Kristy Allen is building a buzz in her community and beyond

GRANTSBURG – Like the queen bee she treasures in her hives, beekeeper Kristy Allen has become a vital part of her community.

“When I first got into beekeeping, I was so captivated by the way bees function as a society — and how they are female-led by the queen bee,” Allen said. “I have a global study and I connected all the dots.”

Likewise, Allen has realized how many problems in rural areas are interconnected in ways that affect the climate, the economy and the fabric of our communities. As president of the Polk-Burnett Farmers Union, she has helped the group emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic and launch a new project that could revitalize the local food scene in the St. Croix River Valley.

Allen grew up in rural Minnesota, not far from St. Cloud. Although her parents were not farmers, they were avid gardeners, and her grandfather worked for an agricultural consultancy in Iowa. Wanderlust started after high school and Allen spent some time traveling abroad. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and did an internship in Arkansas through Heifer International, a development organization committed to ending hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling farmers.

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