Your Stories

Deb and Dale Simmons Have Things Covered

Dale and Deb Simmons’ entrepreneurial adventure began in 1999 when they purchased Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning in 1999. Then in 2006, a long-time Beatrice business, the Mr. Sweeper Store, was closing its doors.

The Simmons saw an opportunity to expand their already successful carpet cleaning business, and they jumped on it. Deb and Dale purchased the business and also bought some of the store’s equipment and inventory. They set about reopening as the S & S Sweeper Store in a new Beatrice location.

Young Santee Artist Grows Hobby into Income

Shaylana Lewis, a proud member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, first learned to bead at the tender age of 11 by Donelle La Pointe, her Dakota language teacher from Marty, South Dakota.

Now 19 years old, Lewis is still beading. She says beading brings her to a calm and positive state. Lewis beads jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, rings, headbands and does custom orders. But what originally started out as a hobby has now turned into a lucrative opportunity to make a small income on the side. 

Learning Circle Expands Horizons for Women Farmers and Ranchers

Contributed by Ash Bruxvoort, a freelance writer, marketer, and beginning farmer in Mitchellville, Iowa.

More than 40 women gathered at the Prairie Plate Restaurant on Lakehouse Farm in Waverly, Nebraska, on August 5. We were there to network, share stories, and learn about resources available to beginning women farmers and ranchers.

A great mix of women attended the event. They included women who were already farming, women who were interested in buying land, and women who had never farmed before.

Learning to Be Rural

I grew up in a place we affectionately called, “big town, little city.” It was big enough to have rival cross-town high schools and a university, but small enough that I knew all my neighbors and always felt safe.

But it wasn’t a rural place.

Growing up in Wisconsin, rural living never felt far away however. Radio stations played country music, the 4-H club was open to kids that lived in the city, and my mother and her friends practiced a style of parenting that predates “free range.”

#ThanksLunchLady

Are you taking a family road trip in August? If you're traveling in Nebraska, your kids should be able to recognize field corn and soybeans by mile marker 20. But take a turn north into Litchfield. Then stop and meander into the 72’ x 36’ greenhouse and 28’ x 70’ retail produce store just off the highway. You’ll see a dozen or more varieties of vegetables growing year round.

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