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The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect greater Minnesota communities to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.

Read more about RSDP and our initiatives in Minnesota or watch this video.

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RSDP in the news

Deep Winter Greenhouse

RSVP for the September 30 Deep Winter Greenhouse Open House in Bemidji

Bemidji Deep Winter Greenhouse open house scheduled for 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. on September 30, 2017. Please register here and learn more about the event here.

hazelnuts cracked open

Upper Midwest Hazelnuts Research: 10 Year Progress Report

In November of 2007, the University of Minnesota convened a group of stakeholders and early-adopter growers to find ways to jump-start the hazelnut industry in the Upper Midwest. The meeting resulted in the Hazelnut Development Initiative Strategic Plan and the Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative (UMHDI) was born. Read the report that summarizes the significant work done in the last ten years and highlights the work planned for the next ten years. 

room of attendees at the crop forum

RSDP hosted University of Minnesota new and innovative crops forum

In June, RSDP hosted a day-long forum on the St. Paul campus highlighting new and innovative crops in research and available for production. The intent of the forum was to provide an opportunity for farmers, processors, food entrepreneurs, educators and culinary professionals to learn more about the agricultural innovation happening at the University.  The morning panel highlighted day-neutral strawberries and the research happening out of the UMN Morris and the afternoon panel highlighted the research on hybrid hazelnuts. UMN researchers, breeders and agronomists were also on hand over the lunch hour to share information on other crops, such as kernza, pennycress, potatoes and barley.  Similar events in greater Minnesota are in the planning stages for the upcoming months. Interested in learning more about these and other crops in research at the University?  Connect with Connie Carlson, Assoc. Program Director, RSDP Statewide Sustainable Ag and Ag Systems carl5114@umn.edu.

RSDP Fiscal Year 2017 Project List

In 2017, RSDP brought together 364 partners to work on 127 community-driven projects across the state of Minnesota. Learn more about these community-University partnerships for sustainability in our Fiscal Year 2017 Project List.

Deep Winter Greenhouses

Deep Winter Greenhouse Prototype 2.0 under construction in five RSDP Regions

RSDP is supporting the construction of five Deep Winter Greenhouses (DWGs) using an updated design from the College of Design's Center for Sustainable Building Research. Learn more about DWGs and RSDP's work in this area.

collard leaves with blue sky

Local Foods College

Local Foods College is an interactive distance learning opportunity for gardeners and farmers interested in community-based food systems. Watch recorded sessions on YouTube.

RSDP releases fact sheet on rural grocery energy use

RSDP has released the third in a series of fact sheets from the 2015 statewide Rural Grocery Survey. The latest fact sheet examines energy usage and related needs in rural grocery stores. For the complete set of fact sheets, visit RSDP's rural grocery resource page.

RSDP releases second rural grocery survey fact sheet on fresh produce and farm-to-grocery

RSDP has released the second in a series of fact sheets from the 2015 statewide Rural Grocery survey. The latest fact sheet highlights how grocery stores buy and sell fresh produce and locally grown produce. Results are receiving significant media attention, and Statewide Director Kathy Draeger recently shared results at the Minnesota Legislature. More

Rural Grocery Summit

Learn about natural resource issues and projects in RSDP's webinar series

A webinar series offered by RSDP explores natural resource issues and the University people and projects addressing them. Session topics include water use, local hazelnuts, campus sustainability initiatives, and other timely issues. Watch the webinars here.

RSDP talks with MPR about rural grocery survey

RSDP recently released the first in a series of fact sheets about the 2015 statewide Rural Grocery Survey. Results are receiving significant attention, including an interview with RSDP Statewide Director Kathy Draeger on MPR's Morning Edition. More

Assorted Product Case

RSDP launches rural grocery resource page

Small-town grocery stores are the heart of rural communities. The Partnerships support rural grocers through a number of resources and projects. Learn more.

Assorted Product Case

Research and Resources for Deep Winter Greenhouses (DWGs)

RSDP has been working with DWG producers on research, outreach, design, and development projects. Find all of our work and downloadable resources on the DWG page.

Download RSDP Board application

Download RSDP SCC At-Large Member application

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