture
  • Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Local Option Sales Tax Analysis for Crow Wing County (507KB PDF)

Estimated contribution of seasonal residents, visitors, and travelers to a local option sales tax supporting transportation projects

Community Economics Research 2015
  • Bussiere, Merritt
  • Schwartau, Bruce
Highway Department, Crow Wing County, MN

West Central Minnesota Farmers Market Pricing Study (590KB PDF)

A price comparison of a market basket from farmers markets and grocery stores.

Community Economics Research 2015
  • Pesch, Ryan
  • Keeler, Maria
Center for Small Towns

Profile of Second Homeowners in Central and West Central Minnesota (2.7MB PDF)

This report examines the demographics, plans, and concerns of seasonal residents in Central Minnesota.

Community Economics Research 2014
  • Bussiere, Merritt
  • Pesch, Ryan
EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston

The Economics of Local Food Systems: A literature review of the production, distribution, and consumption of local food (940KB PDF)

This literature review summarizes available research on the economics of local food system development, focusing on the characteristics of local food markets, local food producers and food hubs, and the role of food systems in community and economic development.

Community Economics Research 2014
  • Pinchot, Ariel
  • Bussiere, Merritt
  • Pesch, Ryan

Assessing the Potential Farm-to-Institution Market in Central and Northeast Minnesota (1.06MB PDF)

This report provides an analysis of the market potential of locally raised foods by educational and healthcare institutions in 12 Central and Northeast Minnesota Counties.

Community Economics Research 2014 Pesch, Ryan
  • Center for Small Towns
  • University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development

Room for More: A study of Minnesota retail and service businesses that open or expand after the opening of Walmart Supercenters (1.06MB PDF)

This report studies the retail market of 13 Greater Minnesota cities where a Walmart Supercenter opened between 2000 and 2008 and explores which types of retail and consumer services businesses have coexisted with the retailer, as identified by openings and expansions and retail sales tax records.

Community Economics Research 2014 Schwartau, Bruce EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston

Retail and Service Business Mix of Minnesota's Downtowns (3.56MB PDF)

This report provides a tool for analyzing market opportunities in downtown business districts.

Community Economics Research 2014
  • Li, Yiwen
  • Pesch, Ryan
CURA, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

Assessing the Potential Northwest Minnesota Farm-to-Institution Market (1.29MB PDF)

This research presents a survey of educational and healthcare food service directors in 16 Northwest Minnesota counties to profile existing food purchasing habits and to estimate the potential economic impact on the region if institutions bought more foods from local farms.

Community Economics Research 2014
  • Pesch, Ryan
  • Bhattacharyya, Rani
North Country SHIP; Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

Outside the Comfort Zone: Strategies for Developing Emotionally Intelligent Leaders (1.72 MB PDF)

This study examines the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program to determine the relationship between program design and increased levels of emotional intelligence (EI).

Leadership Research 2013
  • Liepold, Michael
  • Rasmussen, Catherine
  • Boyce, Kim
  • Trudeau Poskas, Denise

Developing and Validating University of Minnesota Extension's Social Capital Model and Survey (363K PDF)

Methodological Appendix: Steps Before Confirmatory Factor Analysis (183K PDF)

This report provides background on the development and validation of the Extension Center for Community Vitality's framework and study design for measuring social capital in rural communities.

Social Capital Research 2013
  • Chazdon, Scott
  • Allen, Ryan
  • Horntvedt, Jody
  • Scheffert, Donna Rae

Murray County Lodging Report (947K PDF)

The study researches the size and scope of the lodging market in Murray County and includes interviews with visitors to the area, local residents, and local businesses. The results were used to inform business investments in Murray County.

Community Economics Research 2013
  • Linscheid, Neil
  • Pesch, Ryan
Murray County Economic Development Authority

eMarketing: Practical and Useful Research

Our community economics educators bridge research and practice so that businesses and communities can make the best use of technology. On this page, they offer insights from research as well as evidence-based practical advice for those learning about technology.

Technology Educational research 2013
  • Ahmed, Adeel
  • Pesch, Ryan and others
The EDA Center

Institutional Healthcare Market for Local Produce (466K PDF)

This report provides an analysis of the market potential for fresh fruits and vegetables to healthcare institutions, based on a survey of food service directors in Becker, Clay, Otter Tail, and Wilkin counties in Minnesota.

Community Economics Research 2012 Pesch, Ryan The EDA Center

Willmar Area Minority Business Report (348K PDF)

Appendix to Willmar Area Minority Business Report (289K PDF)

This report provides an analysis of the experiences of local minority-owned businesses in the Willmar Area.

Community Economics Research 2012 Ahmed, Adeel The EDA Center

Who Lives in Minnesota? The 2010 Census Shows Us How Our State is Changing

This report contains data produced by the 2010 Census that reveals who is living in rural Minnesota now and the trends that will be continuing into the future.

Rural Demographics Research 2012 Winchester, Ben Center for Rural Policy and Development

The Power of Invitation: The West Central Leadership Academy

This report describes a leadership education program that recruits staff and clients of Community Action Councils in West Central, Minnesota. Benefits from the perspective of program leaders, Community Action Council leaders, participants and program evaluation are considered.

Leadership Education Program Evaluation 2012
  • Hoelting, Joyce
  • Caldwell, Peter
  • Hennen, Mary Ann

Food Access in Duluth's Lincoln Park/West End Neighborhood (2.2MB PDF)

The purpose of this study is to understand more about the term "food desert" and to identify specific problems residents of Lincoln Park/West End face in getting access to healthy food.

Community Economics Research 2011
  • Pine, Adam
  • Bennett, John
University of MN Extension

Chisago County Lodging Study (1.6MB PDF)

This reports provides an analysis of the accommodations market in Chisago County, MN, in an effort to inform local economic development planning.

Community Economics Research 2012 Pesch, Ryan Chisago County Economic Development Authority

Renville County Local Foods and Farmers Market Survey (282K PDF)

Appendix to Renville County Local Foods and Farmers Market Survey (333K PDF)

This report provides an analysis of the local food market, based on a representative survey of households in the county.

Community Economics Research 2012 Pesch, Ryan USDA Farmers Market Promotion Grant

Community Leadership: What Does It Take to See Results? (133K PDF)

This report examines the characteristics of leadership education programming that produces evaluated results.

Leadership Education Program Evaluation 2007 Scheffert, Donna Rae  

This U-Lead Impact Study was conducted in spring 2008 to evaluate three of its leadership development initiatives known as U-Lead programs. The programs chosen for this evaluation were: Red River Valley Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program (MARL), and the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Leadership Institute (MASWCD).

Leadership Education Program Evaluation 2009
  • Lott, Stephanie
  • Chazdon, Scott

This article presents findings from 45 structured key informant interviews conducted in nine rural Minnesota communities to examine the readiness of communities to sustain long-term development initiatives requiring large commitments of time, staff, and volunteer resources.

Community Readiness Research 2010
  • Chazdon, Scott
  • Lott, Stephanie
University of Minnesota Extension

This article examines how social capital makes a difference for rural women in poverty.

Social Capital Social Analysis 2008 Scheffert, Donna Rae  

This paper reviews the comprehensive leadership education framework of Extension's U-Lead program.

Leadership Education Program Development 2006 Boyce, Kim  

This research highlights several communities that have undertaken projects to improve their digital access and development. Lessons learned can be applied to many other rural communities.

Technology Case Study 2003 Montgomery, Rae  

This report provides a generational analysis of rural Minnesota migration between 1990 and 2010.

Rural Demographics
(Brain Gain)
Research 2012 Winchester, Ben University of Minnesota Extension

This report provides a generational analysis of rural Minnesota migration between 1990 and 2010.

Rural Demographics
(Brain Gain)
Research 2009 Winchester, Ben University of Minnesota Extension

This report assesses the long-term effects of digital-presence, infrastructure investment, and broadband promoting interventions on businesses and the communities in which they are located.

  Research 2012
  • Daun, Tara R.
  • Muessig, Hans

This study examines Brown County, Minnesota and how the community developed an organization committed to creating active citizen leaders and connecting people and resources throughout the county.

Leadership Education Case Study 2006 Brandt, Erin  

This paper provides an overview of the design and evaluation of Bridging Brown County, a countywide community leadership development program that was explicitly designed to build social capital,as well as human capital.

Leadership Education Program Development 2011
  • Rasmussen, Catherine
  • Chazdon, Scott
  • Armstrong, Jessica

This article analyzes publicly available data on the investments in capital and labor that Minnesota businesses report making in response to the Tax-Free Zone program.

Public Finance Research 2010
  • Kalambokidis, Laura
  • Hansen, Tonya J.
University of Minnesota Extension

This report examines how Extension programs can examine their programs through the lens of public value, shaping messages that strengthen stakeholder communications.

Public Finance Program Evaluation 2011 Kalambokidis, Laura  

This article uses the principles of public sector economics to help formulate the public value of Extension and to describe how Extension staff have applied economic principles to identify the public value in their own programs.

Public Finance Program Development 2004 Kalambokidis, Laura  

This report explores an aspect of "Volunteered Geographic Information" with the findings from a study of an effort to train volunteers to map "Points of Interest" in two Minnesota counties.

Technology Adoption Program Development 2011 Ahmed, Adeel  
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