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Illustrations by Elizabeth Anderson

“Minnesota’s Alt-Meat Revolution"

“Minnesota’s Alt-Meat Revolution" is 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. 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.


Minnesota's Alt Meat Revolution | Preview

How will the small ag town of Dawson, MN be impacted by the plant-based protein revolution?

Episode one: The Smell of Money

Plant-based meat replacements are the food innovations of the 21st Century. But in Dawson, Minnesota, local industry has been plant based for over 70 years! Since 1951, soybean processing has dominated Dawson’s economy – what lessons can be learned by looking back to Dawson’s early advances in the plant-based marketplace?

Episode two: The Great Burger Taste-Off

Dive into the motivations behind PURIS, the largest processor of yellow pea protein in North America. In 2018 and 2019, Cargill invested a combined $100 million in PURIS, which led the company on a path to Dawson, Minnesota where they purchased and retrofitted a facility to be a state-of-the-art yellow field pea processing facility. This facility is the largest operating yellow field pea processing facility in North America. 

Episode three: Give Peas a Chance?

Learn about how PURIS, the largest operating processor of pea protein in North America, sources their peas and how peas fit into Minnesota’s ag landscape. Hear from farmers in Langdon, ND and Dawson, MN about why they do or don't grow the PURIS pea. Learn about the role that crop insurance plays in the business of farming and how farmers are thinking about improving soil health and water quality

Episode four: What's for Dinner?

The residents of the small rural community of Dawson, Minnesota recently welcomed a new neighbor — PURIS, the largest processor of yellow pea protein in the country. This episode explores if the presence of the new processing plant has driven local people to eat more plant-based proteins.

Episode five: Everybody Loves Jobs

Explore the impact that PURIS – the largest operating processor of pea protein in North America – had on the local job, childcare and housing economies in the small, rural town of Dawson.

Episode six: Looking forward

➡ Coming Soon

Meet the partners

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