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Hub Clubs: Missing Farm-City Link
If there's friction in your town between city slickers and country folks, a group in New Ulm, Minn., stands ready to help solve the problems.
Their "Farm-City Hub Club" was started in 1974 by farm and city leaders, both to smooth the way between farm and city and to promote agriculture, New Ulm's number one industry.
"We want to promote and educate by pooling our resources, but it's also the ideal vehicle for getting city and rural businessmen together. That's why we balance our membership, with one city agri-businessman to each rural agri-businessman," explains Dick Ginn, New Ulm grocery store owner and one of the club's founding members.
The club meets regularly, alternating between a farm or city business location. The meetings are usually for breakfast and are often broadcast over the local radio station. There are often specific issues to resolve.
"Five years ago, when there was a big grain surplus and all storage facilities were full, we obtained permission for farmers to pile grain on city streets. Another time, farmers expressed the need for a place to park grain trucks when they came to town and we went to the city council to get it. It was a little thing but was the sort of problem we might not have been aware of without the club," says Ginn.
He adds that he also welcomes the chance to show his farmer friends what he does for a living. "I think many farmers think we city guys all work nine to five jobs. They often don't realize that running a business in town is a full-time job, too, and that I probably work as many hours as they do," explains Ginn.
The Farm-City Hub Club has several specific goals: 1. To promote agriculture. 2. To educate the people in the area about the importance of agriculture to the local economy. 3. To promote New Ulm as an ag trade center by attracting new business and arranging tours of agriculture and ag-related industry in the New Ulm area. 4. To develop friendly relations between town and city, and to work on specific friction areas, acting as the go-between on such problems.
Besides regular meetings and radio broadcasts, the club works at ag-related events like fairs and farm shows. There are now about 140 members who pay a $25 membership fee.
Recently the Hub Club decided to "go public" and promote their ideas for other communities by exhibiting at a large midwestern farm show. If you think the club idea might be useful in your community, they'll help you establish your club. There's no charge and the club has no salaried staff.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dick Ginn, Farm-City Hub Club, P.O. Box 172, New Ulm, Minn. 56073 (ph 507 354-6876).

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1981 - Volume #5, Issue #4