Jim Ruud

Our community’s Vision Statement reads, “The community of Pelican Rapids boasts enormous natural beauty in its sweeping fields, rolling hills and plentiful pristine lakes. Yet its most enduring beauty is intangible and can be found in the innovative spirit of its citizenry as they improve their lives…” Jim Ruud reflects upon growing up in Pelican Rapids and has seen community organizations thrive and continue to grow. He recalls the Pelican Rapids Farm Club which came about as a means of communication for the local farmers. Before there was the technology that allowed immediate information sending, rural farmers would meet as a means of sharing current events and as a form of social support. As the many small farms turned into a few large farms the organization dissembled.

An organization that remains in need a strong is the area’s 4-H club. Pelican Rapid’s 4-H was begun before Jim became a member. He remembers his time in the 4-H as active with many members. Pelican Rapids can boast an active club with many members even today. “I am proud of the leadership the club has and credit them for helping kids stay on the right path” says Jim. Another organization that remains active is F.F.A. That too has been around for years. “This organization seems to continue to be active and under strong leadership” contends Jim.

Organizations grow and change depending on the needs of our community. Though the need for a social group for rural farmers may not exist today, one need that remains constant in our community is supporting youth. In our Vision Statement we state, “The community recognizes the value of its youths and provides support for their recreational and educational and social needs….” The two examples Jim gave were just a sampling of what is out there for our youth and the fact that these two organizations have thrived for so many years shows the need has not change. But we need to keep in tune to what the youth in our community require. We are a strong, motivated community who are able to unite and work together. Our vision gives us direction.

Written by Tami Skinner