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CLIMATE
DIALOGUE
MORRIS
AREA
JUNE 2014
2
RURAL
CLIMATE
DIALOGUES
Rural communities are at-risk to be seriously affected by both the direct impacts of a changing climate
(e.g. extreme weather) and by efforts to mitigate those changes. This is especially true in considering
solutions and policies that increase energy, resource, or transportation costs.
At the same time, much of the “production” in climate-sensitive economies will occur in rural areas,
including through renewable energy deployment, reinvigorated local and regional food economies, and
changes to land use patterns. Rural communities will and must play an integral role in addressing climate
issues.
Despite this significance, rural communities have often been overlooked in climate conversations;
political debate and policy changes have tended to emphasize urban and suburban perspectives. In many
communities, incomplete information and limited public participation have prevented sound, publicly-
supported policy from emerging.
But it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Rural residents and communities can develop innovative solutions that respond to local and regional
challenges to remain vibrant and prosperous. Recent research has shown that 85 percent of rural
Minnesotans feel that people like themselves can make an impact and improve local quality of life; 75
percent believe their community can work together across differences.
Drawing on this resilient attitude, rural communities – in conjunction with the Jefferson Center and the
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy – are seeking to move conversations on climate change forward.
Climate Dialogues help rural communities think critically and plan strategically to address local challenges
related to weather and climate. To foster high-quality engagement, we use the time-tested Citizens
Jury method for community problem solving and leadership development. This approach—which brings
together a microcosm of the community to study an issue in-depth and generate a shared community
response—has consistently provided a productive, educational, and inclusive way to address complex,
divisive challenges.
The Morris Area Climate Dialogue is the first in a series of projects aimed at galvanizing rural citizens to
assert leadership and build resiliency in the face of extreme weather and changing climate conditions.
This Dialogue brought together a randomly selected but demographically balanced group of 15 citizens
from Stevens County in an intense, three-day moderated study and deliberation forum. They were
tasked with creating a shared, community-based response to changing weather conditions and extreme
weather events. Beyond that charge, the group was completely citizen-driven— no one told them what
to do or what to think. The panel had the liberty, information, and resources to produce their own
recommendations that respond to community needs, priorities, concerns, and values in order to maintain
and strengthen the resilience and prosperity of Stevens County. These recommendations will serve as a
starting point for community conversations on extreme weather and climate.
The Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, along with our local partners,
will work to widely publicize the event and engage panelists and community members inspired by the
conversation to work on these issues as local leaders. We’ll continue to support the community as they
work to implement citizen recommendations.
The Rural Climate Dialogues help develop and amplify an informed voice of the people so that regional,
state, and national policymakers can take their needs into account when developing climate policy.
Through the expansion of this project, we hope to build better climate change policy and stronger, civic-
minded communities across rural Minnesota.
3
DIALOGUE PROCESS
DAY 1
»» Panelists meet one another and discuss goals and expectations for the 3 days
»» Panelists engage in a simulation exercise as an introduction to the process of
assessing information and working together to achieve shared results
»» Panelists identify factors associated with community resilience
»» Panelists assess what makes a question “good” for getting clear and useful
information
»» Presentation on local extreme weather and climate conditions by Mark Seeley
(University of Minnesota Extension)
»» Determine the keys weather and climate facts from Mark Seeley’s presentation
DAY 2
»» Presentation by Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy on energy burdens
»» Panelist discussion of community values and concerns related to energy use and
energy poverty
»» Presentation by Mark Kulda (Insurance Federation of Minnesota) on extreme weather
and insurance
»» Presentation by Abdullah Jaradat (USDA Agricultural Research Service) on climate and
agriculture
»» Presentation by Blaine Hill (City of Morris) on local infrastructure concerns
»» Presentation by Bill Klyve of Otter Tail Power on energy and energy efficiency
»» Presentation by Troy Goodnough (University of Minnesota - Morris) on options to
strengthen resilience
DAY 3
»» Panelists identify and select top challenges
»» Panelists identify and select top opportunities
»» Panelists identify key fact, implications, and actions
»» Panelists write final statement in group editing process
Fifteen Stevens County citizens met at the West Central Research and Outreach Center
in Morris, Minnesota for 3 days, 8:30am to 5:00pm, starting Thursday, June 12th and
concluding Saturday, June 14th. Participants were randomly selected and stratified to
include a balanced representation of the Stevens County population. Participants were
paid $375 plus expenses for the three days.
The group was tasked with deciding how the Morris Area might best address extreme
weather and a changing climate in order to remain a healthy and prosperous
community. To respond to this charge, community panelists identified and prioritized
significant concerns to the long-term prosperity of the community, opportunities to
respond to those concerns, and individual and community actions to directly address
challenges or realize opportunities. Those challenges, opportunities, and actions, along
with other important outcomes from the three days, are highlighted in this report.
A detailed outline of the three day process is offered below.
4
STATEMENT FOR
OUR NEIGHBORS
KEY WEATHER AND CLIMATE FACTS
»» Minnesota has experienced more frequent than average weather-related disasters in
recent years.
»» Average temperatures have been increasing, particularly due to warmer winters and
higher minimum temperatures.
»» The trend in our community shows more precipitation overall, falling in more intense
precipitation events.
»» We have experienced more frequent periods with
“tropical-like” dew points, increasing humidity
and Heat Index values.
Climate change is happening and we need to adapt our behavior and infrastructure to
meet the challenges of our new world, which include extreme weather events, financial
difficulties, and long-term adverse effects on agriculture. Research, education, and
improvements are underway in the Morris area concerning extreme weather and climate
change; however, there seems to be a lack of communication between researchers and the
general public and policymakers. Climate change presents short- and long-term challenges
and opportunities for everyone. We must all participate to solve these issues. Education is
key.
Devastating weather is becoming more frequent in Stevens County. Increased living
expenses brought about by climate change and extreme weather, including food, clean
water, transportation, property damage, and energy costs currently, and will continue to,
adversely affect all members of the community, especially those with low or fixed-incomes.
Because of a lack of community awareness and underutilization of tools and resources,
community members need to be both educated on climate change and given tools they can
use to deal with its effects. Once again, education is key.
Change in average temperature from 1901-1960 period
to 1991-2012 period. Graphic by Jaime Chismar for
Minnesota Public Radio News. © 2015 Minnesota Public
Radio. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Data
source: National Climate Assessment
Graphic by Jaime
Chismar for Minnesota
Public Radio News.
© 2015 Minnesota
Public Radio. Used with
permission. All rights
reserved. Data source:
Minnesota DNR
5
TOP CONCERNS FOR THE MORRIS AREA
1.	 Changes in extreme weather and climate may raise energy and food costs, which
would disproportionately impact low-income households and elderly citizens living
on a fixed income.
•	 Extreme weather will add additional food and energy costs to people already strapped for
money.
•	 Lack of resources to heat and cool homes could cause illness and death.
•	 Costs of low-income people needing more public services will affect everyone.
•	 Increased prices could lead to shortages of necessary products.
•	 People may not be able to afford transportation to buy goods in other towns.
•	 Prolonged food shortages could lead to civil unrest.
2.	 Many community members are not aware of changes in extreme weather and
climate and actions they can take to address changes.
•	 The lack of education on these issues overall, particularly among public officials who are
responsible for advocating change to the general public, undermines the ability to make
changes.
•	 People are not aware of the personal impacts of these issues.
•	 A consistent message through the media will improve understanding of these issues.
3.	 Changes in extreme weather and climate patterns may negatively affect agriculture.
•	 The monoculture farming system is vulnerable due to changes in weather and climate patterns.
•	 Farms are not designed to withstand the consequences of soil erosion due to heavy rainfall 		
and extreme rainfall events.
6
TOP OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORRIS AREA
1.	 The Morris area can sustain and strengthen its agricultural economy.
•	 More diversity in farming may lead to new enterprises, manufacturing, and distribution.
•	 Sustainable agriculture means Morris will be taken care of in face of high global population
and food shortage.
•	 Strong, sustainable, marketable, and diverse agriculture is more attractive to younger
generations in terms of the careers they pursue.
NECESSARY ACTIONS:
»» Educating producers and lenders
»» Money pool to support new ventures
»» Encouraging farmers to use resources, like the Soils Lab, for new information
2.	 The Morris area community can utilize local expertise and resources to build a more
resilient community.
•	 Building and reinforcing community relationships through discussion and facing the issues
related to climate change.
•	 Involving social and local media and others in promoting sustainable and energy-efficient
practices and habits with messages and resources from UMM, USADA-ARS, and other
organizations in the Morris area.
NECESSARY ACTIONS:
»» Forming a group (volunteer or otherwise) that unifies and reflects various community
members and stakeholders on the issues
»» Father support from organizations to create such a group, to foster awareness, and
promote tools
»» Find funding and other resources needed to create and support such a group
3.	 The Morris area can strengthen its economy and address problems associated with
changes in extreme weather and climate.
•	 Diversify crops and create new markets.
•	 Opportunity to increase tax base which could be used for educational reforms, parks, and
facilities.
•	 More efficient use of water and electricity for farms, businesses, and homes.
NECESSARY ACTIONS:
»» Finding marketing options in and beyond Morris
»» Committing money and time for research to determine which crops are best for
diversification in our changing climate
7
For the full list of challenges, opportunities,
actions, and other resources, visit:
JEFFERSON-CENTER.ORG/MORRIS
RURALCLIMATENETWORK.ORG/CONTENT/
RURAL-CLIMATE-DIALOGUE-MORRIS-MN
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COMMUNITY ACTION
1.	 Assess your home for potential structural and energy-saving improvements
2.	 Encourage better construction in new homes, quality retrofitting of old
homes, and investment in energy-efficient appliances and alternative energy
sources
3.	 Use water channeling and drainage to control flooding, erosion, and, where
possible, capture water for other uses
4.	 Encourage and implement diversity in crops and crop rotation
5.	 Implement discussion of climate change into K-12 education
6.	Hold town meetings where government officials, agricultural producers,
utility providers, human services, and the public can generate and discuss
new ideas so voters and consumers can make more informed decisions
8
DEMOGRAPHIC
STEVENS
COUNTY
PERCENTAGE
IDEAL # OF
PARTICIPANTS
ACTUAL #
OF
PARTICIPANTS
GENDER
Female 50% 7-8 7
Male 50% 7-8 8
RACE/ETHNICITY
Caucasian/White 90% 13 11
Persons of Color/Multiracial 10% 2 4
PARTY AFFILIATION
Democrat 35% 5 7
No Party, Other 37% 6 5
Republican 28% 4 3
AGE
18-39 40% 5-6 4
40-64 40% 5-6 6
65 & over 20% 4 5
EDUCATION
Less than High School 8% 1 1
High School or GED 52% 7-8 5
Associate’s/Bachelor’s 30% 4-5 5
Graduate degree 10% 1-2 4
TOTAL NUMBER OF
PARTICIPANTS
100% 18 18
Invitations to participate in the Morris Area Climate Dialogue were sent to 3,300
randomly selected households in Stevens County. Interested citizens completed
a questionnaire with demographic information and were then added to a pool of
potential panelists. 15 panelists were selected from that pool, chosen anonymously to
match the demographics, as near as possible, of Stevens county.
PANELIST DEMOGRAPHICS
9
PANELIST PERSPECTIVES
“It was really a learning
experience for myself. I did
not grow up in a rural area.
I’ve lived here for a few years
but I’ve not been in touch with
the rural area. I think I’ll be
a bit more active and learn a
little bit more in the future as
a result of that. The overall
experience was wonderful and
the people were great.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I thought it’d be a bunch of
people who were very adamant
about this topic and would want
to get together and “hurrah”
about it. I was very impressed
with this group’s ability to
come together as community
members, as neighbors, and talk
about these things in an open,
civil, and friendly manner.”
“I have to admit when I came here when people talked
about climate [change] I thought ‘oh, come on’ - did I ever
learn a lot. I am grateful.”
“We talk about liberal-this
conservative-that, republicans-
this democrats-that, at the
end of the day we are our
government. We are the ones
responsible for making these
decisions...I’m thrilled and
honored to be a part of a
process that reminds me
why this grand [democratic]
experiment continues. And
it’s not been perfect, and it
will not be perfect, but we
can always make it better,
and things like this are a
start. Thank you for the
opportunity.”
10
The Jefferson Center is a nonpartisan organization committed to strengthening
democracy by advancing informed, citizen-led solutions to challenging public issues
through deliberation and community action. We’re collaborating with governments,
nonprofits, and others to unleash the power of citizens and solve today’s toughest
challenges.Wefocusonbuildingpowerfulcoalitions,creatingmeaningfulopportunities
for education and public deliberation, and empowering citizen-led action.
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy is a Minnesota-based nonprofit
working locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair
and sustainable food, farm and trade systems and to foster vibrant, prosperous rural
communities. We support rural communities through research, market development,
and policy advocacy to address local challenges, including issues associated with
extreme weather and a changing climate.
The Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy are in the
process of identifying communities across Minnesota for future Climate Dialogues. If
you are interested in hosting a Dialogue in your community, or would like to receive
additional information, please contact:
Andrew Rockway at arockway@jefferson-center.org / 651-209-7672
Anna Claussen at aclaussen@iatp.org / 612-870-3423
Hosting a Climate Dialogue requires significant engagement with community
members months prior to the event in order to identify issues of principal concern,
engage local and regional experts, work with community institutions to develop
information sources, and determine community receptivity among policymakers and
the general public to incorporate Dialogue findings into community planning efforts.
INTERESTED IN YOUR OWN CLIMATE DIALOGUE?
JEFFERSON-CENTER.ORG
@JEFFERSONCTR
HELLO@JEFFERSON-CENTER.ORG
IATP.ORG
@IATP
ACLAUSSEN@IATP.ORG

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Rural Climate Dialogues: Morris

  • 2. 2 RURAL CLIMATE DIALOGUES Rural communities are at-risk to be seriously affected by both the direct impacts of a changing climate (e.g. extreme weather) and by efforts to mitigate those changes. This is especially true in considering solutions and policies that increase energy, resource, or transportation costs. At the same time, much of the “production” in climate-sensitive economies will occur in rural areas, including through renewable energy deployment, reinvigorated local and regional food economies, and changes to land use patterns. Rural communities will and must play an integral role in addressing climate issues. Despite this significance, rural communities have often been overlooked in climate conversations; political debate and policy changes have tended to emphasize urban and suburban perspectives. In many communities, incomplete information and limited public participation have prevented sound, publicly- supported policy from emerging. But it doesn’t have to stay this way. Rural residents and communities can develop innovative solutions that respond to local and regional challenges to remain vibrant and prosperous. Recent research has shown that 85 percent of rural Minnesotans feel that people like themselves can make an impact and improve local quality of life; 75 percent believe their community can work together across differences. Drawing on this resilient attitude, rural communities – in conjunction with the Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy – are seeking to move conversations on climate change forward. Climate Dialogues help rural communities think critically and plan strategically to address local challenges related to weather and climate. To foster high-quality engagement, we use the time-tested Citizens Jury method for community problem solving and leadership development. This approach—which brings together a microcosm of the community to study an issue in-depth and generate a shared community response—has consistently provided a productive, educational, and inclusive way to address complex, divisive challenges. The Morris Area Climate Dialogue is the first in a series of projects aimed at galvanizing rural citizens to assert leadership and build resiliency in the face of extreme weather and changing climate conditions. This Dialogue brought together a randomly selected but demographically balanced group of 15 citizens from Stevens County in an intense, three-day moderated study and deliberation forum. They were tasked with creating a shared, community-based response to changing weather conditions and extreme weather events. Beyond that charge, the group was completely citizen-driven— no one told them what to do or what to think. The panel had the liberty, information, and resources to produce their own recommendations that respond to community needs, priorities, concerns, and values in order to maintain and strengthen the resilience and prosperity of Stevens County. These recommendations will serve as a starting point for community conversations on extreme weather and climate. The Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, along with our local partners, will work to widely publicize the event and engage panelists and community members inspired by the conversation to work on these issues as local leaders. We’ll continue to support the community as they work to implement citizen recommendations. The Rural Climate Dialogues help develop and amplify an informed voice of the people so that regional, state, and national policymakers can take their needs into account when developing climate policy. Through the expansion of this project, we hope to build better climate change policy and stronger, civic- minded communities across rural Minnesota.
  • 3. 3 DIALOGUE PROCESS DAY 1 »» Panelists meet one another and discuss goals and expectations for the 3 days »» Panelists engage in a simulation exercise as an introduction to the process of assessing information and working together to achieve shared results »» Panelists identify factors associated with community resilience »» Panelists assess what makes a question “good” for getting clear and useful information »» Presentation on local extreme weather and climate conditions by Mark Seeley (University of Minnesota Extension) »» Determine the keys weather and climate facts from Mark Seeley’s presentation DAY 2 »» Presentation by Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy on energy burdens »» Panelist discussion of community values and concerns related to energy use and energy poverty »» Presentation by Mark Kulda (Insurance Federation of Minnesota) on extreme weather and insurance »» Presentation by Abdullah Jaradat (USDA Agricultural Research Service) on climate and agriculture »» Presentation by Blaine Hill (City of Morris) on local infrastructure concerns »» Presentation by Bill Klyve of Otter Tail Power on energy and energy efficiency »» Presentation by Troy Goodnough (University of Minnesota - Morris) on options to strengthen resilience DAY 3 »» Panelists identify and select top challenges »» Panelists identify and select top opportunities »» Panelists identify key fact, implications, and actions »» Panelists write final statement in group editing process Fifteen Stevens County citizens met at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minnesota for 3 days, 8:30am to 5:00pm, starting Thursday, June 12th and concluding Saturday, June 14th. Participants were randomly selected and stratified to include a balanced representation of the Stevens County population. Participants were paid $375 plus expenses for the three days. The group was tasked with deciding how the Morris Area might best address extreme weather and a changing climate in order to remain a healthy and prosperous community. To respond to this charge, community panelists identified and prioritized significant concerns to the long-term prosperity of the community, opportunities to respond to those concerns, and individual and community actions to directly address challenges or realize opportunities. Those challenges, opportunities, and actions, along with other important outcomes from the three days, are highlighted in this report. A detailed outline of the three day process is offered below.
  • 4. 4 STATEMENT FOR OUR NEIGHBORS KEY WEATHER AND CLIMATE FACTS »» Minnesota has experienced more frequent than average weather-related disasters in recent years. »» Average temperatures have been increasing, particularly due to warmer winters and higher minimum temperatures. »» The trend in our community shows more precipitation overall, falling in more intense precipitation events. »» We have experienced more frequent periods with “tropical-like” dew points, increasing humidity and Heat Index values. Climate change is happening and we need to adapt our behavior and infrastructure to meet the challenges of our new world, which include extreme weather events, financial difficulties, and long-term adverse effects on agriculture. Research, education, and improvements are underway in the Morris area concerning extreme weather and climate change; however, there seems to be a lack of communication between researchers and the general public and policymakers. Climate change presents short- and long-term challenges and opportunities for everyone. We must all participate to solve these issues. Education is key. Devastating weather is becoming more frequent in Stevens County. Increased living expenses brought about by climate change and extreme weather, including food, clean water, transportation, property damage, and energy costs currently, and will continue to, adversely affect all members of the community, especially those with low or fixed-incomes. Because of a lack of community awareness and underutilization of tools and resources, community members need to be both educated on climate change and given tools they can use to deal with its effects. Once again, education is key. Change in average temperature from 1901-1960 period to 1991-2012 period. Graphic by Jaime Chismar for Minnesota Public Radio News. © 2015 Minnesota Public Radio. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Data source: National Climate Assessment Graphic by Jaime Chismar for Minnesota Public Radio News. © 2015 Minnesota Public Radio. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Data source: Minnesota DNR
  • 5. 5 TOP CONCERNS FOR THE MORRIS AREA 1. Changes in extreme weather and climate may raise energy and food costs, which would disproportionately impact low-income households and elderly citizens living on a fixed income. • Extreme weather will add additional food and energy costs to people already strapped for money. • Lack of resources to heat and cool homes could cause illness and death. • Costs of low-income people needing more public services will affect everyone. • Increased prices could lead to shortages of necessary products. • People may not be able to afford transportation to buy goods in other towns. • Prolonged food shortages could lead to civil unrest. 2. Many community members are not aware of changes in extreme weather and climate and actions they can take to address changes. • The lack of education on these issues overall, particularly among public officials who are responsible for advocating change to the general public, undermines the ability to make changes. • People are not aware of the personal impacts of these issues. • A consistent message through the media will improve understanding of these issues. 3. Changes in extreme weather and climate patterns may negatively affect agriculture. • The monoculture farming system is vulnerable due to changes in weather and climate patterns. • Farms are not designed to withstand the consequences of soil erosion due to heavy rainfall and extreme rainfall events.
  • 6. 6 TOP OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORRIS AREA 1. The Morris area can sustain and strengthen its agricultural economy. • More diversity in farming may lead to new enterprises, manufacturing, and distribution. • Sustainable agriculture means Morris will be taken care of in face of high global population and food shortage. • Strong, sustainable, marketable, and diverse agriculture is more attractive to younger generations in terms of the careers they pursue. NECESSARY ACTIONS: »» Educating producers and lenders »» Money pool to support new ventures »» Encouraging farmers to use resources, like the Soils Lab, for new information 2. The Morris area community can utilize local expertise and resources to build a more resilient community. • Building and reinforcing community relationships through discussion and facing the issues related to climate change. • Involving social and local media and others in promoting sustainable and energy-efficient practices and habits with messages and resources from UMM, USADA-ARS, and other organizations in the Morris area. NECESSARY ACTIONS: »» Forming a group (volunteer or otherwise) that unifies and reflects various community members and stakeholders on the issues »» Father support from organizations to create such a group, to foster awareness, and promote tools »» Find funding and other resources needed to create and support such a group 3. The Morris area can strengthen its economy and address problems associated with changes in extreme weather and climate. • Diversify crops and create new markets. • Opportunity to increase tax base which could be used for educational reforms, parks, and facilities. • More efficient use of water and electricity for farms, businesses, and homes. NECESSARY ACTIONS: »» Finding marketing options in and beyond Morris »» Committing money and time for research to determine which crops are best for diversification in our changing climate
  • 7. 7 For the full list of challenges, opportunities, actions, and other resources, visit: JEFFERSON-CENTER.ORG/MORRIS RURALCLIMATENETWORK.ORG/CONTENT/ RURAL-CLIMATE-DIALOGUE-MORRIS-MN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COMMUNITY ACTION 1. Assess your home for potential structural and energy-saving improvements 2. Encourage better construction in new homes, quality retrofitting of old homes, and investment in energy-efficient appliances and alternative energy sources 3. Use water channeling and drainage to control flooding, erosion, and, where possible, capture water for other uses 4. Encourage and implement diversity in crops and crop rotation 5. Implement discussion of climate change into K-12 education 6. Hold town meetings where government officials, agricultural producers, utility providers, human services, and the public can generate and discuss new ideas so voters and consumers can make more informed decisions
  • 8. 8 DEMOGRAPHIC STEVENS COUNTY PERCENTAGE IDEAL # OF PARTICIPANTS ACTUAL # OF PARTICIPANTS GENDER Female 50% 7-8 7 Male 50% 7-8 8 RACE/ETHNICITY Caucasian/White 90% 13 11 Persons of Color/Multiracial 10% 2 4 PARTY AFFILIATION Democrat 35% 5 7 No Party, Other 37% 6 5 Republican 28% 4 3 AGE 18-39 40% 5-6 4 40-64 40% 5-6 6 65 & over 20% 4 5 EDUCATION Less than High School 8% 1 1 High School or GED 52% 7-8 5 Associate’s/Bachelor’s 30% 4-5 5 Graduate degree 10% 1-2 4 TOTAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS 100% 18 18 Invitations to participate in the Morris Area Climate Dialogue were sent to 3,300 randomly selected households in Stevens County. Interested citizens completed a questionnaire with demographic information and were then added to a pool of potential panelists. 15 panelists were selected from that pool, chosen anonymously to match the demographics, as near as possible, of Stevens county. PANELIST DEMOGRAPHICS
  • 9. 9 PANELIST PERSPECTIVES “It was really a learning experience for myself. I did not grow up in a rural area. I’ve lived here for a few years but I’ve not been in touch with the rural area. I think I’ll be a bit more active and learn a little bit more in the future as a result of that. The overall experience was wonderful and the people were great.” “I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it’d be a bunch of people who were very adamant about this topic and would want to get together and “hurrah” about it. I was very impressed with this group’s ability to come together as community members, as neighbors, and talk about these things in an open, civil, and friendly manner.” “I have to admit when I came here when people talked about climate [change] I thought ‘oh, come on’ - did I ever learn a lot. I am grateful.” “We talk about liberal-this conservative-that, republicans- this democrats-that, at the end of the day we are our government. We are the ones responsible for making these decisions...I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of a process that reminds me why this grand [democratic] experiment continues. And it’s not been perfect, and it will not be perfect, but we can always make it better, and things like this are a start. Thank you for the opportunity.”
  • 10. 10 The Jefferson Center is a nonpartisan organization committed to strengthening democracy by advancing informed, citizen-led solutions to challenging public issues through deliberation and community action. We’re collaborating with governments, nonprofits, and others to unleash the power of citizens and solve today’s toughest challenges.Wefocusonbuildingpowerfulcoalitions,creatingmeaningfulopportunities for education and public deliberation, and empowering citizen-led action. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy is a Minnesota-based nonprofit working locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems and to foster vibrant, prosperous rural communities. We support rural communities through research, market development, and policy advocacy to address local challenges, including issues associated with extreme weather and a changing climate. The Jefferson Center and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy are in the process of identifying communities across Minnesota for future Climate Dialogues. If you are interested in hosting a Dialogue in your community, or would like to receive additional information, please contact: Andrew Rockway at arockway@jefferson-center.org / 651-209-7672 Anna Claussen at aclaussen@iatp.org / 612-870-3423 Hosting a Climate Dialogue requires significant engagement with community members months prior to the event in order to identify issues of principal concern, engage local and regional experts, work with community institutions to develop information sources, and determine community receptivity among policymakers and the general public to incorporate Dialogue findings into community planning efforts. INTERESTED IN YOUR OWN CLIMATE DIALOGUE? JEFFERSON-CENTER.ORG @JEFFERSONCTR HELLO@JEFFERSON-CENTER.ORG IATP.ORG @IATP ACLAUSSEN@IATP.ORG