Rural distilleries provide a case study in the latest thinking about econmic development in small towns, one that uses a multi-faceted approach to build economies on local strengths.
As the rural economy has evolved, so too has the University of Minnesota Extension, the public agency charged with “extending” the university’s expertise and knowledge into every corner of the state.
Since 2000, Barnesville has been attracting new residents at a steady pace, growing 18 percent to today’s population of about 2,500. Many have easy commutes to jobs in Fargo-Moorhead, just 25 miles away.
The presence of a new business along the main drag of this Sibley County town – and a high-tech one, at that – has generated some buzz in the community.
“I love this job,” Swift County Monitor-News publisher Reed Anfinson said in his office in Benson. “What I worry about is what replaces me.”
Just 6 percent of principal farm operators in Minnesota are under the age of 35, according to the most recent census data.
Bemidji benefits not only from the money BSU pumps into the local economy but also from its cultural impact, which includes plays and concerts, athletic events, workshops and speeches.
Farmers and other landowners in Chisago County have put up a dozen solar gardens, with another four now in the planning stages.
Rural priorities include the passage of another bonding bill; another increase in LGA funding; money for street repairs in small towns; broadband expansion and bolstered child care options.
“What I really hope to do is demonstrate, educate and just encourage others to take the plunge and get involved,” said Dave Smiglewski. Of the lack of civic involvement, he said: “It’s a real threat to community life.”
“Several people here have had to quit because their home-based day care closed,” said Lynda Everson, HR director for Brunswick Boat Group. “It’s a constant frustration in our employee base.”
Since the Cuyuna Lakes mountain bike trails opened, job growth in Crosby and the neighboring town of Ironton has been double that of the surrounding region. Last year, an estimated 185,000 people visited the area.
Southwest Minnesota represents the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to the state’s looming economic and workforce issues, offering a sneak peak at the challenges — and opportunies — for communities throughout Greater Minnesota.
League Secretary Emilio Lopez traces Liga Latina’s beginnings to 1997, when Latin American immigrants began getting together in the Twin Cities for scrimmages.
On a June night, Shir Tikvah congregants welcomed members of Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque, from the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, for an iftar.
Adding fresh perspective, Klas Bergman also considers the future of this political legacy — and whether it will live on as new waves of immigrants put down roots in the state.
The James H. Binger Center for New Americans offers traditional classroom instruction while also giving students the chance to participate in actual cases.
The books are a part of Green Card Voices’ work to strengthen ties, through storytelling, between immigrants and their new neighbors.
Larry Yungk traveled to Minneapolis recently for the opening of a photo exhibition at the American Swedish Institute called “Where the Children Sleep.”
Minnesota’s colleges and universities employ a variety of strategies for helping students who might be overwhelmed by the demands of college life.