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Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Vital Connections

Learn more about topics important to Minnesota communities through articles, videos and podcasts. Find stories and information to help you get engaged in your community. Help others better know, decide and act.

Community features

An educator walking with two emerging leaders in a community

Greater Minnesota’s communities respond to calls for racial understanding

How does a community become more welcoming for everyone? Learn some reasons to create change and read stories from communities that are taking action to be more inclusive.

Space between stimulus and response

Space between stimulus and response

[video] Have you ever said something that you later regret? Get ideas on recognizing and controlling how you respond emotionally.

A Minnesota State Fair grounds sign reads 'Hang in there Minnesota'

Festivals and events during a pandemic

[podcast] Festivals and events around the state and country have seen many changes in 2020. Listen as we discuss how organizers and community members can weather the storm.

All articles, podcasts and videos

Find content on topics that include:

  • Community development (e.g. attracting new residents, evaluating programs and local foods)
  • Community economics (e.g. local economies, retail, retaining businesses and workforce)
  • Leadership and civic engagement (e.g. assessing and developing leaders, facilitation, building trust and engaging communities)
  • Tourism development (e.g. learning about visitors and planning festivals and events)

More and more, a task of local leaders is to find the next generation of people willing to lead. This can be a challenge in rural Minnesota.

[podcast] How can we create a vibrant Minnesota workforce? Listen to a variety of speakers share insight on workforce issues and how to prepare and help those affected.

[podcast] Today, the dial is moving, and businesses are reopening. What can communities do to support business now? Listen in as we share thoughts from Extension educators.

[video] Do you intentionally create connections with others? Learn about creating micro-moments in your community through connections with others.

When our educator focused a series of podcasts on Minnesota's workforce issues, she didn't realize covering the issue would take six months — and then some.

[podcast] Evaluating programs and initiatives is critical. Hear how listening to community members' stories and interviews can impact your evaluation process.

[video] How do you pass the time while waiting for news? Learn how flow can help you manage stress while you wait.

Minnesota State Economist Tom Stinson is bullish on Minnesota. "Minnesota has been very successful — especially for a cold weather state at the end of the road."

[podcast] Minnesota's business community is on the front line of addressing workforce issues. Listen as we explore what is happening and how companies are supporting immigrants and immigration policy.

[podcast] You may be dealing with new emotions as we transition to more social lives and lose daily patterns and routines. Listen as we discuss strategies to help overcome uncertainty.

Like most American institutions, the rural grocery store is facing change. Read about an Extension study of the future of rural groceries and how communities can help.

[video] Is there a connection between being an introvert or extrovert and your happiness? Watch and learn more about research on extrovert behavior and positive well-being.

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