Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

Resource Library

Final Report: Formulating a Sustainable Economic Development Process for Rural America

This report documents outcomes by sector of WealthWorks implementation on the ground in Central Appalachia, the South, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  It also includes lessons learned over the last year and a half of the eight year Wealth Creation…


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Yellow Wood Notes, Summer 2015

Yellow Wood in Transition; Update on Our Work; WealthWorks; Presentations; Measurement; Staffing News; Reading & Watching


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Formalizing Your Business: A WealthWorks Guide for Coordinators and Coaches

This guide is one of two pieces written to assist WealthWorks value chain coordinators or coaches in working with businesses and demand partners that are part of WealthWorks value chains. This guide is designed to walk readers through one of the most…


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WealthWorks Value Chain Business Law Guide: A WealthWorks Guide for Coordinators and Coaches

This guide is one of two pieces written to assist WealthWorks value chain coordinators or coaches in working with businesses and demand partners that are part of WealthWorks value chains. This guide is written to assist WealthWorks coordinators, coaches,…


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Forestry and Wood Products Sector Survey: Summary of Findings

Vermont’s Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) is engaged in a project to provide a systems analysis of the forestry and wood products industry in Vermont. Yellow Wood Associates is working with the Forestry Subcommittee (composed of both WLEB and…


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WealthWorks for Building Rural Economies

WealthWorks is an approach bridging community and economic development to build multiple forms of community wealth, resilience, and local ownership. This webinar provides a short overview for newcomers to the approach, followed by a focus on issues…


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Becoming a Measurement Guide: Training Brochure

Twice a year, Yellow Wood Associates, Inc., of St. Albans, VT, offers professionals with facilitation skills the opportunity to learn how to deliver You Get What You Measure®. In development and use for over fifteen years, You Get What You Measure®…


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WealthWorks Training for Coaches and Coordinators: Application

WealthWorks is a 21st-century approach that belongs in every community and economic development toolkit. WealthWorks is inclusive, bringing together and connecting community assets to meet market demand in ways that build lasting livelihoods and upward…


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WealthWorks Training for Coaches and Coordinators: Brochure

This brochure provides an overview of the WealthWorks Training for Coaches and Coordinators. WealthWorks is a 21st-century approach that belongs in every community and economic development toolkit. WealthWorks is inclusive, bringing together and connecting…


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Yellow Wood Notes, Spring 2015

Update on Our Work; Measurement News; Tool: Value Propositions as a Collaboration Tool; WealthWorks; Staffing News; Reading & Watching


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Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center Learning Journey Details

Through the support of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, the Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center facilitated a trip to Western North Carolina to study the arts economy and creative placemaking in the region. This report provides a summary…


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Fossil-Free Investment for a Just Appalachian Transition: Obstacles and Opportunities

This paper by the Croatan Institute was commissioned by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). The paper addresses the effect that the growing movement for divestment from fossil fuels and investment in more sustainable…


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WealthWorks for Your Region: An Introduction. Module 3: Construct a WealthWorks Value Chain

This module profiles the elements and design objectives of a WealthWorks value chain—and how to use them to build wealth that lasts.


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WealthWorks for Your Region: An Introduction. Module 2: Identify a Market Opportunity

This module offers a series of useful screens for spotting a market opportunity that has good potential to generate wealth-building results for a region.


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WealthWorks for Your Region: An Introduction. Module 1: Explore Regional Wealth Building

This module defines wealth building as a goal that reaches beyond standard community and economic development objectives, and why that difference is critical to advancing and sustaining regional economies.


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Community Development v.45, i.5, Special Issue: Rural Wealth Creation as a Sustainable Economic Development Strategy

Many rural areas in the United States find themselves struggling to build local assets and create wealth. They often struggle to hold on to the wealth that is created within their boundaries. Conventional approaches to community and economic development…


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Rural Wealth Creation

This textbook investigates the role of wealth in achieving sustainable rural economic development. Published by Routledge and edited by John L. Pender, Bruce A. Weber, Thomas G. Johnson, and J. Matthew Fannin.


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Local Economy Journal v.29, n.4-5, “Linking rural assets to market demand: Wealth creation value chains in rural America”

Rural regions across the United States have struggled to implement economic development strategies that build local assets and create wealth that contributes to sustained prosperity. This article describes a systems framework that enables rural areas…


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Hinesburg Economic Development Plan Workshop Summary

This document summarizes a community workshop coordinated by the Hinesburg Economic Development Commission. The community workshop brought together community members to identify strategic leverage points to build the foundation of the Economic Development…


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Private Sector Engagement Toolkit

The Private Sector Engagement Toolkit helps users think about how they will connect with the demand side of the markets they are in. The Toolkit is designed to help WealthWorks value chain coordinators as well as individual businesses within a value…


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The Actual and Potential Economic Impact of Invasive Species on the Adirondack Park: A Preliminary Assessment

This report explores the economic impacts of invasive species on specific sectors of the Adirondack Park’s economy. This first-of-its-kind assessment for the Adirondacks analyzes actual and potential impacts of eight invasive species, summarizes expenditures…


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The Actual and Potential Economic Impact of Invasive Species on the Adirondack Park: A Preliminary Assessment: Executive Summary

The report “The Actual and Potential Economic Impact of Invasive Species on the Adirondack Park: A Preliminary Assessment: Executive Summary” explores the economic impacts of invasive species on specific sectors of the Adirondack Park’s economy. This…


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Building Rural Wealth Through Inclusive Business: a Primer on Private Sector Engagement for Community Impact

The final report from the Red Mantra Group on Building Wealth Through Inclusive Business is now available. Inclusive Business is an approach to economic development in which one or more large corporations are the primary demand partners. For corporations…


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Strategic Planning, Measurement and Evaluation Using “You Get What You Measure®”

This presentation, from the workshop titled Strategic Planning, Measurement and Evaluation Using “You Get What You Measure®,” was presented by Melissa Levy at the 2014 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference.


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Exploring Common Measures for Food Hubs: Documenting Impact, Sharing Stories, Connecting with Stakeholders

This draft report is a product of a study supported by the Wallace Center and the National Good Food Network. The study explored how a set of common measures might assist food hubs and the food hub community in telling their stories and improving their…


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Enterprise Financing for WealthWorks Value Chains: Overview and Guide

As part of WealthWorks, the Accelerating Impact project is aimed at articulating the role of finance in supporting WealthWorks value chains in rural areas.Over two years, this project of the Tellus Institute has worked with ten projects on the ground…


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Food Value Chains: Creating Shared Value to Enhance Marketing Success

The report describes how food value chains work, how to structure them for optimal performance, and what challenges they face. The report is designed to help individuals and organizations interested in exploring food value chains as a distribution…


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Case Study: Building an Agriculture Strategy

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work with Goody Clancy and the Town of Mansfield to develop an agricultural strategy for the Town of Mansfield as part of their updated Plan of Conservation and Development.


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Innovative Strategies that Support Rural Communities

This presentation on WealthWorks and WealthWorks value chains was made as part of a panel at the National Reinvestment Coalition 2014 Annual Conference.


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Measures that Matter

Attendees learned how food hubs have used You Get What You Measure®, a systems-based analysis to identify their priority measures that will tell them if they are making progress towards their goals.  The first part of the session shared examples of…


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Finding Common Measures for the Nation's Food Hubs

In an effort to develop a  common set of metrics for food hubs to track the contributions they are making at the community level, the Wallace Center partnered with Yellow Wood Associates to research four potential common measures: 1) food access; 2)…


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Rural Research Report v.24 i.1: Connecting Community Assets with Market Demand for Lasting Livelihoods

This paper, featured in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs’ Rural Research Report (Spring 2014, Volume 24, Issue 1), provides an overview of the WealthWorks approach and its tools, including the WealthWorks value chain construct and the wealth…


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Financing the Evolving Role of the Value Chain Coordinator: Guiding Questions, Participant Insights

This report explores what we have learned about the roles value chain coordinators play in WealthWorks, how those roles may evolve, and various options for financing the coordinator role which is so essential to exploring and constructing WealthWorks…


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Guide to Crowdfunding for WealthWorks Value Chains: Understanding Options, Getting Started

This report was produced as part of a project to explore financing options for WealthWorks value chains. It describes crowdfunding and how it works, gives examples of different platforms and successful campaigns, and provides a step by step guide to…


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You Get What You Measure: Public Workshops

Join us for public workshops that provide an introduction to Yellow Wood’s unique approach to strategic planning and measurement, You Get What You Measure®. The approach integrates systems thinking to identify key leverage indicators, and aligns actions…


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Yellow Wood Notes, Summer 2014

Update on Our Work; Measurement News; WealthWorks; Mapping the Strength of Your Region's Capitals; Conferences and Presentations


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Community Development v.44, i.5, “Shared measures to achieve shared outcomes: lessons from Central Appalachia”

This paper introduces a wealth creation approach to development, and describes how the Central Appalachian Network has used an outcome-based measurement process to define and measure progress toward shared goals for seven forms of community wealth.…


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Citizen-Led Sustainable Change - Case Study: Rural Action, Ohio

In connection with the 2013 forum on Citizen-Led Sustainable Change held on the St. Francis Xavier University campus, Alison Mathie produced a case study on Rural Action, titled “From the fringe to the mainstream: Rural Action’s pursuit of a sustainable…


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Citizen-Led Sustainable Change - Case Study: The Deep South Wealth Creation Network, Mississippi and Alabama

In connection with the 2013 forum on Citizen-Led Sustainable Change held on the St. Francis Xavier University campus, Phil Davison produced a case study on the Deep South Wealth Creation Network, titled “The Deep South Wealth Creation Network,Mississippi…


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Want to Know How Wealth Works? A Training for Coaches and Coordinators

This webinar offered participants a preview of the WealthWorks Training for Coaches and Coordinators.  Training facilitators shared the approach to the training and the expected outcomes. Participants were able to ask questions and explore how this…


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Demand for Nature Based Tourism in the Lower Mississippi River Region

This report, prepared for the Walton Family Foundation, analyzes regional demand for nature based tourism.  The report focuses on four types of tourism: Paddling, Culture and Heritage, Non-consumptive and Consumptive Wildlife Activities.  In addition…


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Enhancing the Local Impact of Community Banks

The Wealth Creation Clinic partnered with Presidio Bank, a progressive regional bank in San Francisco, to examine a key question for community banking: In a competitive environment, how can small banks be a more positive force for local community development,…


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Assessing Impacts of Value Chain Development on Poverty: A Case-Study Companion to the 5Capitals Tool

These case studies supplement the 5Capitals tool developed by CATIE.  Five case studies were selected, with a geographical spread and a focus on different, crops, target markets and beneficiaries: Nicaragua - certified coffee; Colombia - fresh fruits…


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Case Study: Outcome Funding Evaluation for NESARE

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work with the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE) to assess the impact of an outcome funding framework on principal investigators and beneficiaries of projects funded by NESARE.


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Case Study: Sustainable Water Management

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work with the West Central Initiative to help small Minnesota communities meet their water-related needs in a cost effective manner while protecting water resource quality.


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Case Study: Value-Added Agriculture Feasibility Study

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work with Suri Paco LLC to assess the feasibility of an alpaca fiber mid-tier value chain to aggregate and process alpaca fiber into a range of value-added products that make use of all grades of fiber produced…


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Case Study: Increasing the Use of Sustainable Wood Energy

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work with the US Forest Service Wood Education Resource Center to increase the use of sustainable wood energy.  Yellow Wood worked with Richmond Energy Associates to provide independent, third party biomas feasibility…


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You Get What You Measure®

This video describes You Get What You Measure®, Yellow Wood's trademarked approach to strategic planning that incorporates measurement and can be used as a framework for evaluation. The video also shares…


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Case Study: Assessing Impacts of Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work for Save Passamaquoddy Bay on an economic and fiscal impact analysis of proposed liquefied natural gas terminals.  Save Passamaquoddy Bay (www.savepassamaquoddybay.org)…


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Case Study: Community Forestry Workshop

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work for the Quebec Labrador Foundation on a Community Forestry Workshop in Gorham, New Hampshire. This workshop was undertaken as part of our work with the National Community Forestry Center - Northern Forest…


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Mansfield Agriculture Workshop Summary

This report summarizes an interactive workshop hosted by the Town of Mansfield on the Town’s Agriculture Strategy as part of their Mansfield Tomorrow initiative. Yellow Wood Associates facilitated the workshop in their role as the consultant responsible…


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Connecting Community Assets with Market Demand for Lasting Livelihoods

This webinar for the National Alliance for Rural Policy shared the WealthWorks approach and its main concepts, as well as how it has been used on the ground.
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Case Study: Leadership in Community Wealth Creation

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's project management work with the Wealth Creation in Rural Communities - Building Sustainable Livelihoods (WealthWorks) initiative.


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Case Study: Cooperatives and Wealth Creation - a Pilot Study

This case study profiles Yellow Wood's work, in collaboration with the National Cooperative Business Association, to document the impacts cooperatives have on multiple forms of wealth in their communities. This work was undertaken as part of Yellow…


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Is Woody Biomass Right for You?: Biomass Pre-Feasibility Reports

This publication provides overview information about the Wood Energy Utilization Services project and summary lists of the reports created for the project.


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Becoming a Measurement Guide

This video highlights the Becoming a Measurement Guide training offered by Yellow Wood.


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Yellow Wood Notes, Winter 2013

Wealth Creation in Rural Communities; Green Community Technologies©; Update on Agricultural Work; Measurement News; WealthWorks


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Mansfield Agriculture Strategy

This agriculture strategy report was created for Mansfield Tomorrow, a Town-wide project designed to provide the vision, strategies and tools for Mansfield to become the 21st century community Mansfield wants to be. This project included a community…


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Yellow Wood Notes, Fall 2013

Launch of updated Yellow Wood website; Green Community Technologies©; Update on our Work; Measurement News; WealthWorks


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Community Based Tourism (CBT) Wealth Creation Project: Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF) visits Country Style Community Tourism Network (CCTN)

This report is a summary of a learning journey by Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF) and six individuals representing stakeholders and partners who traveled to Jamaica from December 11 to December 16, 2011. These stakeholders…


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Potential Impacts of a Renewable and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard in Kentucky

The study estimates the impacts of a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard on Kentucky’s portfolio of electricity resources, on average electric bills, and on the state’s economy. The report was produced by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. for the Mountain…


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Wealth Creation Through Sustainable Forestry: Generating Wealth Creation Models in the Appalachian Wood-products Industry

This report examines and presents wealth creation models adapted to the needs and context of sustainable forestry in Appalachia.


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You Get What You Measure®: A Process to Determine and Measure Progress in Community Development

This CD Practice article describes You Get What You Measure®, a process that integrates participatory planning and systems thinking into the development of strategic measures so that communities can monitor progress toward community development goals.…


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Branding Study for Appalachian Local Food Economies

This report, produced for the Central Appalachian Network (CAN) in partnership with the MIT “Keeping Wealth Local” Clinic, explores examples of place-based food brands and offers recommendations for CAN and other Central Appalachian organizations interested…


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5Capitals: A Tool for Assessing the Poverty Impacts of Value Chain Development

5Capitals is tool for understanding critical development issues, designed for users including funding agencies, NGOs, consultants, government agencies, businesses, and certification bodies.  The tool is built on the belief that greater access to livelihood…


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Wealth Creation in Rural Communities – Building Sustainable Livelihoods: Cross Regional Convening

Place-based grantees from three regions (Central Appalachia, the Alabama Black Belt and Mid-South Delta, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas), resource team members, researchers, and Ford Foundation staff met at the Ford Foundation office in New…


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Biomass Heating Analysis for Barnet School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Barnet School.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Morristown School District

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing both woodchip and pellet biomass scenarios for providing heat and hot water at the Morristown School District.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Wallingford Elementary School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment specifically tailored to the Wallingford Elementary School outlining whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for this facility from a practical perspective.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Colrain Central School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Colrain Central School.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Applegate Apartments

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing both woodchip and pellet biomass scenarios for providing heat and hot water at the Applegate Apartment Complex.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Mohawk Trail Regional High School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing both woodchip and pellet biomass scenarios for providing heat and hot water at the Mohawk Trail Regional High School
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Hawlemont Regional School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Hawlemont Regional School
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Working Hard and Smart: How Technology is Integral for Value Chain Progress

Using technology in value chain construction and operations.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for the Robinson Elementary School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment specifically tailored to the Robinson Elementary School outlining whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for this facility from a practical perspective.
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Wealth Creation in Rural Communities – Building Sustainable Livelihoods: Cross Regional Convening

Place-based grantees from three regions (Central Appalachia, the Alabama Black Belt and Mid-South Delta, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas), resource team members, researchers, and Ford Foundation staff met at the Ford Foundation office in New…


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Wealth Creation in Rural Communities: A Framework for Deep Collaborations and the Arkansas Biofuels Story

This webinar shares the principles and key tools of the Wealth Creation in Rural Communities – Building Sustainable Livelihoods framework, while also telling a story of this work on the ground. It uses the example of a biofuels value chain being constructed…


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Biomass Heating Analysis for Hardwick Elementary School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Hardwick Elementary School
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2012 Cross Regional Convening Presentation: Expanding Livelihood Opportunities for Poor Households.

This presentation set the context for the 2012 Cross Regional Convening.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Riley County Grade School & High School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment that provides two analyses, one investigating the benefits of a pellet heating system for the Riley County Grade School and one investigating a pellet system for the Riley County High School.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for the Academy School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Academy School.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Mifflinburg Area School District

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a district energy scenario usingy a central woodchip boiler heating system makes sense for the Mifflinburg Area School District.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Town of Webb Union Free School District

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment that analyzes two different biomass scenarios for heating the School. One scenario analyzes the installation of a wood pellet boiler while the other scenario analyzes the installation of a semi-automated woodchip…
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Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises: A Case Study

FAHE is, arguably, the strongest example of network approaches to increasing impact and strengthening financial performance in the domestic community development field. The purpose of this case study is to extract the lessons from the FAHE experience…


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Your Role in Healthy Food Systems

Shanna Ratner's plenary presentation at the Growing Health 2012 conference in New York addressed the benefits of a fully-realized food system, discussed food systems in context of a wealth creation approach, and engaged participants in exercises around…


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Wealth Creation in Rural Communities: July 26, 2012 Presentation for the National Cooperative Business Association

This webinar presentation was made as part of Yellow Wood's work with the National Cooperative Business Association and individual cooperatives on measuring the impacts cooperatives have on multiple forms of wealth.


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Wood Energy Utilization Support Final Report

A final report of work undertaken by Yellow Wood Associates and Richmond Energy Associates, on behalf of the USDA Forest Service, to identify potential candidates for biomass energy and provide biomass pre-feasibility studies. The report summarizes…


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Biomass Heating Analysis for Flood Brook Union School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Flood Brook Union School


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Global Lessons from Inclusive Business: Accelerating Local Value Creation through the Private Sector

An introduction to the theory and practice of inclusive business and how it might be relevant to accelerating the impact of value chains in rural communities.
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Wind Energy and Rural Development: A Case Study of West Texas

This case study looks at the extent to which wealth generated by wind energy development in West Texas has remained in and benefited rural communities.
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Plastics from Plants: A Case Study of NatureWorks LLC, Blair, Nebraska

This is a case study of NatureWorks, a bio-based products company in Nebraska that transforms a renewable crop into a value-added plastic resin that can be used to make low carbon footprint and/or biodegradable products.
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Wood Energy Utilization Support Final Report: Executive Summary

An executive summary of work undertaken by Yellow Wood Associates and Richmond Energy Associates, on behalf of the USDA Forest Service, to identify potential candidates for biomass energy and provide biomass pre-feasibility studies. Yellow Wood worked…


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A Brighter Path Forward: The Intersection of Green Construction and Affordability

This report presents FAHE's research into green, energy efficient building techniques that balance concern for affordability and conservation. The goal of this research is to support environmentally and economically sustainable construction of homes…
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Buckland Shelburne Elementary School

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing whether or not a wood pellet heating system makes sense for the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School.
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Wood Energy Utilization Support Final Report: Appendices

These appendices contain supplemental material for the final report compiled by Yellow Wood, documenting work undertaken by Yellow Wood Associates and Richmond Energy Associates, on behalf of the USDA Forest Service, to identify potential candidates…


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Wealth Creation in Rural Communities - Verde Valley, May 1, 2012

This introductory webinar introduced wealth creation concepts and vocabulary, including wealth creation value chains and multiple forms of wealth, to Walton Family Foundation grantees in the Verde Valley area of Arizona.


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Biomass Heating Analysis for Fannett-Metal School District

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment analyzing both woodchip and pellet biomass scenarios for providing heat and hot water at the Fannett-Metal School District
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Cross Regional Convening March 20-21, 2012: Participant Photos and Bios

Photos and biographies of participants in the 2012 Cross Regional Convening of the Wealth Creation in Rural Communities initiative, supported by the Ford Foundation.
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Biomass Heating Analysis for Oxford Hills School District

This report is a pre-feasibility assessment specifically tailored to Oxford Hills School District outlining whether or not biomass energy makes sense for the Harrison Elementary School, Oxford Elementary School, Oxford Hills Middle School, Paris Elementary…
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Transitioning to a Restoration Economy: A Case Study of Oregon's Forestry Sector

This case study explores a developing restoration forest economy and its positive impacts along the forest products value chain; these impacts can be seen both in terms of wealth retention and creation and of forging linkages between rural and urban…


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