Cody and Ashley Gerlach both grew up in rural Nebraska, and like many small-town kids, they were determined to leave for the city following graduation. They met while attending Southeast Community College in Beatrice, married in 2007 and, not long after, were blessed with the birth of their oldest son, Mica, while they lived and worked in Lincoln, Neb. (pop. 272,996.)
“I think it was that the mom in me was ready to come back,” Ashley said. “Our oldest was two-and-a-half three, and I didn’t want him to go to a big school.”
At about that same time, Jolene Miller, owner of “The Cambridge Clarion,” asked if they would be interested in moving back to Ashley’s hometown of Cambridge (pop. 1,047) to take over the newspaper in Cambridge. With Ashley’s parents still living in the area, and their desire to raise their children in a smaller community, they decided to make the move back to rural Nebraska.
“This is just more of what we are comfortable with and what we enjoy, and I think it’s what we wanted for our family,” Cody said.
Eight years later, Cody and Ashley are thriving in their careers—Cody as owner and publisher of “The Cambridge Clarion,” “The Oxford Standard” and “The Frontier County Enterprise” and Ashley as a business development consultant for the Nebraska Department for Economic Development. They are also actively involved in their community as they await the birth of their fifth child. Their life in rural Nebraska is even busier now than in Lincoln, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Listen to Cody and Ashley tell their rural Nebraska relocation success story.