March 29 Adventures in Lifelong Learning lecture to examine “poor farms”

BEMIDJI, Minn. (March 25, 2011) — Cecelia McKeig of the Beltrami County Historical Society will discuss the history of “poor farms” as part of Bemidji State University’s Adventures in Lifelong Learning lecture series.

The lecture will be held Tuesday, March 29, from 10-11:30 a.m. at Optivation’s off-campus facility at 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. in Bemidji.

McKeig will discuss the history of the poor farm and pauper’s cemetery in Beltrami County. The county’s farm served primarily elderly and disabled lumberjacks from the area who had no family in the country, but also served other disabled or ill local residents who had no family to take them in.

McKeig is the author of “Bermidji: A Snapshot of Bemidji 1940-1960,” combining photos with local history research to offer a look at life in Bemidji in the decades leading up to the 1960s.

Adventures in Lifelong Learning was formerly known as the Academy of Lifelong Learning. The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously over the summer to transition the branding of the organization away from a formal classroom experience to reflect a less intimidating adult learning style.

Adventures in Lifelong Learning is organized exclusively to provide opportunities for continuing education in the Bemidji area. The program intends to help participants improve critical thinking skills and to appreciate the diversity of human experience through varied and lively discussions.

Spring 2011 Adventures in Lifelong Learning schedule:
March 29: “Poor Farm,” Cecilia McKeig, Beltrami County Historical Society.
April 5: “Honey Bees: ‘Honey! Bees in the Garden’,” John Arneson and Les Hiltz, beekeepers.
April 12: “BiCAP Programming,” a panel presentation led by Deb Allison, BiCAP executive director.
April 19, “Camp Rabideau – Future and Present,” Dan Evans, director, U.S. Forest Service.

For more information, contact Optivation at (218) 755-4900 or

About Optivation
Optivation is an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College designed to increase collaboration between the University, the college, and the business and technology sectors of the northwest Minnesota region. Staffed by veteran business and entrepreneurial professionals, Optivation delivers targeted training and education systems to help organizations succeed in a changing world. Through its affiliations with the University and the technical college, Optivation is able to tap into an unparalleled network of people and technology across the state of Minnesota.

For more information, visit Optivation at