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Lake Andes builds toward the future with school project

Blog, News & Events on December 28th. Comments Off on Lake Andes builds toward the future with school project

During the Fall of 2017, ground was broken and construction began on additions and renovations to Andes Central schools in Lake Andes, SD. The multi-million dollar project is being funded in part by Dakota Resources through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Facilities Re-lending program. 

“Lake Andes has been working toward this for well over a decade,” explains Jay Headley, VP of Finance at Dakota Resources. “Their current schools were built in the 1950s and needed some serious overhauls. This will be a great community asset to Lake Andes and something that will benefit them for years to come.”  

Dakota Resources is one of a handful of Community Development Fund Institutions (CDFIs) in the nation to be named a partner in the program, and received a $10 million award in 2016. The funds are designed to help spur economic development opportunities … Read More »


RuralX sparks shop local Santa Day in Castlewood

Blog, News & Events on December 21st. Comments Off on RuralX sparks shop local Santa Day in Castlewood

Breanna Beebe of Castlewood and her colleague, Heidi McBride,  were sent to RuralX17 by their employer and one of the event’s Rural Inspiration Sponsors, First Premier Bank. That “inspiration” turned out to be the real deal. Breanna left RuralX17 with her inaugural idea of a Castlewood Main Street beautification project in the form of a “shop local” mural painted on the side of the community grocery store. She was able to get approval from the grocery store owner. The Arts Council agreed to paint it. The City Council paid for supplies.

Since our last check in with Breanna, the community of Castlewood has formed an Economic Development Board of Directors. With new goals focused on developing Castlewood, the group took their first step as a board to invite local business owners to a Shop Local … Read More »


How Can We Help Protect CDFI Funding?

Blog, News & Events on December 21st. Comments Off on How Can We Help Protect CDFI Funding?

Over the last 30 years, federal community development spending has plummeted by almost 75 percent, measured as a share of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Fortunately, there are some programs with strong track records that have remained to provide necessary financing in capital-starved communities and to low-income people. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) Programs, which was established in 1994, is one of these tools many communities have come to depend on for access to capital—especially rural and farming towns in the Midwest.  Despite CDFI Fund Programs’ record of success and strong bipartisan support from Congress, this tool has come under threat, with the 2018 President’s budget calling for the elimination of funding.  

In July 2017, 40 rural development leaders from five states came together to discuss rural economic and community development financing and the impact it … Read More »


Month five: Tripp celebrates the holidays!

Blog, News & Events on December 21st. Comments Off on Month five: Tripp celebrates the holidays!

Twenty parade entries. A live nativity show. A community play, horse drawn wagon rides and a fantastic “Hometown Holiday” turn-out. All of these things were the culmination of people coming together in Tripp to bring new energy, new ideas and new growth to their rural community.

Five months ago, Bryan and Shawn Bietz launched The Tripp Action Group (TAG) after being inspired at RuralX17. Since then, the group has successfully organized a kickball tournament/fundraiser, a yard clean-up project, a grocery delivery service and its first annual Hometown Holiday celebration.

After a busy November planning the December 10th event, organizers were excited about all the people who took part in the day. Volunteers of every age stepped up to help, and people came forward to lead projects that most interested them. This is the beauty and the blessing of living in small community! … Read More »


North Dakota Rancher Discovers New Possibilities at RuralX

Blog, News & Events on December 21st. Comments Off on North Dakota Rancher Discovers New Possibilities at RuralX

Katy Kassian of Regan, North Dakota (population 44) attended the first RuralX conference in 2016 and quickly wondered why she was the only person there from North Dakota. A rancher and small business owner for her rural area, Katy is the go-to person for several small towns twenty-five miles in any direction.

“I took pages and pages of notes and was blown away by the event. I loved the camaraderie between communities and the willingness to share assets and resources. I knew this was something more people from my very rural area needed to attend,” she explains.

Katy returned to RuralX17 along with Tana Larsen, the Economic Development Director from nearby Washburn.

“She was just as impressed as I was,” says Katy. “We were both motivated by the work being done in Miller, and we used their model to help create our own … Read More »


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