News Release
Release No.STELPRD4015872
ContactSamantha Evenson(701) 530-2043
FARGO, ND, Apr 17, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider today held the North Dakota 2.0 capstone event at the Radisson Hotel in Fargo. The summit is a culmination of meetings held across North Dakota to discuss the future direction of the state.

“North Dakota’s strong economic position gives us a unique opportunity to define our future, that’s the spirit behind ND 2.0,” Schneider said. “We need to be smart and strategic about making investments to ensure long-term economic success for our state.”

Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg, award-winning hosts of NPR’s Planet Money, kicked off the summit by concentrating on economic issues specifically addressing the challenges and opportunities of North Dakota’s economic prosperity. Paul von Ebers, President and CEO at Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND, also spoke to participants about the challenges in health care.

The summit incorporated an interactive segment where participants used remote controls to provide instant feedback on a wide range of topics. Afternoon break-out sessions were facilitated by statewide leaders from a variety of backgrounds. These sessions included: community development and enrichment facilitated by Linda Coates, Executive Director of the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra; housing and future challenges facilitated by Rocky Schneider, Public Affairs Director at the Home Builders Association of Fargo Moorhead; business and venture capital facilitated by James Burgum, Managing Director of Arthur Ventures; and infrastructure demands facilitated by Steve Burian, CEO of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services.

Introduced last fall in Bismarck, the ND 2.0 initiative received an overwhelmingly positive response and took to the road holding town style meetings in twelve different communities. After today’s summit, a report with results from all the meetings will be made available to the public.

Today’s summit was developed in cooperation with sponsors who include: USDA Rural Development, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, North Dakota Farmers Union, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, AARP, North Dakota Department of Commerce, Mortenson Construction, Sanford Health, NDSU Extension Service Center for Community Vitality, and The Consensus Council.

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