Rural Voice, Little Falls

Rural Voice Town Hall Coming to Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS, MN—The Rural Voice series, developed by several Minnesota Initiative Foundations that serve Greater Minnesota along with the Otto Bremer Trust and Compeer Financial, will take place in September and October with four town halls moderated by Minnesota Public Radio’s Kerri Miller.

This year’s conversations will focus on how rural communities are lifting up entrepreneurism and addressing looming challenges such as the shortage of affordable housing, educating the next workforce, and raising awareness about mental health and social isolation.

Additional partners to this year’s Rural Voice series include Minnesota Public Radio, Cherry Road Media, and the Center for Rural Policy and Development.

“We are excited to expand this year’s Rural Voice series with new partners, communities, and sponsors committed to hearing from true rural voices who face these challenges with innovative solutions every day,” said Don Hickman, interim co-president and vice president for community and workforce development at the Initiative Foundation. “We’re equally excited about a special round of Central Minnesota grants we’ll be offering in 2024 to address social isolation and mental wellness throughout farm country and the rural areas we serve in the region.”

Oct. 4 in Little Falls

Join us from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at A.T. The Black & White in downtown Little Falls for a community conversation. The topic is “Addressing Mental Health and Social Isolation in Rural Communities.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The discussion will get under way at 7 p.m. and will be followed at 8:30 p.m. by a small reception. The event is free to attend. Space is limited, so register today!

“As we discovered with our first round of town hall discussions, there are dynamic, creative, and engaging voices to be heard in our rural areas, and we look forward to amplifying those voices this fall,” said event moderator Kerri Miller. “These town halls will be lively, informative, and compelling.”

Minnesota Public Radio will feature content from the discussions in segments later this fall.

Other events in the Rural Voice series include:

Tuesday, Sept. 12: What it takes to build a business in Greater Minnesota
Schell’s Brewery
1860 Schell’s Road, New Ulm
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. followed by a reception.

Tuesday, Sept. 19: Creating Good, Affordable Housing in Rural Minnesota
Castle Danger Brewery
17 7th Street, Two Harbors
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Discussion from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. followed by a reception.

Tuesday, Sept. 26: Educating a Nimble & Knowledgeable Rural Workforce
The University Center
410 S. 3rd Street, River Falls, Wis.
Doors open at 2 p.m.
Discussion from 2:30 to 4 p.m. followed by a reception.

The Otto Bremer Trust, St. Paul, and Compeer Financial, Mankato, are presenting sponsors for the Rural Voice series. Supporting sponsors and hosts include the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Owatonna; the Southwest Initiative Foundation, Hutchinson; the Initiative Foundation, Central Minnesota; and the Northland Foundation, Duluth. For more information on the Rural Voice series or to register for the in-person events, visit Livestreams of the events also will air on