Brain Gain in Lac qui Parle County


The Daily Yonder recently featured Ben Winchester and the idea of the Brain Gain featuring towns like ours in LqP County…

Once upon a time, the story goes, rural America thrived, a land of golden fields dotted with wholesome communities of God-fearing farmers. Then the kids — especially the bright ones — left for the city. 

The school closed, and so did the hardware store and one of the churches, and now there’s just a post office and a convenience store where there was once a thriving business district. The post office is scheduled for closure. 

That’s the narrative told by too many rural commentators, casual and otherwise. It’s a narrative that University of Minnesota Extension researcher and rural cheerleader Ben Winchester forcefully opposes. 

“The stereotype is that there isn’t anybody left in rural America, and those that are, they’re all on opioids,” he said. “We need to re-write the rural narrative.” 

Winchester said that doom-and-gloom narratives aren’t justified. More people live in rural America now than did a generation ago, even if they make up a smaller piece of the American pie. 

“People don’t move to your town for pity,” Winchester said. “They move for opportunities. Nobody cares that you lost the hardware store 30 years ago… And we’re not all farmers. We haven’t all been farmers in 100 years.”  

Winchester looked at Census data to show that the so-called rural “brain drain” popularized in the 2009 book “Hollowing Out the Middle” is being countered by “brain gain.” Rural communities may be losing high school graduates, but they’re gaining residents with more skills and education, according to studies in Minnesota and Nebraska. In Minnesota, Winchester found that most rural Minnesota counties have gained 30- to 49-year-olds, early- to mid-career Minnesotans with significant resources and connections. 

Read more.

Job Fair in Montevideo June 19

Are you looking for workers?  Here is an event that you may be interested in participating in!

Job Fair Registration   

Sponsored By Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council

When:   Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Where:   Montevideo TACC
               National Guard 

To register please submit the form to Julie Redepenning at or postal mail addressed to:

SW MN Private Industry Council
Attn:   Julie
202 N First St.
Montevideo, MN 56265

Registrations must be submitted by June 12th, 2018.  Limited Spaces available

Questions or need accommodations for the event?  Please call (320)269-5561.

Register Now for “Thriving by Design, Rural & Urban Together,” June 27-29, in Granite Falls

PJ is attending and we hope to see some local there!

We’ve recently confirmed three new outstanding speakers for our historic gathering in western Minnesota this summer which features some of the most knowledgeable people in the entire region on our demographic and economic disparities, and how to fix them.    Kevin Jensvold, Chairman of the Upper Sioux Community, will deliver our opening welcome on June 27, Diana Anderson, President of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, will open our proceedings on June 28, and Dr. Bruce Corrie, Director of the City of St. Paul’s Planning and Economic Development and co-founder of, will discuss the Shared Sustainable Prosperity framework and process.  Other speakers previously announced include:   Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Kevin LindseyState Demographer Susan Brower; Cornelia Flora Butler, co-creator of the Community Capitals Framework and a highly respected expert in rural community development; Craig Helmstetter, managing director of the American Public Media Research Lab, and Tane Danger, (Growth & Justice board member) and his Theater of Public Policy troupe.    Participants in this event will help create a unifying “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint,’’ a new social contract that heals our divisions: the rural-metro divide, racial injustice, overall economic inequality and environmental degradation.   Registration options include participating as an official delegate in the six-month blueprint development, or as a general participant.   Please register now – space is filling up. Registration Fees, including meals, are $195 for the entire gathering or $100 for June 28 only. Some scholarships are still available to help cover registration, lodging, and travel for participants who commit to being an Equity Blueprint delegate. More information on “Thriving by Design, Rural & Urban Together,” is available on our website.    Our partner in this event is, an organization focused statewide on building our “ethnic capital” and working toward racial equity in business and economic development.  Their motto — “Building Shared Sustainable Prosperity’’ — resonates strongly with our own mission statement.   Please spread the word, even if you cannot attend.

New Date!! Women in Agriculture Meeting – June 5

We are pleased to invite you to the first Women in Agriculture Meeting :

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
5:00-6:30 pm
Lac qui Parle County Annex Multi-Media Room
Madison, MN

Here is Your Chance to Learn and Share with other Women Involved in Agriculture!

This group is being formed for women in all aspects in agriculture

Light meal will be provided – and door prizes!

Contact the EDA at (320)598-7976 for questions.

High School Math Teacher Opening at the Dawson-Boyd High School

A good position for the right person…

Dawson-Boyd Public Schools is seeking a full-time 7-12 Math Teacher to join our staff for the 2018-2019 school year and beyond.  Extracurricular opportunities are also available. For more information please visit Dawson-Boyd Public Schools, call Principal Ryan Stotesbery at 320-769-2955 or via email at

Get an application.