Grow Our Own Summit Details


Supporting all southwest Minnesota kids and the communities they call home

Online registration has closed. Walk-in registrations will be available Thursday morning from 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m. 

Media inquiries contact Communications Director Karen Grasmon at 320-587-4848.

Thursday, Dec. 15
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lunch provided. Networking reception to follow.

Southwest Minnesota State University
Recreation/Athletic Facility

Marshall, Minnesota

Driving Directions

Campus Map

Thursday Agenda 

PLEASE ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR PARKING AND CHECK-IN. We have over 500 attendees. Carpooling is strongly encouraged to help with campus traffic. 
Parking permits are NOT required on campus Dec. 15.

Shuttles will run in the SMSU parking lots from 7-9 a.m. They will run from the east lots, Mustang Drive and north loop, transporting guests to the RA Facility entrance.

  • Parking is available in RA Parking Lot and BA/PE Lot near the RA Facility.
  • Street parking is available along Mustang Trail.
  • Additional parking lots on the east side of campus are also available in Parking Lot A1 and A2, with entry into the Student Center and an indoor walk to the RA Facility. Signage and staff will help guide you through the buildings.
  • BUSES or group transport should follow Mustang Trail from the southwest corner of campus to the RA Facility and drop off guests at the main entrance, then follow Mustang Trail to Stadium Drive and Parking Lot B3 on the northeast corner of campus.

Event Overview
Did you know that one in six southwest Minnesota kids lives in poverty? These kids are our future employees, community leaders, homeowners, volunteers and taxpayers. We believe that our region’s economy depends on their success.

Join the Southwest Initiative Foundation as we launch into a new era of our regional work, focused on supporting all southwest Minnesota kids and the communities they call home. During the summit, you’ll become educated and inspired to take action that will benefit your own business, organization, school, community or family.

Who should attend?
Employers and business leaders; elected officials; civic, community and nonprofit leaders; educators; and interested individuals are encouraged to attend.

Certificates for six clock hours will be available to participants.

We feel this is a message southwest Minnesotans need to hear so registration is just $20 and includes lunch and refreshments. We don’t want cost or travel arrangements to be a barrier to attendance, so scholarships will be available.


Complete Agenda 

  • Keynote and Q&A – Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam, Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University
  • Plenary – The Opportunity Gap in Our Region by Beth Mattingly, Director of Research on Vulnerable Families at the Carsey School of Public Policy
  • Plenary – Equity is the Superior Economic Growth Strategy by Kevin Walker, President & CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation
  • Panel discussion – Cradle to Career with Melvin Carter, Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, Officer of Governor Mark Dayton & Lt. Governor Tina Smith; Janet Topolsky, The Aspen Institute; Kathleen Moxon, YouthBuild USA.

Contact us at 320-587-4848.

Outreach Committee members can access their private webpage here.


The Grow Our Own Summit is sponsored in part by:

Bush Foundation logo



Southwest Minnesota State University




Pioneer Public Television





Heroic logo

@2017 Southwest Initiative Foundation, an equal opportunity provider and employer.

15 3rd Avenue NW
Hutchinson, MN 55350
(320) 587-4848 (Local)
(800) 594-9480 (Toll Free)
(320) 587-3838 (Fax)


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