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Season 2 Preview: Sowing Possibility

Megan Torgerson (narrating): Thanks for listening to Reframing Rural. I’m Megan Torgerson, the host of this podcast. Last season I brought listeners to cattle pastures, country churches, farm houses and my own homeplace on the Montana Hi-Line. This season, I’m expanding the geographic scope of my stories to bring you conversations with thought partners from across the West and Heartland who, like me, advocate for, study and make art out of the rural experience. These interviews will unearth guests’ rural roots and take a deep dive into cultural forces and policies that have shaped rural America. They’ll parse out social and environmental issues impacting our small towns, rural lands (and country at large) while offering solutions that you can implement in your community.


This season you’ll meet innovators who rewrite architectural history to create literal space for small town creatives and community members.


Miranda Moen: Part of the issue is that architects were never meant to be a part of rural life. Architects are historically the counterpart of clergy and merchants, of a different class. 


You’ll get to know deep thinkers who make meaning out of the ever-shifting landscape of the American West.


Jake Bullinger: The common divide that is brought up in the west is the urban rural divide, which becomes a catch all phrase to highlight the political and social and economic differences between small towns, less populated states and their larger counterparts. I think it is important for people to know and for journalists like myself to report accordingly, that there are solutions and problems that are consistent to both small towns and large cities. 


And I’ll bring you with me to a music festival set in a cow pasture that’s dedicated to celebrating rural Montana.


Jessie Veeder: So it’s dry and dusty and we’re watching the helicopters travel across the sky for another bucket do dump on the fire and my husband is a volunteer firefighter in little Keene North, Dakota, population 3 people and a community center. And he’s fought fire about every day in March and every day since, so I understand the sacrifices we all make here so this country doesn’t burn up. We’re on a working ranch we run cattle about 150 head of black angus and Simmental cattle on a 110 year old ranch now my husband and I, right down the road from my parents.


We’re aiming for a contemplative experience that uplifts the resiliency of rural communities, stretches our social imagination and calls attention to our interconnectedness.


Beginning September 30th, I’ll drop an episode a month into your podcast feed. Our first episode, a conversation with rural champion and mentor to many, Sarah Calhoun.


Sarah Calhoun: At Gettysburg College I worked for the Center for Public Service and there was this wonderful guy who started this program and he was a Lutheran minister, Carl Matson was his name, and he would always talk about building bridges and that just stuck with me. That was such a poignant idea and theme. And you see it in your day to day, and it’s so much easier when you have face to face interactions and community interactions with people who have different backgrounds, different political or religious beliefs or just different life experience perspectives, that’s a wonderful thing. The more we walk over those bridges and back, and build them and maintain them and value them then the better we’re all going to be. 


Be sure you’ve subscribed to Reframing Rural wherever you get your podcasts. And tune into a ten episode season that leans into intimate and expansive questions, and provokes inspired possibilities for our shared future.


Host, creator, producer, editor and mixer: Megan Torgerson

Guests: Miranda Moen, Jake Bullinger, Jessie Veeder and Sarah Calhoun

Episode Music: Andrew Drinnan 

This season is funded in part by the Greater Montana Foundation.

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