Category Archives: Uncategorized

Crafting the rural narrative

A unique gathering of people got together in mid-November to talk about what Minnesota’s “rural narrative” should be. This week on Rural MN Radio, Marnie tells Jim about this latest meeting of the RED Group (Regional Economic Development) and their yearlong mission to discover Greater Minnesota’s message—or messages—and how to communicate that to the rest of the state.

Crafting the rural narrative: The RED Group

Rough roads ahead for rural transportation funding?

On this week’s Rural MN Radio, Jim and Marnie discuss the Center’s latest policy brief, “The Road Less Traveled.” Changes in everything from demographics to federal policy are creating conditions that will make funding Greater Minnesota’s highways and bridges even more difficult. The paper itself will be released next week. You can watch for it here at our blog’s new web address,

Rough roads ahead

Is mobile broadband the solution?

Mobile broadband is the next big thing in Internet service, allowing us to access cat videos from anywhere we can get a signal. Connect Minnesota recently released a study looking at the extent of mobile broadband in Minnesota and found that rural Minnesota was still behind the metro, as our Minnesota Internet Survey indicated last year. Mobile broadband holds a lot of promise for rural users, but issues like data caps and signal strength still need to be worked out before it can be really viable. And in the meantime, schools are moving ahead, supplying kids with technology they can’t use at home if they don’t have broadband.

Is mobile broadband the solution?

Flash droughts: anomaly or new standard?

On last week’s Rural MN Radio, Jim and Marnie talked about a new phenomenon meteorologists are noticing that they’ve dubbed “flash droughts.” More than just droughts, though, flash droughts are part of a strange pattern of weather we’ve been seeing in Minnesota where we go through sudden swings from wet weather to drought to wet to drought.

Whether this is here to stay or just a temporary anomaly, it does make us think about the impact our unpredictable weather can have, and not just for farmers, but for our water supplies as well.

Thinking about flash droughts and water supply