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Friday, November 28th, 2014
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Thanks and giving


Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary



This time of year, there is one thing on many of our minds: food. Here at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), we are especially interested in food, as we just wrapped up the first annual FEAST Festival and Tradeshow in Rochester in early November.

This event was the region’s largest local foods showcase of its kind, and we’re proud of the success in its very first year. Approximately 2,000 people attended the event, between Sunday’s Festival and Monday’s Tradeshow for buyers and sellers. What this confirms is something we at SMIF already know: local food is vitally important to our region-with huge potential for future growth.

In the last few years there has been growing consumer interest in where our food is grown. We have seen it in the marketing campaigns of “Minnesota Grown” or “Minnesota Made”; increasing farm-to-table efforts at restaurants, local schools, and colleges in our region, as well as increasing participation in farmer’s markets, community garden memberships, and food co-ops. This industry has always been an economic driver for our region, and SMIF plans to expand support of these entrepreneurs and their endeavors.

While food is part of our Thanksgiving celebration, we also take time to reflect on the things for which we are thankful. As we count our own blessings, many of us are also inspired to give and share with others. At SMIF, we are thankful to our many donors-and it is through their generosity that we are able to give back to the communities we serve.

In mid-November, our Foundation and thousands of other nonprofits across Minnesota participated in Give to the Max Day-a special day for Minnesotans to come together to raise millions of dollars for nonprofits in a 24-hour timeframe. By engaging as many donors as possible to give to their favorite Minnesota charities in one day, Give to the Max Day showcases Minnesota’s unparalleled generosity.

Four of the 24 Community Foundation’s which are affiliated with SMIF challenged each other to raise the most money for their foundation on Give to the Max Day. Friendly rivals, Spring Valley Area Community Foundation and Preston Community Foundation, had a rematch of last year’s challenge, as did Rushford Community Foundation and Harmony Area Community Foundation. Scholastic Books and Miken Sports generously donated a variety of children’s books and sports equipment to the .....
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The Six Amendments

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In 1787, 55 delegates from 13 states gathered in Philadelphia and framed what became the Constitution of the United States. When the Constitution was written, compromises were made that were certain to require change in the future. Slaves were incl ..... 
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Depredation tags

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Ah, it’s finally deer season! A time of year thousands of us live for and dream about for the other 11 months of the year. Here in South East Minnesota we are blessed with a healthy deer herd. But not everyone here is in love with this beautifu ..... 
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Viewing political corruption more broadly

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Earlier this year, veteran political writer Thomas Edsall reported an eyebrow-raising fact about Americans’ views toward government. Polling by Gallup, he noted, found that the proportion of Americans who believed that corruption is “widesprea ..... 
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Tin can cranberries

Mon, Nov 24th, 2014
Posted in Mabel Commentary

Thanksgiving was always a big holiday for my family. As a group of seven surviving against the odds as Bear fans raised in the heart of Packer country, family was of the utmost importance. We never really stayed in one place to become established thr ..... 
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A clear message

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Nov 17th, 2014
Posted in Wykoff Commentary

Part 1 - In honor of our veterans “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few!” When Winston Churchill made this famous statement, he was talking about the costly but successful battle waged by the Royal Air ..... 
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What makes a strong lobbyist

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Nov 17th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Because of its power to influence public affairs, the press has long been known as “the Fourth Estate.” But I think the media may have been displaced. These days, it’s lobbyists who seem to carry the most clout in Washington. Here’s a case ..... 
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Time for Governing

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

We have again endured another election cycle. An excessive, appalling amount of money, $4 billion nationwide, has been spent ad nauseam on advertising laced with half-truths and sometimes ugly, negative declarations about an opponent. Many ads resor ..... 
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One Moment, Please... On Veterans Day, and every day

Mon, Nov 10th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

On this recent election day, I thought about how lucky we are to have an opportunity to vote for who we think will respresent our best interest at various levels of government. Not every country has what we may sometimes take for granted -- freedo ..... 
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