Minnesota Senator Tina Smith is using her recent visit to southern Minnesota as a conversation starter about the good things going on in rural America.

“While it is true that there has been some bad news, especially in the farm economy. What I saw on my visit was just so many people who were creating new businesses, creating new opportunities and being very innovative in the work that they’re doing.”

Smith gave the example of a local brewery and another manufacturing small business in Luverne as well as a public-private partnership to restore downtown Luverne. She also met with community members, businesses and school administrators in Marshall last week.