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University of Minnesota Driven to Discover Research coming to the Stevens County Fair

Sue Dieter
Publication date: 
August 1, 2022

logo with magnifying lens The University of Minnesota’s Driven to Discover Research initiative (D2D) is conducting a pilot project to extend research opportunities to county fairs across Minnesota, including the Stevens County Fair in Morris, Aug. 10-14. 

The D2D Research facility at the Minnesota State Fair has reached over 110,000 individuals since 2013, however the majority of participants are from the metro area, representing a disproportionately high percentage of urban residents. Research that supports the needs of rural Minnesotans is of paramount importance in fulfilling the University’s land grant mission and demonstrating the University’s value beyond the metro area.  Consequently the initiative is expanding to include county fairs and test the D2D infrastructure this summer.

A total of 11 research projects will be conducted at the Stevens County Fair, focusing on everything from money values and behaviors, peripheral artery disease, and the effects of tobacco and nicotine products on oral cells.  Two of the research projects are being conducted by UMN Morris faculty and students. 

Assistant professor of political science Tim Lindberg’s project is titled, “Rural Matters:  Rural Political Identity” and focuses on how rural life impacts political beliefs.  Lindberg and his student assistant, Henry Hubred, will be asking fairgoers who are 18 years or older to fill out a confidential survey. 

Chancellor emerita Jacquie Johnson is hoping to have children between the ages of 9 and 12 participate in her study, “This is America.”  Johnson’s international study has spanned 40 years and asks children in Poland and across the United States to create artwork that demonstrates their idea of 'America.' The research is non-partisan, children participate with parental permission, and the only information gathered about each child who participates is their age and gender.

Stop by the D2D booths in the Lee Community Center to be a part of finding solutions that will make life better for Minnesotans today and into the future. All participation is voluntary. 

In addition to the Stevens County Fair, the D2D initiative is sponsoring research booths at county fairs in Fillmore, Rock, Faribault, and Beltrami Counties.

 Two men standing in front of a chalkboard

UMN Morris student Henry Hubred and assisant professor of political science Tim Lindberg at the Rock County Fair in Luverne, Minnesota.