If you’re looking for rural development strategies, then this week’s podcast is for you! We’re sitting down with Chris Deal from Jefferson, Iowa (pop. 4,345) to talk about the amazing revitalization happening here. Chris moved back to his hometown to help with the family business, Deal’s Orchard, but his role in the community has since expanded way beyond that. He has had a key role in the revitalization of Jefferson and some exciting projects happening here.
This week on the podcast we’re talking with Shellie Hughes and her dad Bobby Earl Bertram with Old Glory Schoolhouse in Monticello, Kentucky. You’re going to love hearing about all the creative ways they’re repurposing this old schoolhouse - and their fun connection to Magnolia in Waco, Texas. Plus a few fun stories from Bobby to keep us all entertained!
Can a rural town revive itself on trendy restaurants, or does too much focus on that aspect of a town become “glitter on rust”? Rural communities need jobs, healthcare, schools, and infrastructure. This is a perpetual struggle in planning rural development ideas. Each of our communities has opportunities for glitter that will attract new traffic, whether it be new restaurants and retail, tourism and cultural events, or something other unique feature. But can that glitter sustain a town?
The small-town environment gives us a lot of opportunities to be involved in the community. It has given us the opportunity to teach our children that volunteering and taking pride in your community is important. We have found since moving back home, we have more opportunities and a more fulfilling lifestyle than we ever did in the city. We are invested in the community and we want to help make this a great place to live!
It seems only fitting for a community whose slogan is “it’s refreshing” to embrace the idea of adding an outdoor aquatic center to its already well-developed indoor aquatic facility, and as one who loves the sun, summer, and soaking it all up by the water, I feel compelled to help lead the fundraising efforts.
It’s important to tell the difference between “traditions” and “bad habits.” Sometimes, an idea is successful for a while, but after changes in populations, economies, or the world around us, that idea stops being successful. We can do one of two things: we can recognize that circumstances have changed and recalibrate our tradition to fit the new circumstances, or we can ignore the new circumstances and let our once-successful tradition slide into a bad habit.
Manning, Iowa (pop. 1,500) is our featured rural community this week. Manning has been recognized as an Iowa Small Business Administration Community of the Year award, winning out against cities of all sizes, and was highlighted for demonstrating ideal collaborative community efforts to support small business success. We'll be sharing stories throughout the week of some local business owners who are making an impact in the community.
If a community can’t be inspired to look good for its most important event of the year, it’s unlikely to look good the rest of the year either. Once you establish the pride for your major events, truly setting a permanent, higher level of expectation in your community requires expanding that pride throughout the year. The true test of our community pride is what we do when the crowds AREN’T in town.
We are beyond excited to bring you this week's podcast interview with Katie Harvey Martinez of Harvey’s Diner in Redfield, Iowa (pop. 826). Katie's story is what first inspired us to start the Rural Revival podcast, and you will quickly understand why. From the Iowa farm to Broadway and back, Katie's life is one amazing adventure. But her most recent move back to Iowa to open Harvey’s Diner is quite possibly her most exciting adventure yet.
If you’re tired of the national news this past week, let me tell you about the news in Stamford this past week. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got our share of struggles and issues, but three developments stand out. Different people, stepping up in their own ways, with one goal: to improve their community.
Our rural communities will not survive and thrive into the future without our people working together for the community’s big picture. Perhaps our best way to establish unity is over a meal of reconciliation, conversation, and hopefulness. Even if there’s no immediate, apparent tension in the community, there are still gaps to be bridged. How better to overcome those concerns than sharing a table together?
This week on the podcast we’re taking you to an exciting new destination in downtown Grinnell, Iowa in our interview with Angela Harrington, owner of Hotel Grinnell. Here she has led the charge in converting a former school building into an incredible contemporary boutique hotel. During the interview we found out Angela also happens to have a lot of experience in small town economic development.
The surprising recent death of Anthony Bourdain brought a couple of topics into focus for me that I feel called to write about today. Men’s Journal wrote that Bourdain’s showed the unifying power of food — “how a shared meal can break barriers, challenge assumptions, and build bridges.” Crossing these bridges will bring together our people into a single unifying purpose, growing our community for a prosperous future.
This week on the podcast we’re taking you to Boaz, Alabama to chat with the girls of The BoxTruck Boutique. From starting with their own individual businesses of shirts, clothes, jewelry, and home goods, they eventually combined to form what is now The BoxTruck Boutique. Since then the business has taken off and they’ve never looked back!
Emma Hicks is the inspiring entrepreneur behind Iowa Gathering, Main + Second, and Camp Climb. From opening up a storefront to starting an online business to shooting a TV show pilot, Emma shares about what it looks like to build a life around what works for you and your family. She also speaks about having pride in your small town and the importance of a supportive community.
My name is Michael Catarineau, and I am a photographer, graphic designer and journalist. I freelance these skills, but I also use them in my day job as an ag journalist for a daily newspaper, the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Follow my journey here on Rural Revival to get a glimpse into my world — a big-city Texan in Small Town, Nebraska.
Alice Pettyjohn is the owner of Alice Circle, an art studio and boutique offering everything from art classes and art parties to a variety of creative gifts and clothing. Listen and learn how she’s fulfilling a unique role to bring art to the community of Rainsville, Alabama.