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HERMAN REVIEW

Thursday September 10 2009 HERMAN MN !iit/::on[DMA) 1260[15) Type ( ~ r e ~ i e n c ~ j ~ : e w s p a p k (W) r Page: 9 Keyword: Center For Rural Affairs

$18 million available for value-added producer grants from USDA ,fiutti Cet~t~7t.fi~t. R ~ i t ~Ai/iiirs il

T h e U.S. Department of Agriculti~re recently announced that $18 million is available for the Value-Added Producer Gmnt (VAPG) progmm. The deadline to apply is November 30, 2009. Agricultural producers, businesses owned by a majority of agricultural producers. and organizations representing agricultural producers are cligihlc to apply for Value Added Produccr Grants for business planning o r working capital expenses associated with marketing a valueaddcd agricultural product. Xgricultur;iI producers include farmers. ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters and fishermen that ensage in the production o r harvesting of an agricultural commodity. "Any farmer o r rancher needing planning o r working capital funds to move their value-added ideas forward should check out the Value-Added Producer Grants program," commented Traci Bruckner of the Center for Rural Affairs. The 3008 Furm Bill made some important changes to the Vulue Added Producer Gmnts Progr;uii by giving a priority to pr(qccts from beginning and

small and mid-size family farm- oops/vadg.htm . O r contact T r x i ers and ranchers. Bruckner Bruckner, Assiht;uit Director for added, "Value-added, niche mar- the Rural Policy Program at the kets are one of the best strategies Center for Rural Affairs at (402) for creating and maintaining 687-7 103 cxt. 1016. profitability for beginning and tmcib@cfra.org. small and mid-size family h r m "The Center for Rural Affairs crs and ranchers. Those appli- has a long history of assisting cants that meet the beginning. family farmers and ranchers to small or mid-size family farm cri- access farm bill programs." teria will automatically get 15 addcd Bruckner. "Through our points out of ;I total of 9 0 ahcl that helpline you will get to speak to a can certainly tip the scale in their real person who is knowledgedirection." able about the progmm rules to According to Bruckner. the hclp you understand how to parprogmm was created to hclp pro- ticipate in the program." ducers expand their customer Producers can call (303) 687base for the products o r com- 7100 and ask for the F a n Bill modities they produce. This Helpline. results in a greater portion of rcvT h e Value Added Producer enues derived from the valuc- Grant is not the only program added activity being made avail- covered by the Center's F a n Bill able to the producer of the prod- Helpline. Assistance is also availuct. The Center for Rural Affairs able for the Conservation Program, the is gearing up to help producers as Stewardship Conservation much as possible during the Cooperative Initiative, the application period by operating a Partnerships Quality Farm Bill Helpline where pro- Environmental ducers can call in and receive Incentives Program Organic assistance in accessing the Value Initiative and a host of Beginning Added Producer Grants Program. Farmer and Rancher provisions. For more information visit: For more information on the Vi~li~e-AddedProduccr Grants www.cfra.org. Program ;uid how to apply, visit: http://www.rurdcv.i~~da.go~~/rbs/c

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Q 2009 HERMAN REVIEW All Rlghts Reserved

Account: 18209C (281 76) MN~146

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Repub lican-Leader olnF:t:

Clrculat~on(DMA) Type (Frequency) Page Keyword

Thursday, September 10%2009 PRESTON, MN 1 600 (153) Newspaper (W) 4 Center For Rural Affalrs

Rural communities need to focus on preventative health Educblion alone isn't the answer as the center acknowledges thaz individuals ufon"r make their decisions in a vacuum. Tt advocates public policies designed to assist communities to build environments that encourage preventative lifestyles. such as eating right and exercising, to improve the health and quality of life of rural people. "Communities that provide healthy reform has primarily focused on access to places for people to live and work will medical services and affordable health insurance. However, there is another com- realize the social and economic benefifs o f ponent to health care that can be corrected a healthier, happier and more productive population," according to the report. by individual and community initiatives The center supports fedewf funding. rather than sweeping federal reform. The Center for Rural Affairs. a private, but realizes it also needs local initiative. Mandating programs, such as the Local nbn-pmfit organizahon based in Lyons. Wellnrss Policy for schools that particiNeb., has been studying the health care pate in thc national school lunch program, crisis from a rural perspective during the last year. One of its main findings is adis- won't help if schools facing declining enrollments and decreasing aid, can't turbing trend of greater physical inactivity, poorer eating habits and higher m e s of afford to implement changes. And, offering grants to communities that also face obesity in rural America. these ccononlic pressures and don't have The poorer health associated with staff to write proposslls aren't going to these conditions cdn have a devastating help the communities that mast need supimpact on not only individuals and families, but also entire communities. In k t , Po*. Instead, the center favors M e m l funds the findings suggest that the hcalth of for locally i~~lplemented initiatives individuals and theis communitie:~are focused at the community level through more intertwined than it may seem. ' S o while large numhrs of unhealthy individ- not only local governments and schools, but also grocery stores. churches and uals and families lead to struggling comlibraries. munities, it is also true that unhealthy For example, tax cedits fpr gmctq communiries encourage the negative stores based on the percentage of total health behaviors that are growing more common in rural areas," states the center's sales in fresh fruits and vegetables is a starting point to supporting the healthy report. eating that ccanrributes to weight control National reform is important because and disease prevention. Grocers may pass many rural residents don't have access to affordzble medical services and insurance on the savings to customers with lower prices and come up with creative ways to due to the rural economic structure with market these healthy options SO they can many self-employed people and small p i n a greater share of the tax credit. businesses that don't provide medical Another initiative is community health insurance, Still, the center's research shows that 60 percent of premature deaths committees that would encourage communities to take steps toward healthier enviin the United States are caused by factors unrelated to medical care environmen- ronments. Federal funding and ''circuit riders" would work with committees made tal conditions, social circumstances and up of local repre.rentrttives rhat woi~ld . behavioral choices.

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Q 2009 REPUBLICANLEADER All Rlghb Reserved

Account 18209C (28225) MN 285 For reprlnb or rights, please contact the publhsher

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Repub Zican-Leader etlon

Thursday September 10 2009 PRESTON M N C~rculat~on IDMA) 1 600 1153) Type ( ~ r e ~ i e n c ~ j ~ : e w s p a ~(W) & Page: 4 Keyword: Center For Rural Affairs

come up with local solutions. Another area that can be addressed is transportation, particularly the active forms of walking and biking. The condition of sidewalks and traffic pdtterns play n role in this. Research shows that communities that provide a safe infrastructure for walking and biking tend to be more physically active by about 70 rninlltes more per week than communities that don't. Indoor exercise facilities are also important, especially in Minnesota where doncerns about weather may keep people on the couch. If private facilities are lacking, the health committees could work with schools to provide reliable access to physical activity facilities. One feature of rural communities that has great potential to encourage physical activity and healthy eating is strong social ties. Older rural residents report that having someone to exercise with helps them to stay physically active. Religious communities have already had success by organizing community gardens and encouraging nutritious meals at church meals. They can also promote physical activity. Rural conlmunities in lsanti County in Minnesota undertook a project of organized physical activity options around the faith community. They created a senior *

walking program that combined physical aetivity, healthy'eating and meditation. The faith community helped organize it while the partnership also provided "walk the town" maps to help residents find safe routes through the area. Another place where people gather is the library, which can be a resource for group or community reading programs and other individual information on healthy eating and exercise. As the report states, rural people know that disease and disability are likely to be the end result of a lifestyle of poor eating and insufficient exercise. However, it is unreasonable to expect that people will change their behavior while "immersed in an environment that begs them to stay the same." The contentious health care reform debate is focused on paying for or treating the consequences of poor health. This is more of a preventative approach, advocating public policies that enable communities to provide residents with a safe, useful structure to "nudge," not force, people into lifestyle changes that can put them back on the track to longevity and well being. Ifpzi would like more details on tltis rfporr or rhe entire series of reports on healtlr care .by the center fir h r a l Affairs, clreck out its Web site at www .cfra .org.

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Q 2009 REPUBLICAN~LEADER All Rlghts Reserved

Account: 18209C (28225) MN~285

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Thursday, September 10%2009 MABEL, MN Paqe ~eyword.

4 Center For Rural Affairs

Rural communities need to focus on preventative health Education alone isn't the answer as the center acknowledges that individuals don't make their decisions in a vacuum. It advocates public policies designed to assist communities to build environments that encourage preventative lifestyles, such as eating right and exetcising, to improve the health and quality of life of rural people. The national debate on health care "Communities that provide healthy reform has primarily focused on access to places for people to live and work will medical services and affordable health insurance. However. there is another com- realize the social and economic benefits of ponent to health care that can be corrected a healthier, happier and more productive population," according to the report. by individual and community initiatives The center supports federal funding, rather than sweeping federal reform. The Centerfor a private. but realizes it also needs local initiative. Mandating-programs, such as the Local non-profit organization based in Lyons. Wellness Policy for schools that particiNeb., has been studying the health care pate in the nationaI school lunch program, crisis from a rural perspective during the last year. One of its main findings is a dis- won't help if schuols facing declining enrollments and decreasing aid. can't turbing trend of greater physical inactivity. poorer eating habits and higher rates of afford to implement changes. And. offering grants to communities that also face obesity in rurd America. these economic pressures iyld don't have The poorer hcalth associated with Waff to write proposals aren't going to these conditions can have o devastating .help thecommunities that most need sopimpact on not mly individuals and famiport. lies, but also entire comn~unities.In fact. Instcnd. thc ccntcr favors fcdcnl funds the findings stlggest that che h~ealthof for locally implemented initiatives individuals and their commun?ties are focused at the community level through more intertwined than it may seem. "So while large numbers of unhealthy individ- not only local governments and schools. but also grocery stores, churches and uals and families lead to struggling comlibraries. munities, it is also true that urnhealthy For example, tax credits for grocery communities encourage the negative stores based on the percentage of total health behaviors that are growing more common in rural areas," states the center's sales in fresh fruits and vegetables is a starting point to supporting the healthy report. eating that contributes to weight control National refom is important because and disease prevention. Grocers may pass many rural residents don't hawe access to affordable medical services and insurance on the savings to customers with lower prices and come up with creative ways to due to the mral economic structure with market these healthy options so they can many self-employed people and small p i n a greater share of the tax credit. businesses that don't provide medical Another initiative is community health insurance. Still, the center's research shows that 60 percent of premature deaths committees that would encourage communities to take steps toward healthier enviin the United States are caused by factors ronments. Federal funding and "circuit unrelated to medical care - environmenriders" would work with committkes made tal conditions, social circumstances and up of local representatives that would behavioral choices. @ 2009 NEWS RECORD All Rlghb Reserved

Account 18209C (28253) MN 191 For reprlnb or rights please contact the publhsher

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Thursday September 10 2009 MABEL MN

Page: Keyword:

come up with local solutions. Another area that can be addressed is transportation, particularly the active forms of walking and biking. The condition of sidewalhs and traffic patterns play a role in this. Research shows that communities that provide a safe infrastructure for walking and biking tend to be more physically actiw by about 70 minutes more pcr weck than communities that don't. Indoor exercise facilities are also important, especially in Minnesota where concerns about weather may keep people on the couch. If private facilities are lacking, the health committees could work with schools to provide reliable access to physical activity facilities. One feature of rural communities that has great potential to encourage physical activity and healthy eating is strong social ties. Older rural residents report that having someone to exercise with helps them to stay physically active. Religious communities have already had success by organizing community gardens and encouraging nutritious meals at church meals. They can also promote physical activity. Rural communities in Isanti County in Minnesota undertook a project of orga- ' nized physical activity options around the faith community. They created a senior walking program that combined physical

4 Center For Rural Affairs

activity, healthy eating and meditation. The faith community helped organize it while the partnership also provided "walk the town" maps to help residents find safe routes through the area. Another place where people gather is the library, which can be a resource.for group or community reading programs and other individual information on healthy eating and exercise. As the report states, rural people know that disease and disability are likely to be the end result of a lifestyle of poor eating and insufficient exercise. However, it is unreasonable to expect that people will change their behavior while '!immersed in an environment that begs them to stay the same." The contentious health care reform debate is focused on paying for or treating the consequences of poor health. This is more of a preventative approach, advocating public policies that enable communities to provide residents with a safe, useful structure to "nudge," not force, people into lifestyle changes that can put them back on the track to longevity and well being. Ifyou wo~ocrldlike nzore details on this report or the erztire series of repom on henltlr ccire by the Centerfor Rrtral Ajirirs, clzeck out its Web site at ~v~r.~v.cfr~c .or,p.

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Q 2009 N E W S R E C O R D All Rlghts Reserved

Account: 18209C (28253) MN~191

For reprints or rights. please contact the publisher


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