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January 27, 2017

To commemorate the country’s 150th birthday on July 1, Canada’s park service is offering free Discovery Passes for all visitors (Canadian or otherwise) to national parks across the country's 13 provinces for the entire year. Visitors will have access to 171 national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas from the Pacific to the Atlantic to the Arctic. One pass per car is required. Visitors must pay for camping fees or tours with park rangers. Register for the pass online.

What might inspire you to take the plunge and start a new manufacturing company? Perhaps the opportunity to play a key role in innovation and new product development? Small and mid-sized manufacturers represent almost 99% of manufacturing establishments in the United States and these “little guys,” “underdogs,” and “mom and pop shops” are creating big value for the economy and jobs for their communities. Read about three examples of very different success stories in Wyoming, New York and Pittsburgh.

The Land Connection is offering two workshops on building farmers’ markets. Mastering the Farmers' Market includes Marketing & Booth Design in February and Money Matters at the Farmers' Market in March. Whether you're struggling to stand out in a crowded market, or selling at a new market just getting on its feet, the workshops can help you build a more effective and more efficient market operation. Marketing and Booth Design for the Farmers' Market is offered February 20, 3:00-6:30PM, at Parkland College (Champaign) and February 28, 1:00-4:30PM at Lincolnland Community College (Springfield). Money Matters at the Farmers' Market is offered March 9, 1:00-4:00PM at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery (Champaign) and March 23, 1:00-4:00PM at Lincolnland Community College (Springfield). Cost for each is $25 (includes refreshments).


March 8-9, 20-17 Rural Economic Development Conference, Springfield, IL
March 31 - Rural Business Development Grant deadline
June 11-14, 2017 Community Development Society Conference, Big Sky, MT
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