Kris and Kim breakup: Was 'Yee-Haw' Minnesota a problem?

As a Minnesotan, I have to wonder, was a Californian’s perception of Minnesota an irreconcilable difference? Photo: WikipediaCommons

NORTHFIELD, Minn. November 2, 2011 — In Kardashian-Humphries marriage lore, Kim was quoted saying “She grew up in a place different than ‘Yee-haw’ Minnesota.” Now they are divorcing after 72 days. Do you think Kris’s hometown was a problem for his California bride?

Many of my mother’s relatives live in California. We visit them. They don’t visit us. Sometimes I get the idea they feel like we are left behind in the Northland. Could it be that our Minnesota image is just too staid? What do you think Kim meant by ‘Yee-haw?’

Was it about our lifestyle?

Minneapolis is the fittest and healthiest city in 2011 (American College of Sports and Medicine).

If you are looking for stress-free living, the Twin Cities is the most relaxed metro area in 2010 (Forbes). They looked at stress factors including length of commutes, unemployment rates, average time spent at work, access to health care, and residents’ perceptions of their health.

Is it our heritage?

Minneapolis consistently ranks in the top ten cities for the most interracial dating and married couples (Interrace magazine).

We are also friendly to visitors. Travel and Leisure named the Twin Cities the fifth for friendliness in the U.S. in 2009.

Is education the issue?

Taking the top spot for the most literate city in the nation in 2007 and 2008, Minneapolis is now in a tie for third in 2009 and 2010 (Central Connecticut State University).

Minnesota’s graduation rate of 86% ranked 6th in the nation (2008), well above the average of 75% (Itasca Project report, 2008). 

Minnesota’s ACT test takers score better than those of any other state, including California. (Itasca Project report, 2008).  

Is it that we are not “green” enough?

A list of most eco-friendly cites in the world list Minneapolis sixth. (London based research group). 

Not enough bike paths? Minneapolis has the second-most bike paths in the country (U.S. Department of Transportation). And we are the nation’s most bike-friendly city in 2010 (Bicycling magazine).

Could it be that there is nothing to do here?

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have the most theater seats per capita after New York (Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association).

Shopping at the Mall of America gives the consumer one of the largest square footage in the United States to explore. 

Is Minnesota off the beaten path and a hardship to travel to?

Minneapolis St. Paul airport (MSP) was named the best airport in the U.S. in 2009 (Travel and Leisure).

And if you travel here you won’t be alone. MSP is a major destination, serving 32 million visitors in 2009. That makes it the fifteenth busiest in the nation and 30th busiest in the world. 

What does “Yee-Haw” mean?

We are healthy, inclusive, educated, eco-aware, cultured, and easy to travel to, with interesting things to do once you arrive. These don’t seem like deal breakers about a home community to me. The quality of life in Minnesota is just fine, thank you. No need to feel sorry for us here in the Northland.

Please Comment: What perceptions do you have of Minnesota? If you live here, what do you like about living here?

Read more from Donna Rae Scheffert at Washington Times Communities and Online Leadership Tools.

Donna Rae is an award winning writer, consultant, planner, facilitator, and coach. One Minnesota organization gave her a coveted ‘Futures’ award. Another named her the 2002 Outstanding Faculty member. She has co-authored five books and numerous articles. She is the founder of the consulting firm Leadership Tools.

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Donna Rae Scheffert

Donna Rae Scheffert is a facilitator, consultant and writer. Find more information online at

She lives in Minnesota with her husband and teenage son and daughter.

Honors and awards include University of Minnesota -Distinguished Extension Campus Faculty Award; Minnesota Rural Futures-FUTURES award; and numerous state and national awards for programs and publications.

Scheffert is an author of practical fieldbooks: Committees That Work: Common Traps and Creative Solutions; Social Capital, Building Leadership Programs, and Facilitation Resources available from

Donna Rae is also a Senior Consultant with and an Associate with

Her civic participation includes: Board Member-Community Action Center; Board Member-Women’s Philanthropic Group, and soccer team coordinator.

Photo Credit: Amber Procaccini

Leadership development expert & educator, Donna Rae Scheffert knows how public action by others for others improves lives - she helps people to get involved and provides tools to propel them toward their goals easier, faster, and with more fun. Read more from Donna Rae at

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