About six months after his sister moved her family to Sioux Falls, Bryan Grim and his family followed.
“We were looking to get out of Canada for a while and see what the States was all about, specifically the Midwest,” he said. “And with my sister here, when we were looking at places, it naturally came to Sioux Falls.”
She told her brother “it’s way sunnier” compared with where they were from in Vancouver, she enjoyed her job in health care, “and the church community she joined was very welcoming, and for her family, that made it a lot easier transition.”
A job search online led Grim to Raven Industries, which embraced his experience in software engineering.
“As a software engineer, I had options in Sioux Falls – from agriculture to financial services – and my mom grew up on a dairy farm, so I always had the attraction to agriculture, which steered me in Raven’s direction.”
He and his wife, Leanne, moved last year with their family of seven kids and found a 6-acre hobby farm southwest of Sioux Falls.
“That was the other thing that impressed me about Raven – they made it clear it’s a family-friendly company, which was a big draw for me,” Grim said. “Looking at a job switch and a country switch in my mid-40s, I wanted it to be as easy as possible.”
At work, he now gets to use his skills working on cutting-edge ag technology designed to support farmers.
“I get to work on field computers that do a lot of guidance and steering for these big machines, and it’s pretty fun to be part of that,” he said.
And at home, he gets to try his own hand at small-scale farming.
“We moved from a 6,000-square-foot lot in the suburbs, so it’s been a fun move,” he said.
“My wife is really embracing the culture, the free space we have and is starting to plant big gardens. We bought 40 chickens, so we’re going to see what we can do with that acreage, and she’s loving it. But we’re still 10 minutes from town, so everything is accessible.”
He also gets to spend time with his sister and her family of five kids. His own kids have loved the Great Plains Zoo and Butterfly House & Aquarium. And with dedicated hockey and softball players, “we’re at the Sanford Sports Complex multiple times per week,” Grim said.
“They’re all getting along pretty good with classmates and fellow church members, and the community seems to be really friendly. It sounds cliche, but when you move here, you do feel the friendliness.”
He also has plenty of company at Raven, which regularly hires nationwide and beyond.
“Raven has grown exponentially,” Grim said. “You talk to most people and they seem to have joined in the last few years. Plus, I have team members in Seattle, Billings (Montana) and in Minnesota. But there are a lot of people moving into Sioux Falls for Raven.”
This summer, the family looks forward to camping and getting to further explore the Sioux Falls region.
“People who talk about traffic here I don’t think have driven in other cities,” Grim added. “Being downtown for work is really nice, and the fact it doesn’t take an hour to get out of it is even nicer. In Vancouver, you go downtown, and it’s a two-hour drive. Here, I’m home in half an hour tops.”
The family’s experience reflects much about what new residents love about the Sioux Falls area, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
“Raven is such an importer of talent, and we’re so happy that Bryan and his extended family have found welcoming careers and communities within a community here,” she said.
“The fact that he’s able to put his software engineering skills to work in such a meaningful way is a huge win, as is how the family is able to enjoy all the best of Sioux Falls along with a rural lifestyle. We couldn’t be happier to welcome them not just to our community but to the U.S.”
Bryan Grim and his four oldest children on the day they became U.S. citizens.
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