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.
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.Continue reading “S2 – Episode 03: Forgottonia Brewing – What Does it Take to Run a Successful Business in Rural America?”→
Enjoyed sharing our previous conversation on race and rural America with Dr. Alphonso Simpson from WIU. You can listen here by visiting this link or through our “Forgottonia Project” podcast. Wanted to take a moment to share a few resources Dr. Simpson recommended during on discussion. These are various books, articles, and media he finds very helpful in facilitating healthy conversations about race and also uses in them in various courses he teaches. We recommend you get your hands on the following:
We’re excited to share this outstanding conversation about race and rural America with Dr. Alphonso Simpson. Dr. Simpson is a professor of African American Studies at Western Illinois University and also serves as chair of the department of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He’s been teaching at WIU since 2000 and is the author of 3 books “Mother to Son: A Collection of Essays and Readings in African American Studies, Ain’t Nobody Worryin’: Maleness & Masculinity in Black America, and Living the Life I Sing: Gospel Music from the Dorsey Era to the Millennium. Our essential questions are “How do we talk about race in rural America?” And “what advice do you have for young people growing up in rural counties that are predominantly white?” Speaking with Dr. Simpson was super enjoyable and informative. We learned a lot from this talk and know you will too.
We are pleased to share this interview with Dr. Lori Baker-Sperry from Western Illinois University Department of Women Studies. We asked Dr. Baker-Sperry several questions concerning the topic of gender, especially in regards to rural America. This interview prompted us to interview key community leaders to also share their experience with things like gender stereotypes and advice to women growing up in rural America today. Dr. Baker-Sperry provided us with several links to her responses as well that you will find helpful. We hope you enjoy and please contact us with any questions you might have.