Rural newcomers: Young, educated, there by choice

  • Article by: PAM LOUWAGIE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 10, 2012 - 9:02 AM

Many counties welcome influx of people in their 30s and 40s.

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dahutysJun. 9, 1211:56 PM

" 'We're told about people whether we want to hear about them or not ... the feuds and whatnot,' he said." I think this is as big a problem for small towns as the lack of goods and services. I wish I could put up with small town stuff, because there are lots of things that I miss about farm life. But an old classmate of mine who still lives in our tiny hometown started getting the cold shoulder from people, and discovered that her weight gain had made people speculate that she must be pregnant...but when no baby appeared, people started saying she must have gotten an abortion...and now many locals glare at her because she's an "evil baby-killer", even though all she did was eat too many Pop Tarts. The people three doors down from my house in the city may not even know my name, but at least I don't have to put up with idiotic rumors like that any more.

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BUDJun. 10, 1212:47 AM

I know someone who's parents moved to a small town for a sense of community and they weren't very welcoming to new people. They eventually moved back to the cities.

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bironJun. 10, 12 5:21 AM

Even though Norman Rockwell's America is long gone in most metro areas across this country, it still lives on in rural areas. I pleased to some folks still value the rural lifestyle. I'll take peace and quiet over hipsters and crime any day.

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bosshogJun. 10, 12 6:39 AM

I did exactly this 10 years ago and moved to a fairly remote area in northern Minnesota. I worked (telecommuted) for a company out of Chicago as a software engineer up until this year and grew up in a suburban area near Chicago. The biggest problem I face as well as many other high-tech workers in rural areas is access to high-speed internet. In only the past year did I get access to 4Mb/s speeds. Before that it was 1Mb/s. It took me nearly 24 hours straight to download some developer software in the past. If rural areas want to attract these type of workers they need to make sure they have high-speed internet. 4Mb/s is the absolute minimum, preferably 10.

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raylottieJun. 10, 12 7:24 AM

I left the Cities when I retired in 2005. It was a good decision. I live on some acreage and enjoy the peace of country living. The people here are great folks, although a bit reserved until they get to know you. I joined the local Lions Club, a golf course and a church, which helped me enter the community. People out here value their freedom and independence, but help their neighbors when the need arises. Crime is rare, and I grow, fish and hunt a good share of my food. Life is good.

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rkn55811Jun. 10, 12 8:26 AM

Tucked neatly away in this article is the real news. Telecommuting or working remotely is becoming more and more common and accepted in today's work force. This is a revolution in the making, the full effects of which we still do not know.

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flossy2012Jun. 10, 12 8:30 AM

Folks, this is what is called "white flight". Having talked to people who moved to rural areas from the suburban Twin Cities, I know what they are trying to get away from. I know people who live out in the rural areas who never lock their doors. Sounds crazy, but that's how much confidence they have in their neighbors. How many people living in Murderapolis would dare live like that?

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willmarresJun. 10, 12 8:50 AM

Most of my meetings are done via Skype and webinar. I can leave the office and be on the lake in 15 minutes--and sometimes I have the lake to myself.

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mn1nativeJun. 10, 12 9:54 AM

With out of towers moving to rural areas also come homogenization of those areas.

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beebee82Jun. 10, 1210:24 AM

As one who recently did this, I can attest to some locals not being very "welcoming" at first. But once I started becoming involved in my new community (volunteering at the food shelf, softball league, the local arts council, etc.) they held open arms for our family. See, unlike the larger city we came from, people in small town Minnesota expect their neighbors to be neighborly and have a stake in what they've lived in and built all these years. If you move to the country just to take advantage of all its benefits but not lift a finger to sustain those benefits, yeah... you may get the hairy eye-ball a time or two.

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