Quarterly Newsletter | Summer 2023


Celebrating 50-Years of Service to the Region

Welcome Candice & Savannah

Candice believes the most enjoyable part of community planning is seeing opposing viewpoints come to a consensus and adopt a common goal. Her role as Regional Development Planner with R5DC will focus on comprehensive planning for municipalities and implementation of projects surrounding renewable energy and the environment in our five-county region.

Savannah joined Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) in 2023. Her primary role includes working with local cities to create Comprehensive Plans driven by local, community input. She conducts public workshops, facilitates, and plans meetings, and drafts planning documents. In addition to these and other comprehensive planning responsibilities, she is also engaged in Transportation Planning in the region.

We'd love to hear from you! Connect with our staff here.

Cass Lake Kicks Off Comprehensive Plan Update

Recently, Cass Lake residents had the opportunity to weigh in on the future of their community at a Comprehensive Planning Kickoff meeting hosted by the City of Cass Lake at Cedar Lake Casino. 

We are excited to help with the update to their existing Comprehensive Plan and grateful to community members who participated in a mapping exercise to identify existing assets and community needs.

AgVet Workshops Wrap Up Year One

Learn More about the AgVet Program

We had a great first year of workshops for the AgVet program, in partnership with our friends at Sprout.

It was a beautiful afternoon to learn about Cover Crops and Regenerative Soil at Island Lake Farm in May. Thank you to all of our participants, and host sites!

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program, project 1029231.

Ag Mental Health & Wellness Podcast

We were fortunate to have Keith Olander and Monica McConkey join us for our first podcast episode for the Agricultural Health & Wellness program. This episode focuses on stressors and strategies and it's a good listen for all of us!

Listen to the Ag Mental Health - Stressors and Strategies Episode
Learn more about Agricultural Mental Health & Wellness Program


Catch up on the latest transportation news!


Cass Lake-Bena Receives Grant for Energy Upgrades

Cass Lake-Bena Schools to share in $178 million of grant funding for energy upgrades

Cass Lake-Bena School District Receives Grant for Infrastructure Updates

USDA Announces Regional Food Business Center

USDA selects R5DC as Regional Food Business Centers finalists

USDA Announces Food Business Center in Central Minnesota (wjon.com)

USDA Partners with Region Five Development Commission to Start New Food Business Center

R5DC Receives Energizing Rural Communities Prize

Lakeland News Shares R5DC Celebrates 50 Years!

USDA Partners with Region Five Development Commission to Start New Food Business Center


Aug 22: Regional Economic Conditions: General Business Webinar

Aug 24: R5DC Commission Meeting | 6 pm at Sourcewell

Sep 28: R5DC Commission Meeting | 6pm at Sourcewell

Oct 26: R5DC Commission Meeting | 6pm at Sourcewell


Cass County

Bob Kangas, County Commissioner

Brenda Bray, Municipalities

John Benson, Town Boards

Crow Wing County

Rosemary Franzen, County Commissioner

Angel Zierden, Municipalities

Doug Kern, Town Boards

Tiffany Stenglein, City of Brainerd

Morrison County

Greg Blaine, County Commissioner

Rollie Johnson, Municipalities

Chuck Parins, Town Boards

Todd County

Barb Becker, County Commissioner

Deb Nelson, Municipalities

Julie Polak, Town Boards

Wadena County

Ron Noon, County Commissioner

David A. Anderson, Municipalities

Erich Heppner, Town Boards

Public Interest

Dr. Carrie Brimhall, Higher Education

Steve Hall, Camp Ripley

Taran Skwira, Emerging Leader 

Diane Jacobson, SWCD

VACANT, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Amy Sjoblad, R5 School Board Rep

Andrea Haverinen, R5 School Board Rep

VACANT, Workforce Development

*Current as of June 30, 2023.

RDC board membership is comprised of elected officials from townships, cities, counties, school boards, and public interest groups per statute 462.388.

Check out what's happening in The Sowing Room, where you will find news, events, and resources to inspire inclusive communities in our region.
Read the latest news from our 501(c)3 lending organization, North Central Economic Development Association.
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