Jim Braaten's Bio

Jim Braaten lives in the rural Kenyon, Minnesota area and has been actively involved in the outdoors (hunting, fishing and trapping) since his early teen years.   Much of this activity has occurred on the farm where he now owns that has proudly existed in the Braaten family for over 156 years.  (1856-2013: see farm history)

From an early age Jim realized the outdoors held a special passion in his life.   Losing his father at the age of 10 would negatively affect many young kids, but instead, Jim filled the heart-breaking void in his life by experiencing everything the outdoors had to offer.   Thanks to his uncles, cousins and friends, Jim was exposed to a wide variety of outdoor experiences further developing a thirst for outdoor adventure and knowledge.

Jim attended the University of Minnesota studying Scientific and Technical Communications during the early 1980s.   During his senior year, he took a class called Writing for Publication that totally changed his life.   It was in this class where he was required to get published in order to achieve a passing grade.    This scholastic challenge motivated him to write several articles for local newspapers, but the keystone event that truly inspired his future outdoors communication career was getting published in a magazine called Minnesota Sportsman.   At the time, he wrote his first article on how the Minnesota DNR turkey permit lottery system worked as well as understanding the application strategies hunters could employ to increase their odds at drawing a license.

As Jim discovered, thereís something motivating about receiving a check for $160 to purchase his article and some accompanying photos.   Moreover, this was Jimís first attempt at getting published in a regional magazineÖan event that does not often happen for first-time writers.   During this influential time in his life he quickly realized how much he enjoyed communicating the outdoor experience, especially when he discovered he could potentially make a career out of doing so.

Jimís first job out of college was working for the Minnesota DNR in Parks and Recreation as a night patrol officer in a local state park.   During this same time in 1987, he attended his first Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) national conference in Des Moines, Iowa where he further bolstered his then growing enthusiasm for outdoors writing.   He attended several additional conferences in, Bangor (ME), Niagara Falls (NY), Chattanooga (TN), as well as Duluth & Rochester (MN).

In 1989, Jim was hired by Flint Communications to conduct research and development of a new radio program called Minnesota Outdoors.   His main duty was to ghost-write a daily radio script for then on-air talent, Ron Schara.   Eventually, Ron hired Jim to run his outdoor calendar publishing business where they continued this business relationship for nearly 10 years.

After working two years as an independent contractor for Flint Comm., Jim decided in 1990 to try producing and hosting his own outdoors radio program called The Southeastern Minnesota Outdoor Scene.   This effort continued for about 18 months until duties in the calendar publishing business were growing too demanding of his precious time.   Jim continued his professional membership in the OWAA until 1997 when his life began to take a different direction.

Jim then decided to go back to college and now pursue a new career in law.   After two years he graduated with a degree as a paralegal specializing in business law.   He melded his interest in business along with his long-standing interests in writing to build a publishing business called Outside Connections, LLC.   Today, Outside Connections is one of the countryís leading marketers of outdoors and nature-oriented calendars with a web site located at www.CalendarsNow.com.

Over the years Jim has continued to write occasional magazine and newspaper articles for various regional outdoor publications.   In 2004, he started a blog site called www.SportsmansBlog.com serving as one of the best online sources for viewing his writing style and communication efforts.   Today, Jim not only writes a blog, but he also periodically posts audio podcasts exploring both of these emerging communication mediums available thanks to Internet technology.

In 2005, Jim married and now resides with his wife, Roberta, at their rural Kenyon, MN home.   They have two children, Luke and Elsie, who together keep the family active both indoors and outdoors.

         © 2013 Jim Braaten.   All Rights Reserved.   No Duplication Allowed.