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Success Stories

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finnriver coowners photo by james curtis. Three people smiling in front of fermenting equipment and bottles.

Sustainability at the Core

For many, apples are a sweet addition to a balanced diet. For Eric Jorgensen, one of the founders of Finnriver Farm & Cidery, apples are a way of life. Jorgensen and his partners started their small organic fruit and vegetable farm in Chimacum, Washington, on the state’s… [Read More]
A sunny industrial kitchen with equipment, a hood over a range, and ovens.

With RAIN Catalysts, Oregon Entrepreneurs Shine

Though their businesses may be small, rural entrepreneurs play a big role in the nation’s economic development and prosperity. They create local jobs, revitalize Main Streets, and enrich their communities. With every open sign and website launch, these intrepid innovators bring… [Read More]
Ruben Lopez Opening Smoker to show meat cooking inside.

Commercial Kitchen Fires Texas Barbecue up to Next Level

When Ruben Lopez and his wife Katherine moved from Texas to Price, Utah a few years ago, they didn’t have plans to open a restaurant. The idea began with a question Ruben posted on Facebook. “How would y'all like some Texas barbecue out here?” His query received hundreds of… [Read More]
Smiling woman standing in a shop with honey and honey-themed products on shelves on the walls and on racks.

Entrepreneurs and RD: a Match Meant to Bee

Mark and Linda Graf have a crew of over 400,000 bees in over 100 hives working for them near Emerson, Nebraska. The Buzz, their store on Main Street, sells local honey and related products.   The Grafs are shining examples of entrepreneurship in rural America. Linda describes… [Read More]
Owner of Fable Farms preparing wine

Building Small Rural Businesses

Small businesses are the center of rural communities and ensuring they have the tools needed to be successful is important for their sustainability. Fable Farms, a wine company in Washington, felt the strain during COVID-19 in 2020. Finding supplies for the business and getting… [Read More]
Burke County Sign

New Technology for Burke, South Dakota Businesses

Technology has become a very important aspect of everyday life. Families, schools, governments, and businesses all use some form of technology to reach people and disseminate information or services.   Rural communities like Burke, South Dakota, were among the many communities… [Read More]
Workers at the Arc Bakery making their cookie

Creating Community, Awareness, and Cookies With the Arc

More than 67 years ago, parents came together to advocate for their children living with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) who were not welcome in public schools. The Arc was born out of this effort, becoming a nonprofit dedicated to supporting individuals living… [Read More]
Image of Luther College

Luther Center Helps Local Businesses Go Solar

The Luther College’s Center for Sustainable Communities is working to improve local economies in the Midwest with the help of a Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Grant (REAP). When the two investor-owned… [Read More]
Homegrown Hideaways is a lodging facility that went solar with a REAP grant

REAP Grant Helps Rural Farming Business Go Solar

Homegrown HideAways is more than just a farm. Located in the Appalachians of Berea, Kentucky, the 100-acre holler welcomes more than 2,000 guests per year and has more than a dozen listings on Airbnb. When Jessa Turner and her partner opened the center, they had plans of adding… [Read More]
Mill Creek Gardens sign

Flowers Make People Happy Year-Round at Mill Creek Gardens

Between fresh snowbanks and snow-covered farm fields on Mill Creek Drive in Marshfield are rows of greenhouses with a large sign out front that says, “Flowers Make People Happy” on it. It’s a quiet winter day in December but inside is a warm, welcoming display of thriving flora… [Read More]