Lindsey's Story planting new roots

Lindsey Bruer grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin, where the population of her high school was larger than the population of Appleton, Minnesota—the place she would later choose to call home after college.

“This is a silly thing, but when I first moved out here, I could not believe how dark it was at night—it makes for amazing stargazing!”

After completing graduate school at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs in 2011, Lindsey was on the hunt for a job. She came across an opening for a transportation planner at the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission in Appleton. When offered the job, Lindsey picked up and moved far from home to the town she had first heard of only a few weeks before.

Since moving to Western Minnesota eight years ago, Lindsey has gained many great friends, developed an appreciation for the rural lifestyle, and started a new job with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Lindsey, like many others, enjoys the option to work remotely thanks to the high-quality broadband in the area. She is now married, and her and her husband recently welcomed their first child—a baby girl. Not too long ago, they moved from Appleton to live on her husband’s fourth generation family farm near Chokio, Minnesota.

Lindsey is grateful for all the advantages rural living has to offer. She says the great schools and variety of kid-friendly amenities, like parks and pools in the area, are some of the many reasons Western Minnesota is an ideal place to raise a family. The affordable housing is also a great plus and something she was quite surprised by when moving from a big city.

“Western Minnesota offers a high quality of life and low cost of living—it’s the best of both worlds!”

Moving from a big city to a rural area can be quite an adjustment—but Lindsey sees no shortage in things to do, places to visit, and people to see. In her spare time, she loves to hike and cross-country ski at state parks in the area, attend her husband’s town baseball games, renovate her home, as well as spend time with family at one of the many lakes nearby.

Of the many events to attend in the area, Lindsey definitely has a favorite that stands out.

“I love going to the county fairs, especially the Swift County Fair in Appleton. There’s so much to do there—from looking at the animals and riding the carnival rides, to trying all the food and taking in the evening entertainment! And there’s a buzz of excitement that fills the town of Appleton during the fair. It’s such a fun time of year and a great way to wrap up the summer.”
Swift County Fair

Another thing Lindsey likes about Western Minnesota is how easy it is to become involved in your community. She has served on the Appleton City Council, the Appleton Area Chamber of Commerce board, and the Swift County Housing and Redevelopment Authority board. These experiences have helped Lindsey better understand the community and are opportunities she feels she would not have had in a big city.

When asked to describe Western Minnesota in one word, Lindsey chose peaceful. No doubt, it was a big change, moving far from home to an unfamiliar, new town, but Lindsey found that that change also brought opportunities, advantages, and a peaceful, new place she is happy to call home.