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29 minutes | 3 days ago
Episode 37: Rural Grocery Initiative
In 2006, Kansas State held listening sessions across the state aimed at identifying challenges facing rural communities. During these sessions, the need to support rural grocery stores rose to the top. Supporting rural grocery stores is important because they: Provide jobs and contribute to the local tax base.Act as community hubs for residents to gather and connect.Serve as essential sources for healthy food options. The Rural Grocery Initiative (RGI) was formed at K-State to provide resources to help sustain and enhance independently-owned rural grocery stores. The initiative assists communities and citizens to strengthen rural grocery operations and improve access to healthy foods. Rial Carver is a Program Manager for the Rural Grocery Initiative and Kansas Healthy Food Initiative. She is also an Extension Specialist for K-State Research and Extension with a focus on rural and healthy food access initiatives. In this episode of the Rural Business Show, Carver talks about the Rural Grocery Initiative, and why this effort is important to her. She discusses her main concerns for rural grocery stores and what she’s optimistic about. We talk about the impacts grocery stores have on rural communities and Carver shares some specific success stories that show a variety of ways a rural grocery business can be successful. The post Episode 37: Rural Grocery Initiative appeared first on Rural Business.
38 minutes | a month ago
Episode 36: The Future of Rural Work
Matt Dunne is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI). The Center is bringing together a network of innovation hubs across rural America through a team of experts. The organization focuses on digital economic development, rural opportunity zones, entrepreneurial investment, and broadband expansion. Dunne has an extensive background in rural economic development while maintaining his rural lifestyle on his family farm in Vermont – from serving 11 years in the Vermont House and Senate, growing a software company to over 100 people to working under President Clinton as director of AmeriCorps*VISTA and heading Google’s Community Affairs division where he was involved in a variety of rural initiatives. In this episode of the rural business show, Dunne talks about why he became involved in rural economic development and what opportunities he is most enthusiastic about today. We discuss how the pandemic has affected rural economies, and what we should understand about the “future of work”. He also shares what resources CORI provides to rural communities and suggests the first steps a rural community should take to strengthen its economy. The post Episode 36: The Future of Rural Work appeared first on Rural Business.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 35: Resilient Strategies for Rural Economies
Is the common view of rural America outdated? Are the strategies needed to build today’s rural economies actually being implemented? Hanna Love, with the Brookings Institution and Mike Powe, with the National Main Street Center, recently collaborated on a five-part research series on rural revitalization. They argue that our attention should not be focused on an inaccurate image of rural America, but rather on understanding, sustaining, and investing in the hyperlocal strategies already working in a lot of areas. In this episode of the rural business show, Hanna and Mike discuss their in-depth, on-the-ground research in three rural communities across the U.S. and highlight the place-based strategies they see as vital to rural economic success. Wheeling, W.Va. was one of the three micropolitan communities studied extensively in a five-part research series through the Brooking Institution and National Main Street Center. The post Episode 35: Resilient Strategies for Rural Economies appeared first on Rural Business.
58 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 32: TROTFITNESS
Nisan Trotter is an entrepreneur, public speaker, author and owner of TROTFITNESS in Lewisburg, Penn. (population: 5,730). Trotter was raised in Silverhill, Ala. (population: 997), where he was brought up by a loving support group of family and friends. He said he cut his teeth on the pews of the local church and learned about hard work early on, citing his mother and grandfather as two important examples in his formative years. As an African American growing up in a majority-white community, Trotter became aware of racial disparities and prejudice that still linger. Relatedly, he saw how hardworking employees like his mother were often at the mercy of others’ decisions. This gave him a desire early on to take greater control of his destiny through business ownership. He learned more lessons on hard work and teamwork as he became a standout three-sport athlete in high school, earning him a football scholarship to the prestigious Bucknell University in Lewisburg. As a first-generation college student, Trotter excelled as an athlete and in the school’s business program and received several honors for his leadership on and off the field. Courtesy Photo – Nisan Trotter, owner of TROTFITNESS in Lewisburg, Penn. A year after college, Trotter returned to Lewisburg and worked for Bucknell. He eventually became an ACE-certified personal trainer and built a reputation as a top fitness expert in the area – on his way to establishing TROTFITNESS with his wife, Yorelis Trotter. Known as “The Fitness Preacher,” Trotter brings great energy and talent to his work – whether he is speaking to a group, helping his clients get in shape, advocating for racial equality, or being a husband and father of three. Joy, authentic enthusiasm, along with a savvy business sense, are all keys to success as an entrepreneur and in life, and Trotter has those qualities in abundance. In this episode of the Rural Business Show, Trotter discusses what it was like growing up in the rural Deep South and the childhood experiences that influenced him to become a business owner. We discuss some of the racial injustices he and his family went through and the continuing racial disparities in the United States. We talk about his college experience and why he decided to return and build his business in Pennsylvania, another majority-white community. He shares the lessons he is learning as a business owner and new challenges his business is navigating due to COVID-19. Trotter also gives advice to those considering starting a business in a rural location and the important role entrepreneurship plays in race and social justice issues in communities. Learn more about Nisan Trotter at www.nisantrotter.com, Instagram, Facebook and pick up his book, “Born Gifted,” on Amazon. Courtesy Photo – A look inside a fitness class at TROTFITNESS in Lewisburg, Penn. Owner Nisan Trotter is standing in the middle back. The post Episode 32: TROTFITNESS appeared first on Rural Business.
38 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 31: Duivenvoorden Farms
Duivenvoorden Farms is a third-generation family-owned dairy farm in northern California. Originally started by partners Jerry and Rita Duivenvoorden, and John and Nel DeJong, Duivenvoorden Farms has been operating for over 50 years. Owners Marc and Lori Duivenvoorden took over the farm in 1993 – doing everything from custom farming, running a beef herd, raising calves, and shipping milk to a local creamery. In 2009, Marc, Lori and their son Seth, made the decision to switch the dairy over to a raw milk herd share dairy. In June 2017, Duivenvoorden Farms gained access to the public market by building a “processing facility” to bottle their milk for retail sales. On this episode of the Rural Business Show, Seth Duivenvoorden discusses his background and why he chose to continue the family tradition of owning and running a dairy farm. He talks about what life is like in rural northern California and the difficulties of rural issues being heard in the country’s most populous state. He talks about the benefits his business has enjoyed since switching to selling their milk directly to retailers – even in the midst of the current pandemic. He also shares other important lessons learned as he works to grow his business. The post Episode 31: Duivenvoorden Farms appeared first on Rural Business.
37 minutes | a year ago
Episode 30: Sync.Space
Heath Guinn is an entrepreneur, community advocate and strategist based in Northeast Tennessee. Courtesy Photo – Sync.Space headquarters. Guinn has launched multiple successful companies and his most recent project is Sync.Space, an entrepreneur center with accelerator programs geared toward startups considering Northeast Tennessee as a place to grow or expand their business. The idea is to connect innovative companies with opportunities unique to the region. Early-stage companies in the program have access to funding for professional services, equipment, and other facilities to help complete a successful pilot with local partners.The first Accelerator Program began this spring. This interview was recorded in early February, right before the United States became engulfed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the current challenges, Guinn recently said Sync.Space started two accelerator programs which included attracting more than 25 companies over 4 states. The organization also launched a COVID-19 Innovation program called the “Restart Accelerator” where $50,000 is being put into a company or companies that have an idea that would help rural small businesses recover. That program website is RestartOurRegion.com. Courtesy Photo – A group gathers at a recent Sync.Space event. In this episode of the Rural Business Show, Heath Guinn talks about his experiences as an entrepreneur and about building businesses in his local community. He shares his motivation behind building a career in a rural setting. We then talk Sync.Space and why he is so passionate about this effort and why entrepreneurship is so key for the future of rural. Finally, Quinn provides advice to those looking to build businesses in a rural setting. The post Episode 30: Sync.Space appeared first on Rural Business.
30 minutes | a year ago
Episode 29: Rural Journalism
Community newspapers have served rural areas for hundreds of years, providing news and useful information to small-town residents. Local editors and reporters attend meetings, sporting events, and other community gatherings and provide an ongoing account of what’s happening in their town. Most papers are mainly supported by advertising dollars, but with economic struggles in many rural communities and new ways to advertise through the Internet and social media, community papers are seeing declines in revenue. Such is the case in Skagway, Alaska with The Skagway News. The semimonthly has undergone a few recent ownership changes as it has fought to gain new footing in a changing economic climate. Most recently, owner Larry Persily, who managed the paper remotely from Anchorage, put it up for sale for $0 in hopes he could find the right buyer to move to the town and take it over. Courtesy Photo: Larry Persily in The Skagway News office. Several national media outlets picked up the story, and Persily was overwhelmed with hundreds of applicants. In this episode of the Rural Business Show, Persily discusses why he chose to give his paper away, the state of rural journalism, the need for good reporting in rural areas, and what it takes to make small-town papers work today. Since our conversation, he selected new owners, and they are looking forward to the challenging of strengthening the publication. The post Episode 29: Rural Journalism appeared first on Rural Business.
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