USDA to host first rural prosperity roundtable at Ripon College, Feb. 5

Anne Hazlett, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, will lead the first of several national Rural Prosperity Roundtables with federal, state and community leaders from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at Willmore Center at Ripon College. During 2018, Hazlett will be traveling to multiple rural communities in the United States to discuss job creation and business development — a national initiative to draw attention to rural America’s unique challenges and needs.

“Ripon College is very proud to host the first Rural Prosperity Roundtable in the nation. In a short period of time, it is clear that Willmore Center has become a national model of public-private partnership that can benefit a community,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “It is a great example of how the USDA, a private educational institution and the local business community can come together to lift all the economic boats.”

Willmore Center is a $23.5 million signature athletics, health and wellness facility on the Ripon College campus. It opened in August 2017, thanks in part to a $14.3 million long-term, low-interest loan from the USDA Rural Development Program and private donations.

Panelists include:

  • Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development
  • Frank Frassetto, State Director, WI Rural Development
  • Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah)
  • Allen Buechel, Fond du Lac County Executive
  • Zach Messitte, President of Ripon College
  • State Senator Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac 18th District)
  • Phil Stuart, CEO of Tomah Memorial Hospital
  • Cristina Danforth, CEO of Oneida Tribe Chairwoman and Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council Inc.
  • State Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah 70th Assembly District)

Gov. Scott Walker also has been invited to participate.

The panel is open to the public and members of the media.

Interested in attending? Please RSVP to Jessica Mancel at [email protected] by Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, at 5 p.m.


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