A loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Excuse me while I interrupt Dan's family feud with something not related to the farm bill. Just a few hours north and east of where we sit in Lyons, Nebraska is the small town of Truman, Minnesota. Population 1,259.

About a year and a half ago the town's grocery store closed - a move that can be devastating to a small community. A grocery store is a critical component of community infrastructure that every small town needs to prosper. With the closing of the grocery store more people leave town to do all of their shopping, elderly residents and others without access to reliable transportation find themselves with few or no options for grocery shopping, and the town becomes less attractive to those considering to move there.

Enter 17 year old and Truman High School student Nick Graham. It took Nick less than three months to purchase and reopen the shuttered grocery store in his home town. With enthusiasm, a vision for the future, a sense of purpose and a modest loan form a local economic development corporation Nick Graham became the new owner of the store before he even graduated from the local high school.

The Youngest Grocer In America

Rural main streets across America are struggling to survive, and the shuttering of a grocery store, drug store or hardware store is all too common. As Nick is demonstrating though, innovation, new energy, and the commitment of a new generation can help turn around the fate of a small town.

Read more about Nick here and here.

Update: Check out this new blog post on what Nick has more recently been up to.