Rural Voice Town Hall Held with MPR

MPR’s Miller to Moderate St. Joseph Town Hall

Little Falls, MN—The Rural Voice series, moderated by Minnesota Public Radio’s Kerri Miller, will begin with a Sept. 20 town hall conversation at Krewe Restaurant in St. Joseph centered on the challenges and opportunities of launching a business in Greater Minnesota.

Doors for the St. Joseph event will open at 6:30 p.m., with the community conversation starting at 7 p.m. The central question to be addressed is: “What does it take to launch a business in Greater Minnesota?”

“Greater Minnesota is an inviting place to live and to start a business. Most rural business owners believe the benefits of their rural location outweigh the challenges,” said Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation president. “I’m eager for this opportunity to hear directly from rural entrepreneurs about how and why they’re able to do what they do, enriching our communities in the process.”

Two additional Rural Voice town halls are scheduled for Greater Minnesota:

  • Sept. 21—Growing Good Gigs: Educating & Training a Creative Rural Workforce, Minnesota Discovery Center, Chisholm, Minn., in partnership with the Northland Foundation
  • Sept. 27—Great Doctors & Healthy Communities: Improving Patient Care in Rural Minnesota, Cannon River Winery, Cannon Falls, Minn., in partnership with the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

“I look forward to partnering with our friends at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Northland Foundation, along with Compeer Financial and Mayo Clinic Health System, to explore these topics,” said Varilek. “Candid conversation with our fellow Greater Minnesotans can shed light on a key set of issues and elevate rural voices.”

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the discussion beginning at 7 p.m. The event will end at 8:30 p.m. with a reception to follow.

“When you bring citizens together who are committed to their communities, you unleash dynamic conversations and creative problem solving,” Miller said. “These town halls will be lively, exciting and enlightening.”

Each event will be live-streamed and recorded for broader distribution. Visit for more information and to register for in-person attendance at one of the events.