Civil Chemistry

I was dumping corn at the local grain elevator and talking to Jonas, the guy running the augers and conveyor belts that put the corn in the right bin. “You know, farmers aren’t all to blame for the water problems. You have to think about all those people in town fertilizing their lawns, the golfContinue reading “Civil Chemistry”

Shopping Carts

“Sorry, sir, these are the smallest baskets we got!” exclaimed Peter at the grocery store, pointing me towards the half-size shopping carts, “All our baskets got stolen!” When I buy groceries I usually buy them from Cooper’s, right down the street. Mona does too. When I don’t need a lot, I walk there. When IContinue reading “Shopping Carts”

A tale of two taxes

Our neighbor, Steve, would like to sell his farm. Steve is 93 years old, has essentially retired, and is renting our family the 120-acre parcel of land surrounding his homestead. He’d like to sell it to us, but will not sell because of the capital gains tax he would have to pay on the saleContinue reading “A tale of two taxes”

Dear Hometowns

All opinions expressed herein are my own and may not reflect the views of the US Government, the Department of Defense, the United States Army, the State of Minnesota, or the Minnesota Army National Guard. Dear Hometowns, Our ancestors fought for a better world for us, our families, and our future, and it is inContinue reading “Dear Hometowns”

The Family Farm

“It’s not like it used to be,” said Jerry at the Co-op. I was giving my girlfriend a whirlwind tour of Kiester, MN, on a cloudy Monday morning. She had asked him how Co-ops have changed over time. “The guys used to come on down in their manure boots, sit around the table, and haveContinue reading “The Family Farm”

Water is for Fighting

“Just go on back to your office, you don’t care.” Whatever, Frank. Frank believes that his neighbors should turn their cornfield into a wetland in order to hold back water when it rains. Right now, if Frank and his neighbors get more than three inches of rain in a couple hours, a full-blown river flowsContinue reading “Water is for Fighting”


 “Hey, my man, I need to talk with you right now about something very important. Can I come sit with you?” We had been living in Mankato for four or five months when our neighbor, Mohammed, stopped me in the hallway of the apartment complex. “Oh! Of course, come on in!” Mohammed and I walkedContinue reading “Neighbors”

Starting a conversation

One of my classmates at the US Army Officer Candidate School used to have as her Instagram bio, “exploring humanity”, and that really stuck with me. As an explorer from an early age, I always thought of exploration as a journey to a foreign land, the discovery of a new species, a mountain climb, aContinue reading “Starting a conversation”


I’m not real great with numbers, dollars, and head counts, but I’ll try to break this down clearly. Here, I’ll be telling the stories of people who live and work more than 20 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s and discussing the issues that are important to them.

About me

A brief, boring narrative – My name is Aaron. I’m on a mission to better understand this state I live in and share what I learn with everyone else! I grew up on a farm near Albert Lea, Minnesota, lived several years out and about in three different MN cities, completed a graduate degree inContinue reading “About me”


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

%d bloggers like this: