(bright music) (gentle piano music) - [Announcer] Funding for Compass is provided in part by Shalom Hill Farm, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Members of Pioneer PBS.
- I used to say as a teacher, sometimes I felt like I was water skiing over the top of a subject, because we had to hurry up and get done, and we never got off our water skis and swam in the water, and dove into deeper learning.
The challenge I see in education is that it is simpler to just do what we've always done.
But if we can teach kids to think more deeply, then we need to do it.
I'm Sherri Broderius, superintendent of MACCRAY Public Schools.
Today we have a first ever, maybe even first ever in the state of Minnesota, epic education summit about daring to change your teachers' methods of instruction to dig deeper, to ask kids deeper questions, to help kids wonder in a different way.
We're all the northernmost schools in the Southwest Service Co-op, which is a co-op of educators that support us in different things we do educationally.
Every department or every grade level today has an igniter, a facilitator that asks the instructors, asks the teachers deep and rich questions about what they're doing.
- Find something today that makes you thirsty, makes you say, "I want to try that."
Even if you only do it once.
- We had some great igniter speeches that got our presentation off to a great start and got us thinking about why we do this, and the needs of the students in our classroom, and how it's great to be a presence and build relationships with them.
- And we also have lead teachers from around our six school districts that are here today showing examples of how their classrooms are different.
We have a math classroom where the teachers, who are pretending to be the students, are touching the geometric shapes, touching what is three inches long, what is more, seven or two?
In the math den this afternoon, the goal is to show instructors the impact of touching math.
- In the traditional model, when we say here's a question, I'll do it once for you, and now here's one for you and you try it, we're really not promoting thinking for that child, we're promoting them to copy what I did, instead of having them mimic.
Why aren't we asking our students to think?
- For a long time, we expected that if a student could recite math tables really fast in one minute, wow, great math student.
Or, do they just have a photographic memory?
Or do they just know to do the zeroes, ones, and fives first, so they can get the most done?
And do they really, truly know the relationship between numbers?
- We're pulled in so many different directions in education that oftentimes we lose focus on all the different strategies that we can pull in.
Taking a step back, a deep breath, and listening to others around us, giving us opportunities to think about different kinds of strategies that we can implement in our classroom is really refreshing.
Not just teaching solely to a test, but providing more hands-on opportunities for learning.
- I think many of us were taught in a very traditional way and that has created kind of a negative stigma about math, and now we're trying to transcend that into more of a positive relationship with math, where everybody believes they can do it, and they feel like they have support in the process of doing it.
- If kids aren't successful in school, could it be because they're not moving?
I can't even sit still for an hour while I pay my bills, but yet we have our kids come to school and expect them to sit from the time they finish breakfast until it's four hours later and it's lunchtime.
We don't do this in school, do we?
Take kids to the weight room?
That's what they were talking about in the igniter session this morning.
How do we do things differently?
How do we think differently?
I used to say to teachers I hired as a high school principal, name a teacher you want most to be like, and the most common answer I get from people is I never knew, going into this teacher's classroom, what we were gonna wonder about, what we were gonna think about, how he or she was gonna present it to us.
Never wanted to be late for that class, because I always knew it was gonna be interesting.
Even if it was just about commas.
(soft music) - I'm back here on request of the Ukrainian two star general that I met with in Kiev over the summer.
I came back to America because he told me, I asked him what do you need?
He said, Mike, what we really need you to do, is we need you to go back to America and make sure that people don't forget about us.
I'm a professional speaker, so I've been doing speaking events at churches and rotary clubs and lions clubs, and so with a mission to do that and follow those orders.
My mindset was what do I do to get people thinking about Ukraine, and acting for Ukraine?
I came up with Operation Sleep Out.
The peak of winter over there is January, just like here, maybe.
And it was getting down to 20 degrees at night.
So I got my tent, I got my sleeping bag, and I arranged 16 different places around Fargo and Morehead, and down to my hometown, Ortonville, to sleep, and raise about $40,000 to ship about $100,000 worth of donated winter weather gear.
(inspiring music) Good morning from eastern Ukraine.
I just wanted to show you how cold it is here, even in late February.
Out here, these folks are in trenches.
I've been working unpaid out there in the war zone in Ukraine for eight of the last 10 months.
I told my family down in Ortonville, in the Appleton Madison area, I need some money for medical supplies.
Well, my 90-year-old uncle Darryl belongs to the AM vets in Appleton, and he and eight guys put together a pancake breakfast in Appleton, and they raised $2500 to ship half a container.
That's eight guys just doing what they can, and everybody contributing, made a huge difference.
That's what a little community out on the prairie did for people on the other side of the earth.
I think that's a beautiful thing.
So the A Team is our nonprofit.
It's a nod and a tribute to all of the volunteers that I've been working with.
Some of them I met waiting for an Uber, some of them I met at the coffee shop, some of them I met waiting for baggage at the Warsaw Airport.
This random group of 25 volunteers from eight different countries have come together, and we all kind of liked each other, and worked together well, and supported each other in different ways.
And with the questions about Ukraine and government corruption, you have to have somebody boots on the ground who can tell you exactly what's going on, and then American donors could feel comfortable donating money to a known entity, and know that their money and donation was actually getting to where it was supposed to go.
(bright music) In Ortonville, Minnesota where I grew up, in the flood of '97, we all showed up at the airport and sand bagged and saved our town, right?
And that was, I was 16 years old, it was the first time that I really realized, well, if everybody pitches in, you could do great big things.
♪ Gotta reach out and help one another ♪ - You can't hold off the flood waters of the Red River of the north on your own, but if everybody in the community pitches in, same thing here.
If everybody pitches in, and helps these Ukrainian people, then this is a war that's winnable.
In small communities, if you don't help, nobody's helping, right?
It has to come from us.
You just show up, because it's your community.
And then once you embed yourself in that community and become one of them, you realize well, the language of helping is universal around the planet.
♪ Trust another, oh ♪ ♪ We're better together ♪ (speaking Dakota) - In the language of the First Minnesotans, the Dakota people of Minnesota, Makhoche, that's a greeting which means hello, my relatives, with a good heart, I greet all of you with a handshake.
- [Amanda] On Wednesday, April 5th, Minnesota senator Gary Dahms and representative Chris Swedzinski hosted a meeting at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls.
- The area out here, this lobby area, the speakers will be going on out there, so you'll be able to hear of course, but not see- - [Amanda] The meeting was to hear public comment on a proposed bill to return roughly 1400 acres of the Upper Sioux Agency state park land to the Upper Sioux community.
At the risk of oversimplifying history, this Dakota homeland was ceded by Dakota representatives as part of the 1851 Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux between the Dakota people and the United States government.
But treaty commitments weren't fulfilled, and the land wasn't paid for by the United States.
Upper Sioux community chairman, Kevin Jensvold, has spent his 18 years as chairman trying to get the land returned.
The panelists present to answer questions were Chairman Jensvold, Scott Reimheld and Anne Pierce from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Ben Leonard and David Keliher from the Minnesota Historical Society, Granite Falls mayor Dave Smiglewski, and John Barrens, Yellow Medicine County District II Commissioner.
- So our request to the state, and if we leave the Upper Sioux community out of what that bill is requesting, there's $5.3 million that is requested on behalf of the state of Minnesota and their citizens to create a new place for recreation opportunities, for the citizens of Minnesota and any guests, to replace this park, which if you leave everything else aside, the condemnation of the building, and the disrepair of the road, only makes sense.
- [Amanda] Many of the questions had to do with communication moving forward, and how people will be notified of subsequent actions related to this bill, and the replacement land.
Other questions had to do with the ability for non-tribal members to recreate on the land should the bill pass.
- I have one question for the reservation community.
Will any of the resource be available?
Because not only do I dig there, but I've camped at the campground on the river several times.
- Thank you for your question, sir.
That's one of the questions been posed many, many times to us, and you know, as a tribal council, we haven't really come to terms with the potential that exists that's in front of us at the moment, but we do know this.
It'll be treated in a respectful and solemn manner for all people to remember what occurred there, and to make sure that it's memorialized in an accurate way, because we truly don't agree with this term, recreation, as it applies to that land.
I made testimony at the Senate, or I believe at the House, I says, I wanna leave you with the picture, in the same place that people are there having a Sunday picnic, smiling, and having a wonderful time, is the same place where our ancestors were starved to death, where the children and the old people ultimately died at that place.
So if you could at least accept that as something you can relate to, you will see why it shouldn't be a place of recreation, but should be a place of reverence.
- The words I use, like genocide.
Like concentration camps.
Like broken treaties.
All of this is pertinent to this area.
- [Amanda] Another issue at hand is the Land and Water Conservation Fund known as LAWCON.
LAWCON is a federal law that says that any land developed or acquired with LAWCON funds like the state park, must be replaced if it's converted or transferred.
As of this time, where that replacement land is located is undetermined.
Anne Pierce from the DNR said that there will be a year of community engagement opportunities to help determine where that land will be located.
- What I laid out previously is not that there is a loss of those values, but there is a replacement of those values.
- [Amanda] Senate Bill 2250 is being carried by DFL senator Mary Kunesh who represents parts of Anoka, Hennepin, and Ramsay Counties.
She's the first Indigenous woman to serve in the Minnesota Senate.
The Walls administration fully supports this bill.
- I stated early on that on January 20th of 2022, the Upper Sioux community made a request to Representative Swedzinski to sponsor this bill for the return of the state park to the Upper Sioux community.
We also attempted to contact Senator Dahms, and we were unsuccessful.
- Just to clarify, when I was approached by Chairman Jenzvold, I didn't carry the bill.
When we realized that this was actually something that wasn't just a bill of the 5000 that get dropped in the state legislature, it was one that was actually gonna move forward.
Not just a conversation, but something that would likely happen.
And I'm sad that we're the ones picking up sticks here as your state rep and senator here.
But that's what we're doing.
- [Amanda] Some attendees conveyed frustrations about not having previous opportunities to weigh in on the process, especially as it relates to access of the land and the location of the replacement acres.
- I'm all for the land transfer, but this comes down to the government screwed up here again, the legislators.
This should have came first.
This meeting right here should have came first.
How could anybody make up their mind without having this meeting first?
- Not a one of us are responsible for what happened there, but all of us can be responsible for what happens moving forward.
And the citizens of Minnesota can get a new recreational opportunity, and some justice can be restored to the Dakota people, and as Mayor Smiglewski said about a win-win situation, I think that that's at least some semblance of being just and being fair.
- [Amanda] Panel has said to reach out to local officials with questions and for information on meetings on the replacement land.
For more info, check out these websites.
(bright music) - The biggest thing for anybody coming in was like you know there was a smell.
As one person said, it's kinda like a pig yard.
But I don't agree, because I try to tell everybody it's the smell of money.
- Hi, I'm Amanda Anderson, and I'm here to ask did you hit your protein goals today?
More and more people are getting their protein from non-meat sources.
And the global plant-based protein market is anticipated to hit $17.4 billion by 2027.
I'm exploring the roots and impact of the plant protein phenomenon that's exploding across the globe, and a key part of that is playing out right here.
Dawson, Minnesota is an agricultural town located in rural southwest Minnesota, population about 1500.
- And it's mostly soy beans and corn, and there's a lot of corn plants in the area also producing ethanol, and it's pretty open country, so the wind blows around pretty good, and we get some snow that blows around occasionally, gets pretty deep.
(laughs) Affectionately known as Gnometown to locals, these gnomes over here represent the founders of Dawson Mills, the company that was the originator of Dawson's signature smell.
There is a hint of money, but the main smell?
You see, Dawson Minnesota has played an important role in plant processing, and in the development of plant-based proteins, which, as you may know, are having a moment.
(exciting music) - [Newscaster 1] Plant-based meat, or fake meat, as some might call it, is wildly popular.
- It's so good.
- So let's work through how we got to here.
Nadia Berenstein is a historian of food technology.
- So vegetarianism and diets that avoid flesh or certain kinds of meat have been around for since Antiquity.
And there's a lot of reasons for vegetarian diets.
Spiritual, ethical, religious, concerns about health, that have existed through history.
(upbeat music) - [Amanda] Our history starts in the Midwest where Henry Ford applied his ideas about industrial efficiency into plant-based products.
Ford was a vegetarian and a huge backer of soy anything, like check out his soy suit.
And soy car.
He worked with George Washington Carver to develop industrial applications of organic materials, a study that was referred to as chemurgy.
Carver also promoted soy bean products as food for humans, not just for animals, an idea that Ford shared.
Applying his industrial efficiency ideology, Ford was like, if cows are making milk from eating soy meal, why not just skip the cow and get milk from plants?
In the 1940s, Ford's food scientist Robert Boyer developed a way to make a fiber spun soy product that was initially used for textile fibers, like the suit.
- The future of this technology was actually thinking beyond textiles.
Boyer patented his technology for protein spinning, and the entity that licensed this patent was General Mills.
They had over 50 scientists and technicians working on this, millions of dollars were invested in this in the 60s.
They were essentially these bland kind of chewy blank canvases that could take on properties of different sorts of meat.
General Mills called this product Bontrae.
They were positioning Bontrae as a product that would benefit a world that was on the verge of environmental catastrophe.
- People weren't thinking about climate change like we think about it today.
The concern then was this very problematic concept called the population bomb.
Fiber spinning was GM's solution for an increasing world population that would be too taxing for meat production.
But even though in the 1970s when the cost of meat was really high, people didn't want Bontrae, so people didn't buy Bontrae.
So GM disassembled their protein spinning facility in Ceder Rapids, Iowa.
- [Nadia] And that's where Dawson Mills come in.
- Before it was called Dawson Mills, it was the Tri-County Cooperative Soybean Processing Association.
Located in Dawson, Minnesota, AKA the town that reeks of money, to some.
In October of 1950, four forward thinking business people in town started talking about the business potential of soybean processing.
They met for coffee in the local cafe and decided- - Maybe they should look into establishing some kind of a processing plant here.
- This brain trust studied soybean processing, and in 1951, opened the Tri-County Cooperative Soybean Processing Association.
- It was fraught with challenges all the way through.
- [Amanda] From too much rain to financial instability, the plant experienced a number of growing pains.
But the main complaint came from cows.
The plant used an extraction process to separate out the soybean oil.
Once the oil was extracted, what was left was a soy meal cake that was mostly used for feeding cattle, but soy cake had a huge downside.
It was killing the cows that ate it.
The plant had to temporarily shut down while it fixed the problem, and reopened in 1953.
In the late 50s, things pick up, and soybeans take off.
Dawson started a Soybean Days Festival in 1959.
This pancake flipping contraption was arguably as hot as the pancakes themselves.
- That was a big event in Dawson, when they made the pancakes.
Using soy batter.
The grills had eight different plates on them, like a carousel.
The first one would put the batter on, and it would go around, and they would flip them, as they went, and it brought in people from all over the state to see this.
- Bernice worked her way into the trade room where they would buy and sell soybeans.
That's her right there.
So it looks like it's a room full of men and you.
- It was.
(Bernice laughing) (casual upbeat music) - [Amanda] And by 1960, business almost doubled, and the world got its first National Princess Soya in 1968.
In 1969, the Tri-County Cooperative Soybean Processing Association renamed to the less descriptive but easier on the tongue Dawson Mills.
Dawson Mills had been making soy flour for the government's Food for Peace program, but- - They wanted to go a little further than that, and also extract the protein, and maybe get into a market where they would take this protein then and use it as a substitute for animal protein.
- I don't know of anything else, anybody else, that was doing isolate, isolating proteins, other than whatever General Mills was doing.
And Dawson Mills bought that plant equipment from them.
- Dawson Mills also bought the rights from General Mills for Bontrae.
We all know Bontrae now.
In the heart of soybean country, Dawson Mills thought they could do what General Mills couldn't, market the meat-less meat.
This meant a bigger plant.
Dawson Mills was located in the heart of town, and expansion was nearly impossible.
So they headed east.
Like, two and a half miles east.
- [Bernice] This was a sketch of the plans.
- So this would have been 1970s?
- [Amanda] 1977.
Obviously, look at those pants.
- [Bernice] Yeah.
(laughing) - It was supposed to cost 12 and a half million dollars to build it, but it got 20 million plus.
So it was very difficult start.
And I mean, there was a lot of talk about plant-based protein back in those days.
They must have saw this coming and thought it's worth the try, you know?
Risk and reward.
- [Amanda] But they stuck with it, trying to market what they were calling Anaprime, fiber spun protein that had chicken, beef, and ham flavors.
- The ham and the chicken was pretty good, worked great in salads.
The beef was a little, maybe if you used it, I'm not sure.
- That's his Minnesota nice way of saying people didn't like it.
So Dawson Mills found itself in a General Mills situation.
Their $20 million building wasn't producing a product that people wanted in 1979, or even knew how to use, it seemed to Bernice.
- We thought we're really gonna be doing something here, and expanding and be helping the farmers out.
And I think, maybe, if we could have exposed people more to how to use it, and what was really involved, it would have been better, but that's hindsight.
You just don't know.
- By May of 1981, Dawson's meatless meat dreams had come to an end.
But their bean processing remained successful, and in 1984, after another merger, Ag Processing Inc, or AGP, took the reins, and today is one of the largest employers in town.
(bright music) But that soy isolate building, though.
It also remained sitting alone in a field 2.5 miles east of town.
From 1982 until 2012, it was an AMPI facility processing cheese sauces and other foods.
When it closed, 130 people lost their jobs in Dawson.
But what's old is new again.
- [Newscaster 2] If you haven't yet heard of Puris, you will.
- [Representative] Our company is known for pea protein.
- [Newscaster 2] The Ag tech company based in Minneapolis and run by a brother sister duo was just named by Fast Company as one of the world's most innovative companies of 2021.
(upbeat music) - [Amanda] And just like that, the facility in the field has new tenants.
And wouldn't you know, with a company that manufactures plant-based pea protein, Puris.
Had it not been for the foresight of a few local people trying to think differently about plant proteins, or really, how they could get more value out of their soybeans, Puris wouldn't have a facility to move into.
- It's almost like Thomas Edison.
You know, he tried the filaments and the bulbs probably 400 times before he got what would work.
- The vegetable protein, I think it's something that's up and coming, and when you're thinking about farming, you're gonna be, are you yip yip hurray for the ones producing the vegetable protein, or are you yip yip hurray for the ones that are producing animal protein?
- How will the rise of plant proteins fit into our current agricultural, cultural, and dietary landscape?
Do you have to be yip yip hurray for one or the other, or is coexistence a possibility?
- I don't know if we're ever gonna convert totally to plant based protein and get rid of our animals.
I'm thinking that's gonna be a long, long time away.
- [Amanda] Would you consider doing meatless Monday?
- I'd have to think about it.
I could try it.
(laughing) - [Amanda] With a $75 million investment in Puris from Cargill, could meatless meat in Dawson finally be a thing?
In our next episode, we'll look at the landscape of plant based protein manufacturers in Minnesota with a specific focus on the Puris promise.
(casual upbeat music) (gentle music) - [Announcer] Funding for Compass is provided in part by Shalom Hill Farm, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Members of Pioneer PBS.