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13 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Episode 17: Spring Valley
In this final episode wrapping up the series on Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Program (REV), we look at the small town of Spring Valley, MN. You’ll hear from Chris Hahn, EDA Director for Spring Valley and Fillmore County as a whole.
29 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Episode 16: Lake City
In the sixth episode in a 7 part series featuring southern Minnesota's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, you'll hear about the small town of Lake City, Minnesota, a town that thrives at the intersection of tourism and agriculture. You’ll hear from Kjellgren Alkire, Executive Director of the Lake City Economic Development and Michelle Larson, Executive Director of Lake City Chamber of Commerce.
33 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
Episode 15: Blue Earth
In this fifth episode in a 7 part series featuring southern Minnesota's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, you'll hear about the small town of Blue Earth, Minnesota. Blue Earth's REV work focused on youth and workforce development, which you’ll hear about from Emily Davis, Blue Earth’s Community Workforce Coordinator and Mary Kennedy, the city administrator for Blue Earth.
21 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
Episode 14: Lanesboro
In this fourth episode in a 7 part series featuring southern Minnesota's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, you'll hear about the small town of Lanesboro Minnesota and local business owner and REV participant Lori Bakke.
25 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Episode 13: Spring Grove
In this third episode in a 7 part series featuring southern Minnesota's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, you'll hear about the small town of Spring Grove, Minnesota from it's Economic Development Director Courtney Bergey Swanson.
35 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Episode 12: Le Sueur
In this second episode in a 7 part series featuring southern Minnesota's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, you'll hear from two entrepreneurs living and working in Le Sueur, Minnesota. Samantha DiMaggio is the Community Development Director for the city of Le Sueur and Katie Elke is the new owner of the Le Sueur Theater, which is being renovated.
32 minutes | Aug 14, 2020
Episode 11: Pam Bishop
In this introductory episode to a 7 part series featuring southern Minnesota's Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV) program, you'll hear from Pam Bishop. Pam Bishop is the Vice President of Economic Development at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, which manages the REV program.
27 minutes | Nov 6, 2018
Episode 10: Brittney Johnson
The second season of MinneStory launches November 5th. The 2018 Midterm Elections are Nov 6. It’s probably clear to anyone who consumes the news or any media that this is a really tense time in our country, with many dissatisfied people on all sides. In today’s episode, you’ll hear from a young politician in Otter Tail County who is running for state legislature: Brittney Johnson. She talks about what drew her to politics, and the assets of Otter Tail County. She also talks extensively about farming in Otter Tail County, including the challenges young people face when trying to start farming, and her own sheep farm.
13 minutes | Oct 23, 2018
Episode 9: The 2007 Floods of Southeast Minnesota
This episode focuses on a crisis that residents of southeast Minnesota remember vividly. 11 years ago, in August of 2007, southeast Minnesota experienced catastrophic flash flooding. Depending on location, 8-20 inches of rain fell very quickly over a short period of time, resulting in mudslides, roads and bridges being washed away, homes and businesses flooded, and seven people died as a result in the flooding. This episode gathers two separate interviewees who talked about the impact of the 2007 flood: Richard Cordes and Karla Blum.
22 minutes | Oct 17, 2018
Episode 8: Hendel Farms
Rural areas are largely associated with farming, and therefore, our food sources. The dairy industry specifically has shaped Houston County in many ways. In this episode, you’ll hear from third generation dairy farmer Matt Hendel of Hendel Farms near Caledonia, MN. Matt discusses everything about the benefits of dairy farming on soil erosion to the effects of the national food industry on farmers. Listen for an enlightening conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing this vital industry.
18 minutes | Jul 3, 2018
Episode 7: Sweet 16 Farm
Starting a business takes a lot of planning, relentless hours, strategy...as well as choosing your location and community well. What do rural areas, specifically Houston County in this case, have to offer start-up business owners? Today’s episode digs into this topic with Sarah Mann of Sweet 16 Farm. The tagline for the farm is “Sustainability and Community – A Destination Farm in the Heart of Minnesota's Bluff Country”. You’ll hear how Sarah brings that tagline to life through a flower CSA, hop harvest, and more.
25 minutes | Jun 5, 2018
Episode 6: Community Organizers Rachel and Lee
Volunteers and community organizers are integral to thriving small towns. Father-daughter duo Lee Grippen (of Caledonia, MN) and Rachel Storlie (of Spring Grove, MN) are two very busy and equally enthusiastic community organizers. In this episode, you'll hear them talk about why they feel so strongly about giving back, the challenges small towns face (such as lack of diversity), and the future of small towns.
22 minutes | May 8, 2018
Episode 5: International Owl Center
Episode 5 features an unexpected small town treasure: The International Owl Center in Houston, MN. It’s the only center of it’s kind in the U.S., and brings people from all over the country to small town Houston for their live owls and programs. Executive Director Karla Bloem talks about the owls’ personalities, the center’s role in the community and tourism, and their future plans for expansion.
24 minutes | Apr 17, 2018
Episode 4: Terry Lauden
Faith is important to many rural communities. But what is it about churches that create a sense of community identity? What are other ways rural people find and give back to community? In this episode, we hear about these topics and more from Terry Lauden. Terry belongs to the United Methodist Church in Caledonia, MN, is a member of an informal swimming group called the Dolphins, and was a special education teacher for her entire career.
21 minutes | Mar 27, 2018
Episode 3: Thomas Trehus
You’ve maybe heard about this trend of small towns losing younger generations to city jobs and culture. Thomas Trehus is on the other side of that equation, trying to build towards a better future for the community that raised him. He's the youngest school board member in Spring Grove MN and is running for the House of Representatives for Houston and Fillmore Counties in MN.
20 minutes | Mar 13, 2018
Episode 2: Jerome Neuman
You know that small town archetype who is probably retired and sits at the town diner or coffee shop and shoots the breeze all day? Well, Jerome Neuman IS that person. But we all know archetypes aren't real, so in today's episode, you get to meet Jerome for the human he is.
26 minutes | Feb 27, 2018
Episode 1: Nettle Valley Farm
Season One of MinneStory focuses on rural Houston County in southeast Minnesota. This episode features Nettle Valley Farm owners Dayna and Nick Burtness Nguyen. Each of them grew up in the Twin Cities area, but now make their home in the heart of the Driftless region. They talk about the transition of moving from urban to rural, the philosophy behind how they raise pigs, and much more.
3 minutes | Feb 19, 2018
MinneStory Season 1 Sneak Peek: Nick & Dayna Burtness Nguyen
The clip you're about to hear features Nick and Dayna Burtness Nguyen, who both grew up in the Twin Cities but now make their home in Houston County as owners of Nettle Valley Farm, where they raise beyond organic pastured pigs. Enjoy!
3 minutes | Feb 7, 2018
MinneStory Season 1 Sneak Peek: Thomas Trehus
In this sneak peek, you'll hear from Thomas Trehus. He's the youngest school board member in Spring Grove, MN and is also running for the House of Representatives. Season one launches Feb 27, 2018, and will feature the rural community of Houston County, in southeastern Minnesota.
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