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February 17, 2017

The 28th Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference begins on Tuesday evening (March 7) with a informal meet and greet at 7:00 pm. On Wednesday the morning plenary session features speakers who will discuss creative strategies for the future of rural Illinois. Breakout sessions on Wednesday afternoon will highlight successful community revitalization strategies and innovative practices applicable to rural areas. Each session will be repeated to provide participants an opportunity to attend four sessions. On Thursday morning the conference continues with Workshops on community and economic development techniques. We look forward to seeing you in Springfield on March 8 and 9!

Raising Backyard Chickens Right
March 11, 2017 in Oregon, Illinois

University of Illinois Extension is offering workshops on raising backyard chickens, with a beginners course from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and an advanced program from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Participants will discuss choosing chicken breeds and starting chicks, building a coop and designing a chicken run, overcoming winter weather and pressure from predators, and handling and selling eggs safely and legally. Registration is $10 per person per program; pre-registration is preferred.


Illinois Farmers Market Association's Annual Statewide Conference
March 29, 2017 at Kendall College, Chicago, Illinois

The ILFMA full-day conference will be packed with informative and inspiring speakers, four educational tracks (Market Managers, Market Vendors, SNAP, and Presentations), break-out sessions for all experience levels, networking opportunities, a fabulous winter market, locally sourced food prepared by the talented chefs at Kendall College, and a few surprises.


In 2004, UPS announced a new policy for its drivers: the right way to get to any destination was to avoid left-hand turns. As a logistics company with some 96,000 trucks and several hundred aircraft, much of UPS's business can be distilled to a series of optimization problems around reducing the amount of fuel used, saving time, and using space more efficiently. UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency. Turning against traffic resulted in long waits in left-hand turn lanes that wasted time and fuel, and it also led to a disproportionate number of accidents. By mapping out routes that involved "a series of right-hand loops," UPS improved profits and safety while touting their catchy, environmentally friendly policy. As of 2012, the right turn rule combined with other improvements saved around 10 million gallons of gas and reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars off the road for a year.

March 8 - Rural Partners Annual Meeting, Springfield, IL
March 8-9, 20-17 Rural Economic Development Conference, Springfield, IL
March 11 - Raising Backyard Chickens workshop, Oregon, IL
March 29 - Illinois Farmers Market Assn. Annual Statewide Conference, Chicago, IL
March 31 - Rural Business Development Grant deadline
June 11-14, 2017 Community Development Society Conference, Big Sky, MT
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Rural Partners · 3085 Stevenson Drive, Suite 200 · Springfield, IL 62703 · USA

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