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Young businessman is glad to settle near hometown after college in the city

Jayden Grupe is the operations manager of Easy Energy Systems, Inc., which manufactures and sells modular systems that make ethanol from agricultural waste products.
MinnPost photo by Steve Date
Jayden Grupe is the operations manager of Easy Energy Systems, Inc., which manufactures and sells modular systems that make ethanol from agricultural waste products.

Jayden Grupe likes small-town life. He grew up in Trimont, a town in Martin County near the Minnesota-Iowa border. After getting a taste of big-city life while pursuing a degree in economics at Hamline University in St. Paul, he chose to return to the area near his hometown to make a career. He hopes more young people from the area do the same thing.

Grupe, 25, is the operations manager of Easy Energy Systems, Inc., which manufactures and sells modular systems that make ethanol from agricultural waste products. 

Because of today’s technology, a rural location and small metropolitan size are not the limiting factors to business development that they once were, Grupe says. He feels that businesses can thrive in these rural areas, and in fact are the key to the future economic health of the towns themselves.

I visited Grupe recently and made this video at the EES plant in Welcome, Minn. He gave me a tour and talked about life in rural southern Minnesota and the economic future of rural communities.

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Comments (3)

Kudos for this insightful story about the very real assets and possibilities in small rural communities. Originally from New York City, and with more than 30+ years in Twin Cities' metro-based public relations, I am a new farmer - grass-fed beef - in Amery, Wisconsin. Like Welcome, Amery offers great advantages to individuals and families young and elder. As so well put by Jayden, you often have to look for them, and it is up to local residents to bring them to the surface and make them accessible.

I really, really like this series. I've been a city girl my whole life (and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future), and it's great to see this other perspective. Thanks!

Great piece about a great young man--of course, I am biased since I have known Jayden almost his entire life. We both serve on the board of the Fairmont Area Foundation and he is one of the few who aren’t eligible for AARP membership!

I too am a Trimont native--at graduation in 1972 I left because that’s what rural kids do. I returned 20 years later quite by accident. Is it always easy? No. But there is a thrill as I look around a community event and realize there are hundreds of people there that I have known my entire life--sometimes four generations worth.

So much more to say, but it’s more important that we listen to young people like Jayden--they will show us the way!!