MinnCentral Currents-logo

MinnCentral Currents

Education Podcasts

Learn what keeps Central Minnesota moving! We take a look at big topics and see how they impact our everyday lives in the cities, towns, and fields of Minnesota's heartland.

Learn what keeps Central Minnesota moving! We take a look at big topics and see how they impact our everyday lives in the cities, towns, and fields of Minnesota's heartland.


United States


Learn what keeps Central Minnesota moving! We take a look at big topics and see how they impact our everyday lives in the cities, towns, and fields of Minnesota's heartland.






Episode 29: Climate Generation

The effects of our changing climate are visible all around us. Over the past six months we have discussed how climate change is impacting our weather, our forests, our waters, and our food supply. I was a child in the 1980s. I have spent my whole life listening to arguments about the reality of events that are measurable, verifiable, and happening around us. Forty years. We have had forty years to address this issue from a basic standpoint of good stewardship of the earth. All arguments...


Looking Back, Looking Ahead

This podcast started with a vision of elevating voices and stories of folks who live in, work in, and influence the region of Central Minnesota. Some of our topics stretch across the world, tying us to faraway people and places. Others are very much a matter of local interest, but are stories that just about anyone in a rural community could relate to. We have delivered twenty eight episodes so far, and have plenty more in the works. Our core group of volunteers is small but mighty, and I...


Episode 28: How to Have Hard Conversations

As the 2021 holiday season approaches, many of us are looking forward to seeing our beloved family and friends gather around the table together once again after a long time apart. Many of us are also dreading the possibility of having hard conversations at these gatherings. How can we prepare to have hard conversations with people we genuinely care about? Guests: Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Conference panelists: Wendy Bjorklund, St. Cloud State University Pam...


Episode 27: Fixing Forefeiture

Today I’m joined by State Auditor Julie Blaha to discuss what exactly it is that a state auditor does, and what we can expect from changes to Minnesota’s Civil asset Forfeiture laws that passed the legislature this past session. Guest: State Auditor Julie Blaha Show Notes: Changes to Minnesota's civil asset forfeiture laws pass Legislature Office of the State Auditor Episode Manager: Theresa Meis Become a Patron of our show! Produced by Riverside Productions LLC Music by Epidemic Sound...


Episode 26: The Dirt on Soil Health

It’s fair to say that most of us go day to day without giving a second thought to how healthy the soil is beneath our feet. But for our friends and neighbors in the agriculture industry, the health of their soil is quite important. What is soil health, and why is it so important? Guests: Jim Chamberlin, Conservationist Show Notes: Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota Happy Dancing Turtle - based in Pine River, MN: From soil health and regenerative agriculture to nature play and...


Episode 25: Border to Border Internet

The pandemic has shone a light on how much we rely on our ability to connect to one another online when we are unable to connect in-person. And, as with many other areas of our infrastructure, it exposed where our communities fall short at connecting the public to businesses, schools, and services across the digital divide. Where does Minnesota stand when it comes to providing accessible high speed internet service state-wide? Guests: Diane Wells, Office of Broadband Development Show...


Episode 24: A Trip to The Fishing Museum

We’ve been hitting some pretty heavy topics hard and fast lately, so we decided to slow down and wander up for a visit to the Minnesota Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame in Little Falls, Minnesota. Guest: Brenda Perlowski, Museum Docent Show Notes: Minnesota Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame Fishing Tackle Value Guide mentioned in the episode Episode Manager: Bruce Anderson Become a Patron of our show! Produced by Riverside Productions LLC Music by Epidemic Sound Twitter...


Episode 23: The Labor Fight Continues

For many people the labor movement is a snapshot in time. It evokes memories of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seger singing songs at rallies and black and white photos of workers on strike. We might be reminded now and then that we have our weekends thanks to the Labor movement, but… that “we” doesn’t actually include all of us. Not everyone is afforded the same considerations for their personal time, and not everyone is paid for the real value of their labor. Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, we...


Episode 22: Protecting Our Land

Parks, public land, and green spaces are important to us for so many reasons. They provide that place where we can connect to nature - something that can be hard to do in this modern world. They offer habitat and food sources for wildlife. They help keep our climate in balance. How do we ensure that the green spaces we enjoy today are preserved for future generations? Parks, public land, and green spaces are important to us for so many reasons. They provide that place where we can connect...


Episode 21: A Bipartisan Solution to Climate Change

Decades ago, oil companies like Exxon were already studying the science of Climate Change. According to an investigation that uncovered internal documents from the 1970s, senior scientist James Black of Exxon warned the management committee, “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels," Black continues, “present thinking holds that...


Episode 20: Child Care Is Work

The pandemic has been and continues to be a revelatory event, exposing the strengths and weaknesses in so many aspects of our infrastructure, economy, and culture. One thing, above all else, caused a massive ripple in all three: Closed child care centers. What value does our society place on our children - all of our children - having access to safe, quality care? And what does the state of child care access look like today? Guest: Marcia Schlattman, a Program Director at...


Episode 19: Teach Your Children Well

A couple of episodes ago, I spoke with two Civics and Social Studies teachers about the importance of learning about Civic Engagement. We discussed how this important topic is covered starting as young as Kindergarten, and how it is vital to continue to challenge ourselves into adulthood to keep up with our civic knowledge and engagement. That episode was brought about in part because of the rumblings out there that claimed “they don’t teach civics anymore.” Well, today’s episode can be...


Episode 18: The Climate of Fishing

Fishing has long been a favorite pastime for folks in the land of 10,000 lakes. And fishing remains a hobby - and a skill - we pass down to our children and grandchildren. My kids love spending time at grandma and grandpa’s place on the lake, throwing a line off the dock to see what they can catch. But, over time, what we can catch, and where we can catch fish that can be safely consumed, has changed. Things like pollution, warming waters, and changing shorelines can greatly affect the...


Episode 17: Conversation with Chief Bentrud

Law enforcement entities and the municipalities they are licensed to serve within the state of Minnesota are at an inflection point. At this time there are conversations taking place in city halls and in the chambers of our legislature weighing how to move forward from what is at once both another pivotal moment as well as a river of moments that spans deep into our collective past. I don’t often open with bold opinions, but this time, I will: Every member of our community deserves to feel...


Episode 16: They Don't Teach Civics Anymore

Every election cycle I’ll run into a few people who will at some point during the conversation lean in, tilt their head to indicate how serious they are, and declare with absolutely certainty: “Civics is no longer taught in schools!” I know from a small sampling of folks I’ve spoken to, we each can recall learning Civics in our youth, and my children who are currently attending Minnesota public schools are learning civics. So what’s this all about? Why is there a perception that Civics isn’t...


Episode 15: How can I help?

In this episode we address the topics of sexual assault and interpersonal violence. While it may not be appropriate for the youngest ears, it might be something you choose to listen to as a conversation starter with teens and other family members. For so long the stigma and shame attached to sexual and interpersonal violence kept victims and survivors from speaking out. But as we’ve seen in the cases of institutional sexual abuse within religions and business organizations, once a few brave...


Episode 14: Migrating Forests

On hot days, it’s not unusual to find folks in the Eastern half of Central Minnesota taking refuge beneath the cooling canopy of our largely maple and oak deciduous forests. We hike the winding trails, enjoy the shaded swimming holes, and camp within the shelter of these forests. The state parks and trails have been crowded this summer, in spite of the unusually hot June, because the people of Minnesota love the outdoors. And while the state Legislature finally agreed on a deal that will not...


Episode 13: Revitalization and Transportation

The history of St. Cloud, like so many towns across the Midwest, is tied to the river and the railroad. It’s a living history, with the later of these two features at the heart of current conversations around what the future holds for St. Cloud’s East Side. St. Cloud is the 10th largest city in the state of Minnesota. It sits at the intersection of two rivers, four major roadways, and a rail line that’s part of the Amtrak Empire Builder route. The bulk of St. Cloud sits on the sunset side of...


Episode 12: Working 9 to 5

In January of 2020, for only the second time in the history of American labor statistics, women outnumbered men in the American workforce - a headline-making milestone. At the same time, however, another rare but significant story was developing - one that would ultimately lead to the worst job-losses among women in the history of our country. The pandemic hit female-dominated industries the hardest: Hospitality, education, health care, and retail. By April of 2020, the pandemic had caused...


Episode 11: Celebrating The Arts!

Central Minnesota is alive with the arts! When researching this episode, there were honestly so many events and venues to choose from that it was difficult to decide where to focus our conversations today! From farmers markets to local art fairs to established galleries, weekly outdoor concerts to staged productions, we have so many incredible opportunities to engage with the arts in our region! This week, we’re not answering a question - we’re proclaiming: The arts are a fundamental part of...