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The Definitive Business Journal for the Greater Minnesota River Valley April 2021

Dan Forsythe, owner of Minnesota Valley transport in New Ulm. Photo by Pat Christman

Truckin’ on Industry sees surge in demand Also in this issue • BREW-N-WINE IN MANKATO • TWIG CASE CO.OF WASECA • ST. PETER WOOLEN MILL

The Free Press MEDIA


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MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 1


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F E A T U R E S April 2021 • Volume 13, Issue 7

10

The pandemic hit many trucking firms last spring, but the industry has come back in a big way and expects high demand into next year.

14

The St. Peter Woolen Mill, established in 1867, is Minnesota’s only custom woolen mill, providing a variety of goods and services for customers.

16

Jon Lucca’s Twig Case Co. in Waseca produces unique iPhone cases engraved with designs and artwork using paper composite panels.

18

Beverly Stevens offers a wide variety of ingredients and equipment for home brewing and winemaking at Brew-n-Wine on Mankato’s hilltop.

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 3


APRIL 2021 • VOLUME 13, ISSUE 7

By Joe Spear

PUBLISHER Steve Jameson EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Spear ASSOCIATE EDITOR Tim Krohn CONTRIBUTING Tim Krohn WRITERS Kent Thiesse Dan Greenwood Katie Roiger Harvey Mackay PHOTOGRAPHERS Pat Christman COVER PHOTO Pat Christman PAGE DESIGNER Christina Sankey ADVERTISING Danny Creel Sales Jordan Greer-Friesz Josh Zimmerman Theresa Haefner Tim Keech ADVERTISING Barb Wass ASSISTANT ADVERTISING Christina Sankey DESIGNERS CIRCULATION Justin Niles DIRECTOR For editorial inquiries, call Tim Krohn at 507-344-6383. For advertising, call 344-6364, or e-mail advertising@mankatofreepress.com. MN Valley Business is published by The Free Press Media monthly at 418 South 2nd Street Mankato MN 56001.

■ Local Business memos/ Company news....................................5 ■ MRCI....................................................8 ■ Business Commentary........................9 ■ Business and Industry trends .........22 ■ Retail trends ....................................23 ■ Agriculture Outlook .........................24 ■ Agribusiness trends.........................25 ■ Construction, real estate trends ....26 ■ Gas trends .......................................27 ■ Stocks ..............................................27 ■ Minnesota Business updates...........28 ■ Job trends ........................................28 ■ Schmidt Foundation ........................30 ■ Greater Mankato Growth .................32 ■ Greater Mankato Growth Member Activities ...........................33

From the editor

Mankato is better than the one percenters

Y

ou can tell a lot about a city by looking at its financial reports. The city of Mankato made news recently when for the first time in its history, it received an interest rate below 1% on issuance of its bonds to finance infrastructure like streets, sewer and water. Mankatoans were the beneficiar y, it seems, of a somewhat skittish stock market and investors for two years in a row. A year ago, of course, the pandemic had just set in about the time Mankato put its bonds out for bid. Investors freaked out when COVID-19 cases went from a few hundred to 43,000 in a single month. The stock market spiraled down, but bond buyers were also in their foxholes. In an odd sort of twist, last year the city’s financial adviser found a “private individual buyer” to buy $5.9 million in bonds at 1.5%. Hmmm. Seems strange, doesn’t it, someone with an extra $5 million laying around would be a private individual and know about the security of Mankato debt. I’ll let you speculate. Two years ago the bond market fell as city bonds went to bid just on the tail of the crash of Boeing 737 that sent Boeing stock plummeting as well as the rest of the market. That year, Mankato benefited from a dropping interest rate and financed its streets for 2.15 percent. This year, the apparent low supply of bonds combined with historically low interest rates to make us part of the under 1% club. Apparently the Fed has no intention of raising rates, with the idea that inflation is no longer a relevant economic concept. So the city will pay 0.9 percent for $8 million in bonded debt. That’s what you call cheap streets.

4 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

But city leaders and financial officials may have achieved their low interest rate the “old fashioned way:” Earning it. The fine people at the city’s investment advisors Standard and Poor’s Rating agency known as Joseph Vodziak and Caroline E. West found a great many fine things to say about Mankato, its people and the trustworthiness of its debt. As much as we think Mankato is an overachieving kind of place, Joseph and Caroline rate our economy as “adequate.” Our “stabilizing institutions” include Minnesota State University and a large health-care sector. But our effective buying income is only 79 percent of the national average, and the researchers say that’s due to the large number of college students in the town suppressing “income” and “market value per capita.” Still, it seems Mankato’s market value is experiencing rather impressive growth at a rate of 5.3 percent per year over four years, reaching a level of $3.8 billion. Mankato’s population of 42,000 is estimated to double during the day to 80,000 as it is a regional center for employment. And while hotel and lodging businesses have dropped dramatically in 2020, they’re a small part of the overall economy. Other employers have been expanding, according to the rating report. After all of that, the researchers rate the economy as “adequate” over the next 12 months. Tough crowd I guess. If our economy is only adequate, Joseph and Caroline found much more overachievement in the city’s financial management and economic standing. The city budget performance is “adequate” once again, and the researchers noted the city acted


quickly when the pandemic hit and built a $1 million emergency fund. Other funds and federal relief allowed the city to finish the year with a $250,000 surplus that was also aided by $1.5 million in cuts including staffing. In conclusion, the researchers say: “We expect budgetary performance will at least remain adequate given these revenue-

reduction expectations, and the city’s historically swift response addressing budgetary pressures.” Translation. We’re quick to cut. But the researchers also say Mankato’s “budgetary flexibility” is considered “very strong,” citing more than ample fund balances and reserves at 41 percent of operating expenditures. The financial health of a city

underpins the underlying health of a regional economy. When a city is run well, businesses don’t have to worry about uneven tax rates or poor service. And for all of that Mankato has joined the one percenter club. Joe Spear is executive editor of Minnesota Valley Business. Contact him at jspear@mankatofreepress.com or 344-6382. Follow on Twitter @jfspear.

Local Business People/Company News

Capstone names digital officer

Capstone, a publisher of children’s educational content, has named Michael (Mick) Demakos chief digital officer. Demakos brings more than 25 years of experience in operating management, education technology, product management, and strategic partnerships to this newly created role at Capstone. Most recently, Demakos served in a dual role as president of EMC School, a K12 education technology and curriculum provider, and chief digital officer for New Mountain Learning, a private, equity-backed education services company that provides curriculum, classroom management, and innovative technology tools in the K-12 (EMC School) and higher education markets. Demakos holds an MBA from State University of New York at Albany and a BA in Political Science from Siena College.

Bohrer joins True

Dylan Bohrer has joined True Real Estate as a real estate agent. A Mankato native, Bohrer has experience in the real estate industry including residential multi-family investing, property maintenance and management and the home buying and selling process. ■■■

SouthPoint honored

SouthPoint Financial Credit Union received five Minnesota Credit Union Network Marketing Awards. The award program recognizes outstanding efforts in the areas of branding, community impact and outreach, digital advertising, video and complete campaigns. Sleepy Eye-based SouthPoint Financial Credit Union was a marketing award recipient in the $250 million to $500 million asset category for: Branding, Complete campaign, Digital, Printed and Video.

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Mahoney, Laughlin join True

Becky Mahoney and Jenna Laughlin have joined True Real Estate. Mahoney has lived in the Minnesota River Valley her entire life and real estate has been an interest and hobby for 20 years. Mahoney has a bachelor’s degree in business management with an emphasis in marketing. Laughlin was born in Tasmania, Australia and moved to Mankato to marry her husband who is from the Mankato area. ■■■

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Attorneys of the Year

Thomas K. Hagen and Steven P. Groschen from the law firm of Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office have been awarded the Minnesota Attorneys of the Year for their accomplishments in successfully defending against a first-degree murder charge. The trial took place in Worthington in February 2020. The case and trial was featured on Dateline NBC. Hagen and Groschen were nominated by their colleagues in the legal profession for their trial skills in the acquittal of their client. The award is given annually to a few attorneys throughout Minnesota.

Optometrist Davis honored

Viktoria Davis was named Optometrist of the Year by the Minnesota Optometric Association. She is the owner of Madelia Optometric, a multi-ser vice optometric practice. Davis has served on the MOA COVID task force, helping provide resources, developing protocols and guidance to optometrists in Minnesota. She also has served as the Medicare Contractor Advisory Committee representative for Minnesota since 2016. Davis was the recipient of the Young Optometrist of the Year award in 2005. She is involved with the school vision screening program in Madelia and instructing pediatric nursing students from Minnesota State University. ■■■

Pettis joins ISG

Darell Pettis has joined ISG. He has served as Le Sueur County’s administrator and previously their county engineer. Working primarily out of Mankato, Pettis will support firm-wide growth initiatives by working with government, water and transportation clients and communities across the Midwest. ■■■

CLA moves to Bridge Plaza

CLA’s Mankato office has relocated to the third floor of the new Bridge Plaza building. The new location at 201 North Riverfront Drive, Suite 300, is just one block away from the firm’s previous address. Jeff Lang, CLA principal, Mankato, says the move was driven by a need for more space.

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 5


“This move supports our growing practice in the region and provides a more collaborative setting, further enhancing our ability to offer integrated outsourcing, wealth advisory, audit, tax, and consulting services,” Lang said in a statement. The phone and fax numbers remain the same: phone 507-386-8800, fax 507-386-8850. ■■■

Latitude welcomes first residents

Ecumen Pathstone’s new Independent Living offering, Latitude, is welcoming residents to their new homes overlooking the Minnesota River bluffs. In addition to Latitude, Pathstone’s newly designed Memory Care community, Landing, also is open and serving residents. Latitude features Scandinavianinfluenced architecture and furnishings.

WE BELIEVE

in the power of face-to-face meetings, friendly conversations, and collaborative decision-making.

■■■

Diversified merges with SPIRE

Diversified Credit Union Waseca/ Minneapolis has merged with SPIRE Credit Union. Diversified was founded in 1930 as the Minneapolis Gas Light Credit Union, later known as Diversified Credit Union. In 1988, DCU expanded its membership to include E.F. Johnson Technologies in Waseca and Dunwoody College of Technology.

Bolton-Menk.com

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Lime Valley honored

Lime Valley Advertising in Mankato received five Service Industry Adver tising Awards for communication excellence. This is the 17th year that the SIAA has recognized Lime Valley’s creative accomplishments in advertising. The SIAA is a national competition that honors ser vice industr y providers for their contribution to marketing and advertising. This year judges reviewed over 1,200 entries from over 500 agencies for execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall breakthrough.

Visit a business banker at First National Bank Minnesota to talk about your goals and how we can help. Your community banking partner since 1857.

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6 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


GREENER DAYS AHEAD Great golf happens on great courses. And courses don’t get better than the ones on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. With 11 locations, 26 courses and more than 400 championship holes, the toughest challenge may be deciding which one to play first. Our golf courses and staff are ready to welcome you back to the legendary RTJ Golf Trail. Summer and fall golf packages available. We are open and will be here waiting for you. Visit rtjgolf.com.

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 7


Trusted Partners – A Recipe for Success Longevity in the workplace is an accomplishment in itself, and the dedication of Lynell Vanasperen to her role with Sodexo, the company that provides food and service in the dining hall at Minnesota State University, Mankato, is a shining example of just how it is supposed to work. She has been with the company for 25 years. “Lynell does so much for us,” explains Jena Covyeow, her supervisor. “She does her usual jobs such as working in the dishroom. But Lynell also ensures stations are being filled with utensils, plates and bowls. If someone calls out, Lynell will come and ask right away if she is needed in other stations to help out. Lynell does other tasks that are not asked of her before we even have ask her to do them.” It’s a recipe for success, equal parts Sodexo and MRCI, the final result being a perfect fit for Lynell and the employer. “We really enjoy partnering with MRCI as they are some of the hardest working employees that really show drive and Lynell Vanasperen & Jena Covyeow - Lynell has worked for Sodexo for 25 years… dependability,” says Jena. “It’s an honor and counting. to be able to incorporate these valued, trusted community members as part of our team. They are examples of what we look for in quality employees: they demonstrate persistence and unwavering positive attitude. They just don’t quit. Even on our toughest days they are always a consistent reminder on why I love my job.” Lynell goes above and beyond in what she does daily. With a smile on her face, she is always looking for more tasks she can do. “She is always helping others and very dependable when we need her to start early or stay late she doesn’t think twice about it,” says Jena. “We are very proud to have her on our team.”

About MRCI

MRCI provides genuine opportunities for people with disabilities and disadvantages at home, at work and in the community. Please help us with that mission by volunteering of your time and talents! Please call 507-386-5600 to make a difference today!

8 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


Business Commentary

By Harvey Mackay

Don’t get caught in perception deception A

bird was searching for a home to lay her eggs so they’d be safe during the coming rainy season. In her search, she saw two trees, so she went to ask them for shelter. When she asked the first tree, it refused to give her shelter. Disappointed, she went to the second tree. The second tree agreed, so she built a nest and laid her eggs. Then the rainy season arrived. The rain was so heavy that the first tree toppled over and was carried away by the flood. The bird saw this and laughed. “This is your punishment for not offering me shelter.” The tree smiled. “I knew I wasn’t going to survive this rainy season. That’s why I refused you. I didn’t want to risk your and your children’s lives.” And it drifted away. The bird got tears in her eyes. Now that she knew the reason, she felt gratitude and respect for the tree. How many times have we perceived the wrong scenario, or perhaps the wrong reason for no? A rush to judgment can lead to disaster, or at the very least, regrets. It’s so important to give your brain time to consider all the available facts before taking action that is difficult to reverse. A variety of factors affect your perception: what you can actually see or hear or feel, previous experiences, opinions of others, even concerns about how you might be perceived. How you perceive a thing determines how you receive a thing. If you perceive something as negative, that’s exactly how you will receive that message. In other words, your outlook often determines your outcome. “We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as the world we see, and that the lens itself shapes how we interpret the world,” wrote Stephen R. Covey in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.” That’s why it matters whether you have enough good information to make a judgment about a particular situation. If you are operating on faulty premises or preconceived notions, your response may be completely unreasonable. Look at what you complain about and see if a change in perception can help you. Therefore, it is critical that you develop your perceptive abilities so that you won’t reach the wrong conclusion.

The power of perception can change your life. There are several strategies you can practice that help you develop more precise perceptions. Look at yourself as others might see you. Past experiences can evoke powerful memories that guide your perceptions. For example, a particular negotiation with a difficult customer has made you dread doing business with them again. But move to the other side of the table: maybe that customer has had some bad experiences with quality, delivery or price that affects their perception. A little empathy can go a long way. Know what triggers your responses. Certain smells or songs can remind you of good times or unhappy memories. Remind yourself that you are in the present situation and try to ignore some of the factors that color your judgment. Ask for others’ opinions. We all see things through our own lenses, and different perspectives can help you shape your perceptions incorporating things you may not have noticed. You may not agree with their observations, but you will have a broader range of possibilities. And finally, don’t overlook the obvious. Quite often, the truth is right in front of you. When the facts all add up, it’s reasonably safe to conclude that your perception is accurate. You can trust your intuition when you have good information. Second-guessing yourself when you have good information is an exercise in futility. An old story tells about two cowpokes that came upon a man lying on his stomach with his ear to the ground. One cowpoke said to the other, “You see that guy? He’s listening to the ground. He can hear things for miles in any direction.” “Really?” The other cowpoke got down off his horse and approached the prone man. “Is anything nearby?” The man looked up. “One covered wagon,” he said, “about two miles away. Two horses, one brown, one white. A man, a woman, one child and a piano in a wagon.” “That’s incredible! How can you know all that?” “Simple,” the man replied. “It ran over me about a halfhour ago.”

Mackay’s Moral:

What you see may not be what you get – but maybe it is.

Harvey Mackay is a Minnesota businessman, author and syndicated columnist. He has authored seven New York Times bestselling books

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 9


Dan Forsythe purchased Minnesota Valley Transport in New Ulm in 2015.

Drive time

Trucking demand up, workers elusive By Tim Krohn | Photos by Pat Christman

A

fter the pandemic put the brakes on many in the trucking industry, firms have seen a rebound that promises to be long lasting. Dan Forsythe, owner of Minnesota Valley Transport in New Ulm, said last spring and

summer brought a slowdown for trucking, but things turned around dramatically. “In September the market turned around and it’s been the strongest I’ve ever seen it since then. People are playing catch-up. It takes exponentially

Cover Story

10 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


Dan Forsythe, owner of Minnesota Valley Transport in New Ulm, says business began picking up in September and remains strong. longer to catch up than to go down.” Ryan Viessman, operations director at Cliff Viessman Inc., which has a facility in upper North Mankato, said demand is up, but staffing remains a problem. “Things have picked up for us recently. We’re busy but we’re short on help — short driver, mechanics, wash techs. That’s common throughout the industry,” Viessman said. John Hausladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association, said various trucking firms were affected differently last spring and summer. “The impacts were felt distinctly by what you haul. We saw immediate surges as consumers stocked up on supplies. Then we saw immediate downturns in driving and (tr uckers) weren’t delivering fuel. If you were delivering to grocery stores you saw business go up, but if you were delivering to congregate living, or schools or resorts you were down.” But Hausladen said there was

a broad rebound late in the year. “Generally the fourth quarter was very strong.” The changes brought on by the pandemic boosted the national transportation industry. The explosion in demand for e-commerce shopping has increased shipping demand. Amazon recently started a program to ensure ample shipping capacity, according to a recent FreightWaves article. Amazon launched an incubator to help people start trucking companies to haul freight for the company. The initiative will provide business training and loans to help entrepreneurs start trucking companies. Along with more e-commerce demand, trucking firms also saw higher demand as home building has been strong and home improvement stores, grocers and some other sectors saw sales climb during the pandemic.

Optimistic outlook

Viessman said that besides a jump in demand, a winter that brought few big snowstorms has also made truckers’ jobs

easier. The firm, which has 21 locations across the Midwest and about 500 drivers, focuses on hauling things from mills to food processing plants across the country. Viessman said the record cold and snow in Texas recently did have an impact on the industry. “With cold down south, that slowed things, stopped rail, so we’re still playing catch up from that.” Viessman runs tanker trucks and said that while business is up, some portions remain slower. “We haul to wet mills and our business there is probably 50% of what it used to be. But it’s going to open up. When Califor nia (lifts more restrictions) that will help a lot. We have a big rail customer out there. “I think it’s going to be wild for a while. We’ll be busy.” Like the rest of the industry, Viessman is held back by staffing shortages. “We’re trying to grow but we unable to gain employees. We’re not losing people to other

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 11


Minnesota Valley Transport in New Ulm has 25 refrigerated trucks. companies, we’re losing people to retirement, medical issues, stuff like that,” Viessman said. “We have an older workforce. You find your drivers in their 50s or 60s.”

Small firms hit harder

Forsythe purchased Minnesota Valley Trucking in 2015 after working for New Ulm-based J&R Schugel for nine years. Minnesota Valley was started in 1984 and has 25 refrigerator trucks that haul in the lower 48. The firm does a lot of work hauling for New Ulm’s AMPI, the largest cheese cooperative in the U.S. “The second quarter last year was really bad. Rates were so low nobody was making money, at least no one my size. There were too many trucks and less business,” Forsythe said. “My speculation is there were a lot of warehouses full and no one was producing a lot because they weren’t sure what was going to happen. Schools were closed, restaurants were closed. There’s this huge domino downward effect.” Forsythe said the biggest carriers, with thousands of

“Truck drivers were key heroes in serving our communities and businesses during the pandemic. We learned that trucking was vital to keeping everything stocked and moving, from food and personal supplies to critical medical supplies and equipment. And that’s continuing now as the truckers are delivering vaccines.

12 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

trucks, generally came through last year better than small firms. “They run on contracts and their prices are set. For small firms like us, we work on handshakes and are subject to highs and lows.” Forsythe has escaped the staf fing problems seen elsewhere in the industry. “Overall in the industry it’s gotten worse because people are less likely to jump ship because things are uncertain. “I think it’s uncommon, but we have ever y truck with drivers.” He said they are seeing issues with par ts shor tages as manufacturers have had employees out due to COVID. “It’s an issue when we break down. If our supplier runs out of brakes we could be shut down. It hasn’t happened yet, but that’s on my mind.” Rising diesel prices have also added to shipping costs. “Diesel, up until (February), was incredibly stable. But in the last month it’s gone up. The national average is $2.97 this week. It was $2.30 or $2.40 last year.” Still he’s bullish on the future. “All the experts say this good


freight economy should last into 2022.”

Regulator y worries

Hausladen said two worries permeate the industry — fear of more regulation and an ongoing shortage of drivers. He said there is concern the new administration in Washington will add workplace rules and other regulations. And the industry opposes plans by Gov. Tim Walz to adopt California’s more stringent emissions standards. While the standards wouldn’t include large trucks, they would cover mid-size trucks that trucking firms use. And, Hausladen said, once mid-size trucks have tighter emission restrictions it will be easier to also include large trucks. “Economic recover y will happen faster if government does not put barriers in our way. If more barriers or regulations are put in place that will make it tougher to serve our customers.” He said the driver shortage shows no signs of abating, noting the average driver is a male in his mid-50s. And he said some drivers left the industry during the pandemic. “We had a shortage of truck drivers before the pandemic and that continues. We continue to work to retain and attract new drivers, but we have a shortage. The economic rebound is going to make that shortage even worse. So there’s going to be stiff competition.” While the pandemic put pressure on firms, Hausladen said it produced one good outcome. “Truck drivers were key heroes in ser ving our communities and businesses during the pandemic. We learned that trucking was vital to keeping everything stocked and moving, from food and personal supplies to critical medical supplies and equipment. And that’s continuing now as the truckers are delivering vaccines. “I know the truckers are grateful the public has a greater appreciation of what they do.” MV

A tanker semi is washed at the Cliff Viessman Inc. facility in upper North Mankato.

Viessman trucking has several locations across the Midwest and hauls to the lower 48 states.

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 13


St. Peter Woolen Mill’s Pat Johnson says wool is the ultimate renewable resource.

Custom work

Woolen Mill founded in 1867 By Katie Roiger Photos by Pat Christman

D

oes wool processing make you has fond memories of growing up in the think of a beloved granny wool processing business. As a young hunching over her spinning wheel girl, she would come home from school, by the light of a roaring change out of her good fireplace? Think again. clothes, and head over Founded in 1867, to the mill to run Minnesota’s only machines, wrap custom woolen mill is packages, and mail ST. PETER alive and well, boasting pickup notices to WOOLEN MILL a proud history of four customers. 101 Broadway Ave., St. Peter generations of family After graduating from 507-934-3734 management and nursing school, thousands of luxurious Johnson realized that Woolenmill.com and comfor table she wasn’t completely products. satisfied with her new “There’s not very many of us around career. Back home in St. Peter, her father who are doing this type of work,” said was pursuing other business ventures current manager Pat Johnson. Johnson and was looking for someone qualified to

Spotlight

14 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


Left: St. Peter Woolen Mill’s Pat Johnson checks on orders in the mill’s storage area. Right: Daniesha Garrett feeds a wool batt into a machine that will fill a comforter. run the woolen mill. Johnson immediately volunteered. “That was 43 years ago,” she said, laughing. During that time, she not only took over responsibility for the business, she also purchased the mill from her father. It was a decision Johnson has never regretted. Keeping the family business alive gave her plenty of opportunity to meet a variety of clients, whom she said she really enjoys. Overseeing the everyday mill operations also lets her put her analytical skills to work. “I like problem-solving, like figuring out how to fix a machine and getting grease up to my elbows!” Johnson said. Woolen mill machinery has made some significant advances since 1978, but the general principles of operation remain the same. The bulk of St Peter Woolen Mill’s day-to-day work still comes from custom processing. Clients bring raw wool to the mill, where Johnson and her employees clean it of oil, dirt, and other debris. The next step is carding the fibers, a process in which huge machines make the material into thick, light batting to be used in comforters and pillows. If desired, the Woolen Mill will hand-tie or machine-stitch its customers’ preferred covers onto the batting, or return the batting in a cheesecloth so that the clients can finish the comforter themselves.

Renewable resource

In an age of planet-saving initiatives, wool batting is the ultimate renewable, recyclable product. “The wool that’s inside of (comforters and pillows) can be reprocessed,” Johnson said. “The covers wear out and you bring the wool back to the mill and have it washed and recarded. The carding process fluffs it up like new again, ready to put new coverings on it and go another 10, 20, or 30 years.” In addition to producing reusable goods, Johnson said that the St. Peter Woolen Mill’s processing is clean and ecologically responsible. Customers can feel good about the products they use in their bedrooms and other cozy spaces. “We don’t do any chemical processing on any of the wool,” said Johnson. “It’s all natural.” When she became manager, Johnson decided to explore wholesale manufacturing of woolen products. In 2009, she began visiting trade shows and bringing samples. The mill’s brand, Nature’s Comfort, grew exponentially over the next 12 years and can now be found in over 30 stores nationwide. In Johnson’s experience, woolen goods suppliers have been one of the few types of businesses to be positively impacted by COVID-19. Many people took advantage of shutdowns and quarantines in order to purchase or replace household décor, linens, and

furniture. Comforting items such as quality blankets and pillows, continue to be in especially high demand. “Our sales increased due to the fact that people were staying home and doing more around their houses and looking for more creature comforts,” said Johnson. The benefits of adding a little woolen hygge to a home are likely to last well beyond the pandemic. “Even though we sell a highend product, it’s something that you’ll have for the rest of your life,” Johnson added. Woolen goods can also be used yearround, not just in the depths of winter. Unlike many other materials, wool fiber breathes. Many desert populations choose to wear wool thanks to its dual cooling and heating properties. After years of running the mill, Johnson considered selling it. She offered it to family members first and after they declined, she accepted an offer from MN Mills, a Minnesota-based company. In 2016, MN Mills took over ownership but chose to retain Johnson and her longtime employees as the mill’s managers, a decision she appreciates. “I’m not looking to retire,” Johnson said. “I really enjoy what I do and I’m still doing the same thing I’ve always done, which is run the mill. I’m on board until probably the day I die.” MV

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 15


Twig Case Company owner Jon Lucca puts the finishing touches on one of the company’s phone cases in his Waseca shop.

One of a kind Unique phone cases sold worldwide By Dan Greenwood | Photos by Pat Christman

S

tanding out from the crowd and offering a swell and shrink as much.” unique product for everyday use is usually a It’s made by soaking layers of recycled paper in a good recipe for thriving businesses; and Jon melamine or phenolic resin and then compressed Lucca offers a product that can’t under extreme heat. The result be found anywhere else. is a similar texture to wood, but The owner of Waseca-based more durable and flexible. Twig Case Co. produces iPhone In 2011, Lucca’s friend since cases engraved with designs and kindergarten, John Woodland – TWIG CASE CO. artwork using paper composite who designs and makes hardware Waseca panels – compressed recycled for electric guitars in the Twin twigcase.com paper used for a variety of Cities – reached out to him with applications, from furniture to an idea. Woodland had been outdoor cladding for houses. working with Richlite to make Richlite, a Washington-based company with a guitar bridges for his own business, Mastery product with the same name, is one of the leading Bridge, and thought the material would be ideal for manufacturers of these panels and produces the cell phone cases. material for Lucca’s iPhone cases. He had tried using wood before, but the cases “Richlite behaves like ebony wood,” Lucca said. kept falling apart within a few weeks and the “It’s super dense. Unlike wood though, it doesn’t durable and flexible Richlite seemed like a good

Profile

16 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


fix, so Woodland and Lucca began experimenting with Richlite to create a prototype for an iPhone case. However, when they reached out to the company to explain their idea, the staff at Richlite didn’t think it was possible. “When we first brought the idea to Richlite, they thought we were crazy; that it can’t be done,” Lucca said. “So, then we went and did it. Then they were like, ‘OK!’ We were blowing some minds with the Richlite distributor.” A visual artist since childhood, Lucca developed wood etchings of an underground lair for one of the first cases – almost like a circuit board design – on his computer and then used a laser printer to etch the image onto a piece of bamboo that’s compressed onto the Richlite. “The bamboo is laid on top of the sheets,” Lucca said. “That’s something I developed with Richlite initially. We started with bamboo and eventually moved to walnut. Then the wood or the bamboo is pressed on and it’s all one piece. There’s no glue or anything like that.”

Growing fan base

By 2012, Lucca and Woodland opened Twig Case Co. Eventually Woodland left the company to focus on his own business, and Lucca became the sole owner. As Lucca began to create more cases, he sought out local artists, including Mankato artist Jason Knudson, who created a couple designs for Lucca in the early days of the company. “He had invited me over to his workshop and showed me the materials and the wood etcher he was using,” Knudson said. “At the time I had never seen anything like it. It’s one of the most unique ways of presenting art and something that’s usable and is going to protect your phone.” “I ultimately thought that it was one of the coolest ways that my art had been represented on any product,” Knudson said. Henderson-based artist Tom Kolter also contributed an octopus design around that

The company has branched off into making other products, including minimalist wallets and guitar picks. time and both artists’ works are available on the company website, Twigcase.com. “I had been doing t-shirts and other designs for a while; it was just a matter of talking to him (Lucca) about what kind of feel that he wanted for those cases. He wanted something that was dynamic and brought the viewer into it.” The images engraved on the walnut pressed into the Richlite continued to expand after that and Lucca developed more varieties of cases and sizes, from the iPhone SE, to multiple sizes of the iPhone 12. What’s striking is just how detailed and intricate the artwork is. “It’s certainly a learning cur ve, because no one had done laser engraving of Richlite to the level of what we were attempting to do with high resolution, super detailed engravings,” Lucca said. “I can get about seven to eight different tonalities depending on how I run the laser and color the illustration.” Woodland also had some contacts in the music industry that led to Lucca designing custom phone cases for some popular bands; Sonic Youth, Wilco and Nora Jones were all customers. “Nora Jones and her whole band, we did cases for them,” said Lucca. “We took a nice picture of them all holding a case. They were just like, ‘pick

a design.’” When the iPhone 6 came out, the Chicago Blackhawks hired Lucca to create some cases for them as well. All of that exposure led to more attention from customers not just in the States, but United internationally. “I have a Japanese distributor that’s been doing well,” Lucca said. “For a few years, we were pretty white hot in Russia and did a bunch of email interviews for Russian pop magazines.” More recently, Twig Case Co. has expanded to other Richlitederived products beyond just iPhone cases, including minimal wallets and guitar picks. “I had plenty of scrap from failed pieces and I ordered some stock that was a little more suitable to do it,” he said. IPhones, which were once a novelty, have now become a necessary feature in everyday life. The practicality of cell phone cases means demand will likely continue for years to come. For Lucca, that means keeping a close eye on Apple, the producer of iPhones. “I’m pretty certain Apple is going to continue making iPhone shaped phones for at least the near future,” he said. “It’s great to work with great artists, and it’s really upped my design chops myself.” MV

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 17


Beverly Stevens says the social aspect of her Brewn-Wine business keeps her wanting to come to work each day.

Social hobby Brew-n-Wine brings people together By Katie Roiger Photos by Pat Christman

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family batches and fermentation recipes any centuries ago, alcohol brewing were closely-kept secrets. A certain mystique and distillation was a home-kitchen covered the subject, too – after all, ordinary kind of affair. Just like baking bread, people couldn’t create a family members Prosecco or an IPA, right? concocted their own Thanks to recent alcohol for everyday and inventions and, of course, special occasions alike. the ability to search the As histor y unspooled, BREW-N-WINE internet, modern times large breweries and 219 S. Victory Dr., Mankato have seen an explosion of vineyards emerged, 507-345-5733 interest in homemade crowding out the humble

Feature

brew-n-wine.com

18 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


Beverly Stevens stocks a wide variety of home brewing and wine-making supplies. beers and wines. Instead of candle-lit aging caves, basements and garages are the new brewing grounds, but knowledge and ingredients can still be hard to come by. Outside of major cities, home brewers may struggle to find resources. Enter the Stevenses. Beverly and her late husband Gordon owned an independent painting and flooring company, but in his spare time, Gordon loved to brew his own beer. He enjoyed his hobby so much that for many years, he was happy to drive the roughly 160 miles round-trip to the Twin Cities or Rochester in order to purchase his brewing supplies. In 2008, however, their business had been running smoothly for several years and they began thinking of branching out into another venture. When Beverly and Gordon brainstormed what they enjoyed doing and what they perceived as a need in the local community, they saw that the two intersected: Mankato needed a brewing supply company. “The dream behind the store was to have a local (store) where people could come and buy their supplies for home brewing and winemaking, and have some conversation,” said Beverly. “We were not expecting it to be this size of a business. We were just kind of counting on our hands who might be interested!”

“The dream behind the store was to have a local (store) where people could come and buy their supplies for home brewing and winemaking, and have some conversation,” said Beverly. Instant hit

Brew-n-Wine Creations opened in January of 2009 and almost immediately became a hub for brewing enthusiasts. The Stevenses and their then-partner Don Kaiser stocked the store’s shelves with home brewing kits of all kinds, as well as juices, hops and specialty grains. Kombucha, cider, and root beer kits are also staples. Beverly also makes sure to stock supplies for those who like to make their brews from local produce, including the more unusual varieties. “There’s plenty of vegetable wines out there,” she

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 19


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said. “You can make wine out of anything that has some natural sugars. People make it out of potatoes, beets, carrots – there’s even onion wine, which I have not tasted.” Beverly said that she enjoys trying the product whenever possible. “You get wines that are just such a superior quality for a much smaller amount than you would have to pay for a bottle of wine [at the store],” she said. When she brews for herself, Beverly likes the specialty kits of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. She prefers to age her red wine in oak barrels for two to eight years before sampling it, but also likes Brew-n-Wine’s ready-to-drink kits. Perhaps because of the need to share knowledge, or because of its fun final product, brewing is a highly social hobby. Prior to COVID-19, Brew-n-Wine offered wine and beer-making classes for all skill levels, a tradition Beverly hopes to continue once the pandemic has passed. The store’s U-Brew area remains a popular destination for those who want to try their hand at alcohol production but don’t have the time or equipment to monitor the brewing process. After a U-Brew client mixes their concoction, the Brew-n-Wine employees take over, carefully watching its progress. When it’s time to store the beverages, some U-Brewers turn the bottling process into a tasting party complete with charcuterie. “It’s a ver y, ver y social business,” Beverly said. “Everybody seems to be a happy person when they’re working with this hobby. There might be some failures and disappointments, but they’re never too sad about it. They’re having fun. I would be retired by now if it wasn’t for the people.” Having fun is exactly what Beverly plans to do for several more years – a goal that’s nearly guaranteed with good friends, good conversation, and plenty of delicious drinks. “It’s the type of business you should want to go to every day, and I do,” Beverly said. “It’s just a fun place to be.” MV


A variety of juices, hops and specialty grains are available at Brew-n-Wine.

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 21


Business and Industry Trends

Energy Liquified exports to exceed natural gas exports

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. liquefied natural gas exports will exceed natural gas exports by pipeline in the first and fourth quarters of 2021 and on an annual basis in 2022. Monthly U.S. LNG exports exceeded natural gas exports by pipeline by nearly 1.2 billion cubic feet per day in November 2020. LNG exports have only exceeded natural gas exports by pipeline once since 1998—in April 2020. U.S. LNG exports set consecutive monthly records of 9.4 Bcf/d in November and of 9.8 Bcf/d in both December 2020 and January 2021, according to EIA’s estimates.

EIA forecasts that U.S. LNG gross exports will average 9.7 Bcf/d in February 2021 before declining to seasonal lows in the spring and fall seasons. EIA forecasts LNG exports to average 8.5 Bcf/d in 2021 and 9.2 Bcf/d in 2022, compared with average gross pipeline exports of 8.8 Bcf/d in 2021 and 8.9 Bcf/d in 2022. Since November 2020, all six U.S. LNG export facilities have been operating near full design capacity.

More wind, solar

EIA forecasts that planned additions to U.S. wind and solar generating capacity in 2021 and 2022 will contribute to increasing electricity generation from those sources. EIA estimates that the U.S. electric power sector added 17.5 gigawatts (GW) of new wind capacity in 2020. EIA expects 15.3 GW of wind capacity will be added in 2021 and 3.6 GW in 2022. Utility-scale solar capacity rose by an estimated 11.1 GW in 2020. The forecast for added utility-scale solar capacity is 16.2 GW for 2021 and 12.3 GW for 2022.

Coal production rises

EIA expects U.S. coal production to total 589 MMst in 2021, 50 MMst (9%) more than in 2020. In 2022, EIA expects coal production to rise by a further 5 MMst

22 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business


(1%). These increases reflect higher forecast demand for coal in the electric power sector because of rising natural gas prices, which increases coal’s competitiveness relative to natural gas for power generation dispatch. Although EIA expects coal production to rise in 2022, expected production increases will be limited by strong inventory draws. EIA expects significant coal supply to the power sector will come from a reduction in inventory levels in 2022, as the power sector brings inventory levels back in line with historical averages.

Retail/Consumer Spending Vehicle Sales Mankato — Number of vehicles sold - 2019 - 2020 1500

860 1,219

1200

Coal exports up

EIA expects rising global economic activity will contribute to rising steel production and power demand, which will lead to increased U.S. exports of both metallurgical and steam coal. EIA forecasts coal exports will total 85 MMst in 2021, up by 24% from 2020, which was the lowest level since 2016. EIA forecasts exports will rise by 6 MMst in 2022 to 91 MMst.

CO2 up this year

900 600 300 0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

Includes restaurants, bars, telecommunications and general merchandise store sales. Excludes most clothing, grocery store sales. $460,124

Sales tax collections Mankato (In thousands)

- 2019 - 2020

EIA estimates that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased by 11% in 2020. This decline in emissions is the result of less energy consumption related to economic contraction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, EIA forecasts that energy related CO2 emissions will increase by about 4% from the 2020 level as economic activity increases leading to rising energy use. Energyrelated CO2 emissions are also expected to rise by 3% in 2022 as economic growth continues.

600

OPEC cuts

Lodging tax collections Mankato/North Mankato

Sustained production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and partner countries (OPEC+) continued to put upward pressure on crude oil prices in January. In early December, OPEC+ announced it would limit production increases planned for early 2021. Then in early January, OPEC+ largely reaffirmed those limits, and Saudi Arabia announced that it would unilaterally cut an additional 1.0 million barrels per day (b/d) of production in February and March. In addition to the OPEC+ supply reductions, expectations for increasing petroleum demand as a result of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines are further supporting oil prices. Brent crude oil prices settled at more than $55/b on all but one day since January 8, marking the highest levels since the early days of the pandemic in late-February 2020. EIA expects OPEC crude oil production will average 25.3 million barrels per day in April, which is similar to expected production for March. EIA expects OPEC crude oil production will rise to 26.6 million b/d in May. This increase reflects Saudi Arabia ending voluntary cuts of 1.0 million b/d, along with the relaxation of cuts that were extended through April at the March 4 OPEC+ meeting.

D

Source: Sales tax figures, City of Mankato

$459,114

500 400 300 200 100 0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

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N

D

Source: Sales tax figures, City of Mankato

- 2019 - 2020 $14,232 $42,501

70000 52500 35000 17500 0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: City of Mankato

Mankato food and beverage tax - 2019 - 2020 175000 140000

$68,883 $46,325

105000 70000 35000 0

J

F

M

Source: City of Mankato

A

M

J

J

A

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N

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C. Sankey

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 23


Agricultural Outlook

By Kent Thiesse

A

An over view of today’s U.S. farm operations

sk 10 people to describe a “family farm” and you will probably get 10 different definitions, some will likely be similar to each other and some will be totally different. How a “family farm” is defined probably is a big guide toward people’s attitudes about today’s U.S. agriculture industry. In December of 2020, The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) issued a report titled “America’s Diverse Family Farms”, which was based on U.S. farm data from 2019 and offered some definitions of different types of farms. The USDA ERS definition for a “family farm” is... “Any farm where the majority of the business is owned by the principal operator and individuals related to the principal operator, who are the persons most responsible for making the day-to-day decisions on the farm”. USDA defines a farm as any place where at least $1,000 of agricultural products are produced and sold in a given year or are normally produced during a year. The ERS measures farm size by “gross cash farm income (GCFI), which includes sales of crops and livestock, government payments, and other farm-related income. Based on the 2020 ERS report, there were just over 2 million farms in the U.S., with just under 90 percent of the farms being categorized as “small family farms” Following is a breakdown of the criteria that ERS used to categorize U.S. farms, along with the number and percentage of farms in each category: n Small Family Farms (less than $350,000 GCFI). Retirement Farms - Small farms whose principal operator is retired, but they continue to operate a farm on a small scale. There were 215,959 farms or 10.7% of the total farms in this category. Off-Farm Occupation Farms - Small farms whose principal operator reports a primary occupation other than farming. There were 833,450 farms or 41.4% of the total farms in this category. Farming Occupation Farms - Small farms whose principal operators report farming as their primary occupation. There are two sales classes listed under this category: Low Sales - Farms with a GCFI of less than $150,000. There were 653,716 farms or 32.4% of the total farms in this category. Moderate Sales - Farms with a GCFI of between $150,000 and $349,999. There were 103,058 farms or 5.1% of the total farms in this category. n Midsize Family Farms (GCFI between $350,00 and $999,999)

24 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

There were 107,316 family farms or 5.3% of the total farms in this category. n Large-Scale Family Farms (GCFI of $1 million or more) Large Farms - Family farms with a GCFI of between $1,000,000 and $4,999,999. There were 48,339 farms or 2.41% of the total farms in this category. Very Large Farms - Family farms with an annual GCFI of $5,000,000 or more. There were 5,780 farms or 0.3% of the total farms in this category. n Non-Family Farms - This category describes any farm where the principal farm operators do not own a majority of the farm business. (Many times these types of farms are referred to as “corporate farms”.) There were 47,451 farms or 2.4% of the total farms in this category. As was pointed out earlier, 89.6% of U.S. farms (as defined by USDA) were categorized as “small family farms”, 5.3% were “midsize family farms”, 2.7% were “large-scale family farms” and 2.4% were “non-family farms”. Based on the 2019 ERS data, following is a review of some other characteristics of these various categories of U.S. farms and other farm operator demographics: Percentage of land operated - 48.8% of farm land was operated by “small family farms”, 22.6% of land was operated by “midsize family farms”, 20.7% operated by “large-scale family farms” and 7.9% by “non-family farms”. Percentage of the value of farm production “Large-scale family farms” accounted for 43.8% of the value of U.S. farm production in 2019, which was followed by “small family farms” at 21.5%, “midsize family farms” at 21.1% and “non-family farms” at 13.6%. “Large-scale family farms’’ accounted for over twothirds of U.S. dairy production, 61% of U.S. cotton production, and 54% of the production of high value crops, which includes fruits, vegetables, nuts and nursery crops. This category of farm operators also accounted for 39% of U.S. cash grain production, 44% of hog production and nearly 43% of beef production. “Small family farms” accounted for over 45% of poultry and egg production and hay production; however, this category of farms accounted for only 21% of cash grain production, 26 percent% of beef production, 23% of hog production and less than 9% of dairy production.


“Midsize family farms” accounted for approximately one-third of cash grain production and nearly 39% of poultry and egg production; however, this category of farms accounted for less than 17% of beef, hog, and dairy production. “Non-family farms” accounted for over 30% of the production of high value crops, as well as just under 17% of beef production and just under 16% of hog production; however, this category of farms accounted only 7% of cash grain production, 8% of cotton production, and less than 9% of dairy production. “Operating Profit Margin” (OPM) - Nearly threefourths of all farms had an OPM of less than 10%, which USDA considers “high risk”. “Small family farms” ranged from 62% to 81% in the “high risk” category, depending on the farm type (described earlier). Interestingly, nearly 70% of “non-family farms” were also in the “high risk” category, compared to 47% for “midsize family farms” and less than 38% for “large-scale family farms.” Nearly 40% of “large family farms” and over 31% of “midsize family farms” had an OPM above 25% in 2019, compared to only14% of all farms and just over 20% of “non-family 8 farms”. Government Payments - 81% of USDA commodity 6 farm programs (PLC, ARC-CO and ARC-IC) in 2019 went to “large-scale farms”, “midsize farms”, and “small4farms with moderate sales”, which is exactly the same as the percentage of crop land operated by these 2three categories of farms. These groups also received a large majority of the USDA conservation payments on working lands (CSP, EQIP, etc.). By 0 M A M J Reserve J A Program S O N D contrast, J80%Fof Conservation (CRP) payments, which are paid to farm owners to take crop land out of production, went to retirement farms, low-sales farms, and farm owners with offfarm occupations. Approximately 69 percent of farms 8 received no government payments in 2019. 100 in agriculture - Women played a key role in Women 6 over half 85 of U.S. farm operations in 2019. A higher percentage of women were either the principal 4 operator 70 or a co-operator of livestock and dairy operations, as well as high value crop farms other 2 55 than general cash grain operations. Farms operated by minority groups - There were 40 0 Spanish, Hispanic and Latino farm operators 112,451 J F M A M J J A S O N D in 2019, 25 which is up by 13% since 2012, as well as J F American M A farm M J operators, J A Swhich O N D 45,508 African increased by 2% since 2012. Even though farms have increased in size and the structures of many farm businesses have changed and evolved over the past few decades, approximately 100 98% of U.S. farms are still categorized as “family 85The family farms still account for over 86% of farms”. U.S, farm 70 production. The family farms come in many shapes, sizes, and types, including increasing diversity 55 of farm operators, which helps explain some of the confusion over understanding the definition of 40 farm”. a “family 25

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Kent Thiesse is farm management analyst and senior vice president, MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal. 507-381-7960); kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com

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Agriculture/ Agribusiness Corn prices — southern Minnesota

(dollars per bushel)

— 2020 — 2021

20

8

$5.34

6

16 12

4

8

2 0

$3.67

J

F

M

A

4

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

0

J

Source: USDA

Soybean prices — southern Minnesota — 2020 — 2021 8 20 100 16 6 $13.53 85 12 4 70

(dollars per bushel)

8 55 2 $8.27 4 40 0 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D 25 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D Source: USDA

Iowa-Minnesota hog prices

185 pound carcass, negotiated price, weighted average

— 2020 — 2021

20 100 25 16 $75.22 85 22 12 70 19 8 55 16 4 40 13 $51.22 0 J F M A M J 25 10 J F M A M J J F M A M J Source: USDA

Milk prices

25 22 19 16 13

J A S O N D J A S O N D J A S O N D Minimum prices, class 1 milk Dollars per hundredweight

— 2020 — 2021 25 22

$16.84

19 16 13 10

$14.18 J

F

M

A

M

J

20 25 16 22 12 19 8 16 4 13 0 J 10

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A

S

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D

Source: USDA. Based on federal milk orders. Corn and soybean prices are for rail delivery points in Southern Minnesota. Milk prices are for Upper Midwest points.

C. Sankey

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 25

10

J

J


Construction/Real Estate Residential building permits Mankato

Commercial building permits Mankato

- 2020 - 2021 (in millions) $720,422 8000000 $1,247,769 7000000 6000000 5000000 4000000 3000000 2000000 1000000 0

- 2020 - 2021 (in millions) $16,434,204

20000000

10000000 5000000 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

Information based on Multiple Listing Service and may not reflect all sales

- 2020 - 2021 (in thousands) 300

87 109

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

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N

D

Median home sale price: Mankato region - 2020 - 2021 (in thousands) $187,500 300 $257,800 240

120 60

60

0 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: Realtors Association of Southern Minnesota

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: Realtor Association of Southern Minnesota

Interest Rates: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

Includes single family homes attached and detached, and town homes and condos

Housing starts: Mankato/North Mankato

— 2020 — 2021

- 2020 - 2021

5.5

40

4.9

3.3%

1

32

4.3

1

24

3.7

16

3.1 2.5

F

180

120

0

J

Source: City of Mankato

Existing home sales: Mankato region

180

0

D

Source: City of Mankato

240

$367,626

15000000

2.8% J

F

M

8 A

M

J

J

A

S

O

Source: Freddie Mac

Read us online! 26 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

N

D

0

J

F

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A

M

J

Source: Cities of Mankato/North Mankato

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Celebrating 48 years of dedicated passion, purpose, and design throughout the Mankato Area community. Architecture + Engineering + Environmental + Planning

Gas Prices 5

Gas prices-Mankato

— 2020 — 2021

54 43

$2.50

32 21 10 0

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F

M

J

F

M

2.11

$50.94

$57.76

+13.4%

Ameriprise

$205.09

$224.07

+9.3%

Best Buy

$108.78

$106.57

-2.0%

Brookfield Property

$11.30

$17.30

+53.0%

Crown Cork & Seal

$92.61

$96.29

+4.0%

S

O

N

D

Consolidated Comm.

$5.46

$6.81

+24.7%

A

M

J

J

A

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O

N

D

Fastenal

$46.47

$44.66

-4.0%

General Mills

$57.62

$57.76

+0.2%

Itron

$94.16

$110.96

+17.8%

Johnson Outdoors

$112.64

$140.64

+24.9%

3M

$175.02

$183.77

+5.0%

Target

$185.59

$176.87

-4.7%

U.S. Bancorp

$44.25

$54.05

+22.1%

Winland

$3.40

$4.70

+38.2%

Xcel

$64.20

$61.96

-3.5%

— 2020 — 2021

$2.19

M

Archer Daniels

A

32

F

Percent change

J

2.58

J

March 8

J

54

10

Feb. 3

M

5

21

Stocks of local interest

A

Gas prices-Minnesota

43

| ISGInc.com

A

M

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0Source: GasBuddy.com J F M A

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C. Sankey

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C. Sankey

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 27


Minnesota Business Updates

■ Ameriprise earns J.D. Power award

need to evolve to meet the evolving needs of customers while providing more flexible opportunities for our people.” Best Buy’s third-quarter comps jumped 23%, driven by a 174% spike in e-commerce. Online sales doubled to 35% up from 16% a year ago. Corie Barry, CEO, said that with the accelerated digital shift, the chain is piloting numerous labor and store initiatives. This includes positioning about a quarter of its U.S. stores as hubs to support significantly more online order volume.

For the second consecutive year, J.D. Power has awarded Ameriprise Financial with certification for providing its financial advisors with an “outstanding customer service experience” when they contact the company by phone for assistance. The Ameriprise Advice & Wealth Management and RiverSource call centers earned the certification following an evaluation and survey of advisors’ recent servicing interactions. Ameriprise earned the certification by exceeding the performance requirements that J.D. Power sets on phone navigation experiences and contact center interactions.

■ General Mills targets growth areas

■ Best Buy shuffles employee focus

General Mills is looking to five global platforms — cereal, pet food, ice cream, snack bars and Mexican food — to drive organic net sales growth of 2% to 3%, CEO Jeff Harmening said during a virtual presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference. Investments in the five platforms are part of General Mills’ Accelerate strategy, which also includes higher investments in fast-growing local brands like Pillsbury, Annie’s, Yoplait and Totino’s. The company will prioritize investments in eight core markets, including France, the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Brazil and India, with a focus on North America.

RetailWire.com Best Buy recently laid off some in-store workers and told others their weekly hours would be reduced as digital increasingly drives the chain’s sales growth, according to RetailWire.com “Customer shopping behavior will be permanently changed in a way that is even more digital and puts customers entirely in control to shop how they want,” Best Buy said in a media statement. “Our workforce will

Employment/Unemployment Initial unemployment claims Nine-county Mankato region Major January Industry 2020 2021 Construction Manufacturing Retail Services Total*

3,734 268 57 138 836

Local non-farm jobs Percent change ‘19-’20

5,001 512 248 704 1,964

Construction

126000 126000 Manufacturing

Retail 113000 Services 113000 Total*

7,222 2,943 1,242 4,443 15,850

126000

1400 700

100000

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

Minnesota Local non-farm jobs

+43.4% +106.0% +392.0% +334.0% +164.0%

8000 2800 2800 6000 2100 2100 4000 1400 1400 2000

Services consist of administration, educational, health care and social 100000 assistance, food andJ otherF miscellaneous services. M A M J J A S O 100000 J don’t F equal M total A because M Jsome Jcategories A not S listed. O N *Categories

700 D

N

D

0

J

N

D

0

J

300000

2,984 2,880

240000 180000 120000 60000

700 0 0

O

- 2020 - 2021

(in thousands)

12000 3500 3500 10000

28 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

2100

113000

Percent change ‘19-’20

10,357 6,064 6,109 19,268 41,798

3500

126,557

2800

+34.0% +91.0% +335.0% +410.0% +135.0%

Minnesota initial unemployment claims January 2020 2021

127,881

139000

Services consist of administration, educational, health care and social assistance, food and other miscellaneous services. *Categories don’t equal total because some categories not listed.

Major Industry 139000 139000

- 2020 - 2021

Nine-county Mankato region

J

F

J

F

F M

M

A

M

J

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O

N

D

M A A M

M J

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O

O

■ Target names growth officer

■ 3M expands partnership

Target Corp. named its first chief growth officer and a new marketing chief in a C-suite shuffle, the Star Tribune reports. Christina Hennington, who was one of two chief merchants, is the executive vice president and chief growth officer, a new position for the Minneapolis-based retailer. Cara Sylvester was promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing and digital officer, replacing Rick Gomez, who will become executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer.

Palantir Technologies announced a multi-million dollar expansion of its relationship with 3M. 3M has chosen to expand its use of Palantir’s Foundry platform to support its digital transformation, assisting in the build out of a dynamic supply chain that enables the global manufacturer to respond nimbly to changes in demand across tens of thousands of products. 139000 The expanded relationship builds on the work Palantir already supports across 3M’s efforts in supply chain alerting, demand forecasting and business planning.

■ Johnson has strong 1st quarter

113000

M J

J A

J S

Itron Q4 results show 700 earnings per share fell 9.72% year over year to 100000 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D J $0.65, which beat the estimate of $0.30. Revenue of $525,157,000 declined by 16.43% year over year, which missed the estimate of $569,750,000. Itron sees FY 2021 revenue of $2.23 billion-$2.33 3500 12000 300000 3500 billion. 2800 2100 1400

5,626 12000 12000 5,598 3500 10000 10000 8000 2800 8000 6000 6000 2100 4000 4000 1400 2000 2000 700 0 J F M A M 0 J F M A M J J 0 J F M A M J J

O D

120000 60000 J A A

J S S

A S O N O N D O N D

60000 0

J

F

M

240000

2100 8000

180000

6000 1400 4000 700 2000 0 0 J F M A J F JM FA M M AJ

120000 60000

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

M MJ

J JA

J JS

A AO

S N S

O D O

N N

D D

D

0

(includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties) 300000 240000

December 180000 Unemployment rate 120000 Number of non-farm jobs Number of unemployed

60000 J

0 F

J M

F M A A M J

M J

J A

2019

2020

2.6% 61,484 1,625

3.8% 58,769 2,302

J S

A O

S N

O D

N

D

Unemployment rates Counties, state, nation County/area

- 2019 - 2020

120000

D

2800 10000

Mankato/North Mankato Metropolitan statistical area

180000

180000

N

D 0

240000

110,976 137,721

240000

N

300000

Minnesota number of unemployed 300000

S N

- 2019 - 2020

Nine-county Mankato region

D

A O

1400

113000

Employment/Unemployment

F M A A M J

Local number of unemployed

N

2100

■ Itron reports results

700

J M

2800

126000

Johnson Outdoors announced higher sales and earnings during the company’s first fiscal quarter ending Jan. 1. “Strong demand in the company’s fishing, camping and watercraft recreation businesses delivered an unprecedented first fiscal quarter,” Helen JohnsonLeipold, Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Indications are that people’s eagerness to get outdoors will continue through the season, but the COVID-19 pandemic still brings uncertainty. 139000 Total company net sales in the first quarter rose 29% 139000 year over year to $165.7 million, versus $128.1 million in the prior year fiscal quarter. 126000 126000 Total company operating profit was $23.6 million for the first fiscal quarter versus $6.8 million in the prior 113000 year first quarter. 100000 100000 J F

3500

Blue Earth Brown Faribault Le Sueur Martin Nicollet Sibley Waseca Watonwan Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota U.S.

December 2019

December 2020

2.6% 4.0% 5.2% 6.4% 3.4% 2.5% 4.9% 5.0% 3.8% 3.0% 3.5% 3.4%

3.9% 4.1% 4.9% 6.1% 3.9% 3.5% 4.4% 4.7% 3.4% 4.5% 4.6% 6.5%

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development C. Sankey

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 29

0

J


Sponsored by the Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation

8 Ways to Build Credit Fast By Bev O’Shea | NerdWallet

I

f your credit score is lower than you’d like, there may be quick ways to bring it up. Depending on what’s holding it down, you may be able to tack on as many as 100 points relatively quickly. Scores in the “fair” and “bad” areas of the credit score ranges could see dramatic results — leading to more access to loans or credit cards, and at better terms.

Can you improve your credit by 100 points?

If you’re struggling with a low score, you’re better positioned to quickly make gains than someone with a strong credit history. Is a 100-point increase realistic? Rod Griffin, director of public education for credit bureau Experian, says yes. “The lower a person’s score, the more likely they are to achieve a 100-point increase,” he says. “That’s simply because there is much more upside, and small changes can result in greater score increases.”

1. Pay bills on time

No strategy to improve your credit will be effective if you pay late. Why? Payment history is the single biggest factor that affects credit scores, and late payments can stay on your credit reports for seven years. If you miss a payment by 30 days or more, call the creditor immediately. Arrange to pay up if you can and ask if the creditor will consider no longer reporting the missed payment to the credit bureaus.

2. Make frequent payments

4. Dispute credit report errors

A mistake on one of your credit reports could be pulling down your score. Fixing it can help you quickly improve your credit. You’re entitled to a free report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Use AnnualCreditReport. com to request those reports and then check them for mistakes, such as payments marked late when you paid on time or negative information that’s too old to be listed anymore. Once you’ve identified them, dispute those errors to get them removed. The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond.

5. Become an authorized user

If you have a relative or friend with a long record of responsible credit card use and a high credit limit, consider asking if you can be added on one of those accounts as an authorized user. The account holder doesn’t have to let you use the card — or even tell you the account number — for your credit to improve. This works best for if you have a thin credit file, and the impact can be significant. It can fatten up your credit file, give you a longer credit history and lower your credit utilization.

6. Use a secured credit card

Another method that can be used either to build credit from scratch or improve your credit is by using a secured credit card. This type of card is backed by a cash deposit; you pay it upfront and the deposit amount is usually the same as your credit limit. You use it like a normal credit card, and your on-time payments help your credit.

If you are able to make small payments — often called micropayments — throughout the month, that can help keep your credit card balances down and improve your credit. Making multiple payments throughout the month moves the needle on a credit score factor called credit utilization. After payment history, this is another factor that highly influences your score. If you’re able to keep your utilization low instead of letting it build toward a payment due date, it should benefit your score right away.

If you’re racing to improve your credit profile, be aware that closing credit cards can make the job harder. Closing a credit card means you lose that card’s credit limit when your overall credit utilization is calculated, which can lead to a lower score. Keep the card open and use it occasionally so the issuer won’t close it.

3. Ask for higher credit limits

8. Mix it up

When your credit limit goes up and your balance stays the same, it instantly lowers your overall credit utilization, which can improve your credit. Call your card issuer and ask if you can get a higher limit without a “hard” credit inquiry, which can temporarily drop your score a few points. If your income has gone up or you’ve added more years of positive credit experience, you have a decent shot at getting a higher limit.

30 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

7. Keep credit cards open

If you have only credit cards or only loans, consider getting the type of credit you don’t have to improve your credit mix. Having both installment accounts and revolving credit, such as loans and credit cards, can boost your perceived creditworthiness. MV


Sponsored by the Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation

What Is Debt Consolidation, and Should I Consolidate? By Amrita Jayakumar | NerdWallet

D

ebt consolidation rolls multiple debts, typically high-interest debt such as credit card bills, into a single payment. Debt consolidation might be a good idea for you if you can get a lower interest rate. That will help you reduce your total debt and reorganize it so you can pay it off faster. If you’re dealing with a manageable amount of debt and just want to reorganize multiple bills with different interest rates, payments and due dates, debt consolidation is a sound approach you can tackle on your own.

How to consolidate your debt

There are two primary ways to consolidate debt, both of which concentrate your debt payments into one monthly bill. n Get a 0% interest, balance-transfer credit card: Transfer all your debts onto this card and pay the balance in full during the promotional period. You will likely need good or excellent credit (690 or higher) to qualify. n Get a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan: Use the money from the loan to pay off your debt, then pay back the loan in installments over a set term. You can qualify for a loan if you have bad or fair credit (689 or below), but borrowers with higher scores will likely qualify for the lowest rates. Two additional ways to consolidate debt are taking out a home equity loan or 401(k) loan. However, these two options involve risk — to your home or your retirement. In any case, the best option for you depends on your credit score and profile, as well as your debt-to-income ratio.

Debt consolidation calculator

There are several debt consolidation calculators that can be found online to help you decide whether not it makes sense for you to consolidate.

“For many people, consolidation reveals a light at the end of the tunnel.” payments on time, so your credit is good. You might qualify for an unsecured debt consolidation loan at 7% — a significantly lower interest rate. For many people, consolidation reveals a light at the end of the tunnel. If you take a loan with a three-year term, you know it will be paid off in three years — assuming you make your payments on time and manage your spending. Conversely, making minimum payments on credit cards could mean months or years before they’re paid off, all while accruing more interest than the initial principal.

When debt consolidation isn’t worth it

Consolidation isn’t a silver bullet for debt problems. It doesn’t address excessive spending habits that create debt in the first place. It’s also not the solution if you’re overwhelmed by debt and have no hope of paying it off even with reduced payments. If your debt load is small — you can pay it off within six months to a year at your current pace — and you’d save only a negligible amount by consolidating, don’t bother. Try a do-it-yourself debt payoff method instead, such as the debt snowball or debt avalanche. If the total of your debts is more than half your income, and the calculator above reveals that debt consolidation is not your best option, you’re better off seeking debt relief than treading water. MV

When debt consolidation is a smart move

Success with a consolidation strategy requires the following: n Your total debt excluding mortgage doesn’t exceed 40% of your gross income. n Your credit is good enough to qualify for a 0% credit card or low-interest debt consolidation loan. n Your cash flow consistently covers payments toward your debt. n You have a plan to prevent running up debt again. Here’s a scenario when consolidation makes sense: Say you have four credit cards with interest rates ranging from 18.99% to 24.99%. You always make your

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 31


G

NEW in 2021

reater Mankato Growth has launched a new leadership training program. The Professional Development Series was developed out of

popular demand. It brings in highly-regarded and energetic speakers whose

GREATER MANKATO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

aim is to provide top-notch training for professionals seeking to boost their careers to a new level. Sign up for one or all of the workshops.

Series

SPONSORED BY:

SPEAKER LINE-UP: Dr. Cindra Kamphoff "Grit For Business in 2021" 3-Sessions April 7, 14, 28

Scott Morrell Rebar Leadership

Todd Thiewes Sandler Training

"It's how you frame things." 4-Sessions

"Success Playbook for Career Advancement." 4-Sessions

Jul 14, 21, 28, Aug 4

Sept. 22, 29, Oct 6, 13

Visit greatermankato.com/pds for more information and individual workshop pricing.

American Heart Association heart.org/en/affiliates/minnesota/twin-cities

YMCA Front Street Studio mankatoymca.org

NEW BUSINESS

The Blue Boat, LLC 12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 1710, Mankato

BUSINESS FOCUS

Seize a Business Focus Opportunity Sign up today for a Business Focus campaign, a 60-90 second video format featuring one Greater Mankato Growth member each month. Learn more at greatermankato.com/business-focus.

32 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

Stay tuned to our social media and website for up-to-date Business After Hours events, including rescheduled dates from 2020 due to COVID-19. Thank you for your patience and understanding! Please visit greatermankato.com to learn more about additional programming and events offered. 2021 SPONSOR:


THANK YOU, 2021 SPONSORS!

WHY JOIN

GREATER MANKATO GROWTH? JUST RELEASED...

Learn more about the Greater Mankato Young Professionals at greatermankato.com/young-professionals

Check out theEXPOSURE Build your Brand; grow your business. Greater Mankato Stand out and get noticed! Growth blog!

our 2020 Annual Report!

NETWORKING TW WORKING ORKING It’s not just st WHO WHO you ou know, it’s who knows k YOU. Networking IS Powerful.

BE IN THE KNOW

greatermankatoblog.com LEARNING Gain access cces to Member

Exclusive Contentby to help Blog posts are written staff and grow your business. on topics our member businesses ranging from business insights, economic development, TALENT public affairs, topical issues and more! RETENTION

MEMBER EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS

Keep your employees engaged and retained with access to our member only events and programs.

Receive our member only emails making you the first to know the latest news.

REFERRALS

We only refer member businesses. Word of mouth greatermankato.com/publications and direct referrals come from being a valued member of GMG.

Save the dates for live music, local food and more! SHAPE YOUR COMMUNITY

Your investment helps us continue to build the best Presented environment for your by business and its employees.

CREDIBILITY

Raise your reputation by belonging. Research shows that businesses who belong to a chamber of commerce are more successful.

Presented by

#katosongs

11 am - 1 pm at Civic Center Plaza June 3 June 10 June 17 June 24

Jeremy Poland Band Mark Joseph & The American Soul Irie Minds Chemistry Set

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5 - 7:30 pm at Civic Center Plaza August 5 August 12 August 19 August 26

William Elliott Whitmore International Reggae All Stars The Federales greatermankato.com/join Seasaw April 2018

Learn more at citycentermankato.com/alive-after-5

*Disclaimer: The in-person component of both these events are subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions to ensure the health and safety of our community, volunteers and staff.

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 33 greatermankato.com/join


Thank you to all who attended the Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.

Annual Meeting

G

reater Mankato Growth, Inc. safely brought together the business community as part of a hybrid luncheon for their 2021 Annual Meeting with both virtual and in-person attendees at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event

Center Grand Hall on March 9. The event included honoring volunteer of the year award recipients from Greater Mankato Growth, Visit Mankato, City Center Partnership and GreenSeam as well as conducting the organization’s annual business meeting. Keynote presenter, Ross Bernstein, also shared his inspirational stories and life lessons from the world of sports to provide an engaging message related to the theme of “Building Upon Our Collective Strengths”. Thank you to the business community, partners and sponsors who made this event possible. Additionally, thank you to all who contributed to the progress and success of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. this past year.

A special THANK YOU to our Annual Meeting Sponsors Speaker Sponsor:

Sponsors:

34 • APRIL 2021 • MN Valley Business

Lunch Sponsor:

Video Sponsor:


THE S TAT E OF

AGRICULTURE 2021 State of Agriculture Report GREATER MANKATO Now Available!

WHY JOIN GROWTH?

The State of Ag Report is aEXPOSURE comprehensive survey of Minnesota’s agribusinesses and related businesses. It reveals the challenges and opportunities facing the industry in 2021 and beyond. Build your Brand; Business

grow your business. out and get DevelopmentStand | Talent Attraction noticed!

NETWORKING TW WORKING ORKING

It’s Retention not just st WHO WHO you ou and | Transportation | and More! know, it’s who knows k YOU. Networking IS Powerful.

Read it now at greenseam.org/

BE IN THE KNOW

LEARNING

Gain access cces to Member Exclusive Content to help grow your business.

TALENT RETENTION

MEMBER EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS

Keep your employees engaged and retained with access to our member only events and programs.

Receive our member only emails making you the first to know the latest news.

REFERRALS We only refer member businesses. Word of mouth and direct referrals come from being a valued member of GMG.

THE BONUS GIFT CARD PROGRAM IS BACK! SHAPE YOUR

T

COMMUNITY

CREDIBILITY

reputation by Gift Card program. The Program he City Center Partnership is bringing back the popularRaise and your successful Bonus belonging. Research shows Your investment helps us that businesses belongin investments in the local City originally ran between December 9 and in overwho $25,000 continue to build18, the2020 best and resulted to a chamber of commerce yourspent. Due to the Program's great success for the 33 participating Center businesses, leveragingenvironment $4 for eachfor dollar business and its employees. are more successful.

City Center businesses, the City Center Partnership launched a second round, sponsored by Mankato Computer Technology. Anyone can participate in the Bonus Gift Card program by turning in receipts that show a purchase of at least $50 worth of goods or services at any of the participating businesses. In return, the person will receive a $20 gift card to one of the participating businesses, chosen at random, which adds a fun spin to the program. The recipient might get a gift card to their favorite businesses or be given an opportunity to discover something

greatermankato.com/join

completely new and worth going back for. The Bonus Gift Card program will run until all gift cards are given out. April 2018 Learn more at citycentermankatocom/bonuscard.

Sponsor: MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 35 greatermankato.com/join


READY FOR YOUR ARRIVAL Gathering with loved ones means more than ever. Laugh, hug, play and relax. The eight hotels and resorts along Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail offer legendary locations to safely reconnect. From the shores of the Tennessee River to Mobile Bay, come experience world-class hospitality in picturesque settings. Plunge into resort pools. Relax in luxury spas. Play RTJ golf. Enjoy farm-to-table cuisine. We are open and will be here waiting for you. Visit rtjresorts.com.


Student Business Competition

T

he Big Ideas Challenge is a premier event for Minnesota State University, Mankato, College of Business and for the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship attracting over 200 attendees. The mission is to provide a platform to support, celebrate and promote student entrepreneurs and their venture ideas. The competition is open to individuals or teams of current Minnesota State Mankato students from any discipline and graduates within two years of graduation. As part of the University’s commitment to innovation, a new high tech division was created to encourage and reward business ideas in high technology in the southwest region of Minnesota. Winners compete for $19,000 in prize money generously donated by Lloyd Companies, All American Foods, BankVista, Jones Metal and Daren and Sarah Cotter. The Big Ideas Challenge is a vibrant event with fascinating presentations and the thrill of awards at the end, but the best outcome is for all of the finalists to develop their ideas and their skills as inventors, business people and professionals. Join us virtually for this exciting event.

Join us on April 13, 2021 The final teams, that will present on April 13, were selected through a blind judging process and are composed of students from all over the University. While they may be studying different subjects, they all have one thing in common – they are go-getters and innovators that we would hope to keep in our region.

April 13, 2021 Big Ideas Challenge Presentations 2:00pm – 4:00pm RSVP for the zoom link. Open to the Public Free Admission RSVP at cob.mnsu.edu/bicrsvp

Follow the CIE

An Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity University. This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by calling the College of Business at 507-389-5420 (V), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY). BUSC594AD_02-2021

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 37


LASTING RELIEF THROUGH BETTER BACK CARE.

Remember life without back pain? Restore your strong, healthy back and return to an active life through personalized back care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. From your first appointment, our back care experts evaluate you as a whole person, not just your injury. That allows us to provide exactly the care you need with your total recovery in mind. Don’t wait another day to rediscover life without back pain.

Call 507-246-1881 for an appointment. mayoclinichealthsystem.org/backpain

MN Valley Business • APRIL 2021 • 38

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The Free Press - MN Valley Business - April 2021 - The Definitive Business Journal for the Greater Minnesota River Valley

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