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Three ways to build an urban-rural bridge

March 27, 2020
#MinnesotaInCommon logo

Talk of an urban-rural divide rears its head often, but the reality is that Minnesotans depend on each other. We’re interdependent when it comes to jobs, environment, education and pretty much every facet of our lives. In February, Extension and people from across the state came together for #MinnesotaInCommon, a conversation on Twitter about challenges, opportunities and how we can build bridges across our state.

Among the suggestions:

1. Focus on what connects us, be it food, climate, education and more.

“Water is valued by all Minnesotans, and we are seeing success when groups across interests and landscapes come together for a conversation about our future,” tweeted Joel Larson, Extension program leader for water resources and associate director of the University’s Water Resources Center.

2. Move your stay-cation a little farther from home.

“I like agritourism ideas that give urban dwellers a chance to see parts of agriculture first hand,” tweeted Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. That road goes two ways. There are nearly 100 neighborhoods to visit in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Choose a coffee shop or restaurant where the locals go.

3. Surprise people with something about where you live.

Extension educator Christy Kallevig, of rural Belgrade, tweeted: “In rural west-central Minnesota, we have immigrants and refugees from many parts of the world. I never know who I am going to meet or what I will learn today.”

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