49 episodes

The future of small towns doesn’t depend on us finding more people; we need to better engage the ones who are already there.

Each week, join Rebecca Undem, small-town champion and rural entrepreneur, as she chats with people who are doing their part to grow their community. You’ll hear ideas and learn ways to better support your business community, create a sense of belonging for all, and foster a rich arts and culture scene in your small town.

If you live in a small town, care deeply about your community, and share the belief that “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”, this is the podcast for you.

The Growing Small Towns Sho‪w‬ Rebecca Undem

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

The future of small towns doesn’t depend on us finding more people; we need to better engage the ones who are already there.

Each week, join Rebecca Undem, small-town champion and rural entrepreneur, as she chats with people who are doing their part to grow their community. You’ll hear ideas and learn ways to better support your business community, create a sense of belonging for all, and foster a rich arts and culture scene in your small town.

If you live in a small town, care deeply about your community, and share the belief that “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”, this is the podcast for you.

    Pursuing Personal Growth in a Small Town with Tanner and Jeana Hackel of Hackel Construction

    Pursuing Personal Growth in a Small Town with Tanner and Jeana Hackel of Hackel Construction

    Our guests on today’s show are a pair we lovingly deemed “Ord, Nebraska’s power couple” but not because of their affluence and important names or titles, but because of their hearts, their mindfulness, and the way they live their lives with complete intention. 
    Together, they run a construction company and a busy household and they join us on the show to talk about the impact a focus on personal development and growth has had on their lives. Talking about topics like a growth mindset, limiting beliefs, and choosing your highest intention are not things that are often discussed on Main Street in small towns. After hearing this episode, you might feel like maybe they should be.
     
    About Tanner and Jeana
    Tanner and Jeana Hackel love being a transformative, small giant construction company. As owners of Hackel Construction, they use the Design-Build approach to collaborate and innovate successful construction projects, especially in rural communities.
    One rewarding aspect of their company is talent development and acquisition. At Hackel Construction, they invest in their employees’ success through a program called Synovation Valley Leadership, which is a mastermind for personal and professional transformation. Tanner and Jeana believe they have exceptional talent who align with their mission for quality, efficiency, and budget, so when they add to their team, they look for those with technical skills as well as a growth mindset.
    Working in the construction industry means navigating changes, challenges, and processes to create that tangible needed end product. It’s inspiring to be a part of that whole process and have fun doing it! Creating an emotionally intelligent team means they utilize and inspire efficacy, trust, and potential in their team and lead each project with intrinsic motivation to build strong customer relationships and successes. They see each day as an opportunity to learn new things, grow in maturity and share the God-given talents that they possess with family, friends, clients, and their community. 
    In this episode, we cover: What energy has to do with it What’s a “program” and how do we uncover our own How we can choose a different set of beliefs to move us forward How our families of origins and upbringing can impact the way we view the world How to “make the unhelpful, helpful”  
    Links + Resources Mentioned

    www.synovationvalleyleadership.org www.hackelconstructioninc.com  
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!  

    • 58 min
    The Mission-Driven Small Business with Pam Burch of the Peacock Mercantile

    The Mission-Driven Small Business with Pam Burch of the Peacock Mercantile

    When people start businesses, they usually get the most freaked out about all the decisions and details that the process entails. Finding the right suppliers and vendors, creating a marketing plan, and figuring out who to hire—these are the things we spend most of our time considering. 
    Today’s guest, Pam Burch, founder of The Peacock Mercantile in Hettinger, ND, didn’t approach it this way. Instead, Pam spent the time it takes to really define and clarify her mission for starting her business. It’s common for people to mistake mission/vision/value statements as fluffy, touchy-feely, non-critical things. Pam is proving how a clear, grounded mission statement makes all those other decisions easier and in this episode, she shares why.
     
    About Pam

    Pamela was raised in rural Mott, ND and has a passion to bring her love for gourmet coffee in an upscale, positive environment to Hettinger.  Pamela has worked in the travel industry for the last 20 years and has owned her own travel agency since 2003.  While working for Rosenbluth International, Pamela worked her way up through servicing travel clients like Bank of America and Oracle Corporation to be the Quality Assurance Manager for Orbitz.com.  Her duties included managing a team of agents who monitored phone calls for accuracy and to find out what was driving the calls.  Pamela was then responsible for changing policies and/or procedures to ultimately eliminate the drive of those calls.  Years ago, she was a food court manager for Buttrey’s grocery store, which included managing day to day operations for the sub sandwich bar, fried chicken and espresso bar.  Exceptional customer service and an entrepreneurial spirit have driven her to success in every new niche market she has ventured into. 
     
    In this episode, we cover: How to turn naysayers into fans The role vulnerability plays in being a business owner The power of the tourist for local businesses How to be intentional about your mission without forcing it Why it matters to let your customers be a part of your business Links + Resources Mentioned
    The Peacock Mercantile website Facebook Page: The Peacock Mercantile: Artisan Coffee, Tea and Gifts  
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!  

    • 45 min
    Alpacas, Fiber Arts, and an Old Schoolhouse with Teresa and Chris of Shepherd Industries and the Nome Schoolhouse

    Alpacas, Fiber Arts, and an Old Schoolhouse with Teresa and Chris of Shepherd Industries and the Nome Schoolhouse

    Imagine the owner of a fiber mill partnering with a needle felting sculpture artist. Now try to picture that duo finding, buying, and renovating a 100 year-old building in a rural North Dakota town of about 60 people to house a future facility where people can stay, meet the alpaca/sheep herd, watch how the fiber mill works, eat amazing food prepared by a chef, and get their hands into creating your fiber art projects.  Can you picture it? Does it sound like a pipe dream? Well, you probably can’t and it’s not. Our podcast guests today are Chris Armbrust, the mill owner, and Teresa Perleberg, the needle felting artist and what was described above is what they’ve collaborated on to create and build. 
    If there was ever an episode that inspired us to believe in the power of what’s possible, this is it. You can’t help but be encouraged by their story.
     
    About Teresa
    Teresa Perleberg and her family raise a flock of 125 Romney sheep by Fort Ransom, ND and Teresa uses their wool to make 3D sculptures of animals using the art of needle felting. She has been teaching others how to needle felt since 2008 through kits and an online Academy membership. Teresa has a passion for online marketing and ships her kits out to crafters all over the world and has over 300 members in her online Academy.
     
    About Chris

    Chris Armbrust operates Dakota Fiber Mill by Kindred, ND where she processes fiber for customers from all over the nation, taking the raw fiber and, picking, scouring and either carding into roving or yarn for her customers. Over the years she has raised a variety of fiber animals such as Alpaca, several different breeds of sheep, Llama, bunnies, and a camel. Many have enjoyed tours of her mill and meeting the animals that provide the fiber.


    About Teresa and Chris
    Teresa and Chris partnered their businesses and formed Shepherd Industries, LLC in 2018. They purchased the Nome Schoolhouse in Nome, ND and are currently renovating it with plans for it to be a Fiber Arts Retreat Center/Event Center. All of the mill equipment will be moved to the school, a small education herd of fiber animals will live in the barn behind the school, and The Shepherd Industries store will be in one of the classrooms. Their focus will be Fiber Arts retreats but will welcome any form of crafting retreat. The school will have 11 guest rooms, a commercial kitchen for serving events and guests, an event center (gym), and classroom space for ongoing learning just to name a few of the amenities. The building had sat empty for years and is undergoing a remarkable transformation.
    In this episode, we cover: How traditional means of financing might not always work for big ideas in small towns The power of collaboration and partnership  What a vision, faith, and belief can create How to eat an elephant (hint: it’s always a bite at a time) The value of transparency in telling your story What a kickstarter campaign could look like to launch a big idea How to keep fear in check Links + Resources Mentioned

    Weekly updates on our EweTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/EweTube
    Follow our progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NomeSchoolhouse
    Follow Bear Creek Felting on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bearcreekfelting/
    Follow Dakota Fiber Mill on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dakotafibermill
    Follow Nome Schoolhouse on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nomeschoolhouse/
    Follow Bear Creek Felting on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prairieshepherd/
    Nome Schoolhouse Website: https://nomeschoolhouse.com/
    Bear Creek Felting Website: https://bearcreekfelting.com/
     
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the

    • 53 min
    Rewriting the Rural Narrative with Ben Winchester of UMN Extension

    Rewriting the Rural Narrative with Ben Winchester of UMN Extension

    As a research educator with the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Community Vitality, today’s guest, Ben Winchester digs into the research data that helps us better understand the truth behind the idea that “rural America is dying”. Not only has he found that the data doesn’t suggest that, he helps us see that we are more in control of re-shaping that narrative than we might otherwise believe.   About Ben
    Ben has been working both in and for small towns across the Midwest for over 25 years. He lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota with his wife and two children. Ben is trained as a Rural Sociologist and works as a Senior Research Fellow for the University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality. He conducts applied research on economic, social, and demographic topics surrounding a theme of “rewriting the rural narrative” that are vital to rural America. Winchester received his B.A. in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Minnesota, Morris (1995) and M.S. in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, Columbia (2001). He was a founding employee at the Center for Small Towns, an outreach and engagement program at the University of Minnesota, Morris and specializes in community development, demographic analysis, data visualization, and moving communities away from anecdata.
    In this episode, we cover: The falsehood of the rural “brain drain” and how we’re actually seeing a “brain gain” How to celebrate a “Middle of Everywhere” concept as a region The importance of how welcoming our communities are What a “resident recruitment model” is and how we can start to build one in our communities Why newcomers are the ones we should be listening to Several data points that show the positive future for small towns Links + Resources Mentioned

    Brain Gain: http://z.umn.edu/braingain
     
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 55 min
    How to Be Hopeful Going into 2021

    How to Be Hopeful Going into 2021

    Our host, Rebecca is flying solo for this episode, and she’s talking about hope and the new year. 2020 was hard, friends, there’s just no denying it. But this isn’t about looking back on a hard year, it’s about looking forward to what’s coming and some ways that you can keep up your momentum and hope in the new year. This episode is full of encouragement and actionable steps to keep getting closer to your goals, no matter what they are.  In this episode, we cover: Why there is no replacement for action The importance of checking your source--are you acting out of fear, or hope? Why we need to ask for help How and why to allow for magic Discipling your disappointment Celebrating more, even when it feels like there’s nothing to celebrate (spoiler: there really is!)  
    Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 33 min
    Civic Engagement in Small Towns with Jodi Bruns of NDSU Extension

    Civic Engagement in Small Towns with Jodi Bruns of NDSU Extension

    As a Civic Engagement and Leadership Specialist with NDSU Extension, today’s guest, Jodi Bruns, knows small towns. She shares her perspective about how to help small communities embrace change, adopt best practices to encourage leadership development, and change the narrative about who we are.   About Jodi
    Jodi Bruns is a Leadership and Civic Engagement Specialist with NDSU Extension. She develops resources for local Extension agents to utilize when working with communities and organizations. Jodi is a certified mediator, facilitator for numerous processes such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Real Colors, etc. She trains organizations in best practices, leads groups in strategic planning steps, and is a passionate cheerleader for rural initiatives. Jodi earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Dakota State University. In this episode, we cover: How to get people involved in your community The roles generations play in community engagement Why rural communities are well-positioned to offer remote worker initiatives The importance of making small bets and celebrating small wins Links + Resources Mentioned
    NDSU Extension Remote Work Certification: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/lead/remotework NDSU Extension Board Management and Best Practices: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/community-development/board-management-and-best-practices/cv1965.pdf Subscribe + Review
    Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Growing Small Towns Show! If the information in our conversations and interviews has helped you in your small town, head out to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver relevant, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more small-town trailblazers just like you!

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

OARFan5 ,

Big Fan

Such a gracious host!
Such great info for small towns!

Perry Hurth ,

Rebecca rocks!

What a refreshing podcast! Growing up in small town North Dakota- I can totally relate. She is well spoken, informative, inspiring, challenging and reflective. Tons of value provided through Rebecca’s insight and experience. Subscribe today!

This Farm Girl Cooks ,

The Real Deal!

Rebecca is warm, relatable and is genuine in her pursuit of all things small town! The ideas she has, the guests that she interviews - they are pure gold for those of us living in small communities! Give it a listen - you’ll be glad you did! Keep up the good work :)

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