Welcome to Rural Innovation eXchange!

A new project of Issue Media Group, RIX focuses on the talent, entrepreneurship, social innovation and community development that is moving rural Michigan forward. Our goal is to identify and lift up the innovative people who are leading impactful work in rural Michigan. 

I made the move to rural Michigan four years ago. The move was not to escape urban life, but to immerse myself in Michigan’s flourishing wine industry. Almost as soon as I began pouring wine in a  tasting room on the Leelanau Peninsula, I discovered innovations occurring across the industry, from southwest Michigan to the Traverse Wine Coast to Petoskey. Winery owners and winemakers are tapping new technologies and innovations to harvest their grapes, bottle their wine and improve their craft.

It’s just one example of the innovation occurring in rural Michigan. You’ll find innovators and entrepreneurs everywhere in rural Michigan, from small towns and farms to ski hills and shorelines. And that’s why we’re here at Rural Innovation eXchange. We’re here to share the stories of innovators and entrepreneurs, of people across countless organizations, moving rural Michigan forward.

Our goal is simple: To identify and lift up the innovative people who are leading impactful work in rural Michigan. Already on my journey, I’ve discovered artists transforming abandoned barns into works of art in Port Austin. A family in Charlevoix transforming ages-old farming traditions into slick retail and tourism operations. A musher supplier in the Upper who transformed his niche business into outdoor apparel outfitter. There’s more. So much more.

At Rural Innovation eXchange, we want to foster a deeper sense of connection. We’re listening — on a regular basis — to a cross-section of community-thought leaders, entrepreneurs, foundations, developers, non-profits, artists and grassroots organizations to help inform our coverage, and to strengthen the network of organizations interested in advancing rural communities.

We’d love to share our journey with you. Join us every week to read about the people and places changing Michigan's rural landscape. And please share your stories. We’d love to hear from you. 

About Managing Editor Greg Tasker 
Greg Tasker is a journalist based in Traverse City. He was formerly managing editor of Cadillac Magazine and served as an editor in the business and features departments at The Detroit News. Greg has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and his work has been published in various media  including BBC Travel, Michigan Blue, Parade and Model D. Greg can be reached at editor@ruralinnovationexchange.com