Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My entrepreneur loan fund hits 50 countries

I have a small personal loan fund that I run through KIVA.org

It allows me to loan small amounts of money to entrepreneurs all over the world.

KIVA lets me join financial forces with other small lenders to fund loans of our choosing.

This is called a revolving loan fund.  The monies just keep coming back as repayments and made available for lending once again.  I've put in just over $400 and thanks to KIVA I've been able to loan out more than $1,500.  I have a 100% repayment rate from the entrepreneurs receiving these loans.

I just made a loan to the 50th country in my portfolio. What a fun way to end the year.

I'm grateful to KIVA for making this possible!

Kiva

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My KIVA list of countries I've made loans to.  These entrepreneurs all over the world inspire me!

Albania
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Benin
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Bolivia
Cambodia
Chile
Columbia
Congo
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Georgia
Ghana
Honduras
Indonesia
India
Iraq
Jordan
Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Lebanon
Liberia
Mali
Mexico
Mongolia
Mozambique
Nicaragua
Pakistan
Palestine
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Rwanda
Samoa
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Suriname
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Timor-Leste
Togo
Uganda
Ukraine
United States
Viet Nam
Yemen

Monday, December 30, 2013

My thanks and a fond farewell to Iowa County Economic Development

video


"... positive attitudes, willing support and assistance, and an obvious desire to help people succeed, which Terrien exemplifies.  This is a tribute to Terrien and his team but it's also an important model for the region, of which Iowa County is both a partner and a leader."  - WISC TV editorial, July 2013.

I've greatly enjoyed working in Iowa County, WI as the founding Executive Director of the Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation.

This was my first experience launching a new nonprofit and the first time I've worked directly in economic development.  In this capacity I helped organize and set directions for this new organization.  I created policies and programs that have become nationally recognized and globally relevant.

I started the day the great recession was formally declared, Dec. 1 2008.  We're closing up the organization five years later.  Funding cuts and the improving economy both indicate its time for this organization to come to a close.

I've been grateful to all the friends I've made in this beautiful area, and the many businesses I've been fortunate enough to work with.

Here are a few of the results my work has generated in the past few years:

My report card from Iowa County businesses and stakeholders. Economic development report issued in Summer 2013.    Full report.  28 pages.

One page overview.  Highlights from 4.5 years of business and economic development in Iowa County, WI.

Food and Farm business development report.  Subset of main report focusing on food and farm entrepreneurship.  18 pages.

Letter from the Board Chair, Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation (ICAEDC).  Nov. 2013

Thank you note from the Board of the ICAEDC.  Dec. 2013

What a great experience.  Thanks to all who welcomed me to the Iowa County area and all the great people I had the honor of working with there.

Thank you and best wishes one and all!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Innovation Kitchens welcomes Craig Kettleson as our new CFO

Innovation Kitchens LLC is proud to announce the addition of Craig Kettleson as our new Chief Financial Officer.  As CFO, Craig will lead our finance efforts and help bring our story to the world.

Craig has an extensive background in building and financing new businesses.  

Craig Kettleson serves as VP Finance for U.S. Foods and Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where his efforts have raised $1.2 million from private sources to date.

Craig has been a Founder and CFO of Woodridge Venture Group, a venture capital business focused on providing investment resources and technical assistance to businesses seeking to commercialize early stage renewable technologies.  While there Craig participated in private placements which successfully raised $14 million in equity.
 
Craig has served as the Business Development Manager for Wisconsin Business Development Corporation.  He was Lead Planner for MSA Professional Services, Inc.,  and the Community Finance Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Development.

We welcome Craig and his extensive knowledge of finance, business development and the launch of successful new organizations.

Welcome Craig!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Lighting up a 109 year old food association with our Innovation Kitchens story

Just back from making a presentation about our work at the annual meeting of the Midwest Food Processors Association.

It was great fun to introduce all the new innovative farms, companies and brands we’ve helped develop.

It was even more fun to talk to major food processing stakeholders about the many positive, sustainable opportunities our model represents for their industry.

Thanks for the invitation to speak and to meet so many members who want to grow their industry through our Innovation Kitchens story.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Innovation Kitchen rock stars. Go YumButter!

My friends Matt and Adrian are smart food entrepreneurs who are fun to work with. 

Matt and I have talked about this since it was just a gleam in his eye.  Now he and Adrian are lighting up the artisan food world and I couldn't be prouder.

They are featured in this month's Martha Stewart Living magazine and they have an exciting Kickstarter campaign underway you should check out.

The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen has supported the development of a number of great foods from many entrepreneurs and regional farms.   We are currently producing and packaging Matt and Adrian's Yumbutters.  A wonderful win-win.  Together we're making great food and important regional jobs.

Innovation Kitchen rock stars!


Yumbutter web site

Article about Martha Stewart meeting Yumbutter 

YumbutterGO's Kickstarter campaign

Support Yumbutter's Kickstarter campaign with just 3 clicks


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Farms, food and the future

This is an amazing time to be considering careers and new businesses in the food world.

The University of Wisconsin National Agri-Marketing Association visited the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen last week.

It was exciting discussion to consider the wide ranging opportunities these young people have waiting for them in food and agriculture.

Thanks for a great visit!

Farms, food and the future.  These young people inspire me!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

"Farm-to-Institution: Next Steps in Supporting Local Food Infrastructure"

If you want regional food systems to work you have to include professionally certified small-batch food processing at a regional scale. 

Good new article:  "Fruit gives way to jam, tomatoes become sauce, vegetables are pickled, relished and frozen. Seasonality, and our responses to it, may be the single most defining characteristic of local food. And, methods of processing, preserving and adding value are emerging as an important part of the opportunity and challenge"

"Build Infrastructure and Develop Networks: In order to sell to institutions, farmers need to address product availability, seasonality, quality, and consistency, as well as the sales, distribution, processing and handling needs of institutions. U.S. food infrastructure is better equipped to deal with larger farms and longer supply chains. So, smaller farms aimed at localized sales often do not have the ability to wash, chop, pack or freeze their products in order to accommodate institutional demands."

Regional systems need support networks and year-round sales to succeed.


From Farm to institution:  Next Steps in Supporting Local Food Infrastructure. At HuffingtonPost.com  10/25/13 

Thanks to Michael Hoadley at FEWZION for the link.

Tomatoes are 'Sweet Olive' that we grew along with 'Sungolds' in our garden this year.  Both great producers.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Smart new grant program announced supporting value-added food businesses.

Farms and foods businesses in Southern Wisconsin just got a major boost that others should emulate. 

Badgerland Financial, our regional Farm Credit Administration lender, has just launched a very positive, creative new grant program that supports their customers and others who are interested in farm diversification and food entrepreneurship.

Their 'Beginning With Badgerland' grant program gives up to $1,500 grants to explore and grow food based businesses.  

Grants are available to any beginning farmer living in Badgerland Financial territory (see attached map), regardless of age.  The farmer needs to have less than ten years of experience operating a farm and should be able to show that farming is a part-time or full-time vocation.  (Full text is below)

This program includes the use of funds for developing value-added food products at licensed food processing facilities.

Our Innovation Kitchens can be used to develop these value-added products.  We have several programs that enable people to learn about growing their own small value-added food businesses.  The Badgerland Financial application is linked below.

There is great demand for regional and specialty foods.  This grant program gives Badgerland customers and others a way to grow and build businesses to meet this demand.  

This is a great tool for launching and growing farms and food businesses in Wisconsin.  Others should emulate.


Download the Badgerland Financial grant application

Badgerland Financial territory map 

Innovation Kitchens


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Below is the full description of the program.  Badgerland Financial's emerging market specialist Paul Dietmann's contact information is at the end:


October 23, 2013

Our Beginning with Badgerland Grant program is now up and running.  Grants are available to any beginning farmer living in Badgerland Financial territory (see attached map), regardless of age.  The farmer needs to have less than ten years of experience operating a farm and should be able to show that farming is a part-time or full-time vocation.

There are three grant funding levels depending on the amount of business—if any--that the farmer does with us:
    • Beginning farmers who are Badgerland Financial loan customers with a loan principal balance of $50,000 or more can receive up to $1,500 in grant funding.
    • Beginning farmers who use Badgerland Financial’s tax, accounting, or other related services, or have a principal balance of less than $50,000 on loans with us, or are “next generation” farmers that represent the next generation of a farm operation that already has a lending relationship with us (for example, the daughter of a family that has a loan with Badgerland Financial) can receive up to $500 in grant funding.
    • Beginning farmers who do not have any business relationship with Badgerland Financial can receive up to $250 in grant funding.
Grant funds can be used to pay for a variety of farm business-related expenses including:

    • The first year of tax or farm accounting services from a Badgerland Financial tax consultant or farm accounting specialist
    • Purchase of farm accounting software
    • Tuition for courses in farm business management, accounting, or related topics
    • Registration fees for farm-related conferences or workshops
    • Fees for development of a new value-added agricultural product at a licensed food processing establishment
    • FSA guarantee fees
    • Other farm business expenses
To apply for a grant, the farmer simply needs to fill out a brief application.  The Beginning with Badgerland Grant application form is available on our website, www.badgerlandfinancial.com, in the lower right-hand corner of the front page.  It can be completed and submitted online, or printed off and mailed, e-mailed, or faxed in.  There is no application deadline. 

If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a confirmation letter along with a W-9 and a postage-paid return envelope they can use to send receipts for grant-eligible expenses.  Expenses will be reimbursed 100% up to the total amount of the recipient’s eligibility level.

In addition to the Beginning with Badgerland grant program, we are developing an e-newsletter for beginning farmers and people who work with beginning farmers (if you’d like to be added to our e-mail list, please let me know).  We will also have a Beginning with Badgerland page on our new website, which is slated to be live by mid November.

If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an e-mail.


Thanks,

Paul Dietmann
Emerging Markets Specialist
_____
Badgerland Financial
1430 North Ridge Drive, PO Box 70
Prairie du Sac, WI 53578
Toll free cell: 800.236.3376
NMLS #868481
badgerlandfinancial.com







Sunday, October 20, 2013

Looking for regional food ingredients for your restaurant, store or brand?

The Innovation Kitchens we're helping have access to thousands of pounds of sustainably raised fall crops, grown in Wisconsin and nearby.

Think beautiful deep-orange pumpkin purees, butternut squash purees and chopped/frozen late season crops including colorful bell peppers.  How about delicious apple sauces and apple butters?

These great regional foods can all be farm identified.   They are lightly processed, frozen, or packed in jars for year-round sale and use.

Frozen purees and chopped/frozen mixes can be used by restaurants, stores and food entrepreneurs year-round as ingredients or specialty foods.  We can also package them in consumer sized containers for commercial sale.  Ongoing storage options are available.

We're looking for regional relationships with buyers and sellers that want to celebrate regional foods in the area.

Interested in access to great regional ingredients and foods year round?  Here's a great way to get them.


Innovation Kitchens


Sunday, October 06, 2013

Remaking the Food System

The world is looking for solutions to make our food system more resilient, sustainable and effective.  This new article from Stanford Social Innovation highlights the emerging role that loan guarantees can play in moving this work forward.

"Many of us in the social enterprise sector—investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists—see the need for an alternative food system that dramatically expands access to fresh food and supports sustainable local food production, and that ultimately helps create more resilient communities. For that to happen, we need to get outside our comfort zones and work together. Collaboration between philanthropists and investors in particular is essential to building an alternative food system."

"It helps that food is a hot investment area in Silicon Valley, especially on the distribution end, where scalable online distribution businesses are attracting substantial capital."
 
Smart investors, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists can utilize the Innovation Kitchen model to make regional foods profitable and sustainable.


Remaking the Food System.   Stanford Social Innovation Review.  Sept 30, 201.  By Don Shaffer, President and CEO of RSF Social Finance.

Innovation Kitchens 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

"The Invisible Faces of Hunger"

"Madison, where the farm-to-table movement thrives and foodies flock to an eclectic restaurant scene, is also home to the increasingly worrisome, yet often unrecognized issue of food insecurity."

Thanks to authors Nancy Christy & Neil Heinen.
 

Monday, September 23, 2013

"We just need more farmers"

Smaller scale food processing plants are needed to grow new farms and to help existing farms diversify.

Without safe, legal processing facilities there is no way new farms and new foods can reach the market efficiently.

Their first hurdle is getting into the game financially.  The expense of starting can be daunting.

My pal Terra Brockman is quoted in a recent article on this subject:

"Younger farmers are having difficulty breaking into agriculture, and the reasons mostly boil down to land and capital, said Terra Brockman, founder of Bloomington-based agricultural organization, The Land Connection."

But once these new young farmers are in the game, what do we do to help them grow their businesses?  Sure there are farmer's markets and CSA programs, but I'm convinced we need smaller scale, appropriately equipped food processing plants to move the bounty of these small farms into the wider marketplace year round.

“There’s never been a public more conscious about their eating habits,” he (Dylan Cook) said. “For what it is, it’s never been easier. We just need more farmers.”

The demand for regional foods and specialty foods has never been higher.  Unless we provide our new farms the processing plants to take their foods to market year round we are not going to solve this problem.

Farming can be tough road to hoe for the young.  Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph.com

The Land Connection.  Healthy farms and healthy food for beautiful Central Illinois.  Great work Terra and friends.

Photo for a Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen farm customer marketing their produce year round.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Costco: Private Label Only Gets Bigger" - Why contract food manufacturing matters.

Smart North American businesses are increasingly selling food products under their own private labels.

This is not a trend, it's a fact.  The European food system has been perfecting this model for decades.  Now we are catching up.

This is a huge opportunity for  contract food processors.

Here is a good article and quote from Costco's CEO backing this up:

“'I think the private label or controlled label, as long as it's quality, is going to become a bigger part of the business,' said Costco CEO Craig Jelinek..."

"When we first went to it about 22 years ago, it was very slow, but now anything that we put Kirkland Signature brand on, people are not concerned about trying it.”

For any business organization that wants to be connected to regional or specialty foods, now is the time to look at having products made and sold under your own private label. 

Costco:  Private Label Only Gets Bigger .  Store Brands / Decisions.  August 27, 2013

Photo is from the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen preparing local foods for a private label customer. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Q: What makes an entrepreneur great?" MIT Technology Review.

"Everyone I know has their own style.  The unifying characteristics are all the same:  drive, inability to play well with others, decisiveness, general indifference to reason on occasion."

The quote above is from Max Levchin, entrepreneur, tech leader, and founder of several companies including PayPal.

Mr. Levchin opens the Entrepreneurs section of MIT Technology Review's current article '35 Innovators Under 35'.

The quote is in the current MIT Technology Review, Sept/Oct 2013 - Creative Destruction.

###

Photos from a creative new food entrepreneur working through the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Here comes The Conscious Carnivore!


My friend Bartlett Durand and his amazing Black Earth Meats team just celebrated the arrival of their first retail store in Madison, The Conscious Carnivore.  Opening soon.

The Conscious Carnivore specializes in No Antibiotic No Hormone Local Beef, Pork and Chicken.

My family loves Black Earth Meats.  Everything about their food is wonderful.  Their story just keeps getting better.

We look forward to shopping at the Conscious Carnivore and introducing friends to this great story.

Congratulations Bartlett and all involved!

The Conscious Carnivore

Black Earth Meats

Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Female Face of Farming - 1 million women working the land


We are seeing many more women farmers as we develop our commercial food processing operations at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen and elsewhere.

There was a good article and photo essay recently in Modern Farmer Magazine titled 'Photographing the Female Face of Farming'.

This is an important quote from the article:

"...the number of women-operated farms had more than doubled between 1982 and 2007. If you add primary and secondary operators, women make up 30 percent of U.S. farmers, with nearly 1 million women working the land."

This photo is my friend Christine from Solveien Farm delivering produce to the Innovation Kitchen for light preparation and freezing for commercial markets.

The Innovation Kitchen model is creating new and profitable opportunities for farms, food businesses and people who support sustainable food.  Congratulations Christine. You're one in a million!  


Photographing the Female Face of Farming.  Modern Farmer Magazine, Aug 29, 2013, Lori Rotenberk.   Photographer Marji Guyler-Alaniz

Solveien Farm - Albany, WI area

Friday, September 06, 2013

Putting America Back To Work - "Consumers are hungry for a sense of community. (Locally made) goods have a distinctive character and authenticity."

Parade Magazine did a great Labor Day issue about putting America back to work.

Many ideas focused on opportunities in regional and local commerce.

"Consumers are hungry for a sense of community.  (Locally made) goods have a distinctive character and authenticity."  - Rajeev Batra, PH.D, University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

I think this argument is especially valuable in the world of local, regional and specialty foods.

Putting America Back to Work:  5 Ways 'Made in the USA' Is Staging a Comeback.  Parade Magazine Sept 1, 2013

Photo credit:  Michael Edwards and Parade Magazine

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Venture Capitalists Are Making Bigger Bets on Food Start-Ups" / New York Times.

"What if the next big thing in tech does not arrive on your smartphone or in the cloud? What if it lands on your plate?"

Venture Capitalists Are Making Bigger Bets on Food Start-Ups.    New York Times.

This is a strong article about the emerging business opportunities in food.   The work we are developing at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen speaks directly to the role professional, artisan food processing facilities can play in this discussion.

Here is the problem - "(food) ... a hard nut to crack because it’s a perishable item."

Here is our solution.  We help food businesses sell safely prepared foods for sale year-round.

Here is our focus.   Develop and sell profitable food business services to food entrepreneurs, restaurants, stores, and farms.  Develop community based jobs including those for people with disabilities.

From the Times article...  "Yet some investors say the projects have a better chance of success if they steer clear of selling actual food. 'The food category has been a hard nut to crack because it’s a perishable item,' said Mark Suster, an investor at GRP Partners. 'The No. 1 thing V.C.’s are looking for are scalable and repeatable, high-margin businesses. You can create those in food, it’s just harder.'”

Specialty food is an $86 billion industry with many business opportunities emerging.  Smart new processing centers are vital.  Our work developing the first Innovation Kitchen provides a tested, scalable model.

If you would like to support or participate in this work please get in touch.

##

Photo Credit:  Bryce Vickmark for The New York Times article.


Saturday, August 03, 2013

Great USDA visit - Welcome USDA Under Secretary Edward Avalos

I had great meeting with senior representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday.

We met at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.  In the photo is Edward Avalos USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

Mr Avalos leads one the seven major Agencies within USDA.   It was a great honor to be able to show off our work.

Also joining the visit were old friends Stan Gruszynski,  Wisconsin State Director of USDA Rural Development and Brad Pfaff, Wisconsin State Director of the USDA Farm Services Administration (FSA).  Thanks for a great visit all the positive encouragement!  I look forward to working with USDA to advance the work we've begun.

Thanks also to my friend Margaret Krome from the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute who organized the visit and joined us, with others, for a great discussion.

The work we are doing to foster business development in food and agriculture continues to receive regional, national and even international attention.  Many thanks to all those supporting this work!

USDA Rural Development State Director
Edward Avalos bio at USDA

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good food. Good jobs. Great idea.

I've been working to help develop the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point since it was a construction site.  They've now been open for 3 years.

The kitchen creates many great opportunities for food and farm entrepreneurs.

Each opportunity represents a chance to make good jobs for people with disabilities.  Each new opportunity opens new markets for our regional farms.  All of these events help bring great food to customers in our region. 

Last week the opportunity was Sugar Snap Peas.

My co-workers with disabilities prepped the peas.  Even friends in difficult wheel chair situations could participate.  Once ready, the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen team blanched the peas lightly, then quickly froze and packaged them.

This batch of Sugar snaps was grown on a local farm that we love.  We make other great products for their wonderful farm store and for sale at their weekly farm market stands and CSA boxes.

The buyer of these peas is an organization in the Chicago area that distributes good local foods to restaurants and consumers in that market.

Extending the good food movement to include good jobs for people with disabilities a great idea that works for all involved.

If you would like to have products made at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen or buy delicious products made there, let me know.

Thanks to Annette Pierce, Food Service Director at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen (and Mistress of the Universe) and all my friends and co-workers there!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A positive TV editorial about our economic development work.



Thanks to Madison (WI) WISC TV's Editorial Director Neil Heinan for a positive editorial about our economic development work in the Iowa County area.

"Positive attitudes, willing support and assistance, and an obvious desire to help people succeed, which Terrien exemplifies."

Thanks Neil Heinan and WISC TV.


Link to video on WISC site

Sunday, July 07, 2013

ICAEDC celebrates four and a half years of promoting Iowa County

Thanks to the The Dodgeville Chronicle.  They just publishing a positive new article about our economic development work in Iowa County, WI in their 4th of July edition.

I'm grateful for the article's focus on entrepreneurship and job creation in our recent business development report for the area.

"ICAEDC celebrates four and a half years of promoting Iowa County" 

"The Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation (ICAEDC) proved last week that it has a lot to be proud of as it released a report on the organization's successes over the past four and a half years." 

"The organization's executive director, Rick Terrien, has played an influential role at the ICAEDC and many of their successes can be traced back to his committed work."

"'Positive momentum is a powerful force',  Terrien said. 'There are many great new entrepreneurship and business opportunities for our area...'"
 
###

Thanks to the Dodgeville Chronicle for the article and recognition!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Full Iowa County economic development progress report now available

We've just released our new economic development progress report.

Our Iowa County Area Economic Development Corp. has been a completely new kind of startup for me.

This report documents some of the positive outcomes from our first 4 1/2 years of hard work.

The organization is a 501(c)6 nonprofit corporation.  I joined as its founding Director.

Our economic development plan focused on three primary outcomes:   (1) Help existing businesses, (2) Help create new businesses and new entrepreneurs, and (3) Promote Iowa County entrepreneurship and business climate.

I'm very proud of our results. 

This report features a collection of 22 local small business success stories.  Food entrepreneurship figures prominently in more than half of these.

The others focus on a wide cross-section of leading manufacturers, bankers, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, educators, small business owners, new businesses, local officials, and organizations from around the region and country.

From the link below you can quickly scan contents, read a 1 page summary, and also read the full report.

Thanks to all involved.  What a wonderful place.  What a startup! 


Link to our economic development report.  Summer 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Timeline worn proudly on my 35 year old thermos

The older Stanley thermos in the photo is my traveling companion of 35 years.  It's been with me through decades of business travel across the country and never let me down.

When my wife and I got married 35 years ago, we registered at the Ace Hardware store in Streator, IL.

I didn't know anything about registering for wedding gifts.   Mary told me to pick out something I could really use.  I fell in love with a beautiful Stanley thermos.  Mary and I and that thermos have been together ever since.

When I look at the photo, all that wear and tear feels like an entrepreneurship timeline to me.

I carried that thermos everywhere for a couple of decades while we built and grew Banner Graphics.

I carried it everywhere for a decade as we developed our inventions, launched and grew SmartSkim.

I've carried it with me for 5+ years through the startup of Business Diligence and now our Iowa County Area Economic Development Corp. and the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

In the photo of my old thermos, I think I can still feel all those dents and scrapes, hard won from entrepreneurship efforts across different decades and industries.

I salute the great Stanley thermos.  The motto stamped into the base of my old thermos says 'It will not break'.

Great products and great stories can say that.

The Stanley Thermos

Thanks to daughter Anne for my new Stanley thermos for Father's Day!  The 100 Year Anniversary edition of my old friend.  I've used my first thermos for more than a third of the 100 year history of this great product.



Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Yours is considered a model approach to building a food system, which is the foundation for a vibrant rural economy."

Telling great stories and developing great partners is at the heart of successful business development.

This is another story in our ongoing economic development report from Iowa County, WI.

The USDA has been supportive of our story from the beginning.

USDA Rural Development in Wisconsin provided low interest loans to the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen for their walk-in freezer and cooler.

We hosted a great visit by the State Directors of USDA Rural Development from Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

I also work with friends at USDA Food and Nutrition Service.  

Alan Shannon runs a valuable monthly gathering of food-focused organizations in the Midwest with the goal of developing regional collaboration.  I've enjoyed participating in GoodGreens and also grateful to be asked to make a presentation recently.

I'm especially thankful to Alan for his emphasis on the value of a great story.

Great stories create action steps.  The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen story a call to action.

Thank you Alan Shannon, USDA, FNS:

"I want to let you know that as facilitator of GoodGreens, a Midwest collaboration of
nearly 300 organizations, businesses and farmers seeking to establish a sustainable local food system I’m very appreciative of the work that you and Innovation Kitchen do.

Two weeks ago I was in Appalachian Ohio and even there they had heard of the important work that you are doing.

In fact, I hear your name and Innovation Kitchen mentioned frequently during my travels and conversations around the Midwest.

Yours is considered a model approach to building a food system, which is the foundation for a vibrant rural economy.

Thanks for the work that you do and congratulations on your successes to-date. We’re excited to see your model as it continues to grow."

Alan Shannon, Director
Public Affairs, Food and Nutrition Service, Midwest Region
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Thank you Alan.   And thanks to all our other great partners in the region and friends world wide!

Iowa County Area Economic Development

Sunday, June 09, 2013

"Our business is up and running thanks to Rick and the ICAEDC!!!"

This is from a new report I'm working on about our economic development work in Iowa County, Wisconsin (ICAEDC) 
  
I love family run small businesses.  Terry Olson is a great example of how a new family business can help energize a downtown.  Go Terry and family!

Terry opened her smart new business, Time and Again Vintage, on the main Street of Dodgeville,  in Iowa County, WI.

People are now coming from all over the region to shop at Terry's new business.  I'm proud to have helped. 

Time and Again Vintage.

“This area is blessed to have Rick and the ICAEDC!!! 

Starting up a business is overwhelming. 

Rick walked us through links on the EDC site and coached us on each step throughout the process.  LLC, EIN, State Tax Number, WHAT???  Rick told us which step to start with from start to finish… from naming our business to applying for a State Tax Number.   He was always just a phone call away.

Rick has such a positive attitude!  He makes you feel like anything is possible.

He definitely cares about the local communities and small business start-ups!!  He has a very caring heart! 

We are deeply grateful to Rick for the many questions he willingly answered and steps he walked us through. 

Our business is up and running thanks to Rick and the ICAEDC!!!”

Terry Olson, Owner

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Iowa County, WI. Entrepreneurship options help create 28 new jobs. Bob's 'Bad Word' BBQ. New restaurant brings buzz to downtown Dodgeville. Good food = Good economic development.

Jobs and economic development news from the Iowa County, WI area...

Bob's Bitchin' BBQ.

Bob Page is the entrepreneur behind this great food story - Bob's Bitchin' BBQ.  Annette Pierce (Food Service Director at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen, and Mistress of the Universe) and I helped bring Bob's amazing BBQ sauces to market.

The WI Innovation Kitchen (WINK) was able to prepare Bob's recipes in smaller, affordable batches under certified commercial kitchen standards. 

Bob started with his Original flavor first.  When he expanded online and through farmer's markets he added new flavors.

It was really fun to help all this develop.  I'm proud that I drove and unloaded the delivery truck when needed.

So... next thing you know Bob leaves his job and opens a very cool new BBQ restaurant in downtown Dodgeville.  Right across the street from our historic courthouse.

What a fun journey.

Our focus on entrepreneurship helped bring this very cool food entrepreneur and his wonderful products to market.  We helped Bob grow from concept to execution to growth.  The results include good local jobs and a new vibrancy in downtown Dodgeville.

I often bring out of town entrepreneurs to Bob's Bitchin' BBQ for lunch.  Nice way to tell our regional economic development story and eat like BBQ royalty all at once.

Thank you Bob's Bitchin' BBQ:

“Iowa County Area Economic Development has been key to helping me start my new business in Iowa County. 
 
This support has led to my being able to open a new restaurant in downtown Dodgeville, now employing 28 people.

The options Rick Terrien helped provide my new business were instrumental in this process.  Dodgeville and Iowa County are now benefiting from the results of those efforts.” 

Bob Page, Owner
Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ.  Dodgeville, WI 

Bob's Bitchin' BBQ 

Iowa County Area EDC site.   Our rotating news feed includes more stories like Bob's Bitchin' BBQ.
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Iowa County Wisconsin. Entrepreneurship focus generates 60 new jobs developed, and 28 new jobs attracted. Many valuable startups launched. New businesses downtown. Entrepreneurship at work in economic development.

When I applied for the job of starting up an economic development program in rural Wisconsin I was as green as could be in this world. My first day on the job, the Great Recession was declared and the Dow dropped about 700 points.  There was economic carnage everywhere.  

My kind of startup.

Our brand new Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation (ICAEDC) set out to find new opportunities in this difficult environment and we did it.  

What worked was our focus on entrepreneurship and helping existing businesses grow. 

A new report I'm now circulating to our ICAEDC Board identifies at least 60 new jobs our group is being credited with helping develop.  We are also credited with supporting the development of Barneveld's amazing new business park which has just attracted a planned 28 good new jobs to Iowa County.  

Photo is from the groundbreaking last week of Bio-Vet's new facility in the new Barneveld Business Park.  Bio-Vet is a globally relevant, life sciences research and technology company we are thrilled to welcome to Iowa County.

Here is what past Barneveld Village President Mike Peterson had to say about our ICAEDC support for Barneveld:

"Rick Terrien and the Iowa County EDC have been a valuable resource in helping the Village of Barneveld develop our new Business Park.  As Village President, I often called Rick for continuing updates and information about economic development news and opportunities.  This was a great value to me and the Village of Barneveld." 

Thank you Mike, and thank you Barneveld.  My focus has always been entrepreneurship.  Barneveld is so strategically located it jumps off the page with possibilities for entrepreneurs to grow. 

I think economic development emerges from strategies and actions that make the whole place increasingly entrepreneurial.  Everyone should have opportunities.  Among those 88 jobs developed and attracted, we're counting 32 new jobs for people with disabilities, now working at the amazing Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

We've helped great new local businesses open in our downtowns.  We've helped our existing local businesses grow.  We've nurtured many new startups and helped launch some of the coolest new rural economic development stories in the country.  I'm very proud of these results.



Other Iowa County Area Economic Development success stories circulating on the news feed at our home page.
 
Original article about Bio-Vet in Dodgeville Chronicle

Bio-Vet

Pictured in photo (l to r) is Scott Leahy, Barneveld Village President, Bill Zimmer President of Bio-Vet, and Rick Terrien.  Photo credit for this shot goes to former Village of Barneveld President Mike Peterson.  Thanks Mike.  Beautiful Blue Mound State Park is in the background. One of 3 wonderful state parks in Iowa County, WI. 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

2013 Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship winners! With ingredient lists... Yum!

We had a wonderful day in Iowa County Wisconsin for the 2013 Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championships.

Great turnout.  About 2,000 people.  I had a lovely chat with a group from London England.  They had read about the event in the Chicago Tribune while visiting there and drove up for the day.  How cool.  

Who says economic development can't be focused on food and funI'm very proud that our Iowa County (WI) Area Economic Development Corp. hosted this amazing event.  

This was another great opportunity to prove how valuable food and agriculture can be to economic development.

Many thanks to my friend and former Board Chair of the Iowa County EDC, Dr. Lorin Toepper who created and organized this great event.  We are also grateful for the support from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and many other sponsors.
 
Here is a list of winners in each category, including ingredients:

Professional Best of Show (top photo)
Mason Grode, Neenah, WI
Category:  Classic Plus Extras
Ingredients:
Saxon's Greenfield
Red Barn 1-year Cheddar
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Expresso Bellavitano
Micro Kale
Cured Olives 
Gooseberry Jelly
Hickory Nuts
on Hop sourdough 
 
Amateur Best of Show
Bryn Bowden, Platteville, WI
Category:  Classic Dessert Grilled Cheese
Ingredients:
Maple Syrup 
Classic Italian Bread
Apple Jack Cheese
Chocolate Cheese

Professional Classic
Katherine Rehfeldt-Tonn
Gouda Girls, Milwaukee, WI
Ingredients:
Chipolte Ole-Beechwood
Moody Blue-Smoked Blue - Roth
Buffalo Jack-Star Dairy-Zito
Tuscan Bread
Butter

Amateur Classic
Mark Landgraf, Madison, WI
Ingredients:
Tomato Basil Cheese
Sour Dough Bread
Butter
Basil

Professional Classic Plus One
Evan Talbert
Best Western Inn Towner, Madison, WI
Ingredients:
Country Bread
Babcock Dairy Brick
Bacon
Jalapeno Jam

Amateur Classic Plus One
Lance Orr, Milwaukee, WI
Ingredients:
Cheddar Bacon
North Star Weyauwega Bacon - Haen Meat Market

Professional Classic Plus Extras
Mason Grode, Neenah, WI
Ingredients:  (above)

Amateur Classic Plus Extras
Katherine Cahill, Dodgeville, WI
Ingredients:
Maple Goat Cheese
Prosciutto
Organic egg Yolks
Seeded Bread "Breakfast"
Parmesan Lace Garnish

Professional Classic Dessert
Caitlin Way

Amateur Classic Dessert
Bryn Bowden , Platteville, WI
Ingredients:  (above)

Young Chef
Evie Lynch, Madison, WI
Ingredients:
Brioche
Nutella
Marscapone
Butter
Salt
Raspberry Sauce 

Congratulations to all the winners! Thanks to all competitors, volunteers and Lorin Toepper who made this all happen.  Many thanks to everyone who visited our Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship in beautiful Iowa County, Wisconsin.

Food and fun.  My kind of economic development!

Official web site of the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship

Iowa County Area Economic Development




Friday, April 26, 2013

Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship this Sat. 4/27/2013 - Iowa County, WI

Looking for a great time this weekend?

Our second annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship is being held Saturday April 27 in Mineral Point Wisconsin.

Last year over 1,200 people from at least 7 states attended.  This year will be even bigger and better than that!

It's going to be a great day in Wisconsin on Saturday.  Take the beautiful drive to Iowa County and enjoy the excitement of this unique and fun event.  Entry is free and fun is guaranteed.

This year not one, but two, grilled cheese themed food trucks will be on hand to supply all your grilled cheese desires.

Hours are 10 AM to 3 PM.  Join us!

What could be better than grilled cheese, and a great Spring day in beautiful Iowa County Wisconsin?


Learn all the fun details about the Second annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship!

Iowa County Area Economic Development.    Links to lodging and travel information

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Next presentation - Healthy Local Food Systems: Driving Business & Community Economic Development

I'm honored to be leading a panel discussion later this month that will focus on creating business and community economic development by building healthy local food systems.

I'll be be joined by my friend Peter Robertson, CEO of RP's Pasta, Carrie Edgar, Dane County UW Extension Department Head and Mark Woulf, Food Policy Coordinator for the City of Madison (WI).

This event will be April 30, 2013 at the Deming Way campus of Edgewood College in Madison, WI.

To me, the way to create economic and community development through food systems is to continuously build and strengthen robust business environments for entrepreneurs.  We need to create better platforms that allow more small food businesses to launch, grow, succeed and even fail.  There is great opportunity in this space.  However, we need better focus on the business side of small food businesses.

Thanks to Edgewood College School of Business and the Smith and Gesteland Executive Speaker Series for the invitation. 


Download Edgewoood College presentation information

Friday, April 12, 2013

Eight years of entrepreneurship writing. Happy anniversary Sustainable Work!

I love writing about innovation and entrepreneurship almost as much as I love doing it.  Today is Sustainable Work's 8th anniversary.

I've done startups in manufacturing/engineering, commercial graphics, software, education, economic development, and food.  I've mentored and supported startups across the U.S. and I lend to startups worldwide.

I wrote the masthead for this blog the night I wrote the first post, in a hotel room in Dubuque, 8 years ago.  It followed a long day of installing one of our recycling systems at their John Deere plant.

I haven't changed a word of the masthead - or the work of this writing - since.

Entrepreneurship and innovation.  You can do it. Welcome.

Happy 8th anniversary Sustainable Work!


2012 - 7th anniversary.   40 Years of Life Lessons in Entrepreneurship

2005 - First post.   What I'm Trying to do

Photo taken through the plant kaleidoscope at our wonderful Olbrich Gardens