Category: Blog

Lies, damn lies and statistics

The main issue with categories such as “metro” and “non-metro” is that the locations they represent change depending on population and migration patterns. Knowing how to compare these categories over time is vitally important since it can paint very different stories about non-metro areas if done incorrectly.

Finding the answers in Willmar

By Julie Tesch I recently read an article about Willmar in, of all places, the New York Times, and I was surprised and amazed (I’m a bit sad to say) at its positive view of rural Minnesota. I’m a bit sad at my level of surprise not because it was an article on Willmar, but ...

A deeper dive: With workforce funding, the devil is in the details

  By: Kelly Asche, Research Associate The most recent report in our Finding Work or Finding Workers series shed light on what it takes to train and help keep employed that percentage of the population that seems to have the hardest time getting and holding jobs: people with high barriers to employment. With the extremely ...

Cooperatives and community involvement

By Syd Briggs, General Manager, Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric The famous Roman orator and statesman Cicero once said, “Not for ourselves alone are we born.” This leads us into two of the seven principles of the cooperative structure: cooperation among cooperatives and community involvement. There are many efforts, I’m glad to say, by various organizations designed ...
Power lines at sunset.

In praise of cooperatives

By Syd Briggs, General Manager, Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric So let’s start with a brief history lesson on cooperatives. Cooperatives are organizations owned by the customers, employees, or other groups and are organized under a particular set of federal statutes that govern them. Cooperatives have been around since 1498. The earliest one I know of was ...
2017 Census of Agriculture: Asking the right questions

Census of Agriculture: Asking the right questions

By Doris Mold On April 11, 2019, the first results from the 2017 Census of Agriculture will be released. I am excited about what the new Census is going to tell us. Why would someone get excited about a bunch of statistics? Because this year there is a very good chance that we are going ...

Supporting the Decennial Census and American Community Survey

By: Kelly Asche, Research Associate There isn’t a week that goes by here at the Center where we don’t use U.S. Census information in some form. Its importance in creating our research and helping to develop good policy cannot be understated. If you were to quickly breeze through our research for this year, you would ...

Child care: Moving on to the “why”

By Marnie Werner, Vice President, Research & Operations About 18 months ago I was sitting in front of a state senate committee on child care, talking to them about what I had found while researching the child care shortage for the previous two years. When I was done and others were invited to come up ...

The Role of Newspapers in Rural Minnesota

By Julie Tesch, President & CEO Have you read a newspaper lately? Was it your local newspaper? Was it in print or online? I’m fortunate to have a daily, regional newspaper delivered to my door every day. I also have two neighboring community newspapers delivered weekly. Why do I spend this money? It is my ...

Why Rural?

By Julie Tesch, President & CEO March 6, 2019 I recently moved back to rural Minnesota after living in densely populated cities in the Midwest and East Coast for the past 25 years. This was a conscious choice that I made because of my age and stage in life. After living in St. Paul, Indianapolis ...