Who we are
We are a collective of rural-raised, rural-based and rural-oriented audio makers.
No matter where we live or where we’re from, we aim to elevate and advocate for rural perspectives.
The Rural Radio Collective was created in 2020 by Violet Baron and Avery Hellman. Soon after, Megan Torgerson and Rob Upchurch joined the team, and are the current leaders of RRC.
Hailing from the windswept Great Plains of Dagmar, Montana, Megan Torgerson is a writer, creative entrepreneur and founder of the original podcast series, Reframing Rural. Megan holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and a BA in English with a creative nonfiction emphasis from the University of Montana. For her work on Reframing Rural, in 2022 Megan was awarded the inaugural Public Humanities Fellowship from Humanities Washington and the 2020 fellowship from Guest House Cultural Capital Residency in Richland, Washington. Fueled by storytelling’s ability to bridge divides, Megan divides her time between producing Reframing Rural, helping on her family's wheat farm and providing storytelling, communications and fundraising services to nonprofits including the Jeannette Rankin Foundation and Red Ants Pants Music Festival and Foundation.
Rob Upchurch, a freelance podcast producer & editor in central Texas, is the founder of RobMakesPods Productions. Growing up in the rural town of Bedias (pop. ~500), Rob always appreciated the ways in which digital media opened up the world for him to discover. Rob currently works on podcasts centered around healthcare and entrepreneurship, but has a deep passion for agricultural and food topics. Rob also volunteers his time to lead workshops on podcasting and media literacy. He holds a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in Media Industry Studies from the University of North Texas.
Just as the rural experience is not monolithic, definitions of “rural” vary. We understand rural is more than a quantitative measurement of population density or geographic isolation, yet it is helpful to understand how rural is often defined.
The USDA acknowledges that “the existence of multiple rural definitions reflects the reality that rural and urban are multidimensional concepts.” The USDA also identifies that "according to the current delineation, released in 2012 and based on the 2010 decennial census, rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents."
The U.S. Census defines rural as “any population, housing, or territory not in an urban area.”
Learn more about what rural is