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Partnership News
February 21, 2014
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Rural Partners is a member-driven forum that links individuals, businesses, organizations and communities with public and private resources to maximize the potential of rural Illinois.

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Upcoming Events!

March 5, 2014: Rural Partners Annual Member Meeting and Elections, 12:45 p.m., Marriott Pere Marquette, Peoria, IL

March. 5-6, 2014: 25th Annual Rural Community and Economic Development Conference, Peoria, IL Register here:

March 6, 2014: 16th Annual Illinois Leadership Conference, Peoria Illinois

Global Risks 2014
By the World Economic Forum

Extreme weather events, climate change, cyber-attacks, mounting rates of unemployment and under-employment, growing income disparities. More than ever before, corporations and governments all around the globe are deeply concerned about enacting strategies that address and mitigate the sorts of occurrences that can cause significant negative impact for countries and industries for as long as ten years. To address their concerns, the World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Davos, Switzerland, issued its “Global Risks 2014” report this week.
Greater Technology Use Linked to Higher Per Capita Income

According to research reported by the Pew Research Center, technology usage is strongly correlated with national income across the countries surveyed. Countries with a higher GDP per capita generally have higher rates of smartphone ownership and internet and social networking use, while poorer countries tend to have lower rates of technology usage.

Unemployment in Rural Areas

Unemployment in rural counties stayed stubbornly over 7 percent in December, according to employment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as reported in The Daily Yonder. The rural unemployment rate was, in fact, up slightly from November’s rate of 6.9 percent. Unemployment rates in metro counties fell to 6.4 percent in December from 6.6 percent the month before. The rate in counties with small cities (between 10,000 and 50,000) fell to 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent in November. These figures are not seasonally adjusted — and the changes are small — but this is a bit more evidence that the economic recovery in rural counties is lagging the rest of the country. More troubling than the stalled month-to-month unemployment rate, however, is the fact that rural counties and counties with small town still don’t have the jobs that existed before the recession began in December 2007, more than six years ago.
USDA Research in Peoria Yields New Uses for Grain

Here's the scoop: A U.S. Department of Agriculture research team has shown that cat litter made with spent grains left over from ethanol production might offer a more environmentally friendly product than non-biodegradable litters. USDA plant physiologist Steven F. Vaughn and colleagues in the department's Agricultural Research Service in Peoria tested dried distiller's grains, or DDGs, to create a litter that's nearly 100 percent biodegradable. The grains they used were left over from production of corn ethanol; such grains currently are marketed for use as cattle feed. The research team treated the grains with glycerol to minimize dust when the litter is poured or pawed, guar gum to promote clumping when the litter gets wet, and a small amount of copper sulfate for odor control.
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Statements of opinion in this newsletter are not necessarily endorsed by Rural Partners.