Did the local newspaper help them return to rural?

Jessica Sand, local newspaper

Jessica Sand grew up in a small South Dakota town so moving to the Twin Cities was a bit of a culture shock, but she did enjoy it for the most part for eight years.

Randy and Jessica Love Living in the Country

Then an opportunity appeared and it was off to Fergus Falls. “I decided I liked the lakes and I loved the schools,” she said. “And people take pride in their stuff here.”

Jessica appreciates the small town vibe she grew up with. “Fergus Falls is small enough that you know a lot of people, but it’s large enough so you can grow [as an individual]”, she said. “My daughter (10 years old) loves the schools.”

It also helped that her fiancé, Randy, is from Pelican Rapids.

They now live in rural Fergus Falls and Jessica couldn’t be happier. “We like all the outdoorsy stuff, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing,” she said. “We have three dogs and they can run around outside no problem. We’ve had turtles nest in our yard; we just love the land.”

Randy’s hometown newspaper, the Pelican Rapids Press, also played a role in getting him back home and Jessica back to small town America. “Randy’s mom sent him the Pelican Rapids newspaper every week and he began to really look forward to getting that newspaper.” (Note to all: “come move back home” idea).

Live Wide Open is a phrase that brings a smile to Jessica’s face. “What comes to mind for me is talking to people, all the benefits of living here, fun festivals, welcoming people, and people who are willing to help you. I’ve never been someplace where everyone is so friendly. I liked living in the city, but I really appreciate the country life and all the small towns we can visit. Everything is so close. This place really resonates with me.”

Scott Kiemle