New York Mills will always be home for Latham

by Latham Hetland

I would say that my story started like many other folks, and that was with leaving New York Mills.

The mind of a young adult tends to always want to know more, to see more and experience the world beyond the scope of what they already know. So that’s what I set out to do. I went to college with one major and career path in mind, transferred after one semester to a different college in a larger city with a completely different major, and tried my hand at exploring adulthood.


So, I packed things up (not that you can really put that much in a closet/bedroom) and headed off to New York Mills.

I didn’t really know why, at the time, but it just felt right. I thought that it would be a good opportunity to get some professional experience, then maybe I would head out to greener pastures after a year or two.

Sure enough, four years later and I’ve found myself on the city council, the boards of several fantastic organizations in New York Mills, and as a small business owner in addition to my job at the bank while finishing up graduate school.

Let me be clear: small town life has a charm that is not repeatable anywhere else I have ever been.

Being part of a small community requires you to really want what’s best for the town. Everyone plays a part, and everyone picks each other up if we are down.

Since I’ve moved back to NYM, I have seen several of my high school friends (and a few from college, too!) move to the area, and the sentiment is the same: this is home, and it always will be.


I worked a few different jobs, met a bunch of great people, slept in a closet for a few months, and just generally saw what adulthood really meant. At the same time, I was going to college for a business degree.

I was taking a class called “Business and Professional Communications” and one of our assignments was to make a resume and cover letter for a job we may want. I was at my parent’s house while working on the assignment, and opened up the local New York Mills newspaper.

Sure enough, there was a job at the community bank in town and I thought that could be interesting, so I made my resume tailored to that job.

After I finished my resume I decided that it looked pretty good, probably good enough to actually submit. Fast forward a couple months and I got a call from Farmers & Merchants State Bank telling me I had a job and asking if I could start tomorrow.

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