MSU President's Newspaper Column

April 17, 2021

Volleyball goes to nationals, campus and community will be in the national spotlight as well!

We are over the moon excited about Comets Volleyball! The team played in the national tournament for the first time in Mayville State history on Saturday, April 17. On Monday the 12th, we learned that the Comets had punched their ticket into the opening round of the tournament. The atmosphere was electric in the Campus Center Luckasen Room as the team and their fans waited in anticipation to learn whether the ladies would be selected.

The Comets played the Warriors of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska in the opening round. The Comets dropped the three-set match, so they will not advance in the tournament. Nonetheless, we could not be more Comet Proud of the team and their coaches. They had a fantastic season and did something no other Mayville State volleyball team had done.  

Last Wednesday, April 7, we announced our big deal news. We’ll have the honor of being featured on Small Town Big Deal, a television program that reaches over three-fourths of the nation. It airs in the majority of U.S. major TV markets and on more than 268 local stations. This is really going to put Mayville State and the community in the national spotlight. The show airs locally on KXJB and KVLY.

The Small Town Big Deal crew will be in the community and on campus September 16 through 19. They’ll feature our annual Farmers Bowl festivities on Sept. 18 and other highlights in our special community. This is our time to shine! We hope we can all team up to make this the best Farmers Bowl ever. It will be a great tribute to our agricultural way of life in this area.

Small Town Big Deal hosts are Rodney Miller and Jann Carl. Rodney and Jann criss-cross America, bringing viewers fresh stories of fascinating people, exceptional ideas and good old common sense thinking. This will be their first trip to North Dakota. They’ve visited 47 of 50 states and for them to choose Mayville State and the Mayville-Portland community for their first visit to the state is truly an honor.

Rodney Miller has a true passion for shining the spotlight on the amazing and inspiring things going on in our small towns and farm communities, and in 2005 he had an idea for a TV show to bring those stories to the world. He went on to turn that idea into reality.

Along the way to becoming the host and creator of “Small Town Big Deal”, Rodney has enjoyed a long career in farm machinery manufacturing and sales, serving as CEO of both McCormick International and Montana, and was instrumental in establishing U.S. operations for Valtra Tractors and in territory management for Long and Mahindra Tractors.

Jann Carl is an Emmy Award-winning news reporter and TV show producer, and she spent 14 years as an anchor of “Entertainment Tonight.” She has a farm background as well. Nationally respected for her interviews, she has recorded with America’s biggest stars and most influential newsmakers. The long list includes Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Dan Rather, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Donald and Melania Trump. 

To quote Jann, “What Rodney and his team have created is a true celebration of America. It showcases the heritage of our nation, the power of its dreamers, and pays tribute to the unsung heroes. The stories fill us with pride, give us hope, make us laugh, and remind us that national treasures are often found where we least expect them.”

To see what Rodney and Jann have done to show the wonderful aspects of rural life is commendable. They have produced a TV show that focuses on positivity and highlights the very essence of neighbors helping neighbors, which happens in Mayville-Portland every day.

We’ve got so much to be proud of in our community, and I can’t wait to see all of the planning and preparations for Farmers Bowl come together in the fall. Mark your calendar and plan to be a part of all of the fun and festivities on Sept. 18!