J and J's water cooler talkJIM:  Hey, John. Just got a note from a woman wanting to know how we could get Bed, Bath & Beyond to the area. This reminds me of the other requests that we get Trader Joe's and Costco to come to town. While there’s a lot we can offer, those kind of decisions rest with corporations themselves using metrics that – in some cases – keep us out of the hunt.

CELEBRATING  NATIONAL  AG  WEEKGreenSeam “National Ag Week” is being celebrated March 13-19 all across the United States, as well as in Minnesota, with Tuesday, March 15, being designated as “National Ag Day”. As we celebrate “National Ag Week”, it is a good time to reflect on all the traditions and advancements that help make the U.S. and Minnesota agriculture industry truly remarkable.

jim-john-2015-sqaure-for-webJim Santori is the New Business Development Director at أكبر نمو مانكاتو (GMG).  John Considine is the Director of Regional Business Intelligence at GMG.  They work together to grow the regional business marketplace.JOHN: So Jim, Old Town is going through a planning process that will likely shape it’s future for the next several decades.  I think it’s exciting, but I’m an urban planning geek.  You’re a former news guy, so does this type of community activity bring out any “inner-geek” for you? 

[caption id="attachment_1770" align="alignleft" width="415"]mn-capitol-with-flowers_mainthumb Photo Credit: MinnPost[/caption]The Minnesota Legislature gavels into session today. They face a short 11 weeks to tackle significant policy priorities before they must adjourn on May 23rd. The big news is that the Legislature has a surplus of $900 million, lower than last year's originally projected $1.2 billion. Legislative leaders and the Governor have been taking positions regarding a variety of uses of those funds, though planned tax and transportation bills could consume much, if not all, of that surplus squeezing out other proposed spending.And this will all play out against the backdrop of elections that are less than a year away that will see each of the state’s 201 legislative seats in the House and Senate up for grabs. Read on for highlights on key issues. Be sure to check back on our blog page for continuing updates throughout the legislative session.Also, be sure to register to participate in this year's Greater Mankato at the Capitol on March 30. This event will be a great opportunity to help raise our community's visibility with state leaders and get engaged on issues that are important to you and your business.

In May of 2014, the NFL awarded Minnesota the 52nd Super Bowl.  The game itself will be played in U.S. Bank Stadium, however the event will stretch out across the entire state.  The vision of Super Bowl LII Executive Board is being developed now.  The Executive Board is made up of Governor Mark Dayton, Zygi Wilf (Minnesota Vikings), Mark Wilf (Minnesota Vikings), Richard Davis (U.S. Bancorp), Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Carlson Companies), Doug Baker (Ecolab), Lester Bagley (Minnesota Vikings), Michael Langley (Greater MSP).The Super Bowl, in terms of an event, is a 10 day festival with millions of guests.  There are