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Why Bio?


Fri, May 9th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In an increasingly competitive world marketplace, every region must identify and build upon areas of strategic advantage. Here in southern Minnesota, the bio-sciences offer us that edge. What is bio-science?

Bio-science applies biological technology to innovations in medicine, energy and agriculture. Southern Minnesota has long been recognized for its innovative businesses in these very areas. We have the world famous Mayo Clinic, MVTL Laboratories in New Ulm, numerous ethanol plants, and a significant cluster of agriculture-based industries such as Hormel in Austin, Bushel Boy Tomato in Owatonna, Hubbard Milling in Mankato, Malto Meal in Northfield, and Associated Milk Producers in New Ulm.

To grow bio-businesses you also need facilities focused on scientific research in genetics, molecular biology, bio-informatics, renewable energy, bio processing, food ingredients, medical technology, human health technology, and bio-materials. In this regard, too, our southern Minnesota region is well-positioned. Our bio-science research assets include Mayo in Rochester, the Hormel Research Institute in Austin, the Agriculture Utilization and Research Institute and the University of Minnesota's Southern Research Center in Waseca. The research capacity of the region has also benefited from a partnership between computer giant IBM and both Mayo and Hormel.

We already know that through Mayo Medical Ventures, new discoveries are being taken into the market place. As we look ahead, we can expect more and more commercialization opportunities to come out of these regional research labs. We need to capture and keep more of those businesses right here in southern Minnesota.

A proposed bio-research park just north of Rochester - called Elk Run - along with a bio-business office building to be constructed adjacent to the Mayo Clinic also enhance the region's prospects.

On the workforce side of the bio-business equation, we can look to Winona State University's Center for Excellence in Health, three regional Community College campuses, Minnesota State University-Mankato, and a cluster of higher education facilities in Rochester - including the new downtown campus of the University of Minnesota-Rochester.

All of these assets form the basis for future bio-business growth in our region.

Recently, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation conducted a Bio Industry Marketplace Study to help guide our work in this arena. From .....
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Farmers aren't to blame for increased food costs

Fri, May 9th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In a world of finger pointing, farmers have had to shoulder the blame for the increased costs of food, when in reality, the facts point to other influences that contribute to the rising costs. I would like to share some statistics with you:

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Why not a greater Rushford?

Fri, May 2nd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It is worth mentioning, that according to the Minnesota Design Team, of all the greater Rushford residents who took part in the recent brainstorming exercise, R-P students made the most lasting impression.

High school senior, Carina Schiltz, ..... 
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It's time for an "elite" president

Fri, Apr 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Political discourse, besides becoming more confrontational, has become more Orwellian. It seems almost a requirement to name programs in a manner that obscures their intent.

The Clear Skies Initiative, that has obstructed the Clean Air Act ..... 
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The marvels of small things

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Take a look at your desk/work table. Notice all the small, marvels, things you can hold with one hand, which make our lives easier. Many of them have been developed in my lifetime, or not long before. A few are very ancient. I wonder how many other ..... 
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The beginning of the end

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The news from our leaders regarding the war in Iraq continues in the same old vein: just hang in there, it will all turn out OK. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, during their appearances before Congressional committees this past week, essent ..... 
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Everyone loves a loser

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Our collective mean streak sure does show itself on television. I know you think we're nice people. I think I'm nice, my friends are nice and some of my relatives are nice but somebody is enjoying the blood sport of televisions "You are a Loser!" fr ..... 
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The Three Trillion Dollar War

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

A new book, by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Blimes, a public policy professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, called The Three Trillion Dollar War - the true cost of the Iraq conflict challenges the Bush administration's ..... 
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Looking back five years later

Fri, Mar 28th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Now that we've come to the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, it's time to look back and see what we have obtained by prematurely abandoning the search for Osama bin Laden to invade Iraq. At least we should see how the predictions of great minds that ..... 
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