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Pioneer PBS to launch a series examining plant-based proteins
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GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — Pioneer PBS’s public affairs program, Compass, is launching a year-long video and print journalism collaboration project, looking into the roots and impact of the plant-protein phenomenon that’s exploding across the globe. Called “Minnesota’s Alt-Meat Revolution,” the project is a partnership between Pioneer PBS, West Central Tribune and WORLD Channel, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Over the course of the next year, Pioneer PBS will produce six stories examining the impact of plant-based proteins on current agricultural, cultural and dietary trends – and on the rural community of Dawson. Each video story will be accompanied by an article by Tom Cherveny of the West Central Tribune. The videos and articles will be available at and

The first episode and article in the series will be available on Friday, March 17. This segment examines the history of plant-based processing in Dawson. Soybean processing in Dawson began in 1951 with the opening of the Tri-County Cooperative Soybean Processing Association. In 1969 the plant changed its name to Dawson Mills and started thinking about how it could get more economic value out of their soybeans. Dawson Mills built a new facility for this effort, but was unable to successfully market their product. Dawson Mills ceased this branch of their operations in 1981. 

From 1983 to 2012, the newly built facility was owned by the Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), the largest cheese cooperative in the United States. The current owner of the building is a company called PURIS, Inc., which manufactures a yellow pea protein. Expansion into the facility in Dawson has allowed PURIS to more than double their processing capacity. PURIS’ protein is used in a variety of products including the well known meat substitute, Beyond Meat. 

“This story will still be unfolding years from now,” said Pioneer PBS’s Compass producer Amanda Anderson. “This series will capture a moment in time and connect us all the more closely to the people and communities from where our food comes.” Watch for videos and articles to be available on or

“Minnesota’s Alt-Meat Revolution,” together with WHRO’s “Against the Current,” a multiplatform series that will tell the story of rural residents’ lives as they live with, and adapt to, the effects of climate change in Virginia’s Eastern Shore, will be broadcast nationally and streamed under WORLD Channel’s “Local, USA” umbrella as “My Home is Here: Stories of Rural America.”

About Compass
​Compass is an award-winning, solutions journalism-centered Pioneer PBS series that features current topics relevant to communities in Pioneer PBS's viewing area. Funding for Compass is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Shalom Hill Farms and members of Pioneer PBS. Learn more at

About Pioneer PBS
Established in 1966, Pioneer PBS is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing stories from rural Minnesota’s with the world. Learn more at

About West Central Tribune
The West Central Tribune is a multimedia company providing news and information to our print and digital readers across west central Minnesota and beyond. Since 1895, the West Central Tribune has been driven by creating and sharing information, ideas and insight. Learn more at

About Forum Communications Company

Forum Communications Company is rooted in harnessing the power of communication to connect and inform people in the communities we serve. Since 1917, everything Forum Communications Company has done has been driven by creating and sharing information, ideas and insights. Learn more at

About WORLD Channel

WORLD shares the best of public media in news, documentaries and programming. WORLD’s original series examine the issues and amplify the voices of those often ignored by mainstream media. The multicast 24/7 channel helps audiences understand conflicts, movements and cultures from around the globe. Its original work has won a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, an International Documentary Association Award, a National News and Documentary Emmy Award, two Webby Awards and many others honoring diversity of content and makers. WORLD is carried by 193 member stations in markets representing 75% of US TV households. Funding for WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and Artworks. WORLD is produced by GBH in partnership with WNET and is distributed by American Public Television (APT). Find out more at