The University of Minnesota Extension Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (Southeast RSDP) has been serving the region since 1997. Our mission is to work with residents of Southeast Minnesota to create and sustain healthy ecosystems, strong local economies and vibrant, self-reliant communities. We create meaningful collaborations between community and University partners.
The originating board of community members named this partnership the "Experiment in Rural Cooperation" to signify that the goal of our work and projects is to promote forward-thinking experiments in sustainable development.
The Southeast RSDP covers a range of Minnesota ecological land classifications. Our service areas includes the Mississippi River Blufflands, the Rochester Plateau, the Oak Savanna, and portions of the Big Woods and Minnesota River Prairie.
The Southeast region generally includes, but is not strictly limited to, the following counties: Blue Earth, Faribault, Dodge, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, LeSueur, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Fillmore, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona. It also includes the sovereign Native Nation of Prairie Island Indian Community (Dakota).
Austin Farmers Market moves toward a new market experience
Community members from Austin, Minnesota, worked alongside UMN’s Daniel Handeen, a research fellow at the College of Design, and Mathias Hughy, a graduate researcher studying landscape architecture, to conceptualize new infrastructure for a fresh take on their farmers market. Read more from the Austin Daily Herald.
Lost Creek Hiking Trail works on a new map
If your summer fun list includes hiking, don’t miss the Lost Creek Hiking Trail in Chatfield, Minnesota. Maintained by the Bluff Country Hiking Club, the Lost Creek Hiking Trail is a 7-mile trail in the hills of Southeast Minnesota. Southeast RSDP is currently supporting undergraduate student Zhaoxu Sui updating the trail map.
Promoting a perennial grain in the Cannon River Watershed
To farmers across Greater Minnesota familiar with annual rotations of corn and soybean crops, the words “perennial” and “grain” might seem like an odd pairing at first. Read about how partners in Southeast Minnesota are connecting early adopters of novel perennial grain crop, Kernza. The implementation of Kernza across the state would not be possible without the growing network of farmers, watershed organizations, local businesses, supply chain partners and University partners investing and collaborating in this work. Read more about the benefits of growing perennial grain.
New soil health case studies
Jared Luhman, soil health lead for Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) of Minnesota, joined the Southeast RSDP board at their September board meeting to share progress on SFA’s soil health case studies. Luhman interviewed nine farmers experienced in caring for the soil and water in Southeast Minnesota’s unique terrain. The 2020 soil health case studies reflect a variety of farmers' experiences.
- Tyrel Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org, 507-251-6392 - Eyota
- Sheila Craig, email@example.com, 507-273-1481 - Preston
- Lisa Dierks, firstname.lastname@example.org, 507-254-7178 - Wanamingo
- Brian Fries, email@example.com, 651-565-0096 - Wabasha
- Alison Leathers, firstname.lastname@example.org, 507-251-8049 - Preston
- Jane Olive, email@example.com, 507-635-5108 - Mantorville
- Ray Schmitz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 507-288-3948 - Rochester
- Adam Wilke, email@example.com, 612-625-0279 - St. Paul