Dennis Deery

Rural Issues

Get Lost for Charity!

September 19, 2010

Rural Issues Technology
Kudos to our clients (and good friends) at Hartung Brothers who have co-sponsored a corn maze in the Old Sauk Trails Business Park in Madison. Proceeds from the corn maze will support the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund, which helps vulnerable households keep their power and heat on during Wisconsin’s weather extremes.

Midwest Rural Assembly 2010

September 3, 2010
Professsional CommunityDevelopment
Rural Issues
A couple of weeks ago I attended the 2nd annual Midwest Rural Assembly in lovely South Sioux City, Nebraska. For those unfamiliar with the area, their main claim to fame seems to be as the location of the only casualty amongst the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Following the conference I spent a couple of hours at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center - quite a nice facility.

Council of Rural Initiatives Web Launch

December 16, 2009

Marketing Rural Issues Technology
Congratulations to our friends at the Council of Rural Initiatives on the launch of their new web site, developed by Irish Rose Consulting. This was a short-timeframe project, so we made use of Wordpress with a pre-developed template. We’re happy to be able to support the efforts of this new organization working for rural Wisconsin. [![CRI Web Site](](  ![](

CFRA Comes Calling

November 4, 2009

Rural Issues
A couple of weeks ago I attended a rural issues forum held here in Menomonie by the Center for Rural Affairs. CFRA staff are barnstorming the upper midwest to hear about the issues facing rural areas. Heidi Clausen, a reporter for The Country Today newspaper wrote a nice article summarizing the event, including a few choice quotes from yours truly. ![](

Midwest Rural Assembly

September 1, 2009

National/International Politics Rural Issues
I recently attended the Midwest Rural Assembly in Sioux Falls, SD. I wrote a short guest post on the Wisconsin Rural Partners web site describing the conference. ![](

Fame Comes Calling

May 16, 2009

Rural Issues
Congrats to our good friend Herby Radmann of Bullfrog Fish Farm who was featured in “Questioning the Locals” column in the most recent issue of Volume One magazine! ![](

The Gift of Communities

March 18, 2009

Rural Issues has launched a new arts and culture blog focused on the state of Wisconsin. Our good friend Ricky Rolfsmeyer is a contributor to this group blog. Check out his great post, “The Gift of Communities,” and be sure to add the blog’s feed to your newsreader. ![](

Go Blue Devils!

April 14, 2008

National/International Politics Rural Issues
The UW-Stout community was saddened last week by a tragic house fire that resulted in the deaths of three students. The opportunistic nut-jobs at Westboro Baptist Church, known for showing up at military funerals to tout their belief that God is punishing the U.S. for its acceptance of gays, decided this was another golden opportunity to show the world the depths of their hatred. Their four protesters showed up on the Menomonie campus last Thursday bearing placards with statements such as “God Hates Fags” and other well-known bible verses.

On-Campus Brewery

March 16, 2008

Rural Issues
The Wisconsin State Journal has a nice article today about the small brewery that’s been established at my alma mater University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Sadly, the brew pub wasn’t around in my time at school, being established in 2002 when a new student center was built. College kids today have it so good!

Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program Online Auction

February 3, 2008

Rural Issues
WRLP is holding an online auction to raise funds to support their programs. If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you know WRLP is a program I think very highly of - it truly changes lives. Check out their auction, bid early, bid often!

Department of Rural Affairs

July 9, 2007

National/International Politics Rural Issues
A couple of weeks ago Senator Hillary Clinton addressed the National Rural Assembly via a video link-up. This gathering of 400-people, part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Rural People, Rural Policy initiative, was an effort to highlight the issues facing rural areas, and to broaden the discussion beyond agriculture policy, which has generally been the focus of rural policy efforts. To that end, during the Q&A session following her talk, Senator Clinton was asked by one participant if she, as President, would consider changing the name and mission of the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Rural Affairs.

Tornado Alley

June 27, 2007

Rural Issues Technology
Growing up in southwest Wisconsin, tornado watches and warnings were a constant feature of summer life. As a little kid, I can remember trips to the basement to wait out the storm, and when I got a little older I got to join Dad on tornado watch for the local volunteer fire department. I can still vividly remember the night the tornado hit Barneveld, Wisconsin, and the phone rang in the middle of the night calling for ambulance volunteers.

Public Policy CAN Change Behavior

June 26, 2007

Ireland National/International Politics Rural Issues
One of the things we had to adjust to when we moved to Ireland was taking our own cloth shopping bags to the grocery store. Why? Well, Ireland levies a €0.15 tax on plastic grocery bags, so every time we forgot to take our own (a lot, at first), we had to spend 30 or 45 cents to buy plastic bags. We’ve since gotten in the habit, and so no longer have to buy plastic bags, and thus no longer consume more scarce natural resources for both making the bags and then disposing of them.

Wisconsin's Historic Pics Available Online

June 22, 2007

Photography Rural Issues
The Wisconsin Historical Society has long held sales of photos from their archives, generally in a once- or twice-a-year sale in Madison. I’ve gotten several gems from these sales in the past. But now they’ve moved their sales online, and in the process greatly expanded the items available. The pic to the right is the first Wisconsin State Capitol in my hometown, Belmont. Click on the pic to get your very own copy!

The Arts Make Money

June 15, 2007
Professional CommunityDevelopment
Ireland National/International Politics Photography Rural Issues
The Wisconsin Arts Board has come out with a new study showing the impact the arts have on local economies. According to the report, “in 2005, Wisconsin’s non-profit arts industry generated over 15,000 full-time jobs and $61,840,000 in state and local government revenue. Cumulatively, the arts contributed $418,055,786 in total economic activity.” The Wisconsin Arts Board hopes to use the report’s findings to improve public funding for the arts in Wisconsin.

Meal in a Wheat Field

June 12, 2007

Rural Issues
Our good friend Laura has been busy helping to organize a meal in a wheat field on Washington Island. The meal was held to launch a summer of culinary events at the Washington Hotel. The Hotel was involved in the return of wheat-growing to Washington Island, which has been a fantastic rural development initiative. I had the honor of handing the Washington Island folks their honorable mention award during Wisconsin Rural Partners’ Top Rural Development Initiatives award ceremony in 2006.

Flahavan's Oats Mill

May 30, 2007

Ireland Rural Issues
Last night we were treated to a tour of one of three working oats mills in Ireland, Flahavan’s in Kilmacthomas, about 20 miles from Tramore. The mill has been in the same location, owned by the same family, for over 200 years, though none of the original buildings survive. Flahavan’s own about 56% of the market for porridge oats in Ireland. Their staff of around 45 people produces rolled oats, cereals, flour and snack products, turning out 2-3 tons of product per hour.

A New, Urban World

May 25, 2007

Rural Issues
According to researchers at North Carolina State University and University of Georgia, as of May 23 the earth’s population is now more urban than rural. As the imbalance shifts even more towards urban, it’s going to become incredibly difficult for rural areas and people to bring their issues to the forefront. Story

Caregiving Co-ops

January 16, 2007

Rural Issues
My good friend Margaret Bau is doing some innovative work for USDA in Wisconsin helping groups to set up cooperatives for the purpose of providing home care to seniors. She’s currently got a great write-up on the Agri-View web site describing some of her projects.

Ceifin 2006

December 18, 2006
Ireland RuralIssues CommunityDevelopment Professional
Ireland Rural Issues
Shortly after we got to Ireland, we of course began haunting the local library. On my first trip there, I found a great book called Working Towards Balance that explored the changes in Irish society due to the booming economy. Reading the book, I learned that it was actually a collection of the papers presented at an annual conference in Ennis, Ireland. The conference is put on by an organization called The Ceifin Centre.