MadREP Report: February 8, 2018
Supporting Economic Development in Our Rural Communities
In an ongoing effort to support local economic development in the rural communities of the Madison Region, MadREP President Paul Jadin and Vice President of Talent & Education Gene Dalhoff met with community leaders from Cambria and Friesland on January 23 to help chart the future of those two adjoining communities in Columbia County. The meeting was the result of discussions between MadREP, local officials, and Kristin Fish of Redevelopment Resources, in the wake of the Didion Milling disaster on May 31 of last year.
The Cambria Friesland Economic Summit included an economic overview of the communities presented by MadREP, including local commuting patterns, population and age distribution trends, educational attainment, household income data,
and a d
iscussion of indus
ry strengths. Major local employers
including Didion Milling, Del Monte, Seneca Foods, and Alsum Farms & Produce followed with comments on the current ch
allenges and opportunities facing their respective companies. With that baseline of information, meeting attendees then participated in a visioning session, looking to the local conditions they would like to see in the year 2030. Community assets, economic development opportunities and potential barri
ers to s
uccess were identified. The group focused on "doing" rather than merely "planning", and identified what changes in the local business culture and quality of life in Cambria and Friesland would result from their direct economic development efforts.
"There was a lot of discussion and work done as we began the exploration of who we are as a community and where are going," said Cambria-Friesland School District Administrator Tim Raymond, who is leading the local efforts.
Moving forward, a steering committee has been created to direct the development efforts.
For its part, MadREP will continue to be a resource for these communities as they go about the "doing" of their rural development efforts.
MadREP Data Dashboard Updates
One of the most valuable tools MadREP provides to economic development partners in the Madison Region is its web-based
. Featuring a total of thirty metrics under the categories of People, Prosperity, Employment, Industry & Development, and Living Costs, the Data Dashboard provides the ability to compare the economic performance of the Madison Region to four peer regions, (Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Portland, OR;, and Raleigh, NC) the state of Wisconsin, and the United States. You may also view comparative data for each of the eight counties in the Madison Region. With the release of new federal data over the past few months, fifteen of the metrics on the data dashboard have been updated recently. There has never been a better time to tap into this valuable resource provided by MadREP.
Edgerton ties job creation to incentive for company's expansion
Edgerton will pay to extend public utilities so a west-side business can expand-provided it creates and retains at least one job.
Longtime Edgerton lumber business Nelson-Young plans to expand its truss plant, known as Nelson Truss, at 104 Artisan Drive. The work likely will begin this spring once the city extends power to the site, City Administrator Ramona Flanigan said.
The city council unanimously passed the measure at its meeting Monday with little discussion.
The city will foot the bill for the $8,600 project as long as Nelson Truss adds one new job within 12 months and retains it for at least one year. Flanigan said the plant's operators have told her the expansion could add five jobs.
Adding a second shift at the plant could add another two positions for a total of seven new openings, she said.
University Research Park wants to add coffee shops, companies and camaraderie
Change is afoot at University Research Park - at least, if the park's leaders and tenants have their way - and it could urbanize the sprawling tech-transfer center into a place where you can buy a cup of coffee, grab lunch or play a game of racquetball.
"We want to evolve ... so we stay fresh," said the park's managing director, Aaron Olver.
A few decades ago, the land on either side of Whitney Way between Mineral Point Road and Tokay Boulevard was a patch of farmland, still green and untouched as West Side development boomed nearby. In the spring and summer, the grassy curves of the Charmany and Rieder farms served as testing grounds for UW-Madison horticulturists.
Then, in 1984, UW-Madison, with approval from the City Council, created University Research Park. Today, some of the area's most illustrious biotech companies - such as stem cell manufacturer Cellular Dynamics International and cancer test developer Exact Sciences Corp. - are tenants. So are dozens of startups, as well as law firms, banks and two child-care centers.
Lavender farmer wants Baraboo to grow naturally
Baraboo should find ways to grow economically without so much as putting a shovel in the ground, a lavender farmer says. Unless it's a garden shovel.
Devil's Lake Lavender owner Rebecca Powell Hill addressed the city's Economic Development Commission on Thursday, encouraging the group to foster growth that capitalizes on local natural resources rather than endangering them.
"Our area is just gorgeous," she said. "We really have such a special place to live in."
Rebecca and Jim Hill launched Devil's Lake Lavender outside their home, located just north of the state park, in 2014. In December they bought a downtown restaurant, renamed it Devil's Lake Bistro and incorporated lavender into the menu. Devil's Lake Lavender oil, lotions and other products are available at both locations.
Lavender's popularity is driving growth, and the Hills' business is generating tourist traffic. Ninety percent of their shoppers live outside Wisconsin, but find Devil's Lake Lavender because it lies along state Highway 136 as it heads to the park.
Hill said lavender is an example of a draw that generates money without gobbling up open land or contributing to light pollution. She pushed city leaders to incorporate agricultural tourism and recreational tourism into their plans for Baraboo's growth.
City re-approves Ho-Chunk agreement
The Beloit City Council re-approved an intergovernmental agreement between with Ho-Chunk Nation for the casino in resort plan currently under review at Monday's council meeting.
The agreement marks the second amendment to the agreement, drafted in 2012 and re-approved in 2015.
The administrative item covered the impending expiration of the 2012 document on March 26 of this year.
The nation's casino and resort proposal is currently under review and evaluation by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The newest agreement is expected to cover the needed federal and state review time frame.
The tribe's plan for a $405.5 million casino-resort development for near Interstate 39/90 at Willowbrook and Colley roads will be reviewed by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs this year, with publication in the federal register by the first quarter of 2018, according to project officials.
Beaver Dam mayor pleads case for downtown redevelopment
"Community development is economic development."
Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen said it repeatedly, and some aldermen and members of the community seemed united with her cause Monday night as the city council held a special meeting to consider borrowing to support downtown revitalization.
Although many tough decisions lie ahead, about a dozen community members rallied behind Glewen, stating that now is the time to invest in downtown, or face the consequences.
"I'm sharing these things with you because I think it's the direction the community needs to take to stay relevant to a new generation and to stay relevant to the community," said Glewen. "That includes things like the downtown, and energy needs and saving energy costs, and bike trails and marketing ourselves and our community outside of our area. It's about the aesthetics of our community and how really, truly, important that is - right now. I strongly believe that these should be our focus and our direction."
Innovation & Entrepreneurship:
Wisconsin beer innovator MobCraft taps national attention
Mobcraft Beer, a Milwaukee brewery that lets fans submit and choose its monthly flavors online, is being recognized for its innovation on Capitol Hill.
MobCraft is one of just 11 companies invited to the 2018
America's Small Business Development Centers
' Client Showcase & Reception, a Feb. 13 event to celebrate small business and the success of SBDC clients across the country.
Henry Schwartz and Andrew Gierczak turned their dream of a crowdsourced brewery into reality by founding MobCraft in Madison six years ago and concocting their creative craft beers at House of Brews. In 2016, the company moved into its own brewery and taproom in Milwaukee. In between that time, MobCraft built up a fan base, conducting a crowdfunding campaign and appearing on the entrepreneurial reality show "Shark Tank."
Schwartz, the company's 29-year-old president, said MobCraft's following has grown steadily. The beer is sold at 900 bars, stores, gas stations and other locations in Wisconsin and shipped to 36 states.
"Every time we release a beer, more people get it and share it," he said.
"I'm excited about the Wisconsin craft beer community in general," Schwartz said. "Good beers have popped up, and people are doing more fun local stuff."
Job Posting: Research & Communications Manager
Deadline: February 9
MadREP seeks a Research & Communications Manager to coordinate its work in internal and external marketing, research, and data analysis. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to
by 2/9. View the
full job posting
WARF Entrepreneurons Series
Startup Serendipity and Strategy:
Seizing Opportunities, Navigating Troubles
Keynote speaker - Laura Gomez (Atipica); Moderator- Idella Yamben (Cneter for Commercialization); and Panelists - Laura Strong (Propogate Health), Denise Ney (UW-Madison), and Andrea Dlugos Wisconsin Investment Partners). Register online.
Extending high-quality broadband statewide
Is Wisconsin making progress when it comes to extending high-quality broadband coverage to all parts of the state? Find out Tuesday Februrary 20
at the Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon meeting in Madison.
The luncheon will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison's John Nolen
topic of Innovation Network lunch in Madison February 20
Mandatory food safety training for fresh produce growers will be available at locations in Pardeeville (Feb. 20),
One-Day Training Required for Fresh Produce Growers
February 20, 26 &
Fond du Lac (Feb. 26) and Cashton (March 13).
About FaB Presentation /
FaBcap_starter Seminar - Best Practices in Starting a Food or Beverage Business
Aspiring food and beverage entrepreneurs are invited to attend
This information is for
entrepreneurs you know who either considering starting a food or beverage business and/or are early in their start-up of a food or beverage business and have questions about what else they should consider to better organize and grow their business.
Grants Available Through Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program
Farmers, groups and businesses involved in Wisconsin's food industry who are seeking to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply for grants now available through the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program. Application documents..