The source for data, facts, and information for Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Beyond.


Rural Insights is “focused on our core mission of trying to take the world around us and explain it to people in an authoritative and digestible way” (M. Schmidt, journalist). We want to ensure that citizens and policy makers have data, facts, perspective and information to make informed decisions about the Upper Peninsula and life in rural areas.

We provide a forum for citizen journalism and citizen opinion to tell about life in rural areas and the Upper Peninsula.

We are committed to the philosophy that knowledge and truth equals power for all citizens.



Rural Insights strives to accomplish the following things:

  1. Ensure citizens have accurate and nonpartisan information about issues that impact rural life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and beyond.
  2. Ensure that citizens and policymakers have the data, facts, and information to make informed decisions about the Upper Peninsula and life in this rural area.
  3. Amplify the data and information about life in the Upper Peninsula in the halls of power and decision making at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as in the media.
  4. Find the underlying facts about the issues that most impact the lives of residents of the Upper Peninsula.
  5. Provide underlying facts and data so that citizens of the Upper Peninsula can draw their own conclusions and speak truth to power.
  6. Encourage student and faculty research at Northern Michigan University on issues of importance and reality to the people of the Upper Peninsula.
  7. Provide a forum of citizen journalism and citizen opinion that illustrates life in rural America, the Upper Peninsula, its cities, townships, and villages.

Truth & knowledge equals power.


The Rural Insights Team

Editor & Director


David S. Haynes

Editor, Rural Insights

Former President and Professor
Northern Michigan University

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University.

He has worked and served in the federal, state and local levels of government.  He has extensive experience in public administration, public policy and politics.   He has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years. 

He has also served as a special assistant to former Michigan Governor James Blanchard. where he was the Governor’s leading spokesperson on regulatory matters and other related issues as the State Business Ombudsman.  He has also worked in the state legislature, where he specialized in education, health care and corporate policy issues.  Professor Haynes has been employed in the non profit sector and has served on many national and state non profit boards.  In addition, he has been a partner in a public policy and crisis management firm that represented some of the nation’s premier non profit and for profit corporations.   He has also served on college/ university, corporate and foundation boards of trustees.  

Professor Haynes holds a Juris Doctor degree and is an alumnus of Northern Michigan University.   He also did graduate studies at the City University of New York and undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland.  He did post graduate studies in negotiations at Harvard University.  

He resides in Marquette, Michigan, with his wife Martha.

Research Faculty

Dr. Michael Broadway

Dr. Brian Cherry

Dr. Weronika Kusek

Dr. Russell Magnaghi


Justin Carlson