Stronger Economies Together
2015 Multi-State Conference Agenda


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Day 1 Regional Coaches

1:00 Session Opening:  Where’s Your Region
1:30 Cool Tools to Use with Groups
2:30  Break
2:45 Challenging Topics:
  • Getting and keeping stakeholders engaged
  • Building leadership/sustainability
  • Dealing with difficult personalities & conflict
3:45 Unconference:  You Set the Agenda
4:45 Debrief
5:00 Adjourn

Day 2 Regional Participants

7:30 Registration and Networking
8:00 Welcome: Rural Development and Cooperative Extension Service

8:15 Setting the Stage for the Day
8:30 "Three x Five"
Each region can showcase their work during this session.  Participating regions will have three PowerPoint slides and five minutes to tell about their region’s work during this high energy session.  Slide 1 will be What Is Your Region?  Slide 2: What Are Your Goals? Slide 3: One Significant Accomplishment to Date.

9:00 Making Connections
9:45 Break
10:00 Breakout sessions:
  Funding Track 1:  Finding Resources – It’s not all about grants
The funding track is a three part session. Participants in this track will remain in the track throughout the day as each session builds upon the previous session. Session 1 will look at ways to identify appropriate funding resources, including but not limited to grants.
Sustaining Forward Movement through Effective Regional Team Management
Writing a regional plan together takes time and energy. But the work is only beginning when the plan is in place. This session will focus on some key processes and tools to sustain the group’s forward movement into implementation.
Creating an Entrepreneur-Friendly Environment in Your Region
Entrepreneurship is an important economic driver of rural places, in particular. In order to foster their success, regions need to be intentional about creating an environment that supports and encourages this type of development.
11:00 Breakout sessions:
  Funding Track 2:  Crafting an Effective Proposal
Session 2 will focus on writing effective proposals.
Mapping Success along the Way
Keeping track of progress in any large scale effort can be challenging. During this session, participants will explore a simple process to track progress forward as they go.
Capitalizing on Local and Regional Foods Resources in Your Region
Many rural regions have agriculture as a central asset from which to grow. This asset often lends itself to exploring options for local and regional food systems. This session will focus on some resources, promising practices, and provide time for participants to share ideas.
12:00 Lunch - Regional Showcase
A highly successful SET region will share their story in more detail including important partnerships, goals, and successes along the way.
1:00 Breakout sessions:
  Funding Track 3:  I’ve Got the Money, Now What?
Session 3 will explore some common expectations once a grant is received. Attention to these before choosing to write for a grant may save some challenges after the fact.

Working with Existing Businesses in Your Region to Promote Retention and Expansion
Sometimes in an effort to grow the economy attention is focused on recruiting new industry.  However, what about the businesses that are already committed to the region?  This session will examine ways to help existing businesses thrive and even expand to help promote economic growth.
Expanding Tourism Opportunities in Your Region
Tourism in rural places is gaining increased attention.  Agritourism businesses are gaining ground within the tourism realm.  This session will examine resources and innovative practices while providing participants time to share their ideas.
2:00 You Set the Topic:
Through a facilitated process, participants can choose topics to discuss and join others with the same interests.
2:45 Break
3:00 Funders’ Panel and Roundtables:
Come hear from funders what matters to them as different opportunities are shared with them.  Then join in discussion groups to work on your specific regions approach to funders.
4:30 Taking the Energy Home
5:00 Adjourn


Additional Information

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Miranda Tucci at or call 662.325.3207