Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD #18 Good Dog Center – Carmen Hurley and Ann Grimstad


The Good Dog Center, located just north of Decorah, started as the dream of two friends – Carmen Hurley and Beth Einck – and a leap of faith into creating a business to not only train dogs, but build a community of “dogs and their people” from across the region.

Good Dog Center’s Carmen Hurley after a great day in the ring!

Over the years, Beth moved on to retirement (as planned) and long-time GDC students and training professional Julie Wittry and Ann Grimstad joined the roster to offer additional classes and services. It wasn’t long before the business outgrew its space on Short Street in Decorah, as dog ownership and training interest continued to increase. Carmen recruited Pam Long, a friend and professional trainer from Atlanta, Georgia with 40+ years of experience, to move to Iowa and help with the expanded services. Ellen Drewes Stoen, Vicki Armstrong, Shirley Richards, and others rounded out the teaching staff as interest grew.

Only half of Carmen’s Furry Family showing off their ribbons.

The group began looking for a space in the Decorah area that was large enough to accommodate two regulation-sized obedience rings, room for grooming, retail, boarding, and more. The former Nob Hill Supper Club north of Decorah offered an attractive location on a hard surfaced road with ample green space, as well as abundant indoor space to meet the needs, and the group decided it was a perfect fit. In keeping with the history of Nob Hill – nods to the former occupant abound at the “Pupper Club”, even with the occasional “Yappy Hour”!


The Grimstad Pups show off their loot!

Learn about our friends at the Good Dog Center and all that they provide for four legged friends near and far on this episode!


“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming

Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD17 Kristen Underwood – Luther College Center Stage Series


Kristen Underwood has called Decorah home for decades, but found her way to the upper Midwest from the San Francisco Bay Area as a professional actor and creative. It was a chance performance with the actor and Commonweal Theatre founder Eric Bunge that led her to Lanesboro, MN, where Kristen spent a decade acting professionally.


Her connections to Luther College came in multiple ways through this time, both with guest faculty and directors, as well as opportunities to interact with fledgling actors in the region through her own Upstart Crow Theatreworks company, and as a co-founder of ArtHaus in Decorah. Little did Kristen know that a couple decades later Luther would present her with the opportunity as Director of Campus Programming, and the Luther College Center Stage Series.


The 2022-23 Luther College Center Series kicks off in September 2022, with a series of 6 professional touring shows at the Luther College Center for Faith and Life. 

September 22, 2022 – Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass
October 13, 2022 – Jaerv + The OK Factor
October 24, 2022 – The Lightning Thief (School Performance)
November 5, 2022 – Ailey II (Dance)
February 9, 2023 – Ladama (World Vocal Quartet)
March 31, 2023 – Empire Wild (Riveting Trio)
April 4, 2023 – The Ugly Duckling (School Performance)
April 15, 2023 – Gravity & Other Myths: A Simple Space
(Physical theatre)

Subscribe to all 6 shows and save %15 off!

Call 563-387-1357



Thank you to Kristen for all of the creative energy and light that she brings to our region through the performing arts and beyond!


“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming

Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#16 Nordic Fest 22 – Alyssa Ritter & Brian Solberg


Nordic Fest was started in 1967 by a dedicated group of Decorah civic leaders and volunteers to celebrate the spirit of community and spotlight the town’s connections to Scandinavian heritage. For over 55 years, it has served as the high mark of Summer in Decorah, welcoming visitors from across the world to Water Street to experience our community. This sense of volunteerism and community pride are what keep Nordic Fest alive each year for all to enjoy.


On this episode we feature Alyssa Ritter, Past President, and Brian Solberg, 2022 Nordic Fest President for a conversation on what it takes to make The Fest happen, favorite activities, food, memories, and looking forward. 


From street food, to performers of many traditions, “Sporting” events, a Viking encampment at Vesterheim Museum (and much more), Scandinavian arts & crafts – and the less “traditional” – Nordic Fest offers a great, family friendly environment to enjoy.

Find the full schedule by picking up the official Nordic Fest Program and Button ($5) at the Decorah Chamber of Commerce, or by looking online.

Velkommen til Decorah – ALL DIRECTIONS POINT NORSE!


Listen to this episode to get the full story behind this “poem” given to Benji during an interview with Ernest “Pokey Pete” Peterson for Inspire(d) Magazine


“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming

Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#15 Kristin Eggen – Decorah Farmers Market Manager


(Kristin Eggen, Photo by Charlie Langton)


Farmers Market season is just hitting it’s stride as we record this episode of “Rhymes With Decorah” with special guest Kristin Eggen. Kristin has been the Decorah Farmers Market Manager since 2020, but was a part of the Market community years before that! In fact, it was the power of a ukulele and the will to share her musical endeavors with a Market crowd that originally connected her to the scene.

After graduating from College at UW Stevens Point, Kristin connected with a friend who was a member of Green Iowa Americorps, working with the Winneshiek Energy District. Through a chance opportunity, she connected to an open position and finally found herself coming back to NE Iowa and Decorah!

When Kristin received the opportunity to take the reigns in 2020 from long time Market manager Steve McCargar, she jumped at the opportunity – even realizing the challenges that may come, and has ran with the opportunities.


Over the years the Market has grown and flourished through the hard work of vendors, customers, and of course managers – from adding electronic payment methods and supporting WIC and other programs for senior citizens, the Market has worked to be as accessible and inclusive as possible.

But of course a Market is only as good as its products – and our region is incredibly fortunate to have goods from so many high quality farmers and producers. Market season is just hitting it’s peak, so don’t delay – Wednesdays from 3-6pm, and Saturdays from 8-11am, in the parking lot behind the Oneota Coop.

Thanks to Kristin for all her work to help make our market such a fun and great place to shop for local goods.


(Josh Dansdill, Kristin Eggen, Brad Crawford, photo by Charlie Langton)

Find out more about the Decorah Farmers Market:




“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming

Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#14 Michelle Lynn of Savvy History


Michelle, of Savvy History, or Michelle Lynn as many of us have known her over the past several years is a writer, musician, educator, presenter, and one of the main influences of how “Rhymes With Decorah” got started! It’s true – but you’ll have to listen to this show to hear that story!

Michelle grew up on a century farm here in NE Iowa, found her way musically to the guitar, and started writing songs as a teenager. That love of music found her playing across the region as a young musician, and eventually moving to Austin, TX before returning to NE Iowa and meeting her future husband. Five albums later, and a lot of life experience, Michelle realized her passions could also help shape the lives of young people as an educator, while pursuing her writing, and growing a family! These opportunities have lead to opportunities in online teaching and mentoring young people across the country, all from her home here in Decorah.

Savvy History is the creation that has housed much of Michelle’s melding of old and new work in writing. A lifelong interest in biographies helped spur some of the concepts of Savvy History, along with her studies in Creative Psychology, history, and a love of telling those stories through writing and music.

One of the series that Michelle worked on through her blog was the “First Creative Dollar”, profiling figures from Frederick Douglas and Louisa May Alcott, to Rachel Carson, and the cult fan favorite painter Bob Ross (their stories are all fantastic!).


Along the way she quit Social Media entirely for 6 years – and eventually found her way back on her terms. You can hear that story on the show, and also read about it on the Savvy History Blog.

We’d like to thank Michelle for not only being a guest on the show, but for also planting the seed that this show should be a reality – a true example of the power of people talking and sharing ideas in a small community.

Find our more about Michelle and her work:




*You can catch Michelle live on Thursday July 7th (2022) as part of Decorah’s Lawn Chair Night – Live on Washington Street series – 5:30pm, Washington Street, just outside of Impact Coffee.


“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming


Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#13 Adam Wiltgen – Arts in Community / Anderson Center


Adam Wiltgen is a Harmony, MN native who’s work in connecting communities through the arts spans our greater region. Currently, Adam and his family live in Red Wing (MN) where he is the Program Director at the Anderson Center at Tower View, and also a member of the City of Red Wing’s Arts & Culture Commission.

One of the things that we’ve learned in creating a regional publication for almost 15 years, is that it takes a lot of actual hard work and creativity to make rural places shine. Artistic endeavors and fostering creative community are often at the heart of what makes an authentic feeling community, and Adam’s work across our region in the past decade has absolutely been in helping places weave that creative fabric.

Join us as we talk about some of the projects that Adam has been involved in over the years – from the transitional days of KPVL Radio, to guiding the programming and being part of the creative team at Lanesboro Arts that continued the work of making this SE Minnesota gem not just a tourist destination, but a living arts “campus”. Through his work, Adam has also had the opportunity to be a part of larger national and international conversations that showcase the importance of the arts in communities.


In his roll at the Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, Adam is also a key team member in not only helping events and programming happen at and around the historic campus, but also fostering the Center’s artists-in-residence program.

The Anderson Center serves creative people of all kinds – writers, poets, visual artists, sculptors, composers, dancers, archaeologists, anthropologists, scholars, and others. The interdisciplinary nature of the Center inspires creative dialogue among the disciplines and places the Center at the forefront of thoughtful exchange.

Since 2014, the historic venue has also been home to the Deaf Artist Residency Program at the Anderson Center – helping create artistic and organizational networks that support the development of the Deaf Arts as a distinct cultural area within the larger context of American Culture. Founded by local Deaf Artist and activist Cynthia Weitzel, the program has grown since its inception in 2014. With the addition of the 2022 cohort, the Deaf Artist Residency Program has connected and supported 28 artists. The Deaf Artists Residency Program is supported in part through an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and partnerships with Gallaudet University and Deaf Spotlight.



In addition to 20 on-site artist studios, the Center offers a black-and-white equipped dark room, an outdoor kiln, glass blowing studio, blacksmith shop, printmaking facilities, and a press-in-residence.



The Red Wing Area Studio Tour will take place July 30-31, 2022. See the work of 36 Artists across 12 locations around the Red Wing area while exploring all that the historic town offers. The tour is a collaborative effort of Red Wing Arts and the Anderson Center, with a community reception on Saturday evening, July 30 from 6-8 pm with live music and refreshments on the Anderson Center’s recently renovated Rooftop Deck.

We graciously thank Adam for taking the time to talk with us for this show, and for the work that he and many others do to support the arts across the many communities of our region.





“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming

Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#12 Summer Inspire(d) 2022 – Aryn Henning Nichols


The “Summer 2022” issue of Inspire(d) Magazine “With Intention…” is on stands now and special guest, and editor-in-chief Aryn Henning Nichols joins us to talk all things Inspire(d)! We look forward to making these quarterly (or more often!?) chats about the new print issues of the magazine and all that goes into creating each issue. 


Topics that we cover:

– Dad Jokes

– Summer!

– The beautiful cover image and feature on artist Lauren Bonney

– Community Builders: Maryann Baldwin, Stephanie Fromm, and Terri Wolfram (aka The Paperback Rider!)

– Linda Tacke’s recumbent bike ride across America

– Sum of Your Biz feature: Country View Dairy

– Starlite 14 Drive In – Richland Center

– Dyersville Daytrip!

– Fireflies!!!

– Probituary: Viola Linderbaum


You can read the Summer 2022 Issue of Inspire(d) online here.



Big shout out to the USPS in Decorah who helps us reach some of our far away distribution locations across the region! 


Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#11 Humble Hands Harvest / Queer Farmer Network – Hannah Breckbill


Humble Hands Harvest is a worker-owned co-operative farm located just outside of Decorah (Iowa). Founded in 2013, Humble Hands grows 2+ acres of organic vegetables, in addition to grass-finished sheep, pastured pork, and fruit and nut trees, all distributed through annual CSA (community supported ag shares) as well as at the Decorah Farmers Market. Today’s guest Hannah Breckbill, along with farm partner Emily Fagan, found the farm’s long-term home in 2017 just 10 miles from Decorah, on ancestral lands tracing back to Sauk, Meskwaki, Lakota, and Ho-chunk tribes, and began functioning as a worker-owned co-operative that same year.


While Humble Hands main work has been responsible food farming, it just so happens that they are also helping grow a revolution in agriculture, connection communities from across the country with the Queer Farmer Network and Queer Farmer Convergence. Hannah talks on this episode about the need to find people should could relate to, leading her to starting the instagram account @queerdirt – which lead to an annual gathering on the farm in Iowa each fall, with an inclusive focus for QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) to help share vision and stories of diversity in farming.


Humble Hands Harvest has been featured for this work in many ways, including an April 2021 feature in YES! Magazine, being awarded the MOSES (now Marbleseed) 2021 Changemaker Award for building Queer Farmer community and her advocacy for beginning farmers’ land access, being featured on MN Public Radio’s “Flyover 2020” series, and more.

Support Humble Hands Harvest by shopping their incredible vegetables at the Decorah Farmers Market, on the Iowa Food Hub, or by donating at their website.






🌈 Venmo: @queerfarmerlove


Rhymes With Decorah is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming

Rhymes With Decorah Podcast: RWD#10 Iowa Food Hub – Peter Kraus


Local food can mean a lot of different things to different people – from picking a garden fresh herb or tomato, to creating a full on farm creamery to produce world-class yogurt. And while most grocery lists are purchased at a well lit, climate controlled store, connecting a regional market for locally grown foods can be a bit more complicated. The Iowa Food Hub, created in 2012, works to connect those dots between local producers – and consumers! Join us on this show as we talk with Peter Kraus, General Manger of the Iowa Food Hub.


From IowaFoodHub.com, “The Iowa Food Hub (IFH) is an innovative business working to connect farmers, families, and food grown close to home. IFH manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.”


Some of those connections and services look like connecting food producers with Farm to School markets, developing new markets for institutions and retail stores, and also handling direct to consumer sales. The Iowa Food Hub offers an online market, where you can go online Monday through Wednesday to shop the week’s offerings, place an order, and pick it up on Friday’s in Decorah. (There are other regional options too – Check it all out here!)


We love supporting our incredible local producers, and the Iowa Food Hub has become one of the crucial pieces of infrastructure in making sure that those food growers can get their products to users efficiently – and while their products are at peak freshness.




“Rhymes With Decorah” is a companion project of Inspire(d) Media.

Original music heard in this podcast performed and recorded by Nick Zielinski of Decorah. Find him on Instagram @indicative_of_drumming


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