Our goal with this podcast is to share the stories of businesses and individuals on the MinnWest Campus. The businesses range from multi-generational agriculture organizations to cutting-edge technology companies on the verge of going public.
Eric w/ the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission
On this episode, we got to sit down and chat with Eric Day - Executive Director of the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission. The MMDC is our newest campus tenant, so we figured this was a fun way to welcome them, learn more about the work they do and help share their story!
Who You Are Matters w/ Liz & Tyler
On this episode, we sat down to chat with Liz Dyrdal and Tyler Gehrking. Liz is the most recent addition to the MWTC team, and Tyler is the marketing/video wiz behind our new MWTC podcast. We decided it would be fun to share the evolution of marketing the campus and some of the more recent things we've been dabbling in.
But in order to get to that, we had to tell the story of how the three of us started working together in the first place. You'll get to learn how Liz landed in Willmar, how Tyler quit teaching to start a marketing company, and even how Joanna is passionate about building team culture through each employee's personal strengths.
Find Your Own Way w/ Jamie Duininck
Episode 6: Jamie Duininck
On this episode, we sit down to chat with Jamie Duininck, co-President + 3rd generation owner of Prinsco to learn a little more about the family businesses and how it all started in Prinsburg MN nearly 50 years ago.
Prinsco first got its start in the water management industry in 1975 making gravity flow storm sewers out of concrete. It began as a solution for the agriculture market - specifically farmers - to help manage the amount of water that stays on their land. The concrete pipes were short lived, as they transitioned to all plastic in the 80’s - but the need for their product continued to grow. With evolution of demand and the customers they serve, Prinsco has since expanded into the residential and storm/sewer markets. A company growth made possible through additional plants (now 7 total) all across the midwest and southwest parts of the U.S.
note: the Prinsburg plant still holds the title of most pounds of pipe produced per year!
Jamie always had a desire to do something in the family business. After exploring other opportunities after college (including being a private pilot!), he inevitably came back to the Willmar area and started at Prinsco in 1997. Jamie eventually found his way into the Co-President role alongside his cousin, Jeremy Duininck. Staying true to their strengths, Jamie focuses on sales + marketing initiatives while Jeremy focuses on the operations side of things. The two have worked extremely hard to maintain the mission of Prinsco and stay true to their core values of integrity, hard work + relationships. If you’ve ever worked with Prinsco, you’ll understand how those three values are weaved into everything they do.
Special thanks to Jamie for the always entertaining conversation, and for giving us more insight into the dynamics of the family business. We’re proud to have your team here on the MinnWest campus!
Learn more about Prinsco: https://www.prinsco.com/
Learn more about MinnWest Campus: http://www.mnwesttechnology.com/
The History of The MinnWest Campus
On this episode, we're joined by Jill Wohnoutka from the Kandiyohi Historical Society. (Yes, this one is for all of the history buffs out there!) And there was plenty to discuss when it comes to our campus - which has been around since it's original construction in 1912.
We touch on a lot of fun topics Including the original purpose for the campus, the story of its pioneering founder (James J Hill) and some of the very interesting things we've learned since transitioning the grounds to a collaborative business campus in 2005.
We're lucky to have smart and curious people like Jill in our community, and resources like the Historical Society to turn to. Be sure to watch the follow up video to this discussion on our Youtube Channel!
Recruiting Rural w/ Jami and Melissa
What's it like to be a recruiter in outstate MN? On this episode, we get to sit down with two awesome ladies (who just happen to be pretty talented recruiters), Melissa Sorenson from Nova-Tech Engineering and Jami Halliday from Life Science Innovations. You'll glean plenty of insights on both the recruiter AND "recruitee" perspective!
'Public-Private Partnerships Can Make Magic' w/ Kathy and Tim of UofM Extension
Episode 2: Tim Johnson + Kathy Schwantes
On this episode, we sat down with Kathy Schwantes and Tim Johnson from the Mid Central Research + Outreach Center (aka MCROC) on campus. Many people are often surprised to learn that the University of Minnesota has a presence on MWTC, so we brought in Kathy and Tim to help tell - and share - the story.
Kathy is currently the West Central Regional Director for the U of M Extension AND the Director of Operations at MCROC. She’s had quite the career in the Willmar area, from starting out at Heritage Bank, to becoming a teacher + dean at Ridgewater College, then transitioning into economic development working for the EDC, all the way to her current gig with the U of M / MCROC. These days she spends her time traveling across 10 counties in central MN connecting people to the resources that Extension has to offer.
Tim is currently a professor at the U of M’s vet school + the Director of R&D for MCROC. After splitting time between St. Paul and Willmar for a few years, him and his family officially moved “out west” in 2015. Tim has a huge passion for teaching and connecting younger generations with the poultry industry through the research side of things. As he says, much of what his does involves finding ways to “make science sexy.”
After many conversations and a lot of hard work behind the scenes, the MCROC lab opened on campus in 2012. Due to the nature of the work, many things that MCROC lab actually does flies under the radar. The large majority of their research and testing revolves around the turkey industry. In fact, many of the projects are spurred from conversations with local ag workers and the challenges they face every day. Which is an advantage of having their rural location - specially of MWTC alongside other turkey/ag related businesses.
MCROC is also able to partner with our local college and other M-state schools to provide more opportunities for students to learn about research and all of its applications in the ag industry. In collaboration with Ridgewater College and others, Tim is currently working on launching the U of M’s first 100% online poultry training program. It’ll be starting this Fall, so stay tuned for more info on that!
Learn more about the U of M Extension + MCROC: https://extension.umn.edu/
Learn more about MinnWest Campus: http://www.mnwesttechnology.com/
Customer ReviewsSee All
I think if people, specificities young people, were exposed to more of these stories they would understand how amazingly entrepreneurial our community is. Love this. ❤️