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SPROUT, Region Five selected for WealthWorks Economic Development Program

SPROUT and the Region Five Development Council (R5DC), Staples, R5DC, based in Brainerd were competitively selected by the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation to participate in the 2014 WealthWorks Training through NADO’s Rural Wealth Creation initiative, supported by the Ford Foundation.

“WealthWorks is an important part of any economic development toolbox. I am pleased to announce that SPROUT and R5DC were one of only five teams nationally to receive a scholarship to participate in the WealthWorks training program. This training is focused on practical application of new skills and perspectives on economic vitality, which will lead to increased opportunities for people in rural areas,” said NADO President Peter Gregory, executive director of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission in Woodstock, Vt., in a news release.

The national development organization reported SPROUT is the region’s local food HUB who’s mission is to; promote the health, economy, and self-reliance of Central Minnesota by facilitating the availability of fresh, locally produced food in the region. Arlene Jones and SPROUT team have built a consortium of more than 40 growers and distribute locally grown commodities to five school districts, Central Lakes College, hospitals and many local premier restaurants. So SPROUT works closely with R5DC and this training, along with Arlene’s BUSH Fellowship to add value to building community based food systems.

The R5DC provides professional planning and development services to five rural counties of central Minnesota through collaboration, assistance and coordination with local units of government, organizations and citizens. This training opportunity is expected to add value to the Community Asset Profiles that tell the story of area unique communities and “Quality of Place” — available for review at

The Washington, DC-based NADO is an association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies. WealthWorks is an economic development approach that connects a community’s assets to meet market demand in ways that build livelihoods that last. WealthWorks is supported by a consortium of economic development organizations that received initial support from the Ford Foundation.

For more information, contact Region Five Development Commission at 218-894-3233.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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