The Rural Midwest




bored move (2) consulting
wagon boring downtown
live (2) average read up on
edit field (3) middle of nowhere
dirt chance every now and then
cattle Hispanic heartland
rural previous spend some time
urban compare mandatory
estate step foot gobble up
get off just like as far as you can see
notion flyover right now
rate count (2) minuscule
pole property minute (2)
left (4) die away come back
folks whether adventure
vote suburb believe (2)
cost vanilla cheap/cheaper/cheapest
bean probably conservative (2)
mile comment inheritance
bet crop (2) care about
hog sign (3) preconceived
barely fortune car dealership
chill cut it (2) stashed away
beef shortage supply chain
relief ethanol conservative (2)
look at soybeans pay/paid/paid
realize standard resurgence
hope generous development
salary upset (2) cost of living
pork making it middle of nowhere
rate meatloaf drama (2)
jerk kind (2) few and far between
fix share (3) entertainment
hunt figurine private (3)
nearby sizeable comfort food
jello outsider landscape
mold city hall hard worker
deer respect affordable
mix head (3) mushroom
pace rumble drive you crazy
chirp stuffed hot pocket
pump chain (2) sauerkraut


Video (watch the first 5, 7 or 10 minutes)




Before I get started I do consulting on where you can move I’ll work with you to find the perfect place for you to move to there’s more information at the end of the video about that.

Now let’s get started.

It’s been said that if you find yourself bored, then you’re probably boring though in some parts of Nebraska it’s easy to see why the wagons went West.

Believe it or not I had never stepped foot in the state of Nebraska before, so this is a live unedited view of the time I did this is just a small dirt road in the middle of nowhere, where the Kansas and Nebraska state lines meet; you can’t really tell we’re in a different state. There certainly isn’t a welcome sign.

You might be thinking you’re some major famous superstar youtuber who knows more about America than any other person ever? Have you not been to Nebraska before? Well why would I have?

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I had my preconceived notions about what I’d expect to see here small rural towns corn a big city every now and then. Probably the same things you think you’d see.

It was day four of my adventure through America’s heartland. The previous day I had spent some time in smaller towns in Kansas, so it was mandatory to see how things compared one state north.

I was planning to head directly to Omaha this morning . . . but while I was reading up on the state I saw a comment from somebody and it said,

“Get off the main roads!”

So I did.

We’re gonna we’re gonna we’re gonna go to Nebraska. We’re gonna look at a lot of the green as far as you can see. We’re gonna we’re gonna we’re gonna go to Nebraska we’re gonna meet some people there that are just like you and me.

Nebraska is a place that you might not know after this there’s no doubt you might want to go.

There’s small towns in Nebraska; there’s tiny towns in Nebraska and Nebraska has towns so small there isn’t even a word — minuscule.

But just about anywhere you are in this state and you’re in flyover country.

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Right now we’re in a place called Murray, Nebraska. There were exactly 458 people here the last time they counted there’s a good chance there’s less than that by the time you watch this video. Ten years ago this place had nearly 700 people. At this rate by 2050 there will be nobody left to talk to — all the old people die away and the young people just go off to college and never come back.

Here’s what the town’s minutes look like. It’s such a small place they vote on whether or not Doug can put a pole barn on his property.

Almost everybody here’s white; one out of 25 is Hispanic. Folks here up there in age but they aren’t old old. Most families here bring in just about the national average salary-wise — but it’s cheap so money goes a long way it’s just the most vanilla place you can imagine.

I’m only 20 minutes from Omaha so people can live here and drive into work it’s much cheaper here than it is in Omaha places like this are re eh ed.

They’re full of old white conservatives farms and churches. It’s surrounded by corn and bean fields for 20 miles in every direction.

There’s not much going on downtown here: there’s a bank in town and a fire department and a small city hall. I bet there’s one person inside. It’s just chill here.

This is the most expensive home in town a place that’s $340,000 that’s almost the cost of the average US home. And this is what the cheapest home in town looks like this place sold for 51k a month ago.

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Radio Announcer: “Soybeans and cattle were higher Friday corn finished lower and hogs closed mixed I’m john Perkins from the brownfield look it up Dave

Just about everywhere you turn in the state they’re talking about crops. Every Nebraska small town has a few farmers in town. Some of them are filthy rich but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the car they drive.

There’s some farmers who say they’re barely making it but they have a fortune stocked away.

Many of the big boys out here continue to gobble up the land and grow their operations. A lot of the smaller farms can’t cut it anymore they can’t compete there’s labor shortages, supply chain issues, rising costs.

Some face water shortage: when it does rain it’s a welcome relief these days.

Commentator: “Did you know Nebraska makes the second most ethanol of all states?”

Nick Johnson, Presenter: “Yeah I’m happy and these people are making the environment better; ethanol is good for the planet. Who said conservatives didn’t care about mother earth.”

Commentator: “They don’t care about the planet they just want to get paid.”

Nick Johnson, Presenter: “That’s probably true.”

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Now we’re going to look at a small Nebraska town with a different story. This is Blair, Nebraska home to almost 8,000 people. That makes it big for Nebraska standards.

But Blair isn’t slowly dying away. This place was losing people for a long time there’s been a little bit of a resurgence in the number of people realizing how much they wanted to experience small town Nebraska.

So they’ve got people wanting to move here — and all the new people coming in is causing a little bit of drama there’s some new development coming into Blair now and folks around these parts don’t like that very much when you get a lot of new interest it makes the cost of living go up too.

Here in Blair it’s gone up a lot in the last few years. Homes that once sold for 150k and now we’re going for three or four hundred thousand dollars. What the hell?

I don’t know why locals would be upset by that; their home prices are going up too. I mean there’s never going to be any traffic here.

Maybe it’s just the values folks are bringing into rural America. I bet it has something to do with that.

This is the most expensive home in Blair which fetched 639 thousand dollars a while back. Yes that’s right that’s a lot of money from middle of nowhere in Nebraska.
This home is the cheapest one I could find it sold for $59,000 so you could probably sell your home and come here and have a pretty nice life couldn’t you.

Anyways Blair’s adding a car dealership and they’re widening their roads. They even brought in a big fancy new Walmart to town and that was a big deal some say it’s starting to kind of feel like an Omaha suburb now. Oh, oh.

But you can’t blame people for coming your way Blarians — a lot of places in Nebraska are truly the last best hope for families and single parents just starting out: there’s affordable housing, low crime rates, good schools, people have values, they’re not jerks.

Places like this are a bright light shining across an otherwise bleak landscape, way out here in classic America. Many people tell you Nebraska has the kindest honest and most generous people they’ve ever met.

In places like this the mechanic will let you take his truck into town while yours is getting fixed. Oh there’s bad apples, but in Nebraska they’re just few and far between.

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For entertainment out here people hunt, but most of the lands private land. You can ride motorcycles all over there’s some lakes nearby. Kids burn down barns. Older folks collect things for fun postcards figurines tractors engines on a quiet night out here you can hear the bluegill fart.

Religion’s a big deal; church is a lifestyle. You’ll hear people saying see at church all over town. You can bet a lot of these people wish they could share their birthday with baby Jesus.

A lot of these smaller towns don’t have a restaurant within a 30 minute drive sometimes for a change of pace it’s bad Mexican food that’s so bad it tastes like Greek food.

For the most part though they eat a lot of comfort food in Nebraska: jello molds, taters, pork chops, meatloaf, mushrooms, deer.

Nebraskans are hard workers. They’re honest to a fault and straight shooters.

People respect one another out here. This is salt of the earth type folk, and a few druggies mixed in.

Small town Nebraskans give a lot in life . . . but they’ll never be millionaires. They seem okay with that.

The state’s growing — but barely they’ve added about 10, 000 people a year here over the last decade you could say a lot of these people are waiting to die and you’d be right.

Although Nebraska is one of only a handful of states that has an inheritance tax. So you don’t want to die here, if you have a sizeable estate, no way.

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The pace is so slow here it might drive an outsider crazy: the sun comes up, cows moo, birds chirp, tractors rumble, the sun goes down.

But it’s a leave your bike out in the yard kind of place. And in a lot of these small towns, you pump your gas — and then pay! When’s the last time you saw that? Do you think in California you could trust people to pay for their gas?

No, and of course they have a Casey’s in Blair. Every small town in the Midwest has one now. If you’ve been following last time in a small town in Kansas, I tried the Casey’s pizza there.

So I had to know how Nebraskans make it. Ummm. Better. Actually this is pretty good. I’m not gonna lie this might be the best pizza I’ve ever had.

I also had to try the Runza. For those who don’t know, Runza is the place to get fast food here. They’re only in Nebraska. A Runza is kind of a hot pocket stuffed with beef and cabbage and sauerkraut and onions. And wow people!

If they had this where I lived I’d probably be fat because they are good. And I didn’t even get them on the cheese either.

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The Midwest. Nick Johnson, the presenter is a full-time vlogger. True or false? Does he only make videos? Does he live in Nebraska?

The Great Lakes States. Is rural Nebraska, and Nebraska in general, a very exciting, interesting and fascinating place?

The Prairie States, Plains States. Nebraska is known for big cities, similar to Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. Is this right or wrong?

Kansas. “It’s just the most vanilla place you can imagine.” What does this mean? Are the towns and villages in Nebraska all growing in size, remaining the same or shrinking, both, neither or it depends?

Nebraska. Are homes in rural Nebraska cheap, medium-priced or expensive? Is the cost of living cheap, medium-priced or expensive?

Iowa. Many families with little children live in Nebraskan towns. Is this correct or incorrect?

Ohio. There are lots of factories and businesses in rural Nebraska. Is this right or wrong? Are Nebraska’s main crops are vegetables and fruits?

Indiana. Do the townspeople go to church on Sundays? Are the people atheist, secular or devout Christians?

Illinois. People in rural Nebraska only eat traditional, home-cooked meals. What do you think?
Michigan. I have visited the Midwestern region of the United States. Yes or no? Have your friends visited the United States?

Wisconsin. Are there rural towns and villages and farming communities in your country? Have you lived or visited them?

North Dakota. My friends and I would like to live in a town, village or farm.

South Dakota. What might happen in the future?

Minnesota. What could or should people do?

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