History

Pioneers at heart

The region got its first population surge beginning in the 1860s when the Homestead Act granted willing participants the chance to settle 160 acres of land.  

An Emerging Prairie

Thousands of hopeful European pioneers flooded into the area to settle American’s newest frontier. Little did they know, they were walking into some of the world’s richest agricultural land, thanks to soil deposits left by a prehistoric ice age lake. Rooted in inconceivably humble beginnings stemmed a worldwide mecca for agricultural innovation.

Early settlers were not the only pioneers. Over the years, fiercely independent prairie dwellers applied their entrepreneurial spirit to create a new frontier of business and industry, including advanced manufacturing, research, technology and health care.

Today, the nation’s best and brightest workers are flowing into the area to take advantage of booming business, job opportunities and hotbed of entrepreneurialism. They are becoming today’s prairie people.