town under 10,000, photo by Phil Soreide
town under 10,000, photo by Phil Soreide
My sister Nancy and I moved back to Nebraska after working careers in cities far flung from the Midwest. We relocated near our home town in central Nebraska where we soon discerned a disconnect between how the media represents Nebraska towns under 10,000, and our favorable impressions. For example, the media reported on pockets of poverty, erosion, drought, out migration, and we noticed the enduring spirit of the people who live in towns under 10,000. Many families in small towns and villages stay even through droughts, economic crisis, out migration, and neglect. They cherish their lifestyle, and we wanted to know why.

Don Brockmeier Photographer
Don Brockmeier Photographer

We hiked, kayaked and photographed the rough, unspoiled beauty of the rivers, lakes, prairies and found wilderness to explore.

Dena Beck, Center for Rural Affairs and Rex Nelson, McCook Economic Development
Dena Beck, Center for Rural Affairs and Rex Nelson, McCook Economic Development

We met community leaders who encouraged us to develop our entrepreneurial and nonprofit business and gathered sponsors to help us succeed.

Boutique in Alma  Photograph by Scott Rager
Boutique in Alma
Photograph by Scott Rager

We saw wide streets, green expanses of lawns and city parks, fresh, clean water available to all, schools that educate, and affordable housing. And never do we wait in traffic! Yes, we do cherish the time we earn back every day by living in town under 10,000 in Nebraska.

Our curiosity led us to further investigate the why. Why do towns under 10,000 persist, exist, and in many cases, thrive? What do people do to support their lifestyle? What is important to them? What is the quality of their public systems, i.e. schools, health care, infrastructure?

In our search for answers, we started a company, Nebraska Rural Living, a 501 (c(3) and designed a magazine to publish the outcomes of our research. We interview entrepreneurs and feature photographs and stories about successful entrepreneurial businesses and the creative, diligent people who own and work them.

We determined to set straight the media’s misinterpretation of life and living in towns under 10,000. The message that we repeat monthly and have been sticking to it since 2005 invites our readers to settle in the small communities we celebrate, take a career opportunity, tele-commute, fulfill a personal dream of entrepreneurship, visit, retire.

The GLION, lithium powered electric scooter team
The GLION, lithium powered electric scooter team

We especially talk food – menus of the great plains and the chefs who create them. We write and photo our commercial gardeners and the food products they preserve.

Ryan Puls, Chef and owner of The Speakeasy, Photo by Scott Rager
Ryan Puls, Chef and owner of The Speakeasy, Photo by Scott Rager

See the current edition of Nebraska Rural Living and explore a reservoir of past stories and photos on the website www.Nebraskaruralliving.com Sorry, no hard copy of the magazine. Sign up on the website for your digital copy and also a photo of a curious and often lovely Nebraska scene posted to your inbox every Friday. NRL_logo_wTagline_cmky (2)
We share all of these subjects on our website, a monthly newsletter, and social media – Facebook, Instagram and Blog. We invite you to take a chance. Make your own meaningful memories and prosperous life in a town under 10,000 in Nebraska.


Comment

  1. David Anderson January 23, 2016 at 6:17 pm -

    Betty and Nancy,
    Great article about Holdrege.
    Enjoy reading about Holdrege and SW Nebraska.
    It keeps me in touch with the town and area I grew up in which is a great place to live and raise a family.
    Thanks for being there for those of us who are not!
    Dave “Stub” Anderson

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