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Commissioners on Wheels Set for Sept. 7-9

State agency leaders will visit 11 communities to highlight investments in water, energy, agriculture innovation in Greater Minnesota

9/1/2016 10:16:29 AM

Monte Hanson, 651-259-7149
Monte.Hanson@state.mn.us

ST. PAUL – Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and state agency commissioners will visit communities and businesses in western and southwestern Minnesota during a three-day bus tour next week.

The fourth annual Commissioners on Wheels tour, scheduled for Sept. 7-9, will focus on issues and investments related to water, energy and agriculture in Greater Minnesota. The trip will include stops in 11 communities: Worthington, Luverne, Pipestone, Marshall, Granite Falls, Willmar, Benson, Morris, Graceville, Wheaton and Moorhead.

Lt. Gov. Smith will participate in the first day of the tour on Wednesday, joining commissioners on a visit to Prairie Holdings Group in Worthington and leading a roundtable discussion on the agricultural biotech industry. The visit and roundtable, scheduled for 8:45 to 10:15 a.m., are open to the media.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lt. Gov. Smith and commissioners will meet with tribal leaders from the Upper Sioux Indian Community and tour the Granite Falls Upper Sioux Wastewater Plant.

Among the goals of the trip is to increase awareness of Minnesota Business First Stop, which Gov. Mark Dayton created in 2012 to help businesses cut through red tape when working with state agencies. Minnesota Business First Stop streamlines the process for financing, licensing, permitting, technical assistance and other resources that state agencies provide to businesses.

Commissioners will visit a number of businesses and locations over the three days, including Schwan Food Co. in Marshall, MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar, Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. in Benson and American Crystal Sugar Co. in Moorhead. Those and other tour stops were chosen because of their innovative practices related to the tour theme of water, energy or agriculture.

The commissioners also will meet with local business leaders, officials and residents to discuss issues related to water, energy and agriculture and to promote business opportunities for growth in those industries.

The nine state agencies with representatives on the trip are partners in Minnesota Business First Stop, with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) serving as the lead agency.

"Minnesota Business First Stop connects businesses with the right people at the right agencies," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "This cross-agency initiative offers assistance with large and complex business projects in Minnesota."

Commissioner Hardy will be joined on the trip by leaders from the following state agencies:

Dave Frederickson, commissioner, Department of Agriculture
John Linc Stine, commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Tom Landwehr, commissioner, Department of Natural Resources
Mark Phillips, commissioner, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board
Cynthia Bauerly, commissioner, Department of Revenue
Ken Peterson, commissioner, Department of Labor and Industry
Mike Rothman, commissioner, Department of Commerce
Minnesota Department of Transportation

More details about Minnesota Business First Stop are here.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

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Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.

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