Spring 2018 Newsletter

Early May bluebells along the Root River in 2015. Bluebells are a symbol of humility and gratitude.
The transition from winter to spring has certainly been a humbling experience this year, and be assured our gratitude will overflow when the bluebells eventually arrive!

Chamber Activities

Annual Meeting highlights need for business transition planning

Thank you to the Chamber members who attended the Annual Meeting on February 8. President Robin Paulson welcomed nearly 50 participants at the meeting and introduced the Chamber’s Board of Directors, which remains the same for 2018:
Robin Paulson, President • Farmer’s Co-op Elevator
Steven Halvorson, Vice-President • Thrivent Financial
Angela Colbenson, Treasurer • Angela Colbenson LLC, Appraisals & Accounting
Sally Ryman, Secretary • Ryman Marketing & Communications
Beth Tudahl • Rushford Foods
Megan Boyum • Andor Wenneson Inn
Kathy Riley • Rushford Hardware & Visions Salon
Chamber Coordinator Jennifer Hengel spoke about 2017 activities and 2018 plans--all working towards the mission of being a member-driven organization that promotes business and community growth.

Rushford State Bank sponsored the annual meeting speaker, Jennifer Hawkins from the University of Minnesota-Extension. She presented details on Extension's study regarding business transitions in Greater Minnesota. From survey data, focus groups, and interviews, the study identified the following methods to help businesses transition:
Business owners who hope to transition their business should
  • Start planning 1-3 years ahead
  • Show 3+ years of profitability in financial records
  • Get a business appraisal to target improvements
  • Create a leadership transition plan
  • Offer mentorship to the new owner
Communities that want to help businesses transition should
  • Find a "Champion" - one organization or individual to lead efforts
  • Assess the local situation and identify existing transition resources
  • Identify ways to reduce reasons sellers don't plan for succession
  • Connect buyers and sellers to resources (i.e., offer workshops)
  • Identify and engage intermediaries to help market businesses for sale
  • Create a community climate that welcomes and celebrates new people and businesses
  • Develop or obtain leadership succession guide to help retiring owners organize
  • Create mentorship opportunities for new owners
The bottom line: Business Succession = retaining and growing business in our community.

Career Exploration Day for R-P Junior Class - April 13

The Chamber, Rushford EDA, and R-P Schools have organized a Career Exploration Day for Friday, April 13. About 50 high school juniors will travel the town to hear about local careers at several area businesses and organizations. Representatives of the following employers will present information about careers, post-secondary education or training, earning potential, and future of their respective industry in our region: Rushford Manufacturing, RiverSide, Good Shepherd Lutheran Services, Rushford Dental, Farmers Win Co-op, Hammell Equipment, Micah Hanson State Farm, Engelson & Associates, O'Donnell Wealth Management, Rushford State Bank, City of Rushford, MiEnergy, Normans Electric Service, L&L Volkman Builders and L&L Volkman Auto Body Repair. During the day, career information from the other 150+ businesses supporting livelihoods in our area will also be presented.
The annual Root River Trail Towns' Trail-wide Cleanup will be held on Saturday, April 21. The Trail Towns' representatives for the Rushford Peterson Valley, Gail Boyum & Jen Hengel, will again coordinate efforts to pick-up trash along the Root River Trail and in public parks/green space locations. Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Rushford Depot before splitting up to assigned locations. The Lions Club will serve lunch for the volunteers back at the Depot at about 11:30 a.m. Please contact Jen Hengel or Gail Boyum if you wish to participate. Already, local scouts and the R-P Fellowship of Christian Athletes have committed to help.

Food Safety Class - May 8

In addition to the food certification class held in mid-February, a class will be offered on Tuesday, May 8 at Loken's Rushford Inn Conference Room (201 State Hwy 16, Rushford). The Food Safety Guy will again put on the class -- both re-certification (4-hour) and full certification (8-hour) sessions for those who need to renew or obtain a Minnesota Food Manager license. Register on-line through the link above or contact the Chamber for assistance.

Marketing the Valley

New rack card. For future tourism promotion, a new rack card is currently in the design phase. The rack card will be printed this spring and distributed at Minnesota Welcome Centers around the state, as well as regional visitors centers. The more comprehensive Rushford Peterson Valley guidebook, printed spring 2017, remains available to give to new residents, people considering a move to our area, or those seeking more detail on our community and its variety of businesses.
Visitors Centers. Your business brochures, rack cards, and event flyers are welcome at the Rushford Depot Visitors Center and Peterson Depot Visitors Center. Please contact or deliver items to the Chamber office. The spring biking season typically begins this month, and visitors to our area will be stopping to learn more about where to eat, where to stay, where to shop, and things to do.
Information kiosks. The Rushford Depot Visitors Center and Ben Niggle Complex/Creekside Park will feature new information kiosks in 2018. The kiosks will identify lodging, food, and fun in the Rushford Peterson Valley. To view and comment on the half-sized draft of the kiosk (image below), visit Rushford City Hall during business hours through April 20. The draft is also available for viewing and feedback at a meeting of your club or organization upon contacting the Chamber office.

Other advertisements. For the upcoming visitor season, advertisements for the Rushford Peterson Valley were developed for the following: Visit Bluff Country magazine; Destination Bluff Country guide; Root River Trail Towns' website; and the Commonweal Theatre program (see samples below).

2018 Event Dates

Visit the Rushford Peterson Valley Calendar for details on these (& more)

April 28Lipmasters Fishing Tournament
May 11-12—Citywide Garage Sales in the Rushford Peterson Valley
May 18-20—SEMBA Bluegrass Festival, Cushon’s Peak Campground
June-Oct.—Rushford Peterson Valley Farmers Market, Wednesdays, Depot Park
June 16—Gammel Dag Fest, Peterson
June 22-23—Root River Trail Towns 60-Mile Garage Sale
July 8—Sunday Music Series in the Peterson Bandstand, 5-7 PM - The Rutabaga Brothers
July 15—Sunday Music Series in the Peterson Bandstand, 5-7 PM - The Lost Faculties
July 16-22—Rushford Days
July 17-22—RASA Theater presents Mary Poppins, Rushford
July 22—Music Series in the Peterson Bandstand, 5-7 PM - Squeezebox with Ted Lange & Mollie B
July 29—Music Series in the Peterson Bandstand, 5-7 PM - The Vintage Tones of Spielzeitzen Und Pausen
Aug. 16-19—SEMBA Bluegrass Festival, Cushon’s Peak Campground
Sept. 8—Taste of the Trail: Peterson, Whalan & Lanesboro
Sept. 22—Taste of the Trail: Houston and Rushford Area
Oct. 13—Bluff Land Triathlon: Run, Bike, Hike triathlon, Rushford
Oct. 20—Rushford Arts & Crafts Fair
Dec. 8—Christmas in Peterson and Parade of Lights in Rushford

Chamber Member News

Labrador Home & Garden is now open year-round for phone or internet sales of trees, shrubs and/or bulk flower orders. Offering a selection of deciduous and conifer trees with a quick turnaround for special orders. Bareroot orders for trees and shrubs available every spring. Rushford Urns, part of Labrador, provides floral memorial urns honoring loved ones. Real or silk arrangements placed before Memorial Day. Call 507-858-6000 for Labrador Home & Garden or 507-858-6005 for Rushford Urns.
Support the local sportsmen's club by dining out on Saturday, April 7. Dinner starts at 5 PM and includes steak, baked potato, coleslaw and roll for $12 at Nordic Lanes & Lounge. Fundraiser raffles all evening.
The 85th Annual Ferndale Golf Course Shareholder & Member Meeting will be Saturday, April 7 at 7 PM. There will be a broasted chicken meal available starting at 6 PM for $10. Call the Club House at 864-7626 to reserve your meal in advance.

Ferndale Golf Course's Club House will open for the season on Monday, April 9 at 9:00 am. Stop by for lunch or dinner and watch the grass green-up for the golf season! Our new manager, Chris Austin, is waiting to meet everyone.
Lanesboro Community Theatre proudly presents - in association with Rushford Area Society of the Arts -

AND THEN THEY CAME FOR ME: Remembering the Life of Anne Frank

Monday, April 16, 7 PM at the R-P Schools Auditorium: A multimedia account of the Holocaust as told by Anne Frank’s contemporaries. Combining tapes of interviews with Anne Frank's friends who survived the Holocaust – Ed Silverberg (formerly Helmuth "Hello" Silberberg) and Eva Geiringer Schloss - with live actors recreating the scenes from their lives, it is part oral history, part dramatic action, part direct address, part remembrance. This ensemble driven production breaks new ground and has been acclaimed by audiences and critics across the United States. Don’t miss this very important dramatic event!
Tickets: $10/adults, $5/students, and available at Burdey’s Café in Peterson.
Reminder for Ace Telephone Association members: Saturday, April 21 at 10:30 AM - Annual Meeting at Houston High School, 306 W. Elm Street. Enjoy lunch after the business meeting, receive attendance gifts, register for door prizes, visit displays.
Saturday, April 21, 5-7 PM at the Rushford American Legion. Join in this annual spring fundraiser for the Southeast Minnesota Bluegrass Association. $9.00 for complete meal includes choice of catfish or chicken, baked potato, coleslaw, vegetable, and a roll. Choice of Cajon or original batter on catfish.
Live Bluegrass music during dinner hours!

City of Peterson Spring Cleanup

Saturday, April 21, 8 AM-12 Noon (or until full). Dumpsters will be located at City Hall. Not only is this a great time to get rid of large items, but it is also an opportunity to work together to pick up trash along the streets and trail. Prices for the cleanup day are as follows:
  • $30-$50/truckload (depending on size)
  • $5 Tires without rims
  • $20 Computers, electronics, TVs
  • $25 Appliances
  • We can’t accept any fluorescent bulbs, liquid paints, hazardous chemicals or batteries.
R-P Community Ed
Coming soon to local mailboxes: Click here for the Community Education April-August catalog of activities for adults and children, including driver improvement, water aerobics, summer ball programs, camps for many sports, art and science classes, and so much more. Some classes and activities begin this month, so view the catalog and go to www.r-pschools.com to register.
Root River Baskets and several other local artists are part of the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 27-29, from 10 AM-5 PM. Enjoy a weekend of traveling to the area's galleries and studios. Art is available for purchase, and artists will talk about their work as well as demonstrate their work in some locations. Please welcome the visitors traveling through our area as part of this event.
Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Youth ages 12 and over must pass this ATV course to ride on state lands and trails. 11-year-olds may attend, but their certificate will not be valid until their 12th birthday. Students must pre-register, view the DNR safety training video, and print the certificate of completion before the day of class. Registrations are due one week before class to ensure students have time to get through the video, which is available as a CD for no-cost at the R-P Community Ed office OR online for a fee of $29.99. On the day of class, wear sturdy shoes or boots, long pants, and a DOT helmet. ATVs will be supplied by M&M for the outdoor training course. Contact R-P Community Ed at 864-7065 for additional course fee details and registration.
It's time for the Rushford Community Foundation's annual fundraiser and annual meeting -- Social de Mayo! Wednesday, May 9 from 5-7 PM at Ferndale Country Club. Attend to learn more about RCF and its subgroups: Partners in Education, Foundation for R-P Schools, Rushford Community Chest, and RADAR. Door prizes and silent auction, food and drinks -- $20 ticket price and proceeds benefit local projects!

City of Rushford Village Spring Cleanup

Saturday, May 12, 8 AM–2 PM at the Rushford Village Maintenance Building, 43038 State Hwy 30. There will be ***NO 2018 Fall Clean-Up***, so Rushford Village residents should take advantage of this opportunity. Prices are as follows:
  • $15 Small truckload; $25 Medium truckload; $35 Large truckload (add $5 for trucks with sideboards)
  • $10 Computers, Small Electronics, or Small Appliances
  • $15 TVs and Large White Goods
  • $20 Mattress or Box Spring
  • Tires--$4 small auto/truck; $10 semi or large truck; $35 tractor under 34"-rim or $75 over 34"-rim
  • Not Accepted: Fluorescent tube/bulbs, Hazardous Waste, Liquid Paints, Batteries.
Lawn debris and brush are accepted any time at no charge; remove all plastic bags and do not include trash in these deposits. Any questions call 507-864- 7974.

City of Rushford Spring Cleanup

Saturday, May 19, 8 AM–12 PM at the Rushford City Shop, 510 S. Ferry Street. Prices will apply. No construction debris, fluorescent light bulbs, compostable products, organic debris, hazardous waste, recyclables, nor tires (take to auto shops). More details will be available on the city website.
Hoff Funeral & Cremation Service is hosting a Walk In Wednesday – no appointment necessary - on June 27 from 1-3 PM in Rushford, 780 N. Mill Street. Stop in for cookies, coffee, and a casual visit with a funeral director and our pre-planning specialist. Get answers to any funeral and cremation questions, and learn more about how planning can provide peace of mind and ensure your family doesn't have to make tough decisions during a time of stress and grief.

New scholarship opportunities for R-P students

The Foundation for R-P Schools is offering five new $500 scholarships for students pursuing a vocational education after high school. Director Jack Culhane spearheaded the effort to recruit businesses to sponsor scholarships to help students prepare for good, well-paying jobs in the trades. Jack says a local businessman brought up the idea, noting that not everyone pursues a four-year degree and there are local opportunities for skilled workers. These five new scholarships will be awarded to students who will be obtain additional education towards careers in agriculture, automotive, construction, cosmetology, construction, electrical, plumbing, or welding. Sponsoring businesses are Anderson Auto, Brown Tire & Battery Inc., Connaughty Sales, Curt’s Place, Darr Auctions & Realty / D&D Car Wash, Deer Brook Farms, Duane Bunke Construction, Hammell Equipment, Johnson Rolling Acres, L&L Volkman Auto Body Repair, M&M Lawn & Leisure, Mel’s Shear Magic, Metz Hart-Land Creamery, New Beginnings Salon, Rushford Manufacturing, Smith Farms, The Shop Salon, Visions Salon, Woxland Heating & Cooling, and Woxland Plumbing. These trade scholarships are in addition to six $500 general scholarships and five memorial scholarships that will be awarded to 2018’s graduating seniors by the Foundation for R-P Schools. Visit http://www.foundationforr-pschools.org for more information about those scholarships.

In Other News

Five issues likely to dominate the rest of the 2018 MN legislative session

From MINNPOST: In even-numbered years Minnesota legislators typically gather for a short session in St. Paul, where they deal with any unfinished budget issues, maybe pass a package to fund construction projects across the state, and move through a few measures that make for nice slogans on the fall campaign trail. But 2018 isn't a typical year. The session has already been one of the busiest in recent memory, with a flurry of bills making their way through committees with a handful of high-profile - and unexpected - issues taking center stage. When legislators come back from a spring break next week, here are the big issues that will be at the top of their agenda: Read More...

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce's Business Day at the Capitol

The 25th Annual Business Day at the Capitol will be held on Wednesday, April 18th at the InterContinental Saint Paul. Business Day at the Capitol is a well-respected and highly anticipated annual event for Minnesota’s business community. Hundreds of statewide business leaders will attend to be briefed on legislative priorities and to meet with their legislative leaders. It is essential to demonstrate to Minnesota policy makers that we have a statewide network of business people from all types and sizes of companies committed to the critical issues that impact their companies and their employees. Click here for more details, and contact the Chamber if you are interested in a reduced rate as a representative of our Chamber.

News from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Monthly columns by Doug Loon, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President:
March column - Use federal tax reform to rightsize tax system
February - Minnesota Supplier Match
January - Let's grow Minnesota together
December - Syncing workforce skills with changing economy

Linking Empathy and Innovation

From HR Executive: When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was a kid growing up in Hyderabad, India, his father couldn't believe how poor his grades were. "My father, who was very, very good academically, always used to look at my report cards and be pretty stunned as to how anybody could be this bad." But the way his father expressed it, Nadella said, was "endearing"-he told his son that meant he "must have some other real passion." Nadella loved playing cricket but at some point realized he probably wasn't good enough to play professionally. Read full article...