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.