BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION ON RURAL PROSPERITY

A COMMISSION DEDICATED TO RURAL OPPORTUNITIES

Wisconsin’s rural communities are known for their resilience and self-reliance. Pulling together to support neighbors is what they do. And when faced with a challenge, they band together to chart the best course forward. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity seeks to tap local perspectives on long-term, recent and future economic challenges facing the people, communities and businesses that make rural Wisconsin shine—and to turn ideas into action that increases economic activity and improves the quality of life for future generations.

The commission was created by Governor Evers’ Executive Order #65 to gather on-the-ground input from diverse stakeholders throughout the state whose lives and livelihoods are tied to the vitality of their rural communities. As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are realized, the commission will hold listening sessions to explore opportunities to build more resilient rural communities. From these listening sessions, the commission will develop a plan to reinvigorate the agricultural industry and rural businesses and communities across Wisconsin.

Commission members, appointed by Governor Evers, represent the state’s geographic diversity as well as the many industries and professions our rural communities rely upon to thrive.

BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION MEMBERS

View Blue Ribbon Commission Member Map
Pamela Boivin
Pamela BoivinExecutive Director and Loan Officer
NiiJii Capital Partners, Inc, Keshena
Tom Landgraf
Tom LandgrafPrincipal
Dimension Development, LLC, Madison
Cheu Vang
Cheu VangOwner
Vang C&C Farm
David Falk
David FalkGeneral Manager
ND Paper, Biron
Thelma Heidel-Baker
Thelma Heidel-BakerCo-operator and Owner
Bossie Cow Farms, Random Lake
Brittany Beyer
Brittany BeyerExecutive Director
Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation, Rhinelander
Rachel Sauvola
Rachel SauvolaAgriscience Teacher
New Richmond High School
Robert Atwell
Robert AtwellFounder and CEO
Nicolet National Bank
Gina Tomlinson
Gina TomlinsonCEO
Cochrane Telephone Company
Lauren Thompson
Lauren ThompsonStudent
Baldwin-Woodville High School
Susan Townsley
Susan TownsleyPsychotherapist
Stonehouse Counseling, Viroqua
Jeff Tucker
Jeff TuckerVP, Business Development and Care Innovation
Marshfield Clinic Health System

MEETING RECAPS

Please note: Some video links are still pending, but will be available soon.

Recap: September 18th Meeting

On September 18, 2020, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity met.

View Meeting Recording (Espanol | Hmong)

Conversations with the Commissioners: Sept. 16

Conversations with the Commissioners: Sept. 8

On September 8, 2020, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity met.

View Main Session Recording (Espanol)

View Breakout Session 1 | View Breakout Session 2 | View Breakout Session 3 | View Breakout Session 4
View Breakout Session 5

Recap: September 2nd Meeting

On September 2, 2020, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity met.

Agenda included:

  • Welcome from Missy Hughes, WEDC Secretary and CEO
  • Introductory Remarks – Joaquin Altoro, WHEDA Secretary and CEO
  • Debrief from first “Conservations with the Commissioners” public input meeting – Janet Topolsky and Katharine Ferguson, Aspen Institute Community
  • Strategies Groups
  • Wrap Up – Kelliann Blazek, Office of Rural Prosperity Director
  • Public Comment

View Meeting Recording (Espanol) | Hmong)

Conversations with the Commissioners: Aug. 31

On August 31, 2020, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity met for small group conversations with rural residents.

Speakers included:

  • Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes
  • Dr. Ephraim Nikoi, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin Superior
  • Terry Matier, Executive Director, Big Top Chautauqua
  • Peter Kilde, Executive Director, West CAP

View Main Session Recording (Espanol | Hmong)

View Breakout Session 1 | View Breakout Session 2 | View Breakout Session 3 (Hmong) | View Breakout Session 4
View Breakout Session 5 | View Breakout Session 6 | View Breakout Session 7 | View Breakout  Session 8
View Breakout Session 9

Recap: August 14th Meeting

On August 14, 2020, the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity met for the first time, and topics included:

  • Overview of Commission Process, Deliverables, Roles and Timeline – Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group
  • Commissioner Ideas: Rural Participation and Commission Outcomes – Aspen CSG with WEDC CEO & Secretary Missy Hughes
  • Public Comment

View Meeting Recording (Espanol | Hmong)