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Blog // Connect Michigan

Local Agriculture Growing Through Social Media

By Eric Frederick

Eight years ago, Grow Benzie started with an abandoned plant nursery, an old greenhouse, and an empty retail building. The non-profit now boasts a community center, an incubator kitchen, community garden, flourishing greenhouse, sewing studio, business center, and a food truck. Grow Benzie helps agriculture and culinary businesses expand and get started, hosts classes to teach the public about nutrition and hobby farming, and makes fresh, local produce available to low-income families. Nestled in a rural corner of Benzie County, Grow Benzie is using online marketing to expand its reach and help local farmers do the same.  “We are...

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FCC Releases Broadband and Health Interactive Mapping Tool

By Amanda Murphy

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force has launched a broadband and health interactive map. The new tool, titled Mapping Broadband Health in America, allows users to analyze broadband and health data visually, and at a national, state, and county level. The map is intended for use by both public and private sectors, and local communities, as a tool to drive discussion, to identify opportunities and gaps in connectivity and health care, and to assist broadband health policies and digital health solutions. Users have the ability to generate customized maps that display broadband access, adoption, and speeds along...

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U.S. Heritage Route 23 on the Information Superhighway

By Eric Frederick

Michigan's tourism industry amounts to more than $17.7 billion, a number that seriously impacts rural communities attracting summer vacationers. The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) has made travel to and through rural Michigan easier than ever, putting many breathtaking and remote locations online for everyone to see and explore. Heritage23.org lets visitors plan for every city they visit, or choose from thousands of events as they go along this scenic road along the northeast coast. As travelers take to the roads over the summer holidays they use smartphones for directions and to find places to stay, eat, camp, hike, and...

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Partners Bridging the Digital Divide

By Eric Frederick

Lack of access to technology, training, or reliable Internet are all factors widening the digital divide, causing or exacerbating education or wealth disparity through location, income, or age. Where the digital divide has caused great needs for technology, training or broadband access, many community organizations and non-profits across the nation have risen to the challenge. However, starting or expanding a new technology-based program in a community slashed by the digital divide raises many challenges such as how to find funding, where to find resources, and how to find experienced instructors. Though many established organizations have...

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