Season 3, Episode 3 – What a Small Town Yoga Studio is Doing to Improve Well-Being in Forgottonia – Interview with Lyndsey Larson, Manager of The Breathing Tree

On this edition of the Forgottonia podcast we’re sharing a conversation about mental health in rural America with our friend Lyndsey Larson, the manager of a local yoga studio in Canton, IL called “The Breathing Tree.” Lyndsey is also a native and recent returnee to Canton, IL where she lives with her husband and their surprise triplets!

S2 – Episode 07: What the Salvation Army is Doing to Help the Most Vulnerable Rural Americans

According to a study at Columbia University funded by the National Institute of Health,  4.5% of all deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to poverty (Link to research). And this was before the covid-19 outbreak! What is the cause of poverty? What does poverty look like in rural, western Illinois? What can we do to combat poverty? To help respond to these questions, we turned to Lt. Sarah B. Eddy of the Canton, IL Salvation Army. 

S2 – Episode 06: The Rural Youth Assembly Summit with Kaylann Beekman

Cuba High School senior Kaylann Beekman was recently selected to represent Illinois at the Rural Youth Assembly Summit in McAllen, Texas (*Note: The Summit was originally scheduled for April 2-5, but will be postponed for a later date).  She is one of just 50 young adults, ages 16-24, selected across the nation to serve as a delegate.  The Summit brings young people together to explore unique challenges facing rural youth, and identify creative solutions to address them. 

S2 – Episode 05: Roads, Higher Ed, & Racism – Students ask the IIRA

On this episode, Chris Merrett from the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs responds to questions formed from students at Cuba High School in Cuba, IL.  These questions reflect  a range of challenges facing small towns, not only in Cuba, but throughout Forgottonia. The essential questions our students asked Chris include the following:

S2 – Episode 04: Chris Merrett, IL Institute for Rural Affairs – What are the Challenges to Running a Business in Rural America?

We are beyond pleased to share this interview with our friend Chris Merrett from the IL Institute for Rural Affairs.  Chris is the Director of the Institute, which is located on the campus of Western IL University in Macomb, IL.  The institute oversees research, outreach, teaching, and policy development that is comprised of 20 community development faculty and professionals.  He serves on the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and is the Chairperson of Rural Partners, which has raised over $6 million in external grant funding to support community and economic development outreach and research.  Chris has researched and edited books on the topics of cooperatives and community development, and has published a range of articles on topics such as value-added agriculture, rural land use, social justice, and rural community and economic development. 

S2 – Episode 03: Forgottonia Brewing – What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Rural America?

On this episode were fortunate to speak with some local entrepreneurs who not only started a new business in Macomb, IL, but they are kindred spirits because they named it “Forgottonia!”  Sean West and his partners Scott and Susan Park of Forgottonia Brewing in Macomb, share their story on starting a business and how they are incorporating Forgottonia history.   The essential question we asked is “What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Forgottonia?”  We hope you enjoy this conversation and if you have any questions or feedback we’d love to hear from you by visiting our webpage Forgottonia project.com.